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

Heinrich and Dutch to Firestone: Hang it up on Great Lakes crater speculation

Dear Friends,

Dr. Firestone wrote:

“The other argument against the YD impact is that there is no crater near the Great Lakes. That is not necessarily true. The second deepest terrestrial place on earth is the Lake Superior basin and the basins of three other Great Lakes are deeper than Death Valley despite lying in
the flat Midwest far from major tectonic activity. The mid-Continental rift might explain the Lake Superior basin but the other basins propagate perpendicular to that old fault.”

Unfortunately, the arguments that the Great Lakes are impact craters of some sort is so completely and readily refuted by such an enormous amount of published sedimentologic, stratigraphic and chronologic data that all they do is confuse and muddy the discussion about the Younger Dryas impact hypothesis in a very prejudicial
manner. It is now very well established that neither terrestrial impacts nor tectonism associated with long
inactive Precambrian rifts or any other faulting had any role in creating the Great Lakes.

Basically, the Great Lakes were created by the preferential erosion of weaker strata within the Great Lakes region,
including Paleozoic strata outcropping around the edge of of the Michigan Basin. The precursors to the Great Lakes
were a series of preglacial river valleys that were deeply entrenched into and followed these outcrops belts. These
valleys existed before the beginning of continental glaciation in North America over 2.5 million years ago. Over
the last 2.5 million years, these valleys have been further deepened and widen by at least 11 different continental ice
sheets. While working on my MS at University of Illinois, I have personally seen some of the enormous amount of rock material excavated by glaciers from the Great Lakes that now comprise large parts of thick Wisconsinan, Illinoian, and Pre-Illinoian glacial tills that cover large parts of Illinois and other states. There is an overwhelming
amount of published evidence and data, including seismic and cores from the Great Lakes, that shows that they
predate the Younger Dryas in some form by tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of years, and over
a million years and are largely glacial in origin. On the other hand, there is a remarkable lack of data that supports
the occurrence of such a cataclysmic event. Saying that the Great Lakes are the result of an extraterrestrial impact is
the scientific equivalent of the recent “paper” by Zysman and Wallace in the archive that claims drumlins
and eskers were created by extraterrestrial impacts.

Some papers:

Hough, J. L., 1958, Geology of the Great Lakes. Urbana, IL:
University Illinois Press.

Hough, J. L., 1963, The prehistoric Great Lakes of North
America. American Scientist. vol. 51, pp. 84–109.

Larsen, C. E., 1988, Geological history of glacial lake
Algonquin and the upper Great Lakes. United States
Geological Survey Bulletin no. 1801.

Larson, G., and R. Schaetzl, 2001, Origin and evolution
of the Great Lakes, Journal of Great Lakes Research.
vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 518–546.

Spencer, J. W., 1891, Origin of the basins of the Great
Lakes of America. American Geologist. vol. 7, pp. 86–97.

Also, I have the PDF file of a 1993 Midwest Friends of
the Pleistocene field trip, which discusses the glacial
geology of the Door Peninsula at:

It summarizes what is known about the geology and
history of this part of the Great Lakes. Despite over
a century of research in this part of the Great Lakes,
nobody has either found anything remotely resembling
impact ejecta or impactites in the local Quaternary
sediments or any evidence of shock metamorphism
in the local bedrock.

On the same web site, I have some reprints of papers
on impact-related topics.

Dr. Firestone noted:

“A smaller crater Charity Shoal in Lake Ontario has been
identified and is of the correct age.”

The Charity Shoal feature is a fascinating landform. It is
a clear and obvious candidate for an impact crater. However,
it has been badly eroded by glacial erosion and is partially
filled with glacial till. Given that the last time that this part
of Lake Ontario was covered by the Laurentide Ice Sheet was
about 12,500 BP C14 (14,500 BP calibrated), it was almost
certainly created before the proposed Younger Dryas event.
If these remarkable feature has been directly dated, I would
be very interested in a citation for where the date(s) and
dating methodology for this feature has been published.

In a similar vein, at 11,000 BP C14 according an abundance

of glacial deposits and radiocarbon dates, Lake Superior was

still filled by the Laurentide ice sheet. This complete refutes

the notion that the formation of any part of it was associated
with the proposed Younger Dryas impact. In another case, the
floor of the eastern part Ontario contains a field of very well
preserved drumlins. Given that this part of Lake Ontario was
last filled and modified by the Laurentide Ice Sheet about

12,500 BP C14 (14,500 BP calibrated), it clearly predates

the start of the Younger Dryas and existed and was last
modified by glacial processes long before any Younger
Dryas impact.



Paul Heinrich

Baton Rouge, LA 70803


From Steve Dutch following Heinrich’s email above:

“These arguments were all concocted to explain the unexplainable. Water and ice don’t flow downhill anywhere in the world forming holes 1300 ft deep in a nearly flat terrain. The evidence that the bedrock there was broken up by early volcanism is also explained by an impact. Dating the Great Lakes is impossible following an impact because the historic record is blown away. The earliest research on the Great Lakes could find no explanation for their Great Depth. The current research failed to even consider an impact event. Drumlins, eskers, and pot hole lakes may all have been formed in conjunction with the impact.”

Rick Firestone

Paul Heinrich’s remarks are dead on target. The axes of lakes Michigan and Huron follow the soft belts of Devonian rocks, which is why the lakes are concentric around the Michigan Basin. Green Bay and Georgian Bay are excavated in soft Ordovician shales. The Door Peninsula, Manitoulin Island and Bruce Peninsula are the edge of a resistant Silurian escarpment.

Was Great Slave Lake also excavated by impact? It’s over 2,000 feet deep, (1500 feet below sea level) the deepest lake in North America. Great Bear Lake has a bottom 800 feet below sea level. How about Lake Chelan in Washington, a narrow lake almost 1500 feet deep, with a bottom 400 feet below sea level? Lake Washington, east of Seattle, has a bottom nearly 200 feet below sea level. Loch Ness in Scotland extends 750 feet below sea level. Lake Ladoga, Russia, extends about as deep, and Lake Onega nearby extends 280 feet below sea level. Lake Garda in Italy has a bottom nearly 1000 feet below sea level. Lake Vanern in Sweden goes 200 feet below sea level and Lake Vattern 120 feet. Lake Champlain goes 300 feet below sea level. Lake Te Anau in New Zealand: 700 feet below sea level; Lake Wakatipu, 300 feet; Lake Manapouri: 800+, and so on. Notice these are all in glaciated areas.

Glaciers can and do erode deep basins in level terrain (and north of Lake Superior is not flat). Maximum erosion seems to take place several hundred kilometers behind the maximum ice advance. Glaciers are not constrained like water because the dome profile of an ice sheet allows outward flowing ice to move downhill and push ice out of any basin. If the ice surface in Canada was 3 km above sea level there is plenty of driving force to push ice into and out of Lake Superior. Anyway, a true scale cross section will show that the upward gradient out of any of these glacially excavated lakes was not terribly steep.

I have been to thirteen impact sites. Any impact large enough to excavate a basin the size of one of the Great Lakes will produce abundant shatter cones and large volumes of impact melt and breccia. It just isn’t here. We have shatter cones at the dinky little Glovers Bluff impact in central Wisconsin (10 km diameter, max). Why aren’t they all around the Great Lakes?

Steven I. Dutch
Professor, Natural and Applied Sciences
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Green Bay, WI 54311-7001
Phone: 920-465-2246, Fax 920-465-2376

  • J Wesselak

    If the Comet hit a 2 mile sheet of ice an passed through
    The same belt of remnants of the comet over 1000 years
    Of remnants that may haven still be coming in
    Then the cataclysm too follow for the 1000-2000 years
    Refilling the ocean basins around the world destroying a former civilization 400 feet lower.

  • Steve Garcia

    All the way back here to 2010…

    Heinrich: “It is now very well established that neither terrestrial impacts nor tectonism associated with long inactive Precambrian rifts or any other faulting had any role in creating the Great Lakes.

    Very well established” means that they have a Gradualist explanation that they like and agree on. Astronomers used to have epicycles and they liked them and agreed on them. In the end, those “very well established” epicycles didn’t save the epicycles and those who believed in them from the trash heap of science.

    When looking for and AT impacts – even just potential ones – which are or could be catastrophist events</b?, it is VERY necessary to IGNORE Gradualist interpretationsand apply catastrophic thinking to the problem. It’s like trying to apply football rules to a baseball game – the rules are all inappropriate. Abandon all ye who enter here, all hope of interpreting catastrophic events through Gradualist eyes!

    Of COURSE the Gradualists have everything explained within their field – TO THEIR LIKING. They’ve had long enough! That doesn’t make all of their interpretations correct!

    After all Gene Shoemaker’s identification of Barringer wasn’t accepted as fact. It has been claimed to be volcanic – and they didn’t give that up easily.

    Here is what Heniriich’s paragrrpah should say, actually:

    Basically, we Gradualists believe that the Great Lakes were created by the preferential erosion of weaker strata within the Great Lakes region, including Paleozoic strata outcropping around the edge of of the Michigan Basin. We Gradualists believe that the precursors to the Great Lakes were a series of preglacial river valleys that were deeply entrenched into and followed these outcrops belts. We Gradualists believe that these valleys existed before the beginning of continental glaciation in North America over 2.5 million years ago. Over the last 2.5 million years, we Gradualists believe that these valleys have been further deepened and widen by What we interpret as at least 11 different continental ice sheets. While working on my MS at University of Illinois, I have personally seen some of the enormous amount of rock material that we Gradualists believe wasexcavated by glaciers from the Great Lakes that now comprise large parts of what we Gradualists interpret as thick Wisconsinan, Illinoian, and Pre-Illinoian glacial tills that cover large parts of Illinois and other states. There is an overwhelming amount of published <Gradualist intperted evidence and data, including seismic*** and cores from the Great Lakes, that so far seem to show that they predate the Younger Dryas in some form by tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of years, and over a million years and are largely glacial in origin [Would he please make jup his mind? WHy didn’t he include the Early Heavy Bombardment Period, too?] . On the other hand, there is a remarkable lack of data that supports the occurrence of such a cataclysmic event since impacts have only been studied by a very few scientsts for a very short time. Saying that the Great Lakes are the result of an extraterrestrial impact is the scientific equivalent of the recent “paper” by Zysman and Wallace in the archive that claims drumlins and eskers were created by extraterrestrial impacts IN MY GRADUALIST OPINION, BASED ON MY GRADUALIST TRAINING.

    Heinrich: “It summarizes what is known about the geology and history of this part of the Great Lakes. Despite over a century of research in this part of the Great Lakes, nobody has either found anything remotely resembling impact ejecta or impactites in the local Quaternary sediments or any evidence of shock metamorphism in the local bedrock.”

    The findings at the Gainey site bely this assertion, making it null and void. What the statement really says, “In my Gradualist thinking, I have not accepted any evidence of impacts in the Great Lakes area.” He also asserts that each and every possible kind of impact has been fully studied, and that he has tracked down every one of them and judged them all.

    He ignores the fact that for most of that century, no one interpreted impacts because no one believed impacts had happened for millions of years. In that, of course, THAT “very well established” assumption is plenty wrong. (Don’t forget how long it took them to find the crater for the K-T extinction event. And NOT SURPRISINGLY, it was not found by a research scientist but by an oil industry geologist. Had he not found Chixculub, there is no telling HOW long Alvarez’s 65Mya event would have been argued about. When they don’t THINK it happened, they don’t go LOOKING for it. There are few – VERY FEW new discoveries in science that have been accepted quickly. The history of science is RIFE with old, stodgy scientists telling the world that the new idea (whatever it is) is carp.

    Heinrich: “In a similar vein, at 11,000 BP C14 according an abundance of glacial deposits and radiocarbon dates, Lake Superior was
    still filled by the Laurentide ice sheet.”

    This is vacuous. The outer reaches of a large impact could easily leave much of the same types of evidence as an advancing or at-rest ice sheet is supposed to have made.

    All of you hear know my utter disrespect for the idea about ice sheets moving hundreds of miles over not only FLAT land, but flat land with lots of bumps and valleys. This idea flies in the face of physics.

    To whit:

    Dutch: “These arguments were all concocted to explain the unexplainable. Water and ice don’t flow downhill anywhere in the world forming holes 1300 ft deep in a nearly flat terrain.”

    Hallelujah! (I am trying to envision an ice sheet working like a back hoe.)

    Steven Dutch, now take the next logical step and think of how the ice flowed up OUT of that deep trench and continued southward! (It didn’t happen.)

    BTW, this exact kind of argument was made by the original Catastrophists in their arguments with the Uniformitarians of Lyell and Agassiz. “Are you people dumb enough to beliee that ice will flow up and across valleys and across hundreds of miles of FLAT land? Are you DAFT?” (Paraphrased, of course)

    As a reminder, guys, I figured out that the front EDGE of the ice could have “advanced”, if they allow for the snow and ice to simply build upward and outward at the edges, while the main body of ice didn’t move. Think of the build-up of ice on low-slope roofs, just above the gutters. It only moves for two reasons – when a thaw comes and if the roof is sloped. Flat roofs collapse because the snow can’t slide off and continues to build up and up and up. Also please, since it is cold up north, someone go outside and spray some water on your frozen lawn. Mark the ice in some way and measure where the marks are from a fixed point nearby. Now, go out every few days and spray more water, adding more ice. See if the marks moved because the ice built up a bit.

    Projecting what is clearly true about alpine valley glaciers to ice sheets on flat ground is INVALID science. It’s WRONG. Physics says it doesn’t happen.

    The Gradualists ASSUME that since they see moraines, that moraines indicate ice movement. They assume that striations mean ice sheet movement. That is their preferred interpretation, and they are wrong.

    Question: Isn’t it INTERESTING that the one place that SEEMS by a variety of measured and repeatable FORENSIC evidence to be where an impact occurred just happens to be the one place where the ice sheets are especially interpreted as having advanced? Can that possibly be just a coincidence? Even counting the earlier ice ages and coming up with an exact number – 11? Geez, over in Fennoscandia, they throw up their hands and admit that they can’t even find direct evidence of even ONE earlier “ice age”, because they say that, “the last advance erased all the evidence of earlier ice sheets” – ones only several thousands of years earlier. (But they do assume it was there, anyway!) So, even without actual evidence, they assert it happened. But the point here is how did they arrive at 11 advances going back 2.5 million years?

    Since ice can’t advance over flat ground, it boggles the mind what spin they’ve put on some innocent evidence.

    One more thing, about the Great Lakes possibly forming in an impact:

    Everyone looks at an impact, and about all they look for is what happens at ground zero – as in the crater itself. Outside of looking for ejecta that CAME from the crater, they don’t look for anything else. But when an ET hits, a lot is happening outside the shatter cone area that isn’t considered at all.

    Judging from the possible size of the Great Lakes event, and judging from the fact that Michigan was at least partly under ice at that YDB, outside of Peter Schultz and his co-researchers, is anyone else out there looking at ice impacts and what happens? And what happens peripherally? The ice at a distance will break up and shoot out all around. No crater will form. (Is some sort of depression created? From what I know, Schultz’s work doesn’t seem to ask or answer that. Perhaps it does and I am wrong.)

    With ice a few hundred meters thick in Michigan, where did that ice go? Some of it MIGHT have gone to the Carolina bays, but many think that is a moot point now, saying the two are not connected. I am not sure that that is correct, and I have very specific reasons. In Schultz’s ice slab impacts, the ice mostly goes OUTWARD. Consider ice slabs/chunks 300-400 meters thick flying outward, driven by the energy of the impact PLUS the vaporization of a few cubic miles of ice. Ice and water take up 1,000 times more volume as steam. Thus, 400 meter thick ice 400 meters across would make a bubble of steam about 4,000 meters in all directions, with attendant pressure. and I wouldn’t want to be nearby.

    And I’ve discussed the Michigan Basin here (back in about 2013 or 2014), and I see the concentric rings as a rasonable result of a large impact.

    In fact, I think it is irresponsible for scientists to not even LOOK at the Michigan Basin as a possible crater. The bedrock is downwarped 4,000 meters, and the concentric rings reach all the way out to the far shore of Lake Superior and include the Niagara Escarpment. And 285 million years of sediments are missing – and that is a known puzzle. There is absolutely a common centroid for all those rings, and it is very near Saginaw Bay. We’ve discussed all of this, and it’s been a good while, so mentioning it again I hope is not TOO egregious for everyone.

    “Glaciers can and do erode deep basins in level terrain (and north of Lake Superior is not flat).” My point exactly. They can’t point at a gently hilly region and say with a straight face that ice sheets just went up and over the hills – but they DO. “It was the 2 km thick ice back in NW Labrador that did it.” Sorry, that is an non-starter.

  • Paul Repstock

    Steve; There is too much in your ‘three page rant’.
    No doubt the Natural Sciences suffer badly from “Evidence forcing”. Identify a suspect and make the evidence fit! These debates become a gossip clatch.

    As for glaciers moving large amounts of material over relatively flat land; there is ample evidence to be found by looking at the material exposed in the ice of melting glaciers.

  • Steve Garcia

    Paul –

    “As for glaciers moving large amounts of material over relatively flat land; there is ample evidence to be found by looking at the material exposed in the ice of melting glaciers.”

    I don’t accept that it is “glaciers” moving across flat land. That is my exact point, that those are NOT glaciers. They may be something akin to an ice cap, but moving? No. Ice sheets? It depends what connotations are included in the term “ice sheets”. Does it include simply ice thta formed in place? Or is it claimed to also be a flowing, moving glacier? I agree with the first, not the second.

    How is material exposed below melting alpine valley glaciers indicative or evidence of ice movement on flat ground? Ice, like water, flows downhill. If there is no downhill water doesn’t move, so why should ice? On flat ground water will soak in or puddle or pond. I argue that so does ice – but not by moving, simply by sitting and not moving. In any micro-location, ice which can’t soak in will just sit.

    They CLAIM that the 2km max depth up in Labrador provides enough side thrust to push ice hundreds of miles away. PIFFLE! Physics will tell them NO. Each sq km of ice will resist being pushed. That resistance reduces the any side thrust. Within about 5 or 10 km – 5 times the thickness mind you – the resistance will have pushed back (back pressure, of a sort) enough that at the perimeter of that 10 km the remaining outward thrust is ZERO. With the max thickness only about 1/900th of the distance of the perimeter ice, the proportions are just silly to think that a central ice max could push outward that far away. Hell, the internal flexing would absorb all the internal stresses.

    They have everybody thinking that there is this big, huge mountain of ice in the middle. 2km isn’t jack squat. And they have everybody hearing about basal water and that that lubricates the bottom. If you talk about internal stresses, they shift over to basal water, and if you talk basal water, they shift to internal stresses and strains. It’s like 3-card Monty. But there IS no mountain of ice, because 2 km is not much. Not when it is 3-4,000 km wide.

    This might be physically modeled with soft clay, scaled-down and clay that is prepared to mimic the flow characteristics that they think ice has.

    Sorry that last comment was so long. Believe it or not it wasn’t intentional. I will rant back – pull back on rants. Sorry!

  • Steve Garcia

    Evidence forcing – same as my crowbar thing.

    But do think in terms of catastrophic results and causes when discussing catastrophic events. Gradualistic ideas – and especially evidence – need to be re-interpreted within a VERY different paradigm.

    When we SEE them speak of things in their gradualistic meme, we should feel FREE to as, “How can that evidence fit into catastrophism in this particular case?” It – the evidence – is REAL, not pretend. So, if we think a catastrophe was involved, then that evidence MUST be applicable – and APPLIED – within the catastrophist meme.

  • Paul Repstock

    I really don’t know Steve. Probably no one does. But the evidence for a catastrophist influence is overwhelming. When we look at the surfaces of our Solar system neighbours, it is hard to imagine that there is a square centimeter of Earth’s surface that has not been impacted. Why would we be any different from the Moon or Mars. All this tells us, is just how dynamic the Earth’s surface really is, and how little we really understand about what we consider to be minor forces in the time scale of a few million years.
    As for “Glacial flow”: I am fairly certain it occurs. Not like a bulldozer, but more like a liquid. I suspect that the ice in the core is somewhat warmer and somewhat plastic. Ice which is not exposed to air does not sublimate and can exist as a solid somewhat above 0 centigrade. Ice also expands and contracts with changing temps, and therefore might move somewhat like a “Slinky toy”. Look at photo’s of alpine glaciers and note the “Lateral transport” ribbons on the surface. These are not right at the edges, but are generally somewhat in from the edge. Often the material in these ribbons is huge pieces (bus sized and larger)?

  • Paul Repstock

    I suspect also that we make a mistake in speaking of glacial “Ice”. A glacier is no more crystalline than mudstone. The contained water is in the form of compressed snowflakes and air bubbles. A similar “Ice” is often found on ponds, when heavy snow forms slush in the cold water and then solidifies.
    I saw a video last year of this type of Ice “flowing” off one of the great lakes with nothing but a bit of wind pushing it? If I can find the video, I’ll post it here.

  • Steve Garcia

    Paul – “When we look at the surfaces of our Solar system neighbours, it is hard to imagine that there is a square centimeter of Earth’s surface that has not been impacted. ”

    If any rational human can deny that, they have to be as incurious and uninformed as a Republican candidate for President in 2016.

    There are 188 KNOWN impact craters (or groups) in the Earth Impact Database. Assuming (probably wrongly) that all those area on land, then ratioing it up, there should be 648 total, including the sea floor. That is only one impact for every 786,000 sq km or so.

    The Moon has about 5185 known >=20-km craters, ones large enough to have been made by 1-km ET bodies. Those would have been the same size as the three largest SL-9 fragments. As we look smaller and smaller, the numbers increase more or less by the square or cube of the size reduction. That may not be clear. Twice as small has about 4 to 8 times as many. 10 times smaller (km) means about 100 to 1,000 times as many – as the 5185. Past that, everyone is bolluxed up by how many hundreds of thousands of ones. Just in the south polar region there are 5,265 over 5 km. One count had 385,000 over 1.0 km.

    The Earth HAD to be hit by more, because its gravity is 6 times that of the Moon, so it attracted them more strongly.

    We’ve and accepted found 188 on Earth, so even with the 648 number we can see there are about 8,000 that might have hit for every 1 we know about and accept right now.

    There should be a LOT of iridium, one would think…

    Running the numbers, the 786,000 sq km per crater would reduce down to about 1 crater 1 km across for about every 100 sq km instead – about a a 10km x 10km square. That is about 1% of Earth.

    The Moon has craters somewhat evenly spread, not counting the maras (? It’s late…), so we should, too.

    Can we accept an assumption that erosion and the atmosphere erased or prevented the craters? Well, the atmosphere reduces ALL incoming bodies, but the ones 50-60 meters should mostly get through, making the numbers for 1-km craters pretty good for ground impacts. 385,000 on the Moon and 5.2 million o Earth, conservatively. We just got rid of one of their excuses. The only one left is erosion.

    So, the real story is that we have only just begun looking. 15 years ago we knew of a few thousand asteroids in the Asteroid belt and elsewhere. Once we began looking there were half a million. So nobody should accept that 188 as definitive. It’s far, FAR too early.

    I will arbitrarily estimate that there will eventually be 100 times more – 18,800 – say 2,000 total. About 1800 more to be found.

  • Steve Garcia

    Paul – I saw that video. That lake ice did climb up people’s lawns. The total area of ice to push was really high – every small protuberance over the entire area of the ice on the lake. Like a million tiny sails. PLUS the friction with the wind (ask meteors about friction with the wind). It all adds up, honest. And all of that wind push then focused in one direction and only on the ice in contact with the land. None of the floating ice was resisting. The multiplier is pretty freaking big.

    Now put all that ice on LAND, and each square foot has plenty of mechanical grab plus friction.

    As to the snow vs ice thing – snow IS ice. It’s frozen water. In ice sheets the snow on top eventually gets covered enough to be compressed into firn and then ice. Below so many meters it’s not snow anymore. It’s frozen and its HARD.

  • Steve Garcia

    Reword: “We’ve and accepted found 188 on Earth, so even with the 648 number we can see there are about 8,000 that might have hit for every 1 we know about and accept right now.”

    Should be “We’ve found and accepted 188 on Earth, projecting to the 648 number total for now that we can see, and there are at least 8,000 that should have hit for every 1 we know about and accept right now.”

  • William

    What about erratics that have been moves great distances their parent rock? They would seem to be the greatest evidence for glacial flow.

  • Steve Garcia

    Hey, good question. I’ve looked into erratics as much as I could (and can) for decades. They ARE evidence of flow, but WHAT flow?

    Erratics were one of the strongest arguments for a global inundation until Louis Aggasiz had his epiphany about Alpine glaciers and then he and Lyell extrapolated those glaciers in steep and deep valleys onto flat Canada, USA, Finland and Sweden, etc.

    The outcry at the time from catastrophists was, “WTF??? Glaciers can’t move over flat ground! Are you all DAFT?!”

    I side with the catastrophists. Being a mechanical engineer who had to deal with friction, tribology, and coefficients of friction in the real world a LOT. I know that when the surface is flat, you get NO horizontal thrust.

    As to erratics, I argue specifically that no ice sheets going on flat ground carried them.

    Now, there are those who call rocks carried by glaciers – REAL glaciers in mountainous valleys – “glacial erratics.” This is an oxymoron. Erratics are boulders whose provenance is not explained, Boulders that ride on top of glaciers have KNOWN provenance: UP THE VALLEY.

    Those are NOT the erratics that the HUGE discussion was about in the pre-Uniformitarian-dominated times.

    TRUE erratics are boulders that sit – almost ALWAYS – in the middle of flat regions, often on VERY flat coasts. Such as the Baltic coast of Europe.

    These erratics are well-rounded, and have no striations on them that I know of. Those near or by the Baltic lie BELOW the Northern European San Belt (elevation-wise).

    Rocks can only be carried by Alpine glaciers on TOP or at the base. Those carried on top are nearly un-eroded, with sharp edges that have clearly not been worn by the ice or abrasion with the ground. These are often found up the SIDES of glacial valleys, near or on the lateral moraines. Ricks carried under Alpine glaciers get chewed up and ground down, mostly top be made into till.

    There is no common traits between large true erratics and large Alpine glacier transported so-called glacial erratics” – except being large.

    The old-time catastrophjists all died out by the early 20th century, still arguing that the Uniformitarians were wrong about erratics.

    I agree with the catastrophists. Even the formulas taught in college classes about DOWNSLOPE forces include the sine value, of the slope. And when that slope is ZERO, the downslope forces are also zero. That is as simple as it gets in trigonometry. The sine of 0 degrees is 0.000. Therefore zero times anything is zero.

    They TRY to get around that by looking at internal shear, and always they declare that the ice sheets were 2 miles or 3 miles thick. They THEN assume that 2 km thick (the best figure I’ve seen) is enough to push ice outward that is over 1,000 km away. This is impossible except for people who ignore the inertial and cohesive resistance of every horizontal meter of that ice sheet. The tiny dribs and drabs of REMNANT horizontal thrust from internal shear would be simply absorbed in the mass of ice, its internal flexing. It is NOT an incompressible solid and it is NOT a homogeneous whole. They never follow it past that to see what that means. The MAXIMUM thickness is not really even KNOWN. Seriously, I’ve looked it up in dozens of papers, and HARDLY ANY TWO OF THEM give the same figure. This essentially tells us that it is not known but only assumed, and each of them heard it differently and repeats what they heard.

    We know from Antarctica and Greenland that the ice thickness is greatest in the center and that near the edges the ice is thinner. Both of those are geographically a mix of mountainous terrain and below sea level land.

    NEITHER of those is similar to the conditions in Finland and Canada. But no one seems to make any distinctions and everyone just glomps them all together as if the same forces are acting in flat land as in steep Alpine valleys.

    True erratics – to me they’ve gotten it wrong. They assume things that can’t BE, not physics-wise. And in the end, it will all come down to physics.

    My take on erratics IS that it WAS water – mega-tsunamis – and my take is that the cause was ocean impacts.

    There is a 180-tonne boulder in the Philippines that was washed up on shore a couple of years ago – simply from Typhoon Haiyan. In that case it wasn’t moved very far – but WAS submerged before ending up in the beach. It proves the principle that water can move VERY large boulders up onto dry land, in the real world.

    Another from the same typhoon is at – Two different ones shown, making at least three.

    Can tsunamis move boulders hundreds of miles? If the Tollman’s and Hills and Goda’s tsunami projections are anything near correct, I can’t see why not. Based on the energy levels the tsunamis would be hundreds of meters high. At least 10 and maybe 100 times as high as Japan and Sumatra.

    So, erratics and ice sheets are THEIR interpretation, and mine is mega-tsunamis. If mega-tsunamis have ever happened, then erratics would be ONE expected result.

  • Trent Telenko

    Steve G,

    You know, every time the uniformists dis skyfall, we get a report like this —

    Largest fireball since Chelyabinsk falls into the ocean: Nasa reports huge explosion of seven meter space rock over the Atlantic

    o Event took place February 6 at 14:00 UTC, 620 miles off Brazil’s coast
    o Released 13,000 tons of TNT – 40 times less that the Chelyabinsk fireball
    o Unlikely anyone saw it, but may have been picked up by military sensors
    o Impacts like this happen several times per year, mostly in the ocean

    By Ellie Zolfagharifard For

    Published: 16:05 EST, 22 February 2016 | Updated: 17:37 EST, 22 February 2016

  • Paul Repstock

    Steve; You are being nearly as close-minded as those ‘other unmentionables’.
    Many many, often large “eratics” sit flat on top of the soil/gravel, often with no surface penetration at all?? Now how in the world could a tsunami carry a 50 ton boulder, and then deposit it on gravel….without undercutting??

  • Paul Repstock

    And additionally, the gravels they sit on are not stratified alluvial deposits!

  • Steve Garcia

    Paul –

    I will take your criticism with humility. I believe that I am mainly an =m just stating my case vs theirs.

    As to that erratic you mention, can you send me anything specific about it?

    And, yes, essentially erratics ARE sittin on the surface qith zero or very little surface penetration. On beaches it is hard to distinguish soil penetration from sand settling.

    What does “not stratified alluvial deposits” have to do with any of it? The minute you talk of gravel, it appears that you are discussing alpine valley glaciers and their moraines. And those gravels are not alluvial but glacial, aren’t they? Or are you talking of something else?
    Alluvial normally DOES have to do with WATER, not glaciers.

  • jim coyle

    Mr. Repstock; The size tsunami we’re talking about is very capable of moving and carrying a 50 ton boulder quite some distance. As the water advances inland it does lose it’s momentum and as soon as it slows enough it will drop out the rocks, larger first and the smaller as the energy diminishes. Once max penetration has been reached the water starts returning to the sea or what ever body of water it came from. Any deposits from the tsunami will not be stratified to any extent due to the mix master effects of the tsunami. As for the undercutting of the gravel the question to ask is : When was the rock deposited and what kind of environmental actions played out around the rock since its deposition? Was it exposed to tides? wind driven soils and sands? erosional wash and deposition?

  • Paul Repstock

    Steve; I’m just cautioning, this is mostly an inquisitive opinion site, and I also go off the deep end sometimes.
    As you know, it is quite possible to have deposits which are a combination of glacial and alluvial; carried part way by ice and then by water.
    I’m not referring to a single boulder, but rather thousands, found on Eastern Vancouver Island. Masses of 5-10 tons are common. Much of the terrain is flat. There were “Alpine glaciers” in the region, but the gravel and clay gravel deposits I see seem to be of a different scale.
    My interpretation of the Erratics, is that as the Ice Sheet melted smaller material was carried away by the meltwater streams, leaving the big boulders to settle vertically.
    If this were the results of tsunami, then there would be wedge deposits in the direction of flow or in the direction of the backwash, plus the flowing water would undercut and settle the rock. I don’t know much astrophysics. But, my knowledge of flowing water is ok.
    Btw. you seem to have some trouble accepting the depth of glacial ice postulated by glaciologists. I can provide a nice simple framework for approximation if you like.

  • Steve Garcia

    Jim – Right. The laying down of materials is ONE deposit, however thick it is, not sediments in think layers.

    Paul – If they even HAD one depth it would mean SOMETHING. I’ve been researching it for months, and I swear NO TWO give the same thickness. THAT is troubling, to say the least. Add to that, you please do go look up maps of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. On Google, and pick the Images tab. Every map is different. Troubling. They don’t agree on much. My interpretation? They pretty much fake it. I am not joking about it; that is exactly what I’ve recently come to realize.

    I looked high and low for one definitive thickness. THERE ISN’T ONE. Some places assert that it was 2-3 miles (3-5 km), which is stupid (but that is pretty much what they sell to lay people). Hardly ANYONE considers that the ice near the periphery was less thick (which it obviously WAS). You just hear “2 miles thick” (or whatever) as if it was that thick everywhere.

    I won’t even GO into isostasy now…

  • Steve Garcia

    Paul –

    Thanks for the info about the boulders on East Vancouver Island. May I invite you to google “erratic boulder Baltic”? Change to the Image tab and check them out. They sound familiar. Those are all over the coasts of Estonia, Latvia, Poland, and Germany. Some are found up to, say, 100 km inland, including the middle of Hamburg. But most are on the beaches. Also some in NW France, where no evidence of ice exists. I fully understand that THEY interpret those and the European Sand Belt as evidence of ice fronts “advancing”. But I argue that ice doesn’t advance by PUSHING across flat ground. And physics will support me on that. And since Newtonian physics underlies all physical phenomena…

    BTW, it is strange to me that in the Fennoscandia region ice pushed boulders from flat Finland to the southern Baltic area, but the LIS didn’t push boulders from Canada into IL, OH, MI, IN, WI, NY. (What is going on at E Vancouver Island I don’t know.)

  • Trent Telenko

    Steve G said:

    >>Can tsunamis move boulders hundreds of miles? If the Tollman’s and Hills and Goda’s tsunami projections are anything near correct, I can’t see why not. Based on the energy levels the tsunamis would be hundreds of meters high. At least 10 and maybe 100 times as high as Japan and Sumatra.

    Here is a simple test:

    Are their any erratics from the Fukashima and Indonesian tsunamis?

    Has anyone bothered to look?

  • Trent Telenko

    Excuse me — Fukushima

  • Trent Telenko

    Bingo, We have Fukushima tsunami boulders


    In the immediate aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake tsunami, a number of displaced tsunami boulders were confirmed through the subsequent field surveys. Figure 1 shows two typical tsunami boulders observed during our post-tsunami surveys in Fukushima and Iwate Prefecture, respectively. These huge and heavy objects were entrained from their original locations and deposited inland by the powerful tsunami flows. The concrete seawall block in Fig. 1(a) was displaced from its construction foundation and moved landward by 35 m with a 5 m local flow depth measured in our field survey. The overturned boulder in Fig. 1(b) was transported about 30 m inland from its initial position with a 14 m local tsunami flow depth (Liu et al., 2013). This boulder was supposed to move further landward if there was no impediment from the behind building (Fig. 1b).

  • Steve Garcia

    Trent – Bingo exactly.

    Coastal boulders are good evidence of tsunami attack, which is an extremely high energy event capable of displacing, transporting and emplacing huge and heavy loads a few to several hundred meters away from their original locations. Such tsunami boulder movement has been reported worldwide, such as in Okinawa, Japan (Kato and Kimura, 1983), along southeastern and western coasts of Australia (Bryant et al., 1992; Nott and Bryant, 2003), in Flores, Indonesia (Shi et al., 1995), in Ionian, Italy (Mastronuzzi and Sansò, 2000; Scicchitano et al., 2007), in Portugal (Costa et al., 2011) and in Hawaii (Goff et al., 2006).

    Good find!

    Now, I am looking at erratics in terms of Mega-tsunamis. According to Hills and Goda we might be looking at 200m-700m (650 feet to 2300 feet), which would run-up much farther across land and with FAR more energy than the 14 meters they are working with. In Germany such boulders are found only up to about 200 meters. A few are nearly 500 km inland. Is this possible? I hope to show that it is, at some point. (BTW, yes, within their paradigm this all makes sense, too. But if it can be shown that catastrophism can also explain it, that is a start. It is GOOD that there aren’t out and out contradictions.)

    The principle is established. Now in catastrophism we need to ask OURSELVES (not the Uniformitarians) how high is high and how far does that portend?

    BTW, one final test of any hypothesis is, “Does it make successful predictions?” If it cannot, it isn’t science but random correlation – or simply WRONG. If it DOES, that doesn’t make it true. It only makes it not totally wrong. (Thank you, Dr Feyman!) So the idea has SOME merit at this point. Nothing more, in terms of mega-tsunamis connected with catastrophism.

    This is a good piece of solid science. They actually did lab tests. GOOD FOR THEM!

    I would say that they only were pointing at ON-LAND boulders/blocks in their tests. I think the ones UNDER the ocean would have been moved even more.

    * * *




  • Paul Repstock

    Thanks Trent. Interesting that someone is actually doing a study of this possibility.
    The boulders I have seen certainly do not have a nearby origin. They are generally well rounded to lenticular. Some of them seem to have no known provenance while others are granitic and seem to originate on the East side of the Straight of Georgia, over 30 miles away. (Note to this: It would seem unlikely for a tsunami to flow from the mountainous coast towards the West??

  • jim coyle

    Paul; Consider that the MEGA – Tsunami came from the southwest and was big enough to overrun Vancouver Island and wash up the west side of the Canadian Rockies. Any rock dislodged on the upswing would most certainly be dragged back down and dropped as soon as momentum allowed.

  • Paul Repstock

    Mr. Coyle: Do you have any evidence of this “Mega-Tsunami”?
    “Over run Vancouver Island”?? Have you looked at a topographic map of the Island?

    Look you people; I am fully onboard with “catasclysmic/catastrophic” events and their influence on Earth’s geography. However, do not close your minds to the many landforms and deposits, which would have required eons of stability to form.

    In my view it is unwise to focus exclusively on one causual agent.
    There is a small region on the East Coast of Vancouver Island which (In my eyes) seems shaped by three distinct events/forces: There is a small mountain with huge basalt columns, an adjacent mountain with a bowl in the side which looks like the remaining half of an impact crater (1/2 mile diameter), and in between the two, what appears to be a glacial valley???
    I’m no expert. But, I can see, and I can theorize that no one agent or event can be responsible for all the results.

  • jim coyle

    Paul; I am working on the Mega Tsunami theory at this time. Not enough evidence yet. I feel strongly enough to comment here. I too am open to other ideas and theories and will look at the Vancouver sites you mentioned. Thanks for pointing me I that direction.

  • Trent Telenko

    My gut is telling me the difference in energy budget between a Tsunami and a Mega-Tsunami is something of a logarithmic scale with a lot of special conditions as far as erratic boulder movement.

    There are all sorts of factors in how the water flow is coupled with the original energy source — be it impactor, exploding volcano, major geological collapse, earth quake, etc — that will throw erratic boulders more or less far with the same amount of energy.

    Short form — Not enough data!

  • Elenor Snow

    Dear Steve Garcia
    Thank you Thank you thank you!! Your 19 Feb ‘rants’ are truly, deeply helpful and I am very grateful to you! I’m from Long Island NY — and in 7th grade our science teacher “made” us copy by hand about 10 graphics (maps and tables and so on) proving that Long Island is a terminal moraine, from which I retained a layman’s interest in geology and its relations. Ten years living in eastern WA increased that. Now, living in GA, I recently ran across Randall Carlson’s geology/Channeled Scablands works, which has set me off on a reading and learning tear!

    I devoured the Firestone et al. book, which I found amazing, eye-opening, and entirely likely! I set my mental anchor there, until I began reading CATACLYSM! last week. (I’m just on page 135.)

    Allan and Delair’s book has stirred huge confusion and wonder. Confusion because they seem (so far) to be postulating there WAS no “Ice Age” nor “miles of ice creeping down over N.Amer” and stopping at Long Island. Sheer wonder because the idea that there might have been NO ice sheet had never even entered my mind. But the descriptions of in situ forests and flora ‘under’ the ice sheets, except those sheets are also alleged to have scoured and striated down into bedrock and even ripped up erratics; and the lists and lists of drifts and mass cave burials of animals that don’t belong together, are persuasive. So, I’ve come hunting for information: were Allan and Delair misreporting the hundreds of studies? How did southern animals end up in northern burials? Obviously NOT by ice sheets!

    I ended up here (thank you, Cosmictusk!), and you have relieved my mind (and further whet my appetite) as I tried to imagine: was it (how could it have been?) the ‘force of gravity’ on the center of a huge ice sheet that caused outward movement at the (many-miles away) edges? (Clearly not!) How could there be ‘downward’ creep on flat land?! (Not possible!) (The ice ‘digging’ of trenches and deep lakes and then somehow climbing back up out of them had not occurred to me until your excellent and oh-so-helpful rants!) You’ve truly helped me find another new path to follow in this “drop the orthodoxy” thicket!

  • Steve Garcia

    Elenor –

    Thanks for the thumbs up.

    I DO have an explanation for the ice, the bone caves, the scouring, etc. Working on something pretty cool, but at the moment taking a bit of a break. The thing I have come up with is from out in left field in many ways. There are a lot of people who, if you ask them, “Can ice flow on flat ground?” would – from their personal experience say NO. But then when the scientists tell them that long ago ice moved on flat ground, the same people don’t challenge it. That is most of us.

    The 2km thick ice is supposed to not only have traveled on flat ground, but also depressed the continent (mostly Canada) – which would actually make a depression – LITERALLY. And if the depression was lower in the middle then the ice had to flow uphill. This is the basis for isostasy, which I seriously doubt is true.

    You know what? If you want to see something REALLY eye-opening, google “Michigan Basin” and switch to the Image tab. In the Michigan Basin there is a puzzle (I think more than one), called the “missing layers”. I found that on my own and drew attention to that here. There are lots of ancient sedimentary layers (which must by definition and the laws of physics be laid down flat), which are bowed down in a bowl shape – the entire size of the Lower Peninsula and more. And just below the “ice age” till layers which are very young, the next layer is 285 million years old. OVER THE WHOLE L.P. – except for some odd red Jurassic beds which are erratically tossed in. Where did the intervening layers go? And why are they missing right where the inverted bowl shape is? And why is the center of the bowl essentially on the same axis as Saginaw Bay? And why does that same axis align right where a weird thing called the Kankakee outflow occurs? And in line with a lot of drumlin fields and eskers. Drumlins are in their way similar to the Carolina bays, in that no one for decades and decades has been able to really understand or explain how they formed. (Hint: Get rid of moving ice…) LOTS of questions up thataway. Then throw in the Mason-Quimby line right across that same peninsula – delineating what (they think) is the farthest north for both Clovis-type artifacts (called Gainey points up there) and the farthest north for animals in that very, very last part of the Pleistocene right before the Younger Dryas.

    So, when Firestone pointed at the Great Lakes in his book and papers, he happened to be pointing at the center of a lot of very unusual assortment of geological features.

    My thinking is that some ET body much larger than anyone has yet imagined hit on that ice, and it will never be shown to be anything like a typical hard rock or metallic impactor. My current ballpark size is about 1/2 to 3/4 the size of the K-T impactor. Had it not hit on the ice, we might have seen many more extinctions of species at the YDB than happened.

    BTW, my left field thing has been able to explain both the duration of the YD and the sudden end of it as well. Those are a natural result of the thing I am working on.

    Enjoy reading all this stuff. Who needs fiction when these cool things are out there – for real!

    Keep that appetite whetted!

  • ELenor

    [Look! He actually ANSWERED me! Wow! Total brush with greatness! {wink}]

    Okay, now you’ve got me drooling! (In addition to 16 years out both western and eastern WA, I went to school at Oswego — so Lake Ontario and its kin are of great interest. I’ve started reading my way through — I think it’s your site? — Craterhunter and also Fireballs and Meteorites. Who needs sleep when there is so much NEW stuff to read!!

    As I wrote, I’m reading (hard-copy) Allan and Delair — and WISHING they had done/would do a complete update — with pix! (I also chuckled: they mention some creature (by latinate name) whose remains they were using to make a point — and bless old Uncle Google! I could go right and see what it looked like!

    You wrote: “if the depression was lower in the middle then the ice had to flow uphill.”
    (And even if the snow/ice built up (over time) to where it was ‘above’ the edges of the depression, the snow/ice at the edges would also be taller and, so, still no “downhill slide” for it to take!)

    Your mention of missing layers is the first I’ve heard of this: yet another path in the thicket!! Yippee!

    My first thought, when you wrote of missing layers was: OMG — a truly huge ‘something’ crashed, and flashed ice (if it was there) to floods, created the depression/pushed down the earth, and blew those missing layers into orbit and beyond. (Cool!)

    Any info (you’re able/willing to discuss) about shocking or other sign(s) of impact? I will fer shure keep an eye on your postings!


  • Steve Garcia

    Elenor –

    Craterhunter is not mine. It is the work of our friend Dennis Cox, and I sure wish he was posting more over there. He puts up very good stuff and does his best to get his feet on the ground to observe places directly. I respect what he does a LOT. Dennis does have one of mine he posted, and I think him for that.

    Fireballs and Meteorites – I don’t know that one, if it is the one Google turned up at That one seems to have NOT posted since the week or so before the Chelyabinsk event in February 2013. (Did someone die? The .mx says it is from Mexico, where I live.) No idea who that is.

    “Yet another path in the thicket” – exactly. As I say sometimes, “These things have tentacles.”

    Your first thought about missing layers was an OMG for me, too, and a similar one. The utter SIZE of the thing is mind blowing. I’ve said more than once that with his lab work with hypervelocity impact studies with overlying ice Peter Schultz was observing SOME things and maybe didn’t observe others. He was asking, “Did the ice prevent a crater?” That answer was yes. But another question that I’d like asked is, “Did the ground under the ice become depressed?” Also, “What ways did the ice move outward?” And “What ways did the ice move Upward?” It’s an obvious thing to me that when the ice moved outward it scoured the terra firma below to some degree. It’s obvious that in SOME ways the ice moving outward would shoe evidence similar to an ice sheet moving forward – and in some cases evidence that could appear like a Scablands-like flood. The latter in Michigan would be the Kankakee Outlfow/Torrent, interpreted as an ice dam break of a smaller scale to the Scablands and Lake Missoula.

    Missing layers occur thoughout the geological record. I need to look into it more, to discover how big other areas with missing layers are. I suspect the Michigan Basin is one of the largest and maybe be unique in that regard. In my engineering experience I had to deal with with what is technically called “deflection” on many jobs – knowing how big deflection was and how to work things out to manage deflection. It comes in several forms. To deflect and entire Michigan Basin-sized area, to make FLAT sediments bow downward and to tilt up the edges into escarpments – to an engineer that looks like a VERY large force applied over most of that region UNIFORMLY (also a technical term). That brings upt the question, “HOW in the HELL could such force be spread out evenly over such a large area?” And if your mind goes where mine went, a huge impact on a thick ice sheet sounds like a reasonable explanation for the EVDIENCE, even if the idea of an impact that huge in itself stretches credulity. Peter Schultz’ lab tests showed no NORMAL crater. As an engineer, I have to think that the ice spread out the load to prevent the crater, but that the sand under the ice blocks he used DID deflect downward.

    There are lots of discussions here. I recommend that you use the “ARCHIVE” tab at the top to go back in time to read George’s older posts and comments. There are some smart people here, and their perspectives are worth reading.

  • Steve Garcia

    Elenor –

    One more thing. (Short and sweet)

    Louis Agassiz lived in Switzerland, and ALL the ice in Switzerland is alpine glaciers. He was correct in his observations about alpine glaciers.

    I believe that when he extrapolated those to Canada and Fennoscandia he erred. Alpine glaciers are one thing; ice on flat terrain is another. But he came up with it at a time when George Lyell was grong and grasping for something OTHER than the Flood of Noah to explain the geological reality they were observing. Agassiz’s ice age(s) IDEA fit in well with what Lyell was pushing – slow, gradual and NOT water. it seems to me that they went wrong, and the world has been stuck with this ice age idea ever since. The crux of it is the question, “Can ice move over flat terrain?”

    Agassiz looked at the ERRATIC BOULDERS on the heights of the Jura Mountains, opposite the Rhone Glacier far across a wide valley. Agassiz imagined the weight of the down-flowing glacier fanning out across the wide valley and UP the other side. Even today, this seems a very IFFY proposition. But even if so, it was a unique geographical arrangement that no one should have extrapolated to any other regions of different topography. But they DID. Erratic boulders were just about the very LAST piece of the Uniformitarian puzzle. And they think they got it right, and they have been teaching it in schools ever since. I think they got it wrong. There was a HUGE push back in those decades on into the early 20th century, by the catastrophists. But when the last of them died off, the Uniformitarians had the lectern to themselves – and today they even teach that all the catastrophists were religious people defending the Bible. NO. They weren’t.

    Now we have Neo-Catastrophists. Neo-Cs are supposedly different in that they base their arguments on science. POPPYCOCK. So did the catastrophists. But it is much more demeaning for the Uni-s to label the old line dudes as religious, and they can sweep all the old catastrophist SCIENCE arguments under the carpet by pretending that they didn’t have a leg to stand on except Genesis. BULL.

    So, Agassiz erred. Lyell backed him up and that made Agassiz also famous. Ice ages are still events no one has a handle on, causation-wise. They just HAPPENED – and for them that is good enough. Not for me. Nothing “just happens”. And big things need big causes. “Tipping points within the gradulaist system are totally inadequate.

    Firestone and the YDB/YDIH “team” have presented a VERY plausible hypothesis to explain how ONE short ice age – the Younger Dryas – was CAUSED. In time, I am quite certain that it will be seen that OTHER big fluctuations in the ice cores were caused by similar events – impacts. That is WAY out in the future, though. It touches on so many aspects of geology and other earth sciences that the future progress will be VERY slow. It’s taken 9 years now just to overcome the small group of skeptics, who are now pushed to the back of the bus. Objective other scientists see the lab results and are seeing merit in it all. That is only ONE step.

    There will be many more – because THIS is a hypothesis that is evidence-based and explains things that other hypotheses don’t. But it is JUST getting started.

    Elenor, it is still quite early days. Enjoy the ride.

  • ELenor

    Thanks Steve, yes alas, I foresee many late nights poring through the archives here and the other sites I’ve found through here. (I’m old,so I’ve slept enough in my life, right?!)

    Do you have a blog or place where you post your writings? (Book? Podcast? Interviews? Oh, I LOVE the interwebs!)

    Maybe, not a huge object creating a huge force across a Michigan Basin-sized area– maybe a cloud of objects creating that huge force? Could you get the uniformity of force from a ‘swarm’ all traveling together?

    Hope to see you here some more… Now, off to keep reading!

  • Paul Repstock

    Steve: Do you doubt that sea levels were 450 feet lower at the last glacial maximum?

  • Steve Garcia

    Paul – I honestly don’t know. Proxies are based on assumptions. And once ONE proxy is delineated with ITS assumptions, others feed off that one, so that you have a suite of proxies that can (not necessarily) go back to a single assumption.

    E.G., tree rings as proxies for temperature… Ever heard of The Divergence Problem? The assumption made was that there was a linear relationship between tree ring widths and temperature. That held true up until just about the time they started a new scientific field – dendroclimatology – in about 1980. Ironically, just prior to that time – about 1960 – the linearity started to fail. In 1980 it wasn’t so noticeable, but ever since then the linearity has gone to hell. This also applies to tree ring density. So, are tree rings and climate connected? They show temps in 0.1°C increments for something that no longer works.

    Corals and stalagmites and all sorts of other proxies tie back to the tree rings – more than you might imagine. So if tree rings are sheit, what does that do for THOSE?

    Sea levels – You are probably familiar with THIS chart:

    It took me a LONG time to track down who made that chart. I have problems with how the curves are drawn. I found out that it was done by someone in a global warming organization, which really makes me not trust it much. I found out who did it – some guy named Rohde at Global Warming Art.

    See that Meltwater Pulse 1-A? Is it really real? Everybody says so. After MUCH searching around, I FINALLY found a different chart. See Figure 3 in

    That Figure 3 is essentially based on the same original PROXY data (16 sets of data relating to several different proxies), yet the two graphs are significantly different in the periods I am interested in.

    That MWP 1-A is labeled, along with MWP 2-A. But notice that there are no jags in the slope like in the Global Warming one (the one Wiki shows).

    IF the YDB was such a powerful CLIMATE change – 14°C down and then back up, WHY doesn’t a jog happen at 12,800 ya???? At the YD, BOTH of those show a staright continuation of the sea level rise. How can that BE?

    Global warmers tell us about how devastating 1.8°C is going to be, and there we have a period 1300 years long and 8 TIMES the tempperature change, and NOTHING happens out of the ordinary?

    SOMEONE has something wrong, Paul.

    NONE of the sea level graphs go back far enough to pee on. (Most go back 1,000 years or less.) According to the ice cores, the sea level should have been going up and down like a yo-yo through the last 50,000 years. But none go back farther than the end of the LGM, so we have nothing to work with.

    I want to see both what they SHOW for those earlier times and how they came up with them. I am smart enough to understand the papers, and so far I am not sold on it.

    Overall? I don’t trust their work.

    Proxies are always – ALWAYS – subject to adjustments in the conversion factors. TRY to find those some day. Good luck on that. And when DIFFERENT proxies are dealt with, HOW do the different conversion factors correlate and is one actually based on the other? Did they round the conversion factor well enough? Did they have enough data to set the conversion rate? What assumptions are being used? How do they prove out those assumptions?

    If they didn’t have 75% of papers hidden behind pay walls, we might be able to go directly to answers. I’d LOVE to get at those assumptions and conversion factors.

    And BTW, the conversion factors in climate science are complicated algorithms, not single-constant conversion factors. They go through MULTIPLE steps to arrive at the conversion between tree rings and temperature. (Then, add in the fact that BIOLOGISTS use tree rings as proxies not for temperature but for rainfall. BUT YOU CAN”T HAVE ON PROXY FOR TWO DIFFERENT OUTPUTS! WTF??? Either tree rings re proxies for temps OR precip – but not BOTH. ONE of the is wrong. Or BOTH. Probably both, because tree rings are susceptible to both rain AND temps – but how much of which for each year???)

    Rant over…

  • Steve Garcia

    Paul –

    Also, all the sea level graphs show the sea levels leveling off more or less at about 8000 ya.

    Nobody even TRIES to explain WHY that leveling off happened. They ASSERT that the ice age had ended and there was no more ice to melt off. BUT, it is STILL rising, so that argument can’t hold true. And the Holocene Optimum – why doesn’t that show up in the sea level rises?

    In that Figure 3, the Bolling Warming in the top shows a LOT of sea level LOWERING – right when the temps are RISING. That is backward.

    I don’t doubt that they have RAW proxy data that is faithfully measured. Data is data – sa long as it is raw. Measurement is measurement – as long as it is raw. Those are the basis for science. It is the INTERPRETATION and manipulation of the raw data that I’ve seen all sorts of reasons to doubt. When climate guys can assert in good conscience that they assume precip to be constant, while biologists assume TEMP to be constant, something is crooked in Denmark.

    “Lucy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do!”

    And all of that doesn’t even get into them making assumptions of the whys and wherefores of the translation of proxies into temps or sea levels.

    And THEN their smoothing of curves loses detail.

    And then their measurements of the TIME element can shift the data points left or right, which OFTEN obliterates peaks and valleys in the graphing. (One roxy can show a peak and the other one, because of the dating, has that same peak 300-500 years shifted, and instead of one reinforced peak, the one proxy blends down the peak of the one and the other does it in reverse, so what MIGHT have been a peak is GONE. This may be why one of the sea level curves shows plateaus and one doesn’t. But when we lay people look at those graphs, we don’t know that they’ve smoothed things so much that plateaus go missing. The labeled MWP 1-A in Figure 3 shows NOTHING there at all. The slope just keeps on going its merry way.

    ESPECIALLY multi-proxy reconstructions are susceptible to the latter – and sea level graphs are pretty much all multi-proxy graphs. The graphs look awfully pretty – but do they actually show what happened?

    I can only give a shrug.

  • Paul Repstock

    They “Need” the complicated algo’s and the steep pay-walls to protect their work from the unwashed. When the information only travels between institutions and those people who require “complex” explanations to make their corporate and government cases, then there is less danger of exposure.
    >”SOMEONE has something wrong, Paul.”<
    This I don't doubt. In fact I think all of us have many things wrong! When evidence is intentionally hidden, even in the Smithsonian and other great archives, then we have little chance of objective analysis.
    Anyway, I don't have too much problem with the Negative 450 foot sea level (approximatly), even though I agree that the release wouldn't have been a smooth curve. In your boots, I would try to support the "Pulse" rather than fight it. Such a pulse, or one more pronounced would support the theory of a large impact on or neat the glacial ice mass. A Manicougan scale impact could deliver a huge addition to the global energy budget, concentrated in a tiny area and with a half life measured in minutes. The vapour clouds could block the sunlight, and the meltwater could cool lands far away.
    I don't have enough data to work with, but I've seen Chicxulub estimated at 1 Billion Megatons. So even at an order of mgnitude smaller, an impact would wreak havoc with Global Climate.

    btw. Another reason (not scientific) for liking the 450 foot Sea Level, is that it gives a nice round number of 50 Million cubic kilometers of ice. So then on only has to choose ones own parameters for ice coverage to arrive at average thicknesses.

  • Steve Garcia

    Paul –

    Thanks for your feedback. A slight quibble with the 450 feet. I’ve always seen it as 130 meters – about 425 feet or so. If they want to round it for simplifying calculations, that doesn’t set well with me, to be honest. I keep on thinking our math is inadequate for a lot that scientists work on like climate models and such, and I get peeved and disrespectful when they insert “reasonable” values to take the place of complex processes instead of figuring the thing out better.

    I was always taught to round off at the end. And if their easy to work with value is 5% high to start the bugs me.

  • Steve Garcia

    Elenor –

    If you have any questions or would like to discuss some things, give me a holler at

  • George Howard

    Welcome to CT, Elenor!

  • Paul Repstock

    Steve: Almost everything about this is based on very crude averages and estimates. The few benchmarks available are scattered around the continental margins, most of which have been subjected to tectonic influences.
    So, the exact levels will never be known; unless ET decides to provide us with a file of orbital photos from that era…Not too likely.

  • Steve Garcia

    Paul –

    Well said!

    The continental margins are so LITTLE observed so far, much less studied. So many assumptions of what will be found (much less understood), and near all of them doomed to be wrong, in ways large and small.

    And then there are the lines feeding out from the mid-oceanic ridges on Google Earth, especially the Atlantic – so linear, so un-freaking unnatural. Nothing on the surface is within 90% as straight, but we are supposed to accept such lines as real. It’s faked in, from what I can tell, and if I am wrong, I apologize – but I don’t think I will need to.

    It’s like the eternally faked in boundaries of the LGM in Canada/USA. Try to find two papers that show it all the same. Then try to find out the depths at different points. The few you’ll find are also faked. Where you find any such thicknesses, they are extrapolated backward from the idea of isostasy. So they use an end result of their assumptions to dictate the starting points.

    The old catastrophists laughed out loud at the gradualists, telling them that for the ice to move at the southern boundaries, they would need 200- or 600-mile-high mountains in the north of Labrador – or equal thicknesses of ice up there. So, you see, Steve here didn’t even originate any of this line of reasoning. I only remembered how ridiculous their flat-flowing ice was seen by those IN THE BEGINNING of gradualism and ice ages, those who did not buy into it. If they were still alive, they might still be laughing.

    “Skepticism is the default position of science.”

    One comment on what must so often seem like my certainty about things being wrong (as short as I can make it):

    In my design career it was my job to solve problems/puzzles. Not as exotic as Tim Harris, but tricky problems, as often as not. Before ANYTHING was made – any machined parts or cast parts or molded parts (which I had to draw, as well), the entire FUNCTION had to be vetted over and over, in my head. I considered myself no genius at it – simply competent.

    It was always a question of “What do we have and what are we trying to DO, and how do we get from here to there?”

    Except for my time in R&D, NO design was allowed to have a prototype. The first try for each machine/equipment/mold assembly needed to WORK – at not only DOING what we wanted, but also at the RATE we sold a machine or the equipment to achieve. So, along the way I HAD TO develop a serious trust in my judgment. Maybe 1/4 of the time, I was given designs that had been SOLD and that in the design process I found that that design was going to fail in its functioning. I got to the point where the first thing I did was to mentally test every aspect of an “As-Sold” design. The sooner we discovered a failing, the more time we had to re-design that portion – and TIME was freaking important.

    The solution was nearly always to use SOLID, KNOWN mechanism methods. When I voiced doubt that I could move from a job in high-temp furnaces and kilns to a job in high-speed automation, a fellow designer asked, “You know how to move something from Point A to Point B, don’t you?” I said, “Sure.” And he said that that was all I needed to know. I made the move and actually succeeded in a VERY difficult job. Hahaha – we had an owner who would LITERALLY climb up on a machine base and JUMP UP AND DOWN on a suspected weak assembly – and if anything bent or broke, the designer was FIRED on the spot.

    As an engineer, you MUST learn to trust your judgment. And in mechanical design, it is all about physics (abetted by developments in electronics and programs and actuators). Somehow I got to the end of my career with no failures. Which is not my brilliance, but my trust in and application of KNOWN, SOLID design parameters I had learned along the way.

    I HAD TO trust my judgment. When something WILL work, I have the capacity to see why and learn from it. When something WILL NOT work, I have the capacity to spot the points of failure. If I am wrong about some, then okay. I learned something new, and then THAT is part of my higher level of capacity to judge. Yes, JUDGE. “Judgment” derives from “judge”.

    So, I had a career in judging things to be adequate or not. I am not coming at this from some clerical job.

    I also had a career f BEING judged. By machinists and machine builders and shop group leaders and plant managers. You want to see a judgmental group of people, walk into a plant sometime where everyone knows their job through and through. THEY know bad designs when they see them, too. And damned if they aren’t looking for every reason to rub someone’s nose in it. Hahaha – so you better have your act together!

    I had several instances where a shop supervisor sought to rub my nose in one of my designs. Hahah – in every instance, my judgment was correct, and they had to eat crow. They were some real jaggoffs, I will say that. After that, I had their respect, though.

    As I’ve said before, it’s all about asking the right questions. HOW can this possibly fail? “Too weak? Too slow? Too heavy? Wrong materials? Interferences? Inadequately proportioned? Inadequately toleranced? Inadequately lubricated? Impossible to service? Technologically up-to-date? Does it meet government regulations? Adequate certifications? Temperature range problems? Is the design too Rube Goldberg? Too complicated? Too expensive? Too long of assembly/erection time? Is the product not controlled adequately? Are we asking the right questions?”

    In time, you’d be amazed at ho fast such a check list can be run down, looking at a suggested design. Minutes – not hours, not days. Time is money.

    So, in these science issues, the same KIND of vetting process happens with me, too. But what is vetting if not judging? And what is judgment if not judging?

    So, you’ve got to trust your judgment, and when you DO see failings, it is right and proper to point at them and ask questions. To see a failing is to have a reason to be skeptical.

    So when I saw metamorphic rocks in a matrix in a meteorite, I had to ask, “How in the HELL does a rock from deep within a planet end up flying around in space?” And weeks later I found out that the astronomers had asked that question, too. And they came up with an answer that I thought was untenable. And THEN when the Dawn mission went looking for olivine in the southern craters on Vesta, I could have told them they weren’t going to find it. And they didn’t. And now they have to go back to square one. And UN-WRITE a bunch of papers. Vesta was not – as they thought – differentiated into different layers (crust/mantle/core). Which tells us that the Allende meteorite could not have come from a body nearly as small as Vesta. Which ALSO tells us that the Allende meteorite did not come from the Oort cloud or the Kuiper belt, because the objects are simply too small to have had olivine in them. NOT ENOUGH gravity. And what was my very first doubt? Lack of gravity.