Popular geology articles by R.W. Williams

Seeing the connections

Distance need not be a barrier in geological interpretation. This point is borne out by a thin layer of rock in south-east France, which marks an important point in geological time on the Norwegian continental shelf.


Read article on the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's website.



Going Green

The bare rock floor of a log cabin in Germany’s Eifel Hills defines, by international agreement, the boundary between Lower and Middle Devonian rocks throughout the world. This marks the beginning of the age in Earth history that will forever be called the Eifelian.

Published in The Norwegian Continental Shelf, No. 2, 2012
Adobe Acrobat Document 2.8 MB

Ice world

Saturn’s little ice moon Enceladus looks very alien to terrestrial geologists. Like Earth, however, this world is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. A warm interior requires energy, and an unearthly source is pumping up its heat.

Published in the Norwegian Continental Shelf, No.3, 2009
Adobe Acrobat Document 360.8 KB

Mass grave from the remote past
The bulldozer drivers had no idea that work to straighten a dangerous bend on Tennessee’s Highway 75 would uncover a vanished ecosystem in the evolutionary history of North American mammals.

Published in the Norwegian Continental Shelf, No.3, 2007
Adobe Acrobat Document 425.4 KB

Water world

Colorado is a long way from Norway. But during the Late Cretaceous epoch it was a little closer, both geographically and geologically.

Published in the Norwegian Continental Shelf, No.2, 2008
Adobe Acrobat Document 346.1 KB

Spiking the strata

From the first fumbling attempts in antiquity, it took humanity 2 300 years to comprehend geological time.

Published in Norwegian Continental Shelf, No.1, 2005
Adobe Acrobat Document 320.3 KB

Fossil fuel without fossils

Europe’s largest impact crater from an asteroid was created in Sweden’s Dalarna region 377 million years ago. The echoes of this energy release can still be heard.

Published in the Norwegian Continental Shelf, No.1, 2007
Adobe Acrobat Document 432.0 KB