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Earth Science

Grand Canyon Is "Frankenstein" of Geologic Formations 132

Posted by timothy
from the but-it's-no-megavolcano dept.
sciencehabit writes "It's a debate that has vexed scientists for decades: Is the Grand Canyon young or old, geologically speaking? Both, a new study declares. A group of scientists reports that the famed formation is a hybrid of five different gorges of various ages--two of three middle segments formed between 70 million and 50 million years ago and between 25 million and 15 million years ago, but the two end segments were carved in the past 5 million to 6 million years--and the Colorado River only tied them into a single continuous canyon 5 million or 6 million years ago."
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Grand Canyon Is "Frankenstein" of Geologic Formations

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  • by Mr. Firewall (578517) on Monday January 27, 2014 @12:40AM (#46077827) Homepage

    A formation is a layer of sediment that has been compacted into rock. There's more to the formal definition, but that will suffice for now.

    The Grand Canyon cuts through dozens of formations, but cannot, itself, be a formation.

    So much for "news for nerds."

  • by gerardrj (207690) on Monday January 27, 2014 @12:41AM (#46077837) Journal

    Not the cobbled together monster!

  • by hey! (33014) on Monday January 27, 2014 @01:19AM (#46078031) Homepage Journal

    Well I *have* read the book and actually Viktor Frankenstein was *not* a doctor. He's an undergraduate *student* of natural philosophy who gets sidetracked into occult studies. He only became a doctor in the movies, which give the whole affair an anti-science spin, probably to cash in on peoples discomfort with anatomical research. The book is much less clear on exactly how Frankenstein constructs his monster, but it implies alchemy or other discredited pseudoscience is involved.

  • by Mr. Firewall (578517) on Monday January 27, 2014 @01:57AM (#46078155) Homepage

    If you can't come up with anything better (and dodges aren't better), "geologic formations" is good enough for laymen.

    When I see the phrase "good enough for laymen" on slashdot, I know that /. has gone a LONG way downhill.

    I think the word that Timothy was looking for is "feature."

  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Monday January 27, 2014 @03:52AM (#46078523)

    It doesn't really imply that. It does say that Frankenstein spent many years of his life devoted to occult studies in his desire to gain control over life and death - but also that he rejected that field after coming to the conclusion that it was all a load of worthless nonsense, and that he greatly regretted the time spent persuing what was not only a dead end but one that, in hindsight, should have been obvious as such. As soon as he realises that he turns towards medicine, recognising that even though this field makes far less grand promises it is able to make good on them. The book doesn't say exactly how he did it, but suggests that it was through entirely physical means - in particular it states that Frankenstein deliberately picked out the most oversized corpses and organs to work with, because the delicate surgical techniques would have posed much more difficulty had he been working with smaller components. That's why the monster created was so large and powerful.

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson

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