Love for the earth
One of the most amazing creations of God is our planet Earth. Another similar planet, in space visible to man, has not yet been discovered. Having determined the third place from the Sun in our solar system, God breathed life into the Earth and launched it into eternal voyage across the endless expanses of the Universe. At the same time, God endowed the Earth with the ability, as a living organism, to evolve and develop, constantly improving and modifying its face.
Before our very first ancestor, man, appeared on Earth, the Earth lived for more than 4 billion years, and during this immeasurably long time it repeatedly changed its appearance. Its surface melted, then hardened and cracked, gradually becoming covered with water and wrapped in the atmosphere. Mysterious animals and plants appeared and disappeared on Earth. They were the masters of the planet for unimaginably long geological periods, long before the advent of the human race.
How to find evidence of the former life of the Earth and of the living creatures that once lived on it? These questions have always worried and still worry people now.
Meanwhile, right under our feet, each of us constantly encounters fragments of various rocks and minerals, which can tell a lot from the history of the development of our planet. You just need to learn to read all the secrets that they keep for tens and hundreds of millions of years in their frozen crystals, and learn to determine by their appearance, internal structure, chemical composition and the imprints preserved on them, under what conditions they were formed, what forces brought them from the depths to the surface, what beings left their traces on them, and in what periods of the planet's life all this took place.
All this is taught by the science of the earth – geology, with all its sections, such as mineralogy, paleontology, geochemistry, soil science, tectonics, and others.
The work of a geologist has always been and still is not easy. He needs strength and endurance, knowledge and professional skills to confirm or refute guesses with full responsibility. For the timely adoption of appropriate safety measures, a geologist needs a developed intuition and the ability to predict the possible approach of dangerous geological processes that can cause catastrophic destruction.
There are a lot of questions, starting with the laws of natural phenomena and ending with the problems of the survival of mankind and the preservation of life on Earth. To understand what our planet represents and what complex evolution it has gone through until now, let's take a look at the history of its development together.
What creates the face of the Earth?
What creates the face of the Earth and how did all this happen and is happening at the present time? So, welcome to geology!
I will try to talk about the main points of geological processes without resorting to too complex professional terminology.
The concept of the shape of the Earth as a planet had several distinct stages. For example, in the ninth century BC, the Earth was described as a flat disk. For several centuries BC, the understanding of the Earth as a ball began to penetrate into science (Aristotle, 384 – 322 BC; Eratosthenes, 272 – 199 BC).
However, even Columbus (XV century AD) objected to his journey from the point of view that the spherical figure of the Earth has not yet been proven. And only Magellan's circumnavigation of the world broke this skepticism, and the Earth was recognized as having the shape of a ball. Modern scientific understanding views the Earth as a spheroid of rotation.
Under the conditions of rotation and under the influence of various factors, the relief and the location of the continents and oceans change, which together form the appearance of the Earth. The attention of scientists is attracted by two main subdivisions of the relief, protruding on any physical map of the world. These are continents and oceans – the two most contrasting components of the Earth's appearance, the outlines of which are constantly changing.
Changes are caused by such factors as the speed of rotation of the Earth and the centrifugal force acting in this process; changes in the position of the axis of rotation and displacement of the poles; the attraction of the lunar tidal wave, which generates tidal braking, and much more.
The development of the relief of the earth's surface proceeds under the constant and simultaneous action on the solid earth's crust of two oppositely directed forces: internal (endogenous) and external (exogenous). The source of energy of the former is the processes taking place inside the Earth, such as:
- decay of radioactive substances with the release of a huge amount of heat, causing heating and movement of internal masses;
transition of substances from one state of aggregation to another;
exothermic reactions and convective ascending and descending movements of the Earth's mantle masses.
The external expression of these processes on the planet's surface is:
movement of huge lithospheric plates, both continental and oceanic;
mountain building (orogenic) processes and epeirogenic, or oscillatory movements;
- seismic and volcanic movements
The effects of internal forces on the earth's surface are expressed mainly in the creation of large-scale irregularities, in the form of mountain ranges and ridges, both on land and at the bottom of the oceans. And also in the form of powerful volcanic cones and the appearance of significant land areas in place of water spaces and vice versa.
External processes are:
physical and chemical weathering of rocks;
erosion, transfer and accumulation activity of flowing waters;
dissolving action on some rocks of groundwater;
work of wind and ice;
destructive and creative work of sea waves and coastal currents
The source of energy for external processes is the radiant energy of the Sun.
The continuous cumulative effect of external forces comes down to smoothing the earth's surface, to destroy those irregularities that arise on it as a result of the influence of internal forces. This process is called rock weathering.
All these processes will never stop as long as the core of our planet is alive and still bathed in the golden rays of the sun. They can only intensify or weaken depending on the cycles of change and the internal and external forces at work.
It should be noted that relief and climate are closely related. The climate determines the distribution and grouping of relief formation factors. And the relief obeys, to some extent, the law of climatic zoning.
How are mountains born?
Of all the irregularities that create internal (endogenous) forces on the planet's surface, the mountains are the most fantastic. At first glance, they are all the same, but nevertheless there are no two absolutely identical mountain structures in the world. All earthly mountains are original and unique in their own way. Apparently, this is why the saying was born among the people that "Better than mountains, there are only mountains."
All who have been in the mountains are amazed by the layers of rock, twisted into bizarre folded patterns, "crumpled into an accordion" or standing vertically like pillars.
Often, the layers are torn or as if cut by a giant knife. Such pictures are especially impressive on the southern coast of Crimea, the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus, in the Tien Shan, Pamir, Altai and other places.
What forces should act on rocks to crush them like a sheet of paper?
As you know, the stone shell of the Earth (crust) is not a single whole, but consists of parts called lithospheric plates. The lithosphere of the Earth is divided into seven large and several smaller plates. Some plates diverge from each other, while others converge. When lithospheric plates collide with each other, the very same huge forces arise that cause the emergence of mountain structures. In science the process of mountain formation and the associated crushing of rocks into folds, their fragmentation into separate blocks and movement both horizontally and vertically is called orogenesis (from the Greek "oros" – mountain, "genesis" – emergence). As a rule, mountain structures are composed of rocks of various origins, which, in the process of crushing during the collision of huge lithospheric plates, can be lifted from the ocean floor or from the depth of the Earth's mantle several kilometers up and displaced horizontally by tens or even hundreds of kilometers.
Throughout the history of the Earth, mountains were born not constantly, but sporadically with some frequency. There are four epochs of mountain building: Baikal, Caledonian, Hercynian and Alpine. With all these processes of orogenesis that existed on Earth, individual continents merged into a single continental massif – a supercontinent. This happened approximately every half a billion years. The restoration of the supercontinent is inevitably followed by its new disintegration, and this cycle is repeated.
In the Alpine era, mostly the main mountain structures were formed, which determine the appearance of the surface of modern continents. The main events of this epoch began 50-40 million years ago and, increasing in pace, continued for 25 million years, and in a number of regions of the planet, at low rates, they are continuing now. It was during this era that the Alpine-Himalayan mountain structures were formed. They stretch from Gibraltar to the Indonesian archipelago and include: the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Carpathians, the Balkans, the Greater and Lesser Caucasus, the Pamirs and, finally, the highest mountain system on earth, the Himalayas. The latter arose as a result of the collision of the Australian plate – one of the fragments of the supercontinent – Gondwana, with the southern edge of the Eurasian plate. This process began 30 million years ago and continues to this day.
In the west of North America, the powerful mountain system of the Cordillera was finally formed. And 40 million years ago, the formation of the Andean mountain system in the western of South America was accelerating. The separation of the American continent from Laurasia (today's Eurasia) and movement westward led to a collision with the heavy basalt plate of the Pacific Ocean. During these collisions, the heaviest oceanic plate, as a rule, pushed under the light continental plate, tucking and going deep into the mantle layer. At the same time, a huge frictional force was created, which broke the edges of the continental plate, crushed into separate blocks, crushed and lifted up several kilometers above sea level. This is how mountain ranges such as the Andes and the Cordillera were created.
The mountains of the Caucasus, Crimea, Turkey and Iraq are the result of the collision of the Arabian plate with Eurasia. The Alps, Carpathians, the Balkans, the Pyrenees and other mountains of the Western Mediterranean owe their origin to the collision of the African plate with the European one.
This is how the modern appearance of our planet was born, forming fabulously beautiful mountains and valleys, deserts, seas and oceans, forests and fields, lakes and rivers with the richest flora and fauna, pleasing the human eye and soul.
What substances does the Earth consist of?
Almost all chemical elements known to us take part in the chemical composition of our planet. In their complex compounds, they create a variety of minerals, which are divided into rock-forming and rare (accessory) ones. No more than 100 minerals take part in the formation of rocks of the earth's crust, which are divided into 10 classes:
- native elements.
The dominant chemical elements in the earth's crust are oxygen, silicon, aluminum, magnesium, calcium, iron, sodium and potassium.
For example, oxygen is 49.13 percent by weight, and if you take into account its large atomic volume, it turns out that it is 90.77 percent by volume! Such a concentration of oxygen has not yet been found anywhere in space by humans.
There are many minerals on Earth that are not used to obtain metals or building materials from them, and nevertheless they are of great interest as precious and ornamental stones. Fascinatingly beautiful and mysterious world of stone has long been a symbol of beauty and harmony for man. Wonderful brilliance and amazing play of light, fantastic coloring, unusual shapes, patterns and drawings, as if drawn by someone's magic hand. Behind all this, the inner power of stones is hidden for a person, and therefore they are considered the repository of the Divine Spirit.
The most valuable gemstone is diamond (diamond-C is the mineral with the highest dispersion of all transparent minerals).
The second most valuable is the emerald (emerald – (Pe, Pd) 3, (Fe, Cu), (C2)) – a mineral of an exceptionally beautiful green color. This is a type of beryl (beril (Be3 Al2 Si6 O18), dyed green with chromium. Otherwise, dyed beryls are called AQUAMARIN.
The third most valuable is ruby – red, transparent varieties of corundum (corundum – (Al2 O3)). Iron-colored blue transparent varieties of stone are SAPPHIRE (Mg, Al) 8, (AlSi) 6, O20, another type of precious corundum.
Very interesting precious minerals are spinel, topaz, tourmaline, garnet, olivine, quartz, rock crystal, amethyst, blue turquoise, opal, jade, agate, onyx, amber and others.
In addition to precious stones, there is also PIEZOOPTIC RAW MATERIAL in nature – these are perfect crystals of quartz, calcite (Icelandic spar) and tourmaline. Higher requirements are imposed on this raw material. Crystals should be transparent, have a perfect lattice, devoid of twins, inclusions, deformation disturbances, and others. Such requirements are due to their use in ultra-precise instruments and devices of the latest technologies.
Thanks to my profession, I have personally visited many of the described places and with my own hands touched all the above-mentioned precious stones, each time experiencing a feeling of deep mystery.
This short essay is presented not for the sake of agitating the subject of geology as a science, but as a reminder to everyone about what a valuable God's Gift we all have and how godlessly many of us treat it.
Let's summarize all of the above. Any planet or star can be an object of observation and study in the ways available to us to expand knowledge about the world around us. And planet Earth is our home, where we live thanks to God! And as you know, the house should always be in order, cleanliness and comfort. We are all the owners of this house. And who, besides us, will put things in order in it? The earth must be loved and respected as a living being, on the state of which the life of our civilization and future generations depends.
The sun, water and air every minute and tirelessly weave the green cover of our planet, creating food for everything that exists on it. This is how it was millions of years ago, and it is happening now. Man is the main decoration of the "living bouquet" of the Earth and he must constantly take care of it.
Love for nature should not be limited to just a pleasant vacation on beautiful islands somewhere in the ocean. It should start from the hometown, from the native street, city parks and squares, from the native river flowing in the city, and even from the trees growing along the sidewalks on which we walk.
Our beautiful planet Earth deserves equally beautiful inhabitants, caring for it and for each other. The same harmony, beauty and balance should be present in the human community.
This opportunity is given to us by the building of a Creative Society, where the value of human life is in the first place. It is a peaceful society of happy people, equal opportunities, friendship and mutual support. It is being created by joint efforts, and everyone, the entire world community is involved in this process.
Before anything can be done, people must come together to agree and unite for a common goal. The first step is to inform people that the process of building a Creative Society is already underway. All over the world, people of different ages, from different spheres of activity unite and act, while not breaking or destroying anything. This leads to global results in society. The Wave of Creation is getting larger and larger every day, changing the worldview and restoring order throughout the Earth.
The idea of the project of the entire world community – building of a completely new creative format, is a fateful turn in mankind's life . People go forward boldly and courageously, with a clear conscience and good thoughts, looking into the wonderful future of their own and their descendants.
Roman Levanovich Kvirikadze – geologist, hydrogeologist