David Cook will deliver a talk in South Surrey on the geological history of the Vancouver area.

Talk explores long history of Earth

Geologist David Cook will present a 400-million-year journey through the geological history of the Vancouver area in South Surrey.

Geologist David Cook will present a 400-million-year journey through the geological history of the Vancouver area in South Surrey next month.

The free public talk, hosted by the White Rock and Surrey Naturalists Society, is set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8 at Elgin Hall.

Cook will explore the coal beds laid down in the deltas of 50- to 70-million-year-old rivers, the roots of 37-million-year-old volcanoes and giant granitic boulders brought to the area during the Ice Age.

He’ll also uncover clues to former sea levels left in the cliffs around the shores of Burrard Inlet, and share evidence that even today we live in an area of dynamic geological change.

“The study of geological history teaches us about the enormous geological and biological changes that have taken place on this planet over equally enormous periods of time,” Cook told Peace Arch News by email.

“We know from the recent past in our area that crustal instability can cause sudden and catastrophic changes such as earthquakes, tsunamis and flooding.”

Cook said human life is too short to notice the considerable changes of the earth.

He said one way to put history into perspective is to imagine squeezing Earth’s 4.6 billion years into a single calendar year.

The earliest life would appear April 27, the earliest dinosaurs Dec. 13, and the earliest humans wouldn’t appear until late Dec. 31.

Added Cook: “Recorded history lies within the last 30 seconds.”

Elgin Hall is located at 14250 Crescent Rd.

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