Airbursts/impacts by a fragmented comet or asteroid have been proposed at the Younger Dryas onset (12.80 ± 0.15 ka) based on identification of an assemblage of impact-related proxies, including microspherules, nanodiamonds, and iridium. Distributed across four continents at the Younger Dryas boundary (YDB), spherule peaks have been independently confirmed in eight studies, but unconfirmed in two others, resulting in continued dispute about their occurrence, distribution, and origin. To further address this dispute and better identify YDB spherules, we present results from one of the largest spherule investigations ever undertaken regarding spherule geochemistry, morphologies, origins, and processes of formation. We investigated 18 sites across North America, Europe, and the Middle East, performing nearly 700 analyses on spherules using energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy for geochemical analyses and scanning electron microscopy for surface microstructural characterization. Twelve locations rank among the world’s premier end-Pleistocene archaeological sites, where the YDB marks a hiatus in human occupation or major changes in site use. Our results are consistent with melting of sediments to temperatures >2,200 °C by the thermal radiation and air shocks produced by passage of an extraterrestrial object through the atmosphere; they are inconsistent with volcanic, cosmic, anthropogenic, lightning, or authigenic sources. We also produced spherules from wood in the laboratory at >1,730 °C, indicating that impact related incineration of biomass may have contributed to spherule production. At 12.8 ka, an estimated 10 million tonnes of spherules were distributed across ∼50 million square kilometers, similar to well-known impact strewnfields and consistent with a major cosmic impact event…..
……..The geographical extent of the YD impact is limited by the range of sites available for study to date and is presumably much larger, because we have found consistent, supporting evidence over an increasingly wide area. The nature of the impactor remains unclear, although we suggest that the most likely hypothesis is that of multiple airbursts/impacts by a large comet or asteroid that fragmented in solar orbit, as is common for nearly all comets. The YD impact at 12.8 ka is coincidental with major environmental events, including abrupt cooling at the YD onset, major extinction of some end-Pleistocene megafauna, disappearance of Clovis cultural traditions, widespread biomass burning, and often, the deposition of dark, carbon-rich sediments (black mat). It is reasonable to hypothesize a relationship between these events and the YDB impact, although much work remains to understand the causal mechanisms.
Link to paper at PNAS
Wittke 2013 PNAS Clovis Comet Younger Dryas Impact Spherules Found on Four Continents by George Howard
James H. Wittke (Northern Arizona University)
James C. Weaver (Harvard University)
Ted E. Bunch (Northern Arizona University, NASA)
James P. Kennett (University of California, Santa Barbara, CA)
Douglas J. Kennett (The Pennsylvania State University)
Andrew MT Moore (Rochester Institute of Technology)
Gordon C Hillman (University College London)
Kenneth B. Tankersley (University of Cincinnati)
Albert C. Goodyear (University of South Carolina)
Christopher R. Moore (University of South Carolina)
I. Randolph Daniel, Jr. (East Carolina University)
Jack H. Ray (Missouri State University)
Neal H Lopinot (Missouri State University)
David Ferraro (Viejo California Associates)
Isabel Israde-Alcántara (Universidad Michoacana de San Nicólas de Hidalgo)
James L Bischoff (US Geological Survey)
Paul S. DeCarli (SRI International)
Robert E Hermes (Los Alamos National Laboratory (retired)
Johan B. Kloosterman (Amsterdam)
Zsolt Revay (Institute for Isotope and Surface Chemistry)
George A. Howard (Restoration Systems, Raleigh, NC)
David R. Kimbel (Kimstar Research)
Gunther Kletetschka (Charles University)
Ladislav Nabelek (Institute of Geology, Czech Academy of Science of the Czech Republic)
Carl P. Lipo (California State University)
Sachiko Sakai (California State University)
Allen West (GeoScience Consulting)
Richard B. Firestone (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)
I have a huge library of catastrophist books, both printed and now electronic. They range from horribly kooky and shallow to books that have millions of copies in their future. Dr. Jeffrey Goodman’s The Comets of God is closer to the latter. It will be read and re-read, particularly by Christians, and remembered as the best resolution of modern comet science and biblical text since Newton’s protege Whiston.
Any catastrophist worth his salt could tick off at least a few bible passages that seem to reflect his scientific understandings, if not his spiritual belief. But Goodman, clearly a bible text genius and Christian, has identified hundreds upon hundreds. The more I read the more it impressed me: Goodman, by applying the very latest science to his brilliant understanding of the Good Book, was interpreting the Bible more accurately than ever before.
Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou has made heaven (the solar system), the heaven of heavens (the Oort Cloud), with all their host (comets), the Earth, and all things that are therein … Job 38:22-23 NIV says, Have you entered into the storehouses of the snow? Or seen the storehouses of the hail (the Oort Cloud), which I reserve fr times of trouble, for the days of war and battle? Isaiah 13:3-5 says, I have commanded my sanctified ones (comets), I have also called my mighty ones (comets) for mine anger … the Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle. They came from a far (place), from the end of heaven (the Oort Cloud), even the Lord and the weapons of his indignation (‘wrath’ in NIV) to destroy the whole land.
The Bible repeatedly refers to a reservoir or cloud of icy comets at the outer edge of the solar system. The above verses are just a few that do so. However, few people have understood the meaning of these verses. Job 38:22-23 (NIV) calls the cometary reservoir at the end of heaven “the storehouse of the snow” or the “storehouse of the hail” (astronomers sometimes refer to comets as “dirty snowballs”), where “snow” and “hail” refer to the comets’ cradle that holds them in “reserve for times of trouble; for days of war and battle.” This “storehouse” or reservoir is an important part of the greater solar system that astronomers did not discover until 1948-50.* This reservoir or cloud of comets begins at the edge of the solar system, and extending out about one-third the distance to the nearest star. Astronomers call this reservoir or “storehouse” the Oort Cloud.
Goodman, Jeffrey (2010-11-11). THE COMETS OF GOD- New Scientific Evidence for God: Recent archeological, geological and astronomical discoveries that shine new light on the Bible and its prophecies (pp. 423-424). Archeological Research Books, LLC. Kindle Edition.
Psalm 103:20-21, 104:4, and 148:8 also tell how the God of the Bible controls comets, and uses them as His “messengers” and “ministers.” Referring to comets as “messengers” was a common practice in the ancient Near East. (Psalm 103:20-21)
“Bless the Lord, ye his messengers (#4397 maw-lak – comets), that excel in strength (‘mighty ones’ in NIV – which relates to the ‘mighty ones’ of Isaiah 13:3-7 who come from the ‘end of heaven to destroy the whole land’), that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word, Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts (including comets), ye ministers of his that do his pleasure (‘his will’ – NIV)…. (Psalm 104:4) Who maketh his messengers (#4397 maw-lak – comets) tempests (#7307 ruwach – cometary); his ministers a flaming fire (cometary)…. (Psalm 148:8) Fire and hail, snow and vapours, stormy wind (all cometary) fulfilling his word (‘do his bidding’ – NIV or ‘execute His commands – Tanakh).
Psalm 103:20-21,104:4, and 148:8*
Goodman, Jeffrey (2010-11-11). THE COMETS OF GOD- New Scientific Evidence for God: Recent archeological, geological and astronomical discoveries that shine new light on the Bible and its prophecies (p. 88). Archeological Research Books, LLC. Kindle Edition.
Then the Earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and darkness was under his feet. And He rode upon a cherub, and did fly: and he was seen upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness his secret place … At the brightness that was before Him, His thick (cometary) cloud passed hail stones and coals of fire. The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave His voice: hail stones and coals of fire. Yea He sent out His arrows, and scattered them; and He shot out lightnings (‘to flash forth’-meteorites) and discomfited them. Then the channels of the waters (seabeds) were seen (tsunami withdrawl) and the foundations of the world were discovered (exposed by deep craters) at thy rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breadth of thy nostrils
II Samuel 22:8-16 (Psalm 18:7-15)
There can be little doubt that the catastrophes of the Bible and the catastrophes prophesied to come involve the God of the Bible, the Lord of Hosts, the Lord of Comets, using comets as His “mighty warriors” (Isaiah 13:3 NAS) and the “weapons of His wrath” (Isaiah 13:5 NIV) to “worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in Earth” (Daniel 6:27). In a sense Psalm 11:6 NAS sums up the God of the Bible’s use of cometary material to punish the wicked when it says, “Upon the wicked He will rain coals of fire; Fire and brimstone and burning wind will be the portion of their cup.”
Goodman, Jeffrey (2010-11-11). THE COMETS OF GOD- New Scientific Evidence for God: Recent archeological, geological and astronomical discoveries that shine new light on the Bible and its prophecies (pp. 91-92). Archeological Research Books, LLC. Kindle Edition.
Magnificent article from Tusk favorite Marie-Agnes Courty, and distinguished newcomer to catastrophist publications, Eric Coqueugniot.
I heard Courty hurl questions at San Francisco AGU in 2010 and only realized later who the thickly accented inquisitor was. Courty is French, very French. While I admire her style with translation and find it interesting, it can be a challenge to read at times. Nonetheless, along with providing extraordinary evidence, her publications clearly communicate decades of tedious field work in Syria — not a place for lightweights — and an extraordinary intellectual patience with her unpersuaded peers.
As for Coqueugniot he is no lightweight either. This guy is a deeply experienced archeologist who I hope reappears in our kind of literature. (I should note he was publishing from Mesopotamia when Todd Surovell was mastering his Big Wheel).
This article would be so much more enjoyable as pure science were it not so horrific in human terms. Think of how Boston has terrorized us — then read the article.
Update: Formatting went wild again. I fixed the fonts but the links disappeared! Tusk is contacting IT.
A cosmic airburst modeled by The Bos
Three+ cosmic airbursts discovered by Courty:
Cosmic Airbursts in Syria Marie-Agnes Courty by George Howard
It is telling to read competing journal articles regarding the Younger Dryas Boundary Event. For example below is the recent paper from The Bos, et al., and below that a publication from the YDB team the year before. (I was added as an author to that one based on some field work I did years before starting this blog).
There are a number of interesting observations that can be made, but let’s make the most obvious: Boslough et al., Arguments and Evidence Against a Younger Dryas Impact Event, does not cite Bunch despite being published seven months later. This pattern will be familiar to readers of an earlier post regarding The Bos’ failure to cite LeCompte’s refutation of Todd Surovell’s totemic work.
In the comments section of the LeCompte post at the Tusk, The Bos himself explains this seemingly willful oversight as simply the result of bureaucratic diktat from AGU:
Dear George Howard,
Perhaps this timeline will help you understand why we didn’t cite LeCompte et al.
April 24, 2012: Boslough et al. submitted final draft to AGU, addressing reviewers’ comments.
May 14, 2012: Boslough et al. accepted by AGU for publication.
May 22, 2012: LeCompte et al. received by PNAS for review.
July 24, 2012: Boslough et al. final corrected proofs returned to AGU.
Aug. 7, 2012; LeCompte et al. approved by PNAS.
Sept. 17, 2012: LeCompte et al. published PNAS.
I’m sorry to keep bringing up those pesky laws of physics. They prohibit information from traveling backwards in time. We were forced to wait until after the LeCompte et al. paper had actually been written before we could read it and respond.
– Mark Boslough on the Cosmic Tusk, February 9, 2013
As I said in my reply to The Bos in the comments, this is nonsense. Having been a co-author of a couple of peer-reviewed articles and spoken with others much better published, it is no secret that it is perfectly acceptable and indeed encouraged to give the editor or publisher a call or drop them a note in order to halt or alter your text if new evidence is published. This is certainly appropriate in this instance given the paper, by their own admission, was designed to be a definitive critique that should halt research into the YDB.
Common courtesy — and scientific method it seems — would demand The Bos take a deep breath in such a circumstance, do the right thing, and address the highly detailed evidence published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shortly after his own submission, to an inferior journal, months before his final publication.
(In fact, with respect to Bunch there was even more time for The Bos to do the right thing. Bunch was published in June 2012, and LeCompte later in September 2012. But in both instances all 15 Boslough authors found it more pressing to hear the snap of the rope than the detail of the appeal.)
Moving on. Take a look at the content and tone of the papers. Bunch et al. dives deep into the nanosphere, produces extraordinary images which demand explanation, meticulously documents the composition of the materials, provides cogent narrative with data to back it up — and cites contrary findings without fear or prejudice.
The Bos takes the low road, rules it all simply impossible, calls into question the provenance of the evidence — and denies citation to over 60 pages of peer-reviewed journal articles directly relevant to his subject.
The problem as always is getting people to read the primary sources carefully using their critical thinking skills to discern the relative validity between the contributions. Give it a try:
Very High Temperature Melt Products — PNAS-2012-Bunch by George Howard
Arguments and Evidence Against a Younger Dryas Impact Event by George Howard
Earlier this week I purchased a wonderful device, the 3D Space Navigator Mouse from 3D Connexion. I am giving this cool tool Two Tusks Up and encourage any reader who works with 3D or Google Earth to purchase one post-haste. This sturdy little brick of a mouse has a foating head which provides complete control in three dimensional environments. It simply revolutionizes your relationship with GE, improving the experience by 10X IMHO. (I actually bought six of them for the office too — and RS folks love ‘em)
You can guess what’s next: With my high-bandwidth GE environment fully enabled by the Space Navigator, I enriched the processor’s landscape with Carolina Bay LiDAR data from Cintos Research. Stunning. It has to be experienced to be appreciated.
I first studied Carolina Bays towards the end of the long era of paper maps and printed aerials. USDA Soil Survey black-and-white photos and USGS topo quadrants were common references. Holey Moley how things have changed! Now I have a 27-Inch hi-res model of the earth with custom produced Carolina Bays field imagery color-gradable to 1-foor laser generated elevations — all fully manipulable with three fingers.
Even if you can’t buy the mouse right now — make sure to fully investigate the Google Earth LiDAR files from Michael Davias at Cintos. I took a few images of the bays as I hopped and skipped about the landscape.
A North Carolina rural community with some depressions in the woods….
…..revealed to be home to some rather vivid Carolina Bays!
Glancing SE toward Cape Fear
A golf course with a few bays down range
A typical bay field near Raeford, North Carolina
Perhaps a “wind-and-water” theorist could explain to the Tusk how lakes form perched on a sand ridge?
Cool “data panes” Davias “hangs” in Google Earth files at Cintos Research
1050 miles away in Nebraska
From Hermann Burchard:
here is a simple model to explain the vapor trail’s observed symmetry:
Partial cloudlets each side, North & South,
have almost identical ones opposite.
1. The Bos’ blowtorch momentum sims and video blow-ups from Steve Garcia’s
posts indicate that the explosive ablations shoot debris ahead in the
direction of motion, both vapors and frags.
2. The vapors immmediately begin to rise initially as whole cloudlets.
3. By the time the main body of the meteoroid catches up with a cloudlet,
this will have risen a bit, so its bottom is hit off-center.
4. The meteoroid pierces the cloudlet at its bottom leaving clear air
behind, creating the impression that there are two parts.
5, Indeed, there appears to be a top part connecting North and South.