20 January, 1997
>1/20 > >It is nearly impossible to explain our work today without pictures, so >please go to the beginning of the journal and click on the photo website >set up by Jon Phillip. > >The purpose of our two hour helicopter flight was to get an overview of >all the major sites of the Basement and Peneplain Sills. Aerial views are >critical to the field geologist for getting the whole picture and locating >future sites for investigation. > >One area in parcticular look very much like the buttes of Monument Valley in >the Navajo Nation in Arizona and Utah. Monument Valley is one of the most >beautiful spots on earth and sacred to the Navajo Way. Seeing the same >type of buttes in Antarctica reminded me of the Navajo tale of how Monster >Slayer was sent out to kill Cold Woman, the Maker of Cold. > What he found he found was an old and shriveled lady---miserable and >shaking from the cold. She appeared so pathetic that he very kindly said, >"When you are gone there will be no more suffering by The People from the >cold." Shivering, the old lady replied, "It makes no difference to me. I >am miserable anyhow. But The People will die when the land dries and >mountains no longer feed streams." Monster Slayer understood and left the >old lady alone in the cold. > >The tale could be told of Antarctica as well. If the cold were to die here >the ice cap would melt and coastal areas everywhere would be under water. >The weather patterns all over the world would be completely disrupted. In >fact, some scientists claim that the dinosaurs may have died out not >because of a meteorite impact, but because of Antarctica. 200,000,000 >years ago Antarctica was a part of a Super Continent. This early continent >began to break apart and the piece we call Antarctica drifted further and >further south. Antarctica moved into the south polar area where only water >existed before. Since land absorbs heat faster than water, gives off heat >faster than water, and does not have currents as water does, a very >different weather pattern developed worldwide. The earth became colder >than ever before. And this may have led to the death of the dinosaur.Return to Bill Philips' Page
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