The sheer number of mines in the ancient world shows just how much practical knowledge of rocks and minerals there was.
There is a mine for copper and base metals near Mt Sinai which dates back to 1400 BC, which may well have provided the metals, needed for the tabernacle.
Prior to this, his Ph D studies at the University of Birmingham, and subsequent post-doctoral studies at the University of Leicester, were focussed on the palaeoecology of black shales.
His current research interests include the study of marine environmental change during mass extinction intervals, most notably during the end-Permian and end-Triassic crises.
He pioneered the use of radiometric dating of minerals and was the first earth scientist to grasp the mechanical and thermal implications of mantle convection, which led eventually to the acceptance of plate tectonics.Violence of eruptions (proportions of pyroclastics) also appears unimportant.Six out of 11 provinces coincide with episodes of global warming and marine anoxia/dysoxia, a relationship that suggests that volcanic CO emissions may have an important effect on global climate.Intraoceanic volcanism may also be implicated in a relatively minor end-Cenomanian extinction crisis, although once again the main phase of volcanism occurs after the crisis.The link between large igneous province formation and extinctions remains enigmatic; volume of extrusives and extinction intensity are unrelated and neither is there any apparent relationship with the rapidity of province formation.