Monday, September 17, 2018

Tiwanaku and Titicaca’s 4000-foot Leap – Part II

Continued from the previous post, covering the massive, high-altitude Lake Titicaca and the adjacent ruins of a once-thriving city complex where about 40,000 inhabitants lived in what was one of the largest native American civilizations in documented history, called Tiwanaku. About 2500 years ago, the Tiwanakus created some of the most impressive stone monoliths in the world, engineered an ingenious irrigation system and gained advanced understanding of astronomy and the workings of the sun. The fascinating civilization was truly advanced beyond their years.
    The ruins of Tiwanaku are made up of impressive architectural structures such as palaces, temples and pyramids, as well as giant monoliths and figurative representations. Though the site is still not fully excavated, what has been exposed shows a remarkable complex of buildings, which include: the Akapana (Akapana East, and Pumapunku stepped platforms); Puerta del Sol (The Gateway of the Sun); Puerta del Luna (The Gateway of the Moon); Kalasasaya, Kheri Kala, and Putuni enclosures; and a semi-subterranean Temple.
    The adjacent Lake Titicaca is fed by rainfall and meltwater from glaciers on the sierras that abut the Altiplano. Five major river systems feed into Lake Titicaca. In order of their relative flow volumes these are Ramis, Coata, Ilave, Huancane, and Suchez. More than 20 other smaller streams empty into Titicaca, and the lake has 41 islands, some of which are densely populated.
Several rivers feed into Lake Titicaca from snow melt and rainwater, but only one river flows out (to the south) and to Lake Poopo and the Salar de Coipass, and Salar de Uyni salt flats beyond

Having only a single season of free circulation, the lake is monomictic (lake mixes once a year), and water passes through Lago Huinaimarca and flows out the single outlet at the Rio Desaguadero, which then flows south through Bolivia to Lake Poopo. This only accounts for about 10% of the lake's water balance. Evapotranspiration, caused by strong winds and intense sunlight at altitude, balances the remaining 90% of the water input. It is nearly a closed lake.
    Since 2000 Lake Titicaca has experienced constantly receding water levels. Between April and November 2009 alone the water level has 32-inches and has now reached the lowest level since 1949. This drop is caused by shortened raining seasons and the melting of glaciers feeding the tributaries of the lake, the result of these drops over the centuries has been to leave salt flats where saltwater lake runoffs occurred
White area at bottom right of image is the area of a once water-filled lake called Tauca, now the area known as Salar de Coipasa (Salt of Coipasa) and Salar de Uyuni (Salt of Uyuni), where the original ocean waters trapped as lakes when the mountains rose, evaporated, leaving enormous salt deposits across the land

It has been popularly speculated since the origin of geology in the late 1700s that mountain uplifts occurred over millions of years, until about a million years ago; however, not all geologists have this opinion imposed by the old standard constraints of orogeny. As an example, take Geologist Bailey Willis, a research associate of the Carnegie Institution, researcher studying the Andes Mountains, professor of geology at Stanford University, and geological engineer who worked as Geologist in Charge for the United States Geological Survey, after years of study on the various mountains of Asia and South America, stated that “The greatest mountain chains challenge credulity by the evidence of their extreme youth”  (Bailey Willis, Research in China, Systematic Geology, Vol.II, No.54, Carnegie Institute, Washington DC, 1907, p24),
    In addition, according to many upcoming geologists, the idea that mountains raised “recently,” is becoming more and more understood. Only ten years ago, Carmala Garzione, associate professor of Geology at the University of Rochester, and her associates John M. Eiler, professor of geochemistry at Cal Tech, and professor Prosenjit Ghosh, of the Institute of Science in Bangaluru, India, wrote in an article in Science, that while the Andes originally rose slowly over time, they recently “shot up suddenly.” Likewise, Gregory D. Hoke, Earth Sciences at Syracuse University and post-doctoral research fellow, corroborates the swift-rise theory and shows that not just the mountains, but a broad region more than 350 miles wide rose to some degree with the Andes. In research soon to be published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Hoke describes his findings on how rivers carved deep canyons into the flanks of the Andes as the mountain range rose. By dating the incisions and mapping the depth and extent of the canyons, Hoke shows that the surface uplift that occurred in the sedimentary basin where Garzione took her measurements must have happened across the entire width of the Andes Mountain range.
    It should also be noted with care that on the former surf line of the raised beaches at Valparaiso, Chile, now at 1,300 feet, the seashells are not even decayed—a clear indication of a “recent” up thrust of the mountain. Geologist Li Siguang, also known as J.S. Lee, (J for Zhongkui/Jung-kuei, S for Siguang), the founder of China’s geomechanics (Earth Mechanics: the study of the behavior of soil and rock), and Vice President of Chinese Academy of Sciences and minister of Geology, reports “At the same time convincing evidence was brought forth that the mountain ranges in western China have been elevated since the Glacial Age” (J.S. Lee, The Geology of China, Thomas Murby & Co., London, 1939, p 207).
The last ice age is claimed to have ended around 11,000 years ago as the ice sheets cracked, calved, broke up, and melted, raising the sea levels world-wide. While this is speculation, the ice sheets obviously receded from off North America and Asia to their present locations

According to Geology, the last Glacial Age, or Maximum, ended about 9700 BC., which is well into the time of man according to Anthropology: “by the end of the epoch humans could be found in nearly every part of the planet.” In fact, “One of the richest sources of information about life in the Epoch can be found in the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, where remains of everything from insects to plant life to animals were preserved, including a partial skeleton of a female human and a nearly complete woolly mammoth.” In addition, “and animals known to us today, including apes, cattle, deer, rabbits, kangaroos, wallabies, bears, and members of the canine and feline families — could be found during this time” (Kim Ann Zimmermann, Live Science, August, 2017). The point is, the mountains came up during the time of man more or less in our present geologic age.
    In Kashmir, the German Helmut de Terra, a geologist, explorer, archaeologist, anthropologist and author, who conducted a number of scientific expeditions into Asia and the Americas, was the first to produce a glaciological map of the Eastern Himalayas. He also found sea bottom deposits at an elevation of 5,000 feet or more and tilted, at an angle of 40º degrees.  He showed where “these deposits contain so-called Paleolithic, meaning ‘Old Stone Age,’ fossils”—at 5000-feet elevation! (Arnold Heim and August Gousser, The Throne of the Gods, An Account of the First Swiss Expedition to the Himalayas, Macmillan Co., New York, 1939, p218). As Heim added, “The fact is that this change occurred in historical times, however fantastic changes so extensive may seem to a modern geologist.”
    According to these scientists, who are obviously not advocates of the mainstream belief in changes, especially those of mountain range lift taking millions of years, “it can be demonstrated that the mountain chains of the Caucasus, China, Tibet, the Rockies, the Alps and the Andes all rose to their present heights in historical times.” In fact, there is the same “late” dating from all parts of the earth.”
    Consider the Andes. At 11,500 feet, a curious whitish streak runs along the side of the mountain range for over 300 miles.  It is composed of the calcified remains of marine plants. This shows that these slopes were once part of the seashore. In fact, many lakes up in the Andes region are completely salt. One such lake is Titicaca, where a watermark of salt along the lake shore now runs at an angle to the water level.  Originally it would have had to have been horizontal.  Clearly the land was not only thrust up to its present altitude, but was tilted in the process.
    Not only is the water saline, but on the beach of this lake high in the mountains, there are seashells as well as traces of seaweed, which tells us that the lake at one time must have been a bay or inlet of the sea. Even today, various sea creatures (including sea horses) survive in the lake, and this lofty, almost sterile region is capable of sustaining only a scant population.
    So how did the city exist at such a high elevation?
(See the next post, “Tiwanaku and Titicaca’s 4000-foot Leap – Part III,” for more on the lake that sits astride the Peruvian-Bolivian border and located just north of the ancient city of Tiwanaku)

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