All over the world, so much carbon was buried in Pennsylvanian time that the oxygen pressure in the atmosphere quite possibly doubled. There is more speculation than hypothesis in this, but what could the oxygen do? Where could it go? After carbon, the one other thing it could oxidize in great quantity was iron-abundant, pale-green ferrous iron, which exists everywhere, in fully five per cent of crustal rock; and when ferrous iron takes on oxygen, it turns a ferric red. That may have been what happened-in time that followed the Pennsylvanian. Permian rock is generally red. Red beds on an epic scale are the signs of the Triassic, when the earth in its zakelijke energie vergelijken rutilance may have outdone Mars. As you come off the red flats to cross western Utah, two hundred and ten million years before the present, you travel in the dark, there being not one grain of evidence to suggest its Triassic appearance, no paleoenvironmental clue. Ahead, though, in eastern Nevada, is a line of mountains that are much of an age with the peaks of New Jersey-a little rounded, beginning to show age-and after you climb them and go down off their western slopes you discern before you the white summits of alpine fresh terrain, of new rough mountains rammed into thin air, with snow banners flying off the matterhorns, iidges, crests, and spurs. You are in central Nevada, about four hundred miles east of San Francisco, and after you have climbed these mountains you look out upon (as it appears in present theory) open sea. You drop swiftly to the coast, and then move on across moderately profound water full of pelagic squid, water that is quietly accumulating the sediments which-ages in the future-will become the roof rock of tlrn iising Sierra. Tall volcanoes are standing in the sea. Then, at roughly the point where the Sierran foothills will end and the Great Valley will begin-at Auburn, Californiayou move beyond the shelf and over deep ocean. There are probably zakelijke energie some islands out there somewhere, but fundamentally you are
Book 1: Basin and Range crossing above ocean crustal floor that reaches to the China Sea. Below you there is no hint of North America, no hint of the valley or the hills where Sacramento and San Francisco will be.