Kerr Watch

Elapsed time since Richard Kerr failed to inform his Science readers of the confirmation of nanodiamonds at the YDB: 6 years, 2 months, and 4 days

Carolina bays identified as hydrogen seeps in new paper

I heard have from this group of researchers on and off as they have tested for anomalous hydrogen in Carolina bays based on their work on similar features in Russia. They are very professional and quite certain their test data supports the hypothesis that bays are surficial expressions of hydrogen seeps from down under — not cosmic, mind you — but fascinating nonetheless. They even identify what they suggest is the birth of a new bay at iconic Jones Bay State Park. This is the first time I know of anyone identifying a bay in the making over non-geological times.

See the baby bay below? Trees are down and it looks like someone cut a circular timber plot in a state park, and left the timber. Unlikely but not impossible. Since they include data indicating a significant hydrogen spike from the baby bay in their paper, I am curious why they did not include any ground photos of the feature, since it was apparently hiked to — with instruments.

Come to think of it, this baby bay would be great candidate for some drone footage with my latest craft. I have been meaning to ‘drone’ bay country and it is certainly the season. I will reach out to them and see if some photos of the ‘little baybito’ might be helpful.

Finally, since hydrogen is a relatively valuable commodity, perhaps this could be good news for southeastern North Carolina. Bay country could use a natural resource, other than hogs and turkeys.

Evidence for natural molecular hydrogen seepage associated with Carolina bays (surficial, ovoid depressions on the Atlantic Coastal Plain, Province of the USA)


A study of soil gases was made in North Carolina (USA) in and around morphological depressions called “Carolina bays.” This type of depression is observed over the Atlantic coastal plains of the USA, but their origin remains debated. Significant concentrations of molecular hydrogen (H 2 ) were detected, notably around the bays. These measurements suggest that Carolina bays are the surficial expression of fluid flow pathways for hydrogen gas moving from depth to the surface. The potential mechanisms of H 2 production and transport and the geological controls on the fluid migration pathways are discussed, with reference to the hypothesis that Carolina bays are the result of local collapses caused by the alteration of rock along the deep pathways of H 2 migrating towards the surface. The present H 2 seepages are comparable to those in similar structures previously observed in the East European craton.


Carolina bays are surficial, consistently oriented, oval-shaped depressions that occur widely across the southeastern Atlantic Coastal Plain, Province of eastern North America (Brooks et al. [2010]). They are well defined on satellite images (Figs. 2, 3, and 4) and densely cover parts of the Coastal Plain in North Carolina (NC) and South Carolina (SC). They vary in size, ranging from ~100 m to 8 km in diameter (Lake Waccamaw, NC, USA). Slightly elevated rims (~1–3 m), commonly consisting of sand, surround these features. Although some bays have continuous elevated rims, the rims do not usually completely encircle the bays but often form a crescent. The long axes of these elliptical features are preferentially oriented NW–SE (Figs. 1, 2, 3, and 4). Bays of various sizes may overlap, and small bays are frequently present inside larger bays (Fig. 2). In areas undisturbed by anthropogenic activities, these bays can include densely vegetated wetlands or open water lakes. These features were originally called “bays” because of the bay trees that inhabit these wet depressions or pocosins. Now, the term “bay” indicates a wet oval-shaped depression. Locally, these features are also called cypress domes, Grady ponds, citronelle ponds, wet prairies, sandhill ponds, etc. (Folkerts [1997]). In anthropogenically modified areas, the bays are commonly drained and cleared for agriculture or other purposes. Even when modified, most of the bays are still easily discernable in satellite and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) images because of their characteristic morphology and relief and the soil bleaching on their rims. Hundreds of thousands of bays occur along the Atlantic Coastal Plain from New Jersey to Florida (Prouty [1952]), and in NC, the bays cover as much as 65 % of the land surface of the Coastal Plain (Prouty [1952]). Eyton and Parkhurst ([1975]) summarized the physical characteristics of Carolina bays.

  • jim coyle

    I was just cruising around the map images and noticed that any bay I came across that had water in it(lake, pond, wet marsh) the water was located in what I would call the lower end of the bay. This is just a local observation as I didn’t canvas the entire bay formation area. This might be a reinforcing factor in the bay alignment. Also might be an area to do corings for sediment and bay geology.

  • Steve Garcia

    Mr Nitpicker here…

    Fomr “Baclground”, there is this statement that is incorrect, especially in light of this ‘baby bay’ they point out:

    “They vary in size, ranging from ~100 m to 8 km in diameter (Lake Waccamaw, NC, USA).”

    The ‘baby bay’ is only about 80 meters long – outside the range that they assert.

    Then there s the next sentence:

    “Slightly elevated rims (~1–3 m), commonly consisting of sand, surround these features.”

    Nice try to mischaracterize the bay rims. The rims aren’t comprised only of sand. The people at have done some work on this that has been presented here at CT before. It was the work of Christopher Moore and three others, and they have a poster at that you can look at. (Note that THOSE authors invoke another uniformitarian cause – WIND (aeolian).)

    Look at the cross sections in the upper center of the poster.

    These show the ground penetrating radar transects (GPR) of bay rims for three CBs. The rims are labeled as being “tetiary clayey sands”, “intercalated beach sands and gravels”, and “Eeolian and lacustrine sand rim deposits”. Yes, each of those includes sand, but sand is not at all the only material present. It is VERY clear that the rim SHAPE is composed of the tertiary clayey sand. I ask you to pay attention to THAT underlying each rim, in those GPR scans.

    These rims – how do these present authors explain the SHAPE of the rims – the elevation of them? And how do they explain the fact that the “eolian and lacustrine sand rim deposits” DRAPE OVER the rim contours? Did the H2 bubbling up pick the UNDELYING clayey sand up ONLY IN AN ELLIPTICAL perimeter, while leaving the areas outside and inside the bays at their pre-existing elevations?

    What mechanism would bubble up H2 and only raise the ground in such a pattern?

    What mechanism would bubble up the H2 and only raise these rims in an orientation pattern that points of them toward Wisconsin, 1200 km away? All 45,000 of them?

    So not only are the CBs organized at the level of each bay (elliptical in a consistently lopsided way), but also the CBs are organized at the size level of MOST OF THE ENTIRE EASTERN USA. Very macro and super-macro. For a micro level process being proposed.

    H2 can only act at the molecular size level and size levels not much bigger. WHY and by what mechanism do these authors propose to explain the H2 acting on the scale of hundreds to thousands of meters? Do they propose that something under the ground arranged the H2 bubbles in this pattern?

  • Steve Garcia

    Hahaha – It should be noted that three of the Figures are LIDAR images from Michael Davias’ site

  • Steve Garcia

    The image at has a LIDAR image at the tip and below it is a map showing H2 concentrations.

    It cannot possibly be missed that the HIGH concentrations of H2 are almost ALL OUTSIDE the bay with the sampling transecting the rims.

    This SMALL sampling in a COMPLICATED, OVERLAPPING CB pattern is WRONG.

    There are only (by my count) 32 sample points. 20 are fully within the one bay. THAT bay is also 100% within a larger bay. This bay-within-a-bay situation should be EVERY reason to NOT take samples there. They have NO IDEA what complications that this double-bay juxtaposition adds to what they are measuring. ANY FIRST TIME sampling should be on the simplest, SINGLE-BAY-ONLY conditions – not on a complicated arrangement.

    Drawing conclusions from a complex arrangement as a first-order sampling is WRONG. Any conclusions cannot be separated from the features that make for the complexity that exists.

    GAWD! I wonder what kind of science so many paper writers learned. If this was a 7th or 10th generation paper, perhaps such complexity could be allowed. But they have to get the FUNDAMENTALS identified and replicated before they go off looking at complicated arrangements.


  • Steve Garcia

    Comments on one OTHER work of this group of scientists…

    It is entitled “Natural Molecular Hydrogen Seepage Associated with Surficial, Rounded Depressions on the European Craton in Russia” [full paper]


    1. The rounded features in the East European Craton in Russia are in no cases elliptical.

    2. Nor are they aligned IN ANY WAY.

    3. Nor do they overlap – at least not in the map images included.

    4. To all intents and purposes, the round features look like the ones in the Beaufort Sea coastal area of Alaska, and the ones in the Siberian coastal region around the mouth of the Lena River.

    5. Though the group had wells thousands of meters deep in Russia, no such wells were used or drilled in the CB area. In the CB area the deepest they seem to go is about 2.5 meters (8 feet). ( ! ! ! ! ! ! )

    More later…

  • Cevin Q

    They are going to hurt themselves reaching that far.
    I’m call BS on this whole affair.
    First off, H2 is nearly impossible to contain, that has been the the main drawbacks to H2 fueled vehicles. It seeps out of normally sealed containers and will pass through what would normally be considered impermeable.
    Some of our customers use He to find leaks in process piping, can’t remember the size of leak they were talking about , but it’s on the order of bacteria, and fungal spores. So I can’t see how H2 can affect such porous material as soil, over such a macroscopic scale, like you said.
    I would think that in a biological active setting such as the bays, H2 would quickly form all those basic H compounds, such as Hydrogen sulfides, cyanides, and METHANE.

  • Steve Garcia

    These researchers lean on Moore and his posters a lot, it seems, accepting everything Moore says as fact.

    But Moore can’t even interpret his own Figures correctly.

    At Rapid Scour, Sand Rim Construction, and Basin Migration of a Carolina Bay in Southeastern North Carolina (which George has at

    In his poster, Moore is the only person in academic history who points at a soil feature that is NOT HORIZONTAL and calls it a lacustrine shore feature. ALL lacustrine shore features are horizontal. because the water sits at the edge of the lake shore and deposits sediment in horizontal bands.

    To whit: “Sediment is deposited in flat, horizontal layers with the oldest layers on the bottom and the younger layers laying on and over the older layers.” That is from – a web hit randomly chosen to see if I was right on this. I am.

    Moore, on the other hand, shows a GPR transect with ALL the layer bands looking like the stock market on a busy day. Look for yourself – at the jagged ups and downs that he calls “paleoshoreline and beach ridge facies”. He puts in the term “beach ridge” to cover the fact that THERE ARE NO HORIZONTAL FEATURES. And he has others labeled “Eolian and lacustrine sand sheet”. Again, lacustrine means HORIZONTAL. But look at all the layers he points at – they are all DICTATED BY THE UNDERLYING MUD.

    Moore’s work is not sound, IMHO. And Zgonnik references him in terms of the formation of the bays. Not sound… They use a uniformitarian source without an critical analysis… Just rubber stamp it. Not good.

    As George and Davias will tell you, BTW – not all CBs had lakes in them, EVER. Thus, lacustrine (lake-shore-caused) doesn’t work.

    And as CB researchers have concluded for over 60 years, wind-blown doesn’t work, either. Ask Michael Davias about that. Or look at his

  • Steve Garcia

    CevinQ – “So I can’t see how H2 can affect such porous material as soil, over such a macroscopic scale, like you said.”

    Agreed! I hadn’t thought of THAT angle. Hydrogen is SO INCREDIBLY light, but also SMALL. So small and so little density that to suggest IT did the lifting of the rims IS rather illogical and almost CERTAINLY mechanically impossible. Yes, the H2 doesn’t need to LIFT! It simply goes AROUND. The normal porosity – OF SAND, ESPECIALLY! – would offer so many avenues around the grains – lifting is the last thing the H2 would end up doing. As in pretty much impossible.

    Finding H2 in ANY area where there has been ANY hydrocarbons (organics) below is uite common. I am sure the oil company chemical engineers would be able to inform a LOT about that subject. But oil company chemical engineers are not the most forthcoming about information – they have Non-Disclosure Agreements that they have to abide by. So not a lot in the academic literature, I don’t think. The oil field engineer who let the secret out about Chixculub’s crater evidence probably had to ask permission at a fairly high oil company corporate level, to do so.

    SERIOUSLY good points! Yeah, this is a real case of projecting what was found in one geological area onto another area, and jumping to conclusions without checking out other possibilities. ANY paper that does not mention possible OTHER causal agencies (and show why those cannot be the explanation) – those are weak and erroneous papers. The more I got into the OTHER paper by Zgonnik and pals, the more I found the projection of the evidence at those depressions in Europe ONTO the CBs, the more it seemed they WERE “stretching”, as you say. All rounded geomorphological features are not equal.

  • Steve Garcia

    To lift, it is necessary to develop pressure. To develop pressure, it is absolutely 100% necessary to block the flow. Having a porous material OF ANY KIND block the flow of hydrogen is nigh impossible.



    Yes, the H2 is seeping from below.

    No, it couldn’t have lifted the rims.

    This is just a case of someone finding a piece of evidence and then attributing it as the cause of something else. It is called, “jumping to a conclusion”.

    And it is NOT scientific to do something like that. They need to actually test the hypothesis in some way.

    The paper title says “Associated With” the CBs. From their GE/Google Maps images, it appears that there appears to be a higher rate of H2 seepage detected outside the bays than inside. I note that they did not seem to have tested FAR outside the bays shown (perhaps 1-5 km), to provide some kind of “control”. One would think that is an automatic part of the methodology.

    (Heck, I wonder if there isn’t H2 seeping in MANY places – that hasn’t been looked for yet.)

  • Steve Garcia


    Palladium – In the paper it says that their detector is a palladium detector for hydrogen.

    I find that ODD, because palladium is capable of absorbing hydrogen in GREAT quantities. Massive quantities. The hydrogen migrates into the crystalline lattice of the metal in vast quantities, enough to create HUGE internal pressures within the lattice.

    Because it “absorbs” hydrogen, I can see why palladium could be used. What I don’t see is how they measure how much hydrogen – because it doesn’t (for example) make the palladium swell up or anything. And if the heat the palladium to get the hydrogen out, I am virtually certain that they cannot get ALL of it out. And if they don’t purge all of it, then the next test would be tainted. Literally, think of it like a sponge – to measure how much water a sponge absorbs, it is necessary to not have any water in the sponge from the previous use of the sponge.

    It just seems like a questionable means of measuring H2.

  • Steve Garcia

    And another thing. In their GE images, they show the levels of seeping H2 measured, and the LOWEST seepage is quite a few places INSIDE Smith Bay (and also the other one).

    The HIGHER values seem to tend to be outside the bays.

    That would suggest that the clayey bottom of the bays is acting somewhat as a barrier. Clay IS more impervious than sandy soil (almost everything IS).

    But if that is so, even a little bit, it would tend to argue that any UPLIFT should be INSIDE the bays. I.e., the LEAKIER soils seem to be outside the bays.

    But if the bays had uplift, then they wouldn’t be bay DEPRESSIONS.

    That almost sounds like they are reading the evidence backwards.

  • it’s me
  • Steve Garcia

    The body of this paper basically only says tht H2 was found in and around CBs. Other than the authors speculating that there is a cause and effect relationship, there is nothing in the text to support that assumption.

    Except for their discussion of the “new”, small bay next to Jones Lake bay. They point out that this round-ish feature was not there in GE images in 2008, but that it appeared in 2009, an is still there. If this was like the other bays, that might mean something. Unfortunately, the small area is not elliptical like the other bays. It isn’t even circular, really, not at close range. It APPEARS circular from higher up, though. They appear to have picked a viewing elevation that gives the best impression of circularity.

    In addition, it appears that there is a (hiking?) path that cuts through the southern portion of it. The proximity to the road (about 140 meters to the NNE) allows that this might be a dumping site – an illegal dumping site comes to mind.

    This site is a relatively small near-circular wet area (diameter ~60 m) where the tall trees suddenly withered naturally in 2008–2009, which was confirmed by the park rangers who manage the reserve. Satellite images taken in 2008 were compared with images taken in 2009 (Fig. 6). The trees probably withered (see panoramic picture, Additional file 1: Figure SI-2) in response to the increase in soil water saturation (water table depth of only 10–15 cm) or from the negative impact of another unknown process affecting the vegetation.

    I might be fooling myself, but the withering of the trees seems by the 10/08 GE historical image to already be occurring. So, the “suddenly” part is perhaps not QUITE so suddenly. Since the last previous GE image was 07/06, this allows for some dumping in a 27 month period previous to their first image – an perhaps even a few months prior to 07/06, if given some time for the duped materials to have taken effect.

    They suggest water drowning the roots, but the entire area is only a few inches above the water table, so that assessment would have to explain why trees grown right up to the edge of Jones Lake bay (and there are MANY) – at an even slightly lower elevation – aren’t similarly affected.

    What such a dumped material was that might have been dumped is not clear. Their lab tests indicated no hydrocarbons, which would have been a suspected dumped material.

    While H2 is present, they in no way make an assertion that for this small circular – and clearly new – area that H2 is actually connected with the formation of the bare area. For one thing, this Jones Lake is itself INSIDE a large bay, and the entire area of the larger bay has trees and trees and trees.

    Why, when the rest of the large bay has trees and H2, would the smaller one represent a bay forming the same way they propose that the larger one – nay, all 45,000 Carolina bays – would have been formed? If this small one has H2 which is somehow tied to the withering and dying of the trees within it, why aren’t the several tens of thousands of trees within the larger CB dead or dying, too?

    SOMETHING happened there, at that 60-m open area, and whatever it was DOES seem to have happened at or shortly before 10/08. I DO think it is reasonable of these researchers to suspect that H2 is connected, since they are finding H2 present. At the same time, it seems entirely premature to assert that the H2 presence FORMED the bare area.

    It seems that MAYBE they have sampled well enough and that maybe – MAYBE – H2 is connected specifically and uniquely to the bays.

    It occurs to me that if they were ejecta secondary impacts, that the impact, being string enough to compress the bays DOWN a meter or three also may have had an impact on the subsoil. The bay bottoms ARE “clayey”, and the bay bottoms ARE depressed, with the rims apparently forming due to the less-than-hyper-velocity impacts. This being the case, maybe – MAYBE – the clay IS more impervious to the H2 that IS seeping up near them and within them. The Figures shown seem to show that the H2 seepage is MUCH lower within the bays than around the rims, and highest just outside (as is pointed out in the paper). This might seem consistent with compressed clay being a better barrier than the sandy/gravelly rims. In rtying to picture the ejecta impacting and the rims being pushed out slightly, it seems as if the material on the inner part of the rims would be among that part that is compressed, while the outer slope of the rims would simply be pushed, but not compressed, and would perhaps also be turbulated a bit. This would allow for easier seepage of the H2 there.

    This overall idea seems to fit both scenarios, so I will run with it for the moment – with every expectation that later info will alter it or overthrow it. In these “frontiers of science” puzzles, all ideas are tentative and subject to newer information.

  • Steve Garcia

    BTW, George, YES< do go and drone that small round-ish area. But also, of course, look at it on the ground.

    * * *

    I am wondering why they didn't go FAR from any bay and do H2 seepage tests in a control area – preferably several. All their samples from outside bays are still quite close. They looked far enough only to see what the rim exteriors showed, plus a little bit farther.

    No medical test would be satisfied or considered good science without having a control POPULATION. In essence, the CBs ARE a bit like doctors trying to track down the cause of a medical condition – what is the cause? How does it actually cause the disease?

    In that way, this is like Kozlowski and his fan experiment that only ran about 8 full cycles and then shut it down at the first sign of any elongation at all. (I am not sure of the spelling; I haven't referred to that poor inadequate "lab test" in so long…)

    We should always be wary of any research with minimal samplings and/or cycles, and with no controls.

    * * *

    BTW, I didn't see in the paper where they mentioned if the Russian holes had rims. I am pretty sure they didn't have rims. They look FAR more like the Beaufort Sea area holes anmd the Lena River delta holes – which also do not have rims (that I know of).

  • Tom Holsinger

    Check out Ralph Ellis’ articles about how the Carolina Bays were formed by glacial slush blasted from the Younger Dryas’ impact was very informative. Here’s the link to his fully on-line article excerpt, provided by Brad Madsen in the post above:

    Here’s the full article:

  • Steve Garcia

    Tom –

    Michael Davias came up with that long ago. And he’s developed beyond that quite a bit. Check out

    I’ve dealt with that myself extensively as well, but I bow to Michael.

    Michael has tied the impact to Saginaw and the Carolina bays AND the Australian tektites, working with Tim Harris on the orbital dynamics. It was covered here some time ago.

    But it is nice to see others seeing the same things. Particulars will of course be different. They always will be!

    BTW, I consider myself to be a friend of Ralph. Haven’t had a chance to see him in a while, though…

  • Steve Garcia

    BTW, Tom, right off the bat Ralph is off on the date for the YDB. The carbon 14 calibration was revised in 2004, 2009, and 2013, and the last time the radiocarbon date that USED TO come out to 12,900 years ago (ya) changed slightly, to 12,800 ya.

  • Steve Garcia

    Hahaha – My bad, it looks like Ralph is giving full credit to Michael Davias, with a lot of Michael’s work shown, and images, too.

    (We can’t edit on WordPress comments, otherwise I’d have changed that comment.)

  • Steve Garcia

    Ralph’s article also asserts that there are around 500,000 Carolina bays. This number is over ten times too high. Though Raplh references Davias’ work quite a bit, Ralph didn’t notice that Michael has also counted the Carolina bays using LIDAR (which Ralph DOES discuss, it seems), and the count is in the neighborhood of 45,000.

    Michael kindly let me see a copy of his Excel spreadsheet on them before it was quite finished, when he had counted 43,900 of them. I noticed something quite different about them that I discussed on my own blog. The results very much surprised me. The “arc” of the CBs is more than just maybe an arc. It turned out to be quite a tight arc. I would have expected the arc to be perhaps elliptical or some kind of curve, but not actually circular. Working on the entire set of 43,900 CBs convinced me that the shape IS circular.

  • jim coyle

    Steve; This circular feature you found on the bays: If you center on Saginaw Bay and draw a circle following the CB arc would that take in the Nebraska-Kanas Bays also? I’m going to try and see if it works and see what other features may be included in that circle.

  • jim coyle

    Steve; Please disregard that last post. As usual my fingers are WAY ahead of my head. You’ve been there, seen it and got the Tee-shirt. I went back to FTTF and reread your post and looked at the circular pattern and wondered if you took the circle, anchored it at about the Georgia coast and rotated it to Saginaw Bay it should take in the West Bays quite nicely. Not sure what that would mean but I think it would work for more inclusion of the Western Bays.

  • Steve Garcia

    Jim –

    The western CBs was one of the interesting things about the circularity of the CBs. Though also in a circular pattern, they were significantly LESS distant from the center of the eastern arc.

    If you don’t mind me elaborating a little bit, Michael Davias found that there were several TYPES of CBs. He named the types BayCarolina, BaySouth, BayShore, BayOval, BayBell, and BayWest. The very SHAPES of the types differed. Unknown to most, the CBs are NOT all as elliptical as the BayCarolinas – though it DOES hold true for the BayWest bays. Depending somewhat on their latitude (literally), the bays tend to gradually change to kind of pear shaped (the BayBell bays).

    That is one of the great discoveries of Michael’s work – that the shapes CHANGE with latitude, north to south. Thus, there is another element that explainers need to deal with in their theorizing: Why would the shapes change with latitude?

    Hahaha – especially hypotheses that claim local causes. Local causes are UTTERLY incapable of explaining these characteristics of CBs (among others!):
    1. The shape changes with latitude
    2. The gradual changing of their alignments, from north to south, like spokes on a wheel
    3. Their amazingly tight clustering around a particular distance from a centroid
    4. Why the BayWest bays are ~500 km closer to the centroid of the eastern CBs

    On some of these I have conjectures, but others, no.

    I calculated the mean latitude and longitude of each type, and their mean latitude-longitudes are as follows:

    BayBell —– 39°02’N 75°34’W (central Delaware)
    BayCarolina – 34°33’N 79°14’W (Robeson Co. NC, near the SC state line)
    BayOval —– 38°44’N 75°11’W (SE Delaware)
    BayShore —- 37°42’N 75°42’W (southern Delmarva peninsula, in VA)
    BaySouth —- 33°03’N 81°20’W (Allendale Co. SC, near the GA state line)
    BayWest —– 40°45’N 98°19’W (SE Hall Co. NB, in south central NB)

    Distances from the circular centroid of the eastern CBs are:
    BayBell —– 1223 km
    BayCarolina – 1234 km
    BayOval —– 1267 km
    BayShore —- 1273 km
    BaySouth —- 1247 km
    BayWest —– 763 km

    So, while the eastern CBs only range from 1273 km down to 1223 km from the centroid of the eastern CBs, the BayWest CBs are about 460-510 km less distant. The difference is eve greater for Michael’s more northerly centroid.

    That is a BIG difference. I have no explanation at this time. That is just what the numbers came out.

    FYI, since I did all of that, Michael Davias has found and detailed data on 1100 more CBs, going from 43,900 to 45,000. Given the large quantity, I don’t expect that any of the numbers above will change more than a km or two.

    One last caveat, to make sure I point it out: Michael’s centroid based on the angular alignments of the CBs came up with a centroid about 180 km north of the distance-based centroid I worked out. His was based on angles, and mine was based on best-fit distance, trying to find the tightest Bell Curve. And a Bell Curve it WAS. THAT was a shocker, to be honest.

  • Steve Garcia

    Jim –

    Actually, using Saginaw Bay is NOT allowed.

    Why not?

    Because if the impact was at Saginaw, and the ejecta flew for any noticeable amount of time, then while the ejecta was in flight, the Earth rotated under the ejecta. This rotation amounts to 15 angular minutes for each 1 minute of flight time. With ballistic flight paths 1250 km long, the flight times get up to about 24 minutes or so. (I am not the expert on ballistic flight paths.) 24 minutes = 6° of longitude.

    This means that, though Saginaw Bay might be where the impact was, the bays will point WEST of that real impact point. And 6° of longitude at 43.5°N is about 465 km.

    THAT is the point that the post-landing CBs point to – but it is kind of like a ghost impact site, a surrogate impact site. The researcher then needs to adjust eastward to find the real impact point.

    That is what happens when ejecta flies out on a rotating planet like ours.

    Now, what about those BayWest bays, which are closer than the eastern CBs to the various centroids? Did the rotation do that? I wish it was that simple! LOL

    I don’t know.

    If the numbers say what they say, they mean something. But interpreting what they say is not always clear cut. Our lack of understanding, of all the factors, can fail us.

    Michael Davias has done a truly great thing, in quantifying the vast numbers CBs and their geometry and geography. He was only able to do this because of the wonder of LIDAR – and his incredible perseverance and diligence. Without the LIDAR, hell, 80% of them can’t even be SEEN! SERIOUSLY! Trying to see most CBs on even satellite images or aerial photos is truly impossible. They are invisible to the naked eye.

    His numbers have added probably 5-fold or 20-fold to our real information on the Carolina bays. It is the sort of FUNDAMENTAL information that can inform us, in our search for explanations as to what they are and how they formed. Because of this data, we now have a much better chance of coming up with an explanation.

    For most of the time since they were first discovered (around 1930), people had no idea even how many of them there are. Even Ralph Ellis – in the link from Bard – is still using the very incorrect number of 500,000 CBs. That is more than 10 times too high. And how could a scientific understanding come when we don’t even know how many there ARE?

    Yet, even while not having ANY idea how many there were, people began trying to explain their provenance. That, frankly, is bad science. And laziness. And immature. No one until Michael Davias was willing to put in the time and effort to simply measure and document all the individual Carolina bays. He is the grownup in the crowd.

    Hahaha – I have a book about the history of the investigation of sunspots. Before people devised ways of counting them and began documenting their locations on the Sun and their characteristics, people had all SORTS of speculations about what they were and what they meant. Even some of the big names in science tossed out the damned SILLIEST conjectures about all of that. Only after some observers had spent many thousands of hours logging down data about them were they able to begin to see with enough clarity to begin asking some of the right questions.

    I see this moment in time – with Davias’ measured and logged data – as the beginning of the time when the CBs will genuinely be studied properly.

    His spreadsheet is the biggest darned spreadsheet I’ve ever worked with. It actually locked up my laptop several times, all by itself.

  • Paul Repstock

    Well, you folks have been free of my comentary for long enough. I have a question to ask and this seemed the appropriae article to place it on.
    Firstly though my small contribution to this discussion: while the “Hydrogen seeps” seem to be an angle to check, their validity is quite easy to check without massive drilling. Hydrogen combines readily with oxygen to produce water, carbon on the otherhand combines with oxygen at a much slower rate and higher temperature. Therefore, if the environment of the Bays is Hydrogen enriched much historic organic matter should be found unoxidized in the bottom of the Bays. Tree trunks and other woody debris should rest undecayed in the Bays for much longer than in similar environments. PS. I don’t recall anyone ever contacting to pursue my theory of the NE’ward double fold of the rims.

    Now for my question: Can nyone tell me about the carbon dating of semi-fossilized wood imbedded in sandstone deposits and who I might contact to have this done? How expensive would such dating be?

  • Cevin Q

    Here is the price list for c14 dating by a well know commercial lab

  • Paul Repstock

    Thank you very much Cevin Q.
    The people on this site have a great range of connections.

  • Paul Repstock

    Well, sadly the lab does not analyse samples older than 50,000 BP.
    The friable wood I found is imbedded in a sandstone deposit reputed to be @60 million BP?? Perhaps particle bridging and rapid deposition prevented the compression of the wood??

  • Steve Garcia

    Paul –

    It’s not that they won’t. It’s that they CAN’T. ~50,000 is THE limit for radiocarbon dating. It has to do with the physics of radioactive half-lives. Each half-life is 5730 years, at which time half the C14 atoms are decayed. After eight or nine 5730-year periods the level is so low that any precision is gone. At that point only about 1/256 is left. At that point the +/- gets to be as large as the amount of C14 left, so the signal gets lost in the noise.

    Beyond ~50,000 years other dating methods – U/Th or OSL, for example – must be used.

  • Paul Repstock

    LOL. No matter Steve. I was actually amazed to find that they would run a sample for only $500. But, that was the limit of what I was willing to spend, to satisfy my curiousity on this anyway. I’m still doubtfull of the attributed age of the deposit. (Naniamo Group Sandstones)
    I see this sandstone as one of the most interesting formations ever and probably at least partly of cataclysmic origins.

  • jim coyle

    Steve; If Paul had his sample analyzed and it was under 50,00yrs. The CBs would definitely be on the table for the Michigan Impact.

  • Paul Repstock

    Jim; Naniamo Group is a continent away.
    As you will see from the various works on it, there is very little concensus on its formation and history. Though parts of the deposit are very poorly cemented, I very much doubt a recent geologic dating. It is possible that what I saw as “wood” was just an iron replacement of the wood, which had somehow avoided compression??
    I am very much an amateur!

  • jim coyle

    George; Do you or do you know of anyone with some samples of CB sand? I’ve got an idea for a Michigan sand comparison and need a Bay sample 1 0z is more than enough. Thanks

  • Paul Repstock
  • jim coyle

    Paul; Could be. The general terrain is fairly rough so it is hard to discern. More geologic data would be helpful.