EARTH Magazine: New Subduction Zone May Close Atlantic Ocean

Geology term on a roadside sign at Murlough Bay, Ireland.

Ireland has plenty of road signs I don’t understand at all, but this one I get! Gotta love seeing geology terms on the open road!

As many of you know, I don’t just write for fun. This is also how I make my living! If you’re curious about my science writing, my latest story for EARTH magazine just went live. Seeing as I’m currently across in the pond, exploring Ireland and Scotland, this story about the eventual closing of the Atlantic Ocean seems fitting:

Throughout the history of the Earth, supercontinents and ocean basins have opened and closed over timescales of 300 million to 500 million years. “But we don’t actually see evidence of the in-between phase — a previously opening ocean basin beginning to close — happening anywhere on Earth,” says Robert Stern, a geoscientist at the University of Texas at Dallas. Now, thanks to new high-resolution surveys of the seafloor, scientists think they have evidence of that process starting in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Portugal.

To read the rest, visit EARTH’s website and check back here for more from Ireland and Scotland!

About theblondecoyote

Mary Caperton Morton is a freelance science and travel writer with degrees in biology and geology and a master’s in science writing. A regular contributor to EARTH magazine, where her favorite beat is the Travels in Geology column, she has also written for the anthologies Best Women's Travel Writing 2010 and Best Travel Writing 2011. Mary is currently based in western Colorado. When she’s not at the computer she can usually be found outside -- hiking, skiing, climbing mountains and taking photographs. Visit her website at
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2 Responses to EARTH Magazine: New Subduction Zone May Close Atlantic Ocean

  1. Chas Spain says:

    Sounds like a very exciting story to have published. We tend to imagine geological processes being extraordinarily prolonged – but then sometimes they are ridiculously rapid – like the creation of islands from volcanic eruptions – love that sort of thing.

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