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No. 28: Jul-Aug 1983

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The Alaskan Jigsaw Puzzle

Alaska seems to be plastered together from bits and pieces that originated far from the present position of this state. The units that now make up southern Alaska, for example, started north of the equator 250 million years ago, crossed into the southern hemisphere, and started back north about 160 million years ago. However, the itinerary of northern Alaska cannot even be guessed at. Present thinking is that this portion of the state was close to the geographic north pole during the late Cretaceous. But this is the period when the huge coal deposits were formed on the Arctic slope. Much of this coal comes from evergreens, which could not have survived in high latitudes due to the lack of sunlight. So, the pieces of the puzzle are at hand, but their travels are a mystery.

(Anonymous; "Fragmented Alaska," Open Earth, no. 17, 1982.)

Reference. For more on exotic terranes, see ESR9 in our Catalog: Inner Earth. Ordering information here.

From Science Frontiers #28, JUL-AUG 1983. 1983-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987