How did the Rocky Mountains Form? Nick Zentner

It’s not what you thought it was. If you’re into plate tectonic and the wonders of geology, you’ll want to watch this, it’s insightful and will rearrange your thinking in wonderful ways. Talk about folds within folds. :cowboy_hat_face:

I think Nick Zenter is a great teacher, and having spent a little time in the state of Washington I was able to relate to his talks and been a fan of his for years.

I’ve always wished someone like him would show up to discuss the Rockies.
Now it’s nice to him stepping up, although in these talks he’s doing a Rocky Mtn overview, but that’s close enough, especially since he’s introducing us non-geologists a radical, but fact driven, (fairly) new theory about the history of Rocky Mountain formation and it’s a trip.

He’s synthesizing and reporting on what may turn out to be one of the biggest upheavals in geologic understanding since the Plate Tectonics revolution took hold. Well at least for those of us who remember learning about the then new findings suggestioning that the Juan de Fuca Plate diving under California and then rebounding and pushing up the Rockies.

Earth is some 4 and a half billion years old. Moving at an average speed roughly equal to how fast your finger nails grow, it only takes a few hundred million years for tectonic plates to circumnavigate the globe.

Now keep in mind that floating crust is on “mushy” layers mantle. Viscous stuff plowing through other viscous stuff, leaving tracks and remnants within the global, and scientists keep getting better at unraveling the information.

How did the Rocky Mountains Form? Nick (I’m just a geology professor) Zentner

Apr 15, 2023 - Downtown Geology Lectures

CWU’s Nick Zentner presents a new lecture - the 29th talk in his ongoing ‘Downtown Geology Lecture Series’. Recorded at Morgan Auditorium on March 30, 2023 in Ellensburg, Washington, USA.

This is a part of the story

February 18, 2011 - Craig Jones & Jane Palmer
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences - University of Colorado at Boulde

. . . But now scientists have further insight into the solution of this mystery. Jones and his team of researchers have proposed a new model of the mountains’ creation and published their results in the February edition of the journal Geosphere. Not only could their research explain the origin of the Rockies, it could also elucidate other geological phenomena: why a swath of gold, silver and other precious metal deposits stretches across Colorado, and why a marine basin deepened in the states of Colorado and Wyoming just before the Rockies rose. The sediments of this marine basin are the Pierre Shale, a layer of dark-gray shale lying along the Front Range of Colorado. “Pierre Shale has this nasty tendency to bow up people’s basements,” Jones said. “Why more than a mile of this stuff was dumped into this area has been puzzling.”

Previously scientists believed that the oceanic plate subducting . . .

That video was the story that I said was data driven.

This video is about the data and, for me it was enlightening just shy of epiphany. Helps that I’ve been familiar with California since I lived there most of the '70s, and it’s stuff I’ve thought about for a long time and these sorts of updates are always very cool.

Back in the day, traveling, especially Germany/Switzerland, all of us had stuff we wanted to discuss and think about, good challenges was good fun, all the sciences were on the table. Regular kids, well college crowd often. Ah when we were young . . . . . Now, everyone is closed in, the wonder and hope seems to be gone. I don’t get it. These are the good old days, and they are numbered, f’n at least live them with heightened interest. Make the moments count, while you can.

So I’ll toss this up here, great stuff . . .

Paleomagnetism in the Pacific Northwest

Apr 16, 2023 - Nick Zentner - Downtown Geology Lectures

CWU’s Nick Zentner presents a new lecture - the 30th talk in his ongoing ‘Downtown Geology Lecture Series’.
Recorded at Morgan Auditorium on March 31, 2023 in Ellensburg, Washington, USA.

Oh dear, no geology buffs around here? That’s a shame.
I mean this show just keeps getting better.

An intellectual revolution unfolding in real time, the revolution was foreshadowed a half century ago, but it was too wild, too big, too complex for scientists to wrap their heads around, so they side stepped the problem (the growing paleomagnetic record). But the problem never went away, and the accumulation of far flung data/evidence reached a “Consilience Threshold.”

This lecture was a mind blowing crescendo for a lad who’s fully absorbed the traditional plate tectonic learning curve for over a half century now, even if only at a rudimentary level.

I fear this lecture will be hard to keep up with, if you don’t have a descent understanding of existing geologic fundamentals, though it might inspire one to do some homework, it’s not that tough. It’s just that Earth is always more interesting and complex than our imagination is capable of seeing.

Siletzia Fireworks in the Pacific Northwest

Apr 16, 2023 Downtown Geology Lectures

CWU’s Nick Zentner presents a new lecture - the 31st talk in his ongoing ‘Downtown Geology Lecture Series’. Recorded at Morgan Auditorium on April 1, 2023 in Ellensburg, Washington, USA.
(Inspired by the work of Geologist Jeffrey Tepper and others)

He even found a way to bring in the Yellowstone Super Volcano

This is the stuff that I find exciting and worth absorbing. Near the end of this lecture I pulled up a map of the Pacific Ocean floor. It suddenly looks way different, I see different patterns. Plus previous wonders like those amazing long straight ridges off the north California coast, make a little more sense because they’ve taken on a rational explanation, they are in conciliate with the recent much more detailed understanding of that geologic history, they make sense in a way they never had before.

Rocks are cool. Maybe if I’m heading to Colorado I’ll be more interested. Geology also played a role in forming scientific methods. I’ve got a lecture on that somewhere

Not to worry, I’ll get to it.
Knowing the fundamental process allows for a better understanding of the evolution of natural dynamics.

Okay, so here is the first in this series of lectures that Nick Zentner presented. This series is a fine example of how an awesome, yet simple, unifying concept grows in complexity when it meets the actual factual physical reality of our slowly roiling planet Earth.

April 12, 2023 - Downtown Geology Lectures - Nick Zentner

CWU’s Nick Zentner presents a new lecture - the 28th talk in his ongoing Downtown Geology Lecture Series. Recorded at Morgan Auditorium on March 29, 2023 in Ellensburg, Washington, USA.

And everyone tells a story.

Yeah, guess where one lives makes a difference.

I spent first thirteen years in flatlands, Chicagoland, with an awareness of the Plate Tectonic revolution, but that’s looking down on the globe and absolute abstract to what I was seeing outside the window on our many drives into the flat countryside. Starved Rock being about the most exiting geological specimen around.

All I knew of real geology was sand, like Beverly Shores on the east side of the lake. Then we moved to California and I got my mind blown by the changes in vegetation, I was a paperboy on a bike, half way down the San Francisco Peninsula, I would constantly be stopping to check out new flowers and weird plants, or bugs, dragging stuff home. The birds and the morning cacophony, then came geology with the coast line and the Sierra Nevada mountains and Yosemite, by and by Silverton, Colorado 9,300 feet in the heart of the southern rockies, near the San Juan Horse of the Great Divide. Then Canyonlands and river trips, most spiritually, personally and geologically amazing days of my life.

From clueless but amazed at the wonders flying by the car’s window, totally confused. So many questions that seemed very fascinating to me, while popular society and politics seemed too phony, superficial to get all too excited about. Left my home town the day after my 18th birthday and drove straight to the Curry Company employment office in Yosemite Valley and had a job the next day and never looked back. (Actually there was one moment, just crossing the bay, stuck in Hayward traffic, but that’s a whole other story, only lasted a few seconds, . . . , then with a pop my mind cleared and that was that. )

No time to do anything but look forward, the living in mountains, getting to know the land and streams, plants, wildlife and the rhythms of the forest and meadow, especially Wawona, YNP, took me in like a hungry lover, mmm, not to mention the rhythms of young people finding like minded, finally freed from the shackles of home and school.

So I started doing the homework on stuff I was interested in, trying to get answers the things that fascinated me. I’ve spent decades being witness to new geologic insights, learning from others and occasionally making my own from observations and following up on it. It’s filled my head with mind altering revelations well beyond what any thriller novel, or flick, or holy text can offer.
Assumption shattering and eye opening, new horizons and insights opening up with every new Earth sciences and medical breakthrough, ever more evidence gathering and information processing. {Then why does it seem we’re degenerating as a society so rapidly, but now I digress.}

This is all part of me breaking through that self-absorbed Abrahamic Mindset I’m constantly bemoaning.
It’s no longer all about me, my awareness has transcended my body in a real visceral, digested and infused manner - that I just don’t see (or hear) in the people around me, personally or virtually via media exposure.