Thoughts about primeval times

Looking back into primeval times

In order to combine the suppositions introduced in the previous chapter into a more concrete picture related to geological conditions, a thought-experiment will attempt to grasp qualitatively the group of phenomena already presented with respect to orbicular granites, and transfer them to a possible environment of origin.  In this, not only the „provable“ parameters, but also other possibile parameters will be combined to a totality which could correspond to the known phenomena.

First, the most relevant features of orbicular granites will be briefly sumarized (compare the chapter „the orbicular-granite problem“):

• Presence of the spheres in very different crystalline parent-rocks, or thus rocks with differing chemistry, though with a quartz content of 50-60 % by weight.

• Presence only in old and very old rock complexes, and notably not in the numberless later complexes with the same chemistry.

• Presence only in small plutonic „heads“ or „bubbles“ penetrated into a neighboring rock complex, from several to several dozen meters in length (or thus no kilometer-sized complexes).

• Spherical layered makeup, which one would not expect in a magmatic melt, but which remind one of Liesegang ring-formation or the spherolithic layering in the silicious gel-colloid of agates.

• The same or similar layered structure of the spheres of a given location, but nevertheless large differences between locations, by which there is no recognizable connection between the layer structure (thickness, number of layers, granularity, crystallization direction) and the chemistry of the parent rock.

• Very different seed-pieces in the centr of the spheres (small seeds, large plagioclase crystals, broken pieces of gneiss, fragmens of spheres).

• Strong plastic deformation of spheres, dissolved and strongly-deformed fragments of shells, ruptured spheres with matrix penetrating inward.

• Eroded spheres dissolved from the outside inward.  Eroded spheres which subsequently have grown again.    

Orbicular granite:
Separated shell fragments
For comparison:
Shell fragments in an agate
08_das_kugelgranitproblem_10_300.jpg kopie_von_09_das_achatproblem_06.jpg


If one brings these multi-layered and apparently partly self-contradictory complexes of phenomena into movement, moving them back and forth with the inclusion of the picture of a heavy, mineral-containing mega-atmosphere of the earlies earth period, as well as including consideration of the various theories of origin which have been developed to date (see chapter „The orbicular granite problem“), one can come to a world of origin which may have looked as follows:

One finds oneself in a darkened, twilight foggy atmosphere of about 300 degrees Celsius, which is significntly denser than air.  In addition to the density determined by the substances, there comes a tremendous atmospheric pressure of several hundred bars, s the gas sphere of the earth was dozens of times thicker or higher than at present.

The atmosphere borders on a green-dark-gray, clayey mass forming the ground.  Onto this falls a heavily-rattling rain of an oily fluid which resembles saturated salt-water, but nevertheless heavier and denser that this.  The fluid forms ponds and lakes, from which vapors of steam rise and are blown away.  The pressure, temperaure and chemical properties stand in such a balance, that one has the impression of the present-day relationships that prevail in a stormy night of rain over a region with natural hot springs.  In reality the relationships are dramatically different than today: the ceaseless raining leaves behind traces of a slimy mineralic deposition which thickens in the zones under the surface by a continual expulsion of residual fluid, and gradually layers itself as a sediment hundreds of meters thick.

The ceaseless blowing or streaming of the massive „wind“ drives along fragments of small broken-off pieces, which have loosened themselves from the thickened groundmass.  Now and again there appear large, flat “rock-fragments“, shoved across the ground by the dully roaring wind.  Clearly the great density of the atmospheric gases and the resulting decreased relative weight of the fragments work together here.

If one now penetrates down into the damp, gray-green pre-rock mass, it shows itself to be in a hardened-clayey or rosin-like consistency.   It has only about four-fifths the density of present-day rock, or thus a specific weight of about 2.0.  It would be easy to chop off a piece with an axe, as it is as hard as wood at a certain depth, but not as resistant to being pulled apart.   It is darkly translucent, allowing one to see perhaps a finger-breadth into the material.  It is as easy to scratch as hardened tree rosin.  Its temperaure here, two hundred meters below the Earth’s surface, is about 350 degrees Celsius.  The silica-rich mass appears to contain a noticeable amount of chemically-bound and also free water, and suited to a stron diffusion of substances of various kinds.  Through this the finer structure of the individual regions undramatically but continuously.  There are individual clumpings of material that represent precursor stages to crystallization, and occasional larger feldspar crystals, but the mass as a whole is not yet fixed, but rather in a mobile condition.

Although a piece held in the hand would appear relatively hard and stabile, it reacts here at a depth of two hundred meters in a completely plastic, deformable manner.  Through this, any foreign bodies an structures contained in it can be deformed to the point of being unrecognizable.   If it is extended or sheared too rapidly, however, it breaks, forming cracks and fissures.  Such fissures fill themselves with the mineral-saturated pore fluids which are present everywhere, which then diffuse with related substances, or the clefts may close up again through further tectonic movement, similarly as in glaciers.

At a depth of several hundred meters below this, we find a notable change in the mileau:  the temperature increases by150 degrees, thus reaching about 500 degrees Celsius, and the mass becomes more mobile or fluid.  This is due not only to the higher temperaure, but also from a greater percentage of water.  At this temperature and enormous pressure, the water involved,with certain mineral components, forms a type of highly-saturated silicic acid, leading  the mass into the beginnings of a colloidal condition.  This sort of pre-rock mass finds itself in a slow, horizontal flow movement, similar to a deep ocean current?  It is bordered more or less sharply on the zone lying above, which is not only less hot, but also moves less strongly.  At this boundary we come aross a snake-head formed intrusion or „pluton-bubble“, several dozen meters long, which some time previously has penetrated from below into the somewhat cooler mass lying above, by softening this through its water content and , in places, pushed it aside.  (The concept „pluton“ is somewhat misused here, in that it refers to magmatic melts of 1000 degrees Celsius or more, but there is no current concept to apply here).  This pluton-bubble forms a quite special mileau, in that a periodic, slow, oscillatory interactive swinging between oversaturation and undersaturation of quartz-, mica- and feldspar-forming material takes place.  Crystals which earlier had formed in the mass, now form deposition centers for oversaturated substances.  The alternately layered-on substances are as gelatenous as their surroundings, and equally soft and sensitive.  After a time the spherically-formed depositions have grown to a size of 10 to 15 cm diameter.

The sensitive mileau of the pluton-bubble does not remain undisturbed for long.  Close by, another larger substance-bubble penetrates into the zone lying above.  This has the effect of compressing our orbiculite-pluton, whereby many spheres are forced into a lengthened form.  Some of the spheres are actually forced together and compressed.  All of this takes place over „days“ or „weeks“, according to our sense of time.  The spheres are too soft to survive the various extensive and compressive movements without harm.  Some orbicules lose parts of their shells, others break open.  In addition, the gelatenous mass becomes more fluid at individual exposed locations, or those strongly moved.  The fluidized mass crystallizes later to a pegmatitic zone with larger crystals, which appear in nests between and within the spheres. At the lower end of the pluton-bubble the temperature has again risen somewhat, and in addition the water content of the disruptive neighboring pluton makes itself felt through diffusion.  The consequence is, that the lower spheres begin to erode, i.e. dissolve from the border inward. After a certain period of time the disturbances stop, and the spheres and fragments experience a new phase of growth due to the further cooling and a renewed pulsation of over- and undersaturation: new layers are deposited around the partly-dissolved spheres. A small shaking movement, which is common during this period, shakes the masses and leads to local shearing and faulting.  Inside the pluton-bubble there is a re-fluidization of the partly-hardened gelled rock mass along certain shear lines.  This fluidized mass also crystallizes later to pegmatitic rock, which penetrates through the orbicular granite in crooked veins. The gradually-hardening pluton-bubble does not reach the surface, however.  Over long time-periods there take place further depositional processes from out of the dense-mineralic atmosphere, which lead to a continual growth of the world-wide complexes of the later crystalline rocks, and with this the continental regions (possibly only one single Pangaea-like mega-craton).  Later, as this Archaen style of continental growth tapers off and the processes of plate tectonics begin, with its metamorphoses and concentrations of substances in magmatically-active zones, the gelatenous silica conditions with their possibilities for complex diffusion products become rarer, until the time comes when they belong completely to the Earth’s past.  A last remnant of this diffusion-production in colloidal silica is given by agate formation, which shows in  later epochs a faint echo of the unique processes of the Earth’s first periods.

Only after endlessly long time periods, after the chemically-bound and free water finally was either incorporated into the growing minerals or expelled, the earth mases crystallized to hard rock, the Earth’s surface cooled and the numerous subsequently-deposited layers carried away during long erosive periods, do the orbicules of our pluton-bubble emerge onto the fully-changed Earth’s surface.  Here, in the midst of the Finnish forests, the peer as foreigners from a hot, incomprehensible primeval world at the pure heavens of our present-day earth.  No one would believe them if they were to describe their true origin.  The world has grown too different-

These descriptions do not claim to be „correct“, but are offered as a „possibly valid direction“.  They are capable of showing: If the world of the Archaen and early Proterozoic actually appeared as different as is is portrayed here for an example, how is it possible to approach it in any other way than through a contemplating thought-play which attempts to grasp the phenomena in their qualitative totality with a practical-sensible effort to understand?  Chemophysical analyses and uniformitarian model-building tend to produce pictures similar to those already known from the present-day Earth.  Orbicular granite with its completely exotic morphology is then, without serious reflection, simply considered as a magmatic product, since chemical analysis shows the same substances as in granite.  The possibility of considering entirely different processes of origin is thus lost, since these processes cannot be replicated and analyzed.  One would wish, nevertheless, to have he individual thoughts before one within a total context such that the phenomena one examines do not give rise to gaps in their explanation, or absurditiies remain.  Rather a broad, insight-awakening picture should arise that one feels approaches the correct or probable one.