Science news: Plate-tectonics in time-lapse, how rocks rusted in the Late Triassic, songs of fin whales used for imaging of the oceanic crust, ancient seashell resonates after 18,000 years

Screenshot of the video.

Recent discoveries about our planet, its rocks, and other “stone” topics

Geoscientists have released a video that for the first time shows the uninterrupted movement of the Earth’s tectonic plates over the past billion years. The international effort provides a scientific framework for understanding planetary habitability and for finding critical metal resources needed for a low-carbon future.

The colorful banded Tepees are part of the Blue Mesa Member, a geological feature about 220 million to 225 million years old in the Chinle Formation in Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. Source: NPS
A new study explains how rocks rusted in the Late Triassic climate more than 200 million years ago and turned red. Scientists now understand how long it takes for redness to form, the chemical reactions involved and the role hematite plays.

Fin Whale. Photo: <a href=Wikimedia Commons” width=”440″ height=”293″ class=”aligncenter size-medium wp-image-84314″ />
The songs of fin whales can be used for seismic imaging of the oceanic crust, providing scientists a novel alternative to conventional surveying by high-energy air-gun signals. The animals‘ songs contain signals that are reflected and refracted within the crust.

Reconstruction of the instrument being played. In the background, a red dotted buffalo decorates the walls of the Marsoulas Cave; similar motifs decorate the instrument. Source: Carole Fritz et al. 2021 / drawing: Gilles ToselloAlmost 80 years after its discovery in the ornate Marsoulas Cave in the Pyrenees, a large shell from has been studied by a multidisciplinary team. The scientists revealed how this probably oldest wind instrument sounded when people played it 18,000 years ago.

(16.02.21, USA: 02.16.2021)