Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

And The Mountain Moved: Scientists Study How Heart Mountain Shifted

Date:
May 17, 2006
Source:
Weizmann Institute of Science
Summary:
"Moving mountains" has come to mean doing the impossible. Yet at least once in the past, one mountain relocated a fair distance away. This feat took place around 50 million years ago, in the area of the present-day border between Montana and Wyoming.

"Moving mountains" has come to mean doing the impossible. Yet at least once in the past, one mountain relocated a fair distance away. This feat took place around 50 million years ago, in the area of the present-day border between Montana and Wyoming. Heart Mountain was part of a larger mountain range when the 100 km (62 mile) long ridge somehow became detached from its position and shifted about 100 km to the southwest. This 'migrating mountain' has garnered interest from geologists and geophysicists around the world who have tried to solve the mystery behind the largest known instance of land movement on the face of any continent.

Dr. Einat Aharonov of the Weizmann Institute’s Environmental Sciences and Energy Research Department, working in collaboration with Dr. Mark Anders of Columbia University in New York, recently published a paper in the scientific journal Geology that offers an explanation for the phenomenon.

Aharonov and Ander’s explanation is based on dikes – vertical cracks in the rock that fill with hot lava boiling up from deep in the earth. In Heart Mountain, these dikes formed a passage for the lava, three kilometers deep, through the limestone aquifer (a porous, water-soaked layer). There, the sizzling lava would have heated the water to extreme temperatures, causing tremendous fluid pressures.

The scientists developed a mathematical model (based on the number of dikes in the mountain and their structure) that allowed them to calculate the temperatures and pressures that would have been created deep within the base of the mountain. The results showed that the infiltrating hot lava would have turned the water in the aquifer layer into a sort of giant pressure cooker, releasing enough force to move Heart Mountain from its original spot to its present site.

Dr. Einat Aharonov’s research is supported by the Sussman Family Center for the Study of Environmental Sciences; and the Samuel M. and Helene Soref Foundation. Dr. Aharonov is the incumbent of the Anna and Maurice M. Boukstein Career Development Chair.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Weizmann Institute of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Weizmann Institute of Science. "And The Mountain Moved: Scientists Study How Heart Mountain Shifted." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 May 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060517083426.htm>.
Weizmann Institute of Science. (2006, May 17). And The Mountain Moved: Scientists Study How Heart Mountain Shifted. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060517083426.htm
Weizmann Institute of Science. "And The Mountain Moved: Scientists Study How Heart Mountain Shifted." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060517083426.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) At least six Nepalese guides are dead after an avalanche swept the slopes of Mount Everest along a route used to climb the world's highest peak. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins