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Mt st helens radiometric dating

With the formation of the earth pegged at h (midnight), our work day finishes at h, just as we pull up to the present. Each hour corresponds to 0.875 billion years (Ga), each minute to 3.125 million years (Ma) and each second to 52.1 thousand years (Ka).

Conversely, 1 Ga takes 4 hours, 20 minutes out of the day; 1 Ma, 19.2 seconds; and 1 Ka, 19.2 millisecondsliterally the blink of an eye.

The entire Mesozoic Era (295 Ma long) shot by in under an hour, the dinosaurs departed just 20 minutes ago (thank goodness), and we've been comfy and relatively ice-free for only a mere 0.2 seconds.

A healthy human female can expect to live just under 2 milliseconds in a developed country.

Most of them cluster around the intersection of these two profound lineaments, both which almost certainly cut the full thickness of the lithosphere.

This telling elevation distribution reflects a powerful synergy between truly ancient plate processes driven by the cooling of the earth in the presence of gravity and ongoing mantle processes driven by Lord knows what.

Geologic understanding requires careful attention to time as well as three-dimensional space, so we'd better stop here first.

If you're unfamiliar with geologic time terminology and abbreviations, take that detour now.

My piano tuner's job security rests on the fact that properly tuned piano wire flows (stretches) at a similar rate and falls out of tune in a matter of months.

Over a few Ma, fingernail speed is plenty fast enough to fold great thicknesses of sedimentary rock over the east edge of the relatively brittle Front Range basement block, as in the photo at right.

With over 50 million modern human lifetimes elapsed since the planet formed around 4.5 Ga, geologic or deep time is, to say the least, difficult to grasp.

But the effort pays, for with a feel for deep time comes a sense of its great power: Given enough time, almost anything energetically possible can happeneven at very large scales.

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