How The Earth Was Made
2022 05 29 8 00
The Hawaiian islands are the remotest island chain on the planet. Emerging in the centre of the Pacific their origins have remained a puzzle for generations. HOW THE EARTH WAS MADE follows the story of our attempts to try and understand these beautiful and yet violent islands. A story of raging volcanoes, vast landslides, mega-tsunamis and strange forces emerging from the bowels of the planet. We reveal that Hawaii's Big Island is over 25 times bigger than mount Everest, that the entire Island chain is disapearing faster than any other land mass on Earth and that volcanoes here might hold essential clues as to the inner workings of our planet.
2022 05 29 9 00
Driest Place On Earth
The Atacama desert is considered the driest place on Earth. Since human records of the area began, some places have never received rain. But the records don't stop there, the Atacama is also the oldest desert in the world, recently it has been dated to an amazing 150 million years old. Other research shows that it's surface is also incredibly ancient--there are boulders lying in this desert that have not moved for over 23 million years--that's over 50 times longer than it's taken for our human species to evolve. The soil is so dry that it has been used as a test bed for the Mars rovers. Once thought completely lifeless, strange bacteria discovered in the desert have given scientists new hope that they might find life on the red planet. Atacama is also home to the largest copper mine in the world. Inspect the riddle of the Atacama and uncover how this extraordinarily dry landscape was created.
2022 06 05 8 00
Iceland is the largest and most fearsome volcanic island on the planet. Scouring the island for clues, HOW THE EARTH WAS MADE hunts for clues to the mystery of what powerful forces are ripping Iceland apart, and lighting its fiery volcanoes. Here lava rips huge tears in the ground and new islands are born from the waves. Yet Iceland has a history of being covered in, and carved by ice. Locked in a titanic battle, fire and ice collide as glaciers explode and cataclysmic floods decimate the landscape. But Iceland's volcanoes have had ramifications far beyond the shores of Iceland, causing climatic chaos and devastation across the planet; a fate which may one day happen again.
2022 06 05 9 00
New York is one of the most man-made spaces on the planet, but everything from the height of the skyscrapers to the way the subway was constructed to the position of the harbor is governed by the extraordinary forces that ultimately shaped this city. You can tell the geology of Manhattan at a glance by looking at the skyline. The skyscrapers of Midtown and Downtown are built on hard granite; the low-rise buildings in between are built on a soft, gravelly soil left over from the Ice Age. In this episode of HOW THE EARTH WAS MADE, viewers learn how New Jersey and North Africa were neighbors 250 million years ago, how the rocks New York are built on are the remains of mountains that 450 million years ago were as tall as the Himalayas, and how Long Island is covered in rubble that dumped as ice sheets retreated 10,000 years ago.
2022 06 12 8 00
Yellowstone National Park is one of the most dangerous geological features on Earth. In trying to uncover the processes behind Yellowstone's main attractions like "Old Faithful," geologists came to the frightening realization that Yellowstone was in fact a vast hidden super-volcano -- one that is overdue for a massive eruption. Yellowstone has been on a regular eruption cycle of 600,000 years but the last eruption was over 640,000 years ago, so the next is overdue. An eruption at Yellowstone could be 2,500 times the size of the 1980 Mount St. Helens event. In the past 16.5 million years, the volcano has mysteriously moved 100's of miles though Nevada across southern Idaho to reach it's present loaction in Yellowstone. But even today it is still active. A swarm of 500 earthquakes hit the park early in 2009 and geologists found that the entire Park is being pushed up into the air by hidden forces under the ground. Is this sleeping giant beginning to stir?
2022 06 12 9 00
San Andreas Fault
The San Andreas Fault runs roughly 800 miles through some of the most valuable real estate in the world. The southern section hasn't had a significant quake for over 300 years and is now primed and ready for another "big one." Take a trip along the most famous fault line in the world and examine the geology that gives it its immense destructive power. It's an investigation given new urgency by recent warnings from 300 of America's leading scientists about the death and devastation that a major earthquake on the fault could unleash on Los Angeles.