Down toward the beaches

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Down toward the beaches flow sluggish rivers across a featureless plain. Folded and faulted schists and gneisses are bevelled under the plain, preserving in their deformation compressive crustal movements that have long since driven skyward uncounted ranges that have worn away. The Helikian beaches in their tum disappear, in burial becoming sandstone, which in the heat and pressure of more folding mountains is altered to quartzite. The mountains dissolve, and still another quiet plain vanishes below waves. The water advances into this piece of the world that will one day form as Jackson Hole. It lies close to the latitude of Holocene Sri Lanka-or Malaya, or Panama-and is moving toward the equator. The water is warm zakelijke energie vergelijken but not always quiet or clear. Blue-green algae build mounds in the shallows. There is a drop in sea level. Polygonal mud cracks become ceramic in the tropical sun. The sea returns. The water is virtually transparent, and the skeletons of billions of creatures form a pure blue-gray limestone. Like Debussy’s engulfed cathedral, the site comes up now and again into the light and air, but for the most part seas stay over it. Sands accumulatebroad, deep sands-but they preserve almost no fossil record, so not even David Love will ever say with certainty whether they are underwater or out in the air. (What he cannot say with certainty he will readily say without certainty, provided the difference is clear. He prefers not to be, as he likes to put it, “a man walking with one foot on each side of a fence.” He thinks that some of those sands were terrestrial dunes and coastlines, reddened as oxides in the air.) Jackson Hole is close to the equator, and zakelijke energie phosphates form in the shallow evaporating sea. Tidal flats appear-wide red flats, thickened by slow rivers coming from an uplift far to the east. In the muds are small tracks and tiny bones of dinosaurs. Rapidly-and possibly as a result of the breaking up of the earth’s only continent-the region travels north, moving about a thousand miles in thirty million years. Big dunes form upon the flats: dry, windblown dunes-a Sahara in salmon and red, at the precise latitudes of the modem Sahara.

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