Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Arunachala Geology

The Age of the Mountain

Recently an anonymous visitor to the blog asked me whether any scientific research was conducted on the age of Arunachala. I promised him/her that I would soon respond with a post and this a fulfillment of the same.

To first understand the age of Arunachala we should first know the basic geological concepts according to contemporary knowledge.

Roughly about 4.6 billion years ago a cloud of interstellar dust which was revolving around its own axis forming a rough sphere, globbed together to form what we know as Earth today. The formation of the Solar System too followed th same procedure but was perhaps a mere 0.2 to 0.1 billion years before the formation of the Earth.

The primitive Earth thus formed was divided into the early eons of the Hadean and the Archean.

The Hadean period is the first period where Earth was mostly molten, but there was rock formation and this is been recently proved in the Isua Greenstone Belt in the Greenlands where the rock dates about 4.4 to 3.8 billion years. Similar structures of rocks could be seen in other places like Jack Hills region of Western Australia and a few other places.

This is how a Hadean Landscape would have looked like at 4.4 to 3.8 billion years ago.

These rocks of the Hadean period represent the most primitive crust of the Earth. Any new rock formations or sediment depositions would have occured on this primitive crust only.

As the Earth cooled, the rocks became more bigger, hills formed, mountains formed and slowly life began to appear as we know it in a few million years.

Hence in contemporary geology if we can identify stones or sediment formations that are thought to have occured during the Hadean or the following Archean period we will know that we are dealing with an ancient piece of nature.

Coming to Arunachala, an unknown American geologist is famed to have said "Arunachala should have been thrown up by the earth under the stress of some violent volcanic eruption in the dim ages before even the coal-bearing strata were formed. This rocky mass of granite may be dated back to the earliest epoch of the history of our planet's crust, that epoch which long preceded the vast sedimentary formation in which fossil records of plants and animals have been preserved. It existed long before the gigantic saurians of the pre-historic world moved their ungainly forms through the primeval forests that covered our early earth. It was contemporaneous with the formation of the very crust of earth itself. Arunachala was almost as hoary and as ancient as our planetary home itself"

From this we can place his analysis to mean that Arunachala was perhaps 'born' in the Hadean/Archean period which ranges from 4.4 to 3-8 billion years.

Geological experiments in and around Tiuvannamalai have revealed that the rock (charnokite) which makes up Arunachala covering is older than 3.5 billion years old ( Geological Survey of India) and

Banded Iron formations around Tiruvannamalai area are thought to be about 3 billion years old.

(Mineralogy and chemistry of banded iron formations (BIF) of Tiruvannamalai area, Tamil Nadu,Journal of Earth System Science,Volume 98, Number 2 / July, 1989.)

It is thus evident that even scientific conclusions do place Arunachala Age to be beyond 3.5 billion years and perhaps the range would be 4.4 to 3.5 billion years old.

In lay man's terms, Arunachala can be as old as the Earth itself!

But Arunachala is the unborn.

How can the Source have an Age? How can time limit the Mountain from where time was born?

I have actually modelled a fiction novel around this concept and would request my readers to bear me with patience till the book comes out.

I am sure once anyone reads the Theory they will not be dissapointed.

So for the true Age of Arunachala...please bear with me in patience for some time.


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