Dinosaurs came and went in the last 260 million years, as well as the split into the continents and islands that we see today.
Earth seems to have been keeping time. A recent study suggests that our planet has a steady geological activity every 27 million years or so.
The cycle of catastrophic ebbs and flows is incredibly slow and includes volcanic activity, mass extinctions, plate reorganizations, and sea level rises. We have another 20 million years before the next pulse, according to the research team.
Michael Rampino, a New York University geologist and the study's lead author, said that many geologists believe that geological events are random over time.
Our study shows that the geologic events are correlated and not random.
The team analyzed the ages of 89 geological events from the past 260 million years.
Some of those times were tough, with over eight world-changing events clustering together over geologically small time spans, forming the catastrophic pulse.
Rampino et al., geoscience frontiers, 2021.
There are times of marine and non-marine extinctions, major ocean-anoxic events, continental flood-basalt eruptions, sea-level fluctuations, and times of changes in seafloor spreading rates.
Our results suggest that global geologic events are correlated and come in waves with an underlying cycle.
A potential cycle in geological events has been investigated by geologists for a long time. In the 1920s and 30s, scientists suggested that the geological record had a 30-million-year cycle, while in the 1980s and 90s, researchers used the best-dated geological events to give them a range of the length between.
It seems that everything is in order, and we would expect that. The authors of the late 2020 study suggested that mass extinctions happen at the same time as this 27.5-million-year mark.
The paper is quite good, but I think a better paper was written by Muller and Dutkiewicz, who were not involved in this research, according to Alan Collins from the University of Adelaide.
The paper looked at the carbon cycle and plate tectonics and came to the conclusion that the cycle is approximately 26 million years old.
The team looked at 89 events and found that many of them were related, such as anoxic events causing marine extinction.
He said that the 26 to 30 million year cycle seems to be real and over a longer period of time, it is not clear what is the underlying cause of it.
One space researcher has suggested Planet X is to blame for comet strikes.
It might be due to something closer to home if Earth really does have a geologic heartbeat.
The results of the dynamics of plate tectonics and mantle plumes may be related to the processes associated with the Earth's motions in the Solar System.
The research has been published.
The first version of this article was published in June of 2021.