Exploring abrupt climate change induced by comets and asteroids during human history

Carolina Bay Tour de Force: Davias’ startles Geological Society of America with Delmarva Marvels and other wonders

Davias Carolina Bay GSA Poster

Davias Carolina Bay Presentation

Davias Carolina Bay Presentation Notes

52 Responses

  1. I can appreciate the amount of work behind this presentation, as I have (roughly) digitized the 14,000+ Bays in North Carolina, and that took all summer!

    In Cumberland County, where I live, I developed a full data set for each Bay. Statistical analysis, by my friend out West, failed to prove anything much.

    I’ve gone back to digging.

  2. My apologies for missing your presentation and poster. I was both very tired and very busy.

  3. This seems to me to be a very important data collection. The LIDAR allowed for extremely clear and unambiguous viewing of the bays. Having looked at some of the specific locations mentioned in the slide show and on the poster, I can tell you all that most of those bays are invisible on Google Earth. Take a look at Mappsville, VA and tell me you can see all of the bays, and I will probably think you are a liar…LOL

    David, your data should be collected along with theirs, IMHO.

    I learned quite a bit from downloading the poster and reading it. If a copy of the paper becomes available, I would love to get a copy of it.

    At the end of the text on the poster, the author wrote (emphasis mine):

    Evaluation of this data, when combined with similar data from other North American Carolina bays,
    may enable triangulation to a putative cosmic
    impact site implicit in a catastrophic mechanism
    for bay generation.

    Well and good, so far.

    The bays are clearly not pri-­
    mary or secondary impact craters, due to their
    shallow planforms (and numerous other facets).

    Can anyone translate this for me? What other impacts can there be, than primary or secondary?

    We instead speculate that they are surface de-­
    fects (popped bubbles) embedded in a sheet of
    distal ejecta, distributed as a superheated slurry
    of pulverized silicate (sand) & water along an an-­
    nulus surrounding the impact site.</b?

    First off, I agree, that they do appear to be some kind of “popped bubbles.” I’d tried to see how that could happen myself, with so far no luck.

    But what does “a sheet of distal ejecta” mean? “Distal” means more or less most distant from an origin. “Ejecta” means material ejected that was not part of the orginal impacting body. Combined, the term is not clear at all.

    “Distributed as a superheated slurry”? His map on slide 75 shows a primary impact ON the ice sheet at , so the ejecta is, at least to a great degree, ice/water, and it will have traveled in the upper reaches of the atmosphere, possibly even outside the atmosphere. Upon impacting, the ice/water does what? Is it water or ice? Does it matter? Where does superheated come in? The ejecta is not traveling at several kps like the primary was, and probably not a whole lot faster than a few Mach or so. Is that enough to superheat? And if it was traveling fast enough to superheat, wouldn’t it become vaporized?

    Is he saying that the bay impactors were bubbles of steam?

    Thinking out loud here – not even a first draft, just speculating…

    1. I can actually see how that would make for perhaps the softest of impacts, but I cannot see how a “steam bubble” could retain any semblance of uniform shape, given the turbulence imparted by its trajectory through the atmosphere.

    2. Picturing ice being shattered and ejected upward, it would have some appreciable portion of the primary’s velocity, which should begin to melt much of it.

    3. As it melted, the heating would not stop at 100°C, meaning it would turn to steam, crating – like a volcano – enough rapid expansion as to be explosive. This would pulverize any material near the surface, like a volcano producing ash.

    4. The billowing expansion (something akin to the pillar of ash over a volcano) would continue as it traveled up and into the stratosphere and beyond.

    5. The expansion would be countered by the cold of the upper atmosphere and outer space, working to condense the steam into particles. Would the particles draw back together? I think not – not enough time for gravity to work.

    6. As it reenters the atmosphere, probably 90% of its velocity remains, meaning a re-entry like a Space Shuttle – at least enough to turn the Shuttle tiles red hot. Again, steam is produced.

    7. When the steam bubble impacts at some angle, it has some velocity vector outward, but also some velocity vector parallel to the primary impactor’s trajectory. At the locations most perpendicular to the primary trajectory, that suggests that the most distal (I will use that term here, myself) part of the bay is impacted last and slightly more slowed down, so it would make a wider impact. The least distal part of each planform (that portion pointing back to Saginaw) in all cases (NJ-AL) would be the narrowest. But the most distal would vary, depending on this parallel vector and its angle to the steam bubble’s azimuth at impact.

    The transition from the least distal to the most distal point would be gradual, due to the slight variations in time of arrival. It would increase incrementally, giving a smooth shape. That is, IF the steam bubble maintains any shape integrity. But I cannot see how that could happen (which is why I just went step-by-step in discussing what was going on with the ice/water/steam as it went up, then out of the atmosphere, then re-entered, and finally impacted).

    Now, what I just wrote is discussing steam as a secondary impact, which disagrees (as I read it) with the author’s assertion that, “The bays are clearly not primary or secondary impact craters, due to their
    shallow planforms (and numerous other facets).” So, though I can see something that might begin to make sense to me, I am seeing it differently from the author. (I think.)

    I see CT as a place to beat up on ideas, so if everyone would please put their own two cents in, it would be appreciated. Thanks!

  4. AND, I really like the map on slide 75. It shows how the ice would have absorbed some of the secondary impacts.

    But one thing I don’t understand:

    WHY are there no bays straight ahead, in the direction of the primary impactor?

  5. It strikes me as odd that so far no one has considered the data produced in Pete Schultz’s ice sheet impact experiments at the HVGR when working up possible impact scenarios. Even though the data from those experiments are specifically mentioned in the 2007 Firestone paper that’s at the heart of this debate.

    Videos of those experiments clearly show the ice exploding violently on impact like the reactive armor on a battle tank.

    Standard impact science already describes primary, and secondary, impact mechanisms. But Pete’s experiments implied that in an ice sheet impact there is in fact, a third mechanism to consider.  That third mechanism is the powerful hydrothermal explosions that would have resulted from any impacts into the ice sheet.

    There is clearly a hell of a lot more energy to consider than just kinetic energy knocking impactites in all directions from an impact. The questions become: Just how hot, and powerful were those hydrothermal explosions? Would they have been powerful enough to account for enough extra energy to loft large fragments of the ice sheet hundred of miles?

  6. Hi Dennis –

    “There is clearly a hell of a lot more energy to consider…” something of an understatement

  7. Thanks ED,

    My point in bringing  up Pete Schultz’s experiments was to point out that if any of the energies of the ice sheet impacts did penetrate the ice, and alter the surfaces beneath, then the resulting blast-effected materials in the primary impact zones shouldn’t be expected to bare any resemblance whatsoever to anything described by the so called “Full suite of impact markers” impact researchers have been working from in the past. And since all movement of blast-effected materials would’ve been randomized by the hydrothermal explosions, forget looking for remnants of craters beneath the LIS.

    But if we work from the postulate that the suite of impact markers impact researchers have been working from in the past is nowhere near ‘full’, and come at it from an open minded forensic approach, we have a better chance of arriving at the truth.

    Since 100% of any kinetic energy would’ve been translated to heat, then any remaining blast-effected materials of the ice sheet impacts would’ve been altered by almost unimaginable heat, and pressure, and in the presence of a lot of water, not kinetic shock. So instead of shock-metamorphic effects produced by the direct transfer of kinetic energy into the ground, we should be looking for something different; something that no geologist of the past could’ve imagined as having been produced by an impact event.

    The chemistry we should expect to see in such materials is anyone’s guess. But except for some dyke swarms that date to about 1.5 million years, there has been no volcanic activity in the Archaean bedrock of the Canadian shield in more than 2.5 billion years. So, no matter the chemistry, any rock specimen that returns an age since melt that jibes with the start of the YD is a smoking gun.

    As for me, the rocks I want to get into a good lab for detailed analysis are on the geologic maps as “fine grained felsic volcaniclastic, and volcanogenic”, rocks. And they are in context with migmatites that I’d also like to get analyzed.

  8. Hello Dennis –

    Would you please stop talking about the “YD impacts” when in point of tact they were the Holocene Start Impacts?

    If Rich Murray has not pointed you to the geologist who he was pointed to over on the meteeorite list, then “what I want” is for you to ask Rich and contact him and his colleagues about your “features.

    You need to learn that the hyper-velocity gun can only break certain binding forces and so only provides a very limted and rough modeling of hypervelocity impacts.

    In closing, and by the way, Morrison needs to go or be re-assigned as soon as possible.

  9. I gather this year bits of info that hint that a few highly qualified geologists are indeed studying samples provided by Dennis Cox and carefully considering his paradigm, with at least two major papers in the peer review pipeline, maybe to be published after about April, 2012 — I myself am bemused that so very few are attempting to confirm his paradigm with evidence near their own locations — which is very easy for me in Northern New Mexico — no one contacts me for more info and suggestions the last 3 years, or reports similar findings — Pierson Barretto is the third musketeer — in a few weeks I will move to Imperial Beach, SW of San Diego, 3 miles N of Mexico, where I have already spotted via Google Earth and Maps many very promising sites within 30 miles.

    The sudden extinction and near extinction of dozens of large mammels in North America at the start of the Younger Dryas makes it a reasonable initial hypothesis that a brief hemisphere wide about 1 hour barrage of directed air burst jets from 35 km/sec fragments,at a low approach angle, from a solar orbit Taurid stream from an initial mostly ice comet, over 30 km diameter, may be a plausible candidate.

    Hitting ice sheets and oceans and lakes, quite a lot of water may have been lofted over the landscape, making a lot of level plains, salt lakes, huge canyons, and very complex badlands, along with huge sudden water erosion regions, and, incidentally, grinding up and dispersing the surface evidence — so the lack of usual surficial evidence may be part of the evidence.

    Many earthquakes and volcanoes may have been triggered, further complicating the landscape, and making more problematic attempts to establish coherent, accurate dating.


    found just now “by chance”

    Element Concentrations in Soils and Other Surficial Materials of the Conterminous United States

    By Hansford T. Shacklette and Josephine G. Boerngen


    Samples of soils or other regoliths, taken at a depth of approximately 20 cm from locations about 80 km apart throughout the conterminous United States, were analyzed for their content of elements.

    In this manner, 1,318 sampling sites were chosen, and the results of the sample analyses for 50 elements were plotted on maps.

    The arithmetic and geometric mean, the geometric deviation, and a histogram showing frequencies of analytical values are given for 47 elements.

    The lower concentrations of some elements (notably, aluminum, barium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and strontium) in most samples of surficial materials from the Eastern United States,
    and the greater abundance of heavy metals in the same materials of the Western United States, indicates a regional geochemical pattern of the largest scale.

    The low concentrations of many elements in soils characterize the Atlantic Coastal Plain.

    Soils of the Pacific Northwest generally have high concentrations of aluminum, cobalt, iron, scandium, and vanadium, but are low in boron.

    Soils of the Rocky Mountain region tend to have high concentrations of copper, lead, and zinc.

    High mercury concentrations in surficial materials are characteristic of Gulf Coast sampling sites and the Atlantic coast sites of Connecticut, Massachuetts, and Maine.

    At the State level, Florida has the most striking geochemical pattern by having soils that are low in the concentrations of most elements considered in this study.

    Some smaller patterns of element abundance can be noted, but the degree of confidence in the validity of these patterns decreases as the patterns become less extensive.

    Rich Murray
    [email protected]
    rich.murray11 Skype audio, video

  10. I didn’t mention a “feature”. Nor did I give the coordinates a specific location I’m studying.

    Since I have already proven beyond question that you are a cognitively impaired idiot with extremely poor reading comprehension skills, (you blamed your poor reading comprehension skills on your stroke, but we have already seen that your poor comprehension skills predate your stroke) and that you have questionable ethics when it comes to your habitual use of bald faced lies, and disingenuous ad hominem, I really don’t give a damn for your opinions, or for what you want me to call the YD impacts Ed.

    Apparently your delusions of grandeur are too deeply ingrained for you to understand that you do not make the rules the rest of us live, or study by. Nor do any of us need to seek your approval of which scientists we might rely on for advice, and/or mentorship. And since you have no academic credentials, and your academic integrity is questionable as well, I for one, most certainly have  need no of advice from the likes of you.

  11. I looked at the many maps after posting to CosmicTusk.com — Saganaw is very high for Rb, Ru, Hg, P, S, Si, Zn — data from 27 years ago — may be much higher resolution data by now — basic pattern is heavy fresh water from blasted ice caps washed over eastern USA, while ocean salt water landed on western USA, especially clear for Na, for example Great Salt Lake area and Imperial Valley in central California… — need similar data for isotopes to find markers for comets — you’ll probably find plenty of leads — Si may mark deposition of sand ejecta… need to print all maps and sort them into piles on a large table, looking for the strange correlations at key locations… probably software exists to do this fast — large rivers carried minerals E from Rocky Mountains across MidWest… need to get some playful expert geochemists involved…

  12. Dear Dennis –

    While my memory is not what it used to be, I suppose the way to proceed is to point out some incongruities in your statements.

    When you first showed up here, you had a very specific set of locations. Second, you not only had no knowledge of scaling laws, you denied that they existed.
    So much for cognitive impairment.

    When I brought up the First Peoples memories of the Holocene Start Impacts, you brought up stoned Indians telling tales around the campfire. So much for ad hominem attacks.

    Dennis, the facts are what the facts are. Your screaming and jumping will not change them, nor will attacks on me change them.

    What you have quite nicely managed to do is to interrupt my search here for craters, and to use this forum to slander me.

    There are rules, Dennis, and you’ve broken most of them. You have your own blog, but no one goes there, and since you’ve shown up here, no one comes here.

    Finally, if there is any need for any more evidence that Morrison needs to be removed immediately, you are providing it.

    So much for bald faced lies.

  13. Ed Said:

    When you first showed up here, you had a very specific set of locations.

    Since you claim to be an “expert” on the subject of my work, perhaps you will tell us which “specific locations” you are referring to.  They are all described in detail on my blog. But since you never specifically mention a single map coordinate from one of those locations, you have clearly never read a word of it. Or if you have, there is no evidence of comprehension in any of your disingenuous diatribe

    Second, you not only had no knowledge of scaling laws, you denied that they existed.
    So much for cognitive impairment.

    There’s that reading comprehension thing biting you on the ass again. I never said that ‘scaling laws didn’t exist. What I said was that no work had ever been done, or published in peer reviewed literature, that applied them to airburst phenomena. And as I recall, you came back at me with the assertion that it had. And that I must be some kind of fool for not knowing about the amazing science you had just pulled out of your butt. Yet when called a liar on that point, and challenged to produce a link to a paper, you never did. 

    When I brought up the First Peoples memories of the Holocene Start Impacts, you brought up stoned Indians telling tales around the campfire. So much for ad hominem attacks.

    Again, you cannot prove a single word of your assumption that ancient oral traditions contain accurate memories that are more than 13,000 years old. Much less that they remember the impact events at start of the Holocene. Yet you expect us to take your word for it without question.

    Dennis, the facts are what the facts are.

    This is true

    Your screaming and jumping will not change them, nor will attacks on me change them.

    I’m not “screaming and jumping”. In fact I rather enjoy stuffing your lies, and disingenuous behavior, down your throat.

    What you have quite nicely managed to do is to interrupt my search here for craters, and to use this forum to slander me.

    If having your own lies, and disingenuous ad hominem crap brought out into the light of day is slanderous, so be it. I shoot back. You make a very easy target. When you quit shooting at me, I will quit shooting back.

    If you want to find previously undiscovered craters, you won’t find them on someone else’s website. You will find them on the ground. But when you start talking about potential craters, and impact structures, without slamming me, or one of my friends, or colleagues with your lies and ad hominem crap, you might make some progress.

    There are rules, Dennis, and you’ve broken most of them.

    Whose rules? Yours?

    You have your own blog, but no one goes there, and since you’ve shown up here, no one comes here.

    Yeah, I know, at only 60 to 100 hits a day, and with a little less than 40,000 hits total since I started writing it, it’s a pretty modest little blog. But I haven’t heard George complain about low stats here on the Tusk. So I suspect that’s just another classic example of the typically disingenuous crap you are so bent on becoming famous for.

    Finally, if there is any need for any more evidence that Morrison needs to be removed immediately, you are providing it.

    What’s Dave Morrison got to do with it? But since you brought him up again let’s talk about who provided what.

    I find it amusing that your lies about him were the easiest of all to prove. And that the link to the ordinary book review that conclusively demonstrates your ridiculously poor reading comprehension skills, as well as exposing your lies about him was provided by none other than you.

    Since we have shown that your claim of his heinous, and heretical, support of the Nemesis Hypothesis was a lie, and that the lie you repeated for 14 years, no matter how many times he tried to set you straight. was founded on your inability to get the facts straight in an ordinary book review  he wrote 14 years ago, the only real reason I can see for why you are so adamant that the senior scientist at the NASA Ames research center needs to be replaced is because he too thinks you are an unreliable researcher who should simply be ignored.

    So much for bald faced lies.

    Yeah! Right!

  14. http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/p1648/p1648.pdf

    about 1400 data points each in color maps for 22 elements, published about 10 years ago by USGS —

    page 39/44 high-resolution USA map of gamma from K40
    — probably a good marker for air burst ablation

    need software to map correlations among the 22 elements, so a collection of markers can be found for air burst ablation…

    Enjoy! Rich

  15. Brilliant use of fifth grade English, ED. Since you spend so much time slinging that stuff around, you clearly have first hand lnowledge of how it feels in your hand.

    Better not step in it.

  16. Having watched these clowns exchange invectives with a vocabulary not usually heard among dedicated scientists, George, perhaps you might consider changing the name of your blog to “COMICAL TUSK”.

    It’s just a suggestion, spur of the moment, you know.

  17. NOT A DUPLICATE COMMENT, please post.

    Having watched these clowns exchange invectives with a vocabulary not usually heard among dedicated scientists, George, perhaps you might consider changing the name of your blog to “COMICAL TUSK”.

    It’s just a suggestion, spur of the moment, you know.

  18. Barry, Hermann – Scientifically:

    Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2011 9:36:18 -0500
    From: “Paul H.”
    Subject: [meteorite-list] (no subject)
    To: “[email protected]

    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8

    In [meteorite-list] 6 crater fields in central New Mexico:
    Dennis Cox: Rich Murray 2011.07.09 at
    Rich Murray wrote:

    6 crater fields in central New Mexico: Dennis Cox: Rich Murray 2011.07.09


    A Catastrophe of Comets
    More New Mexico Craters
    Rich Murray: I slightly adjusted the view locations.
    They sure look like impact craters… ?

    No they do not look like meteorite craters. First, these featrues
    lack the morphology, which would suggest that they might be
    meteorite craters. The majority lack the circular or elliptical outline
    that might characterize an impact crater. The majority of them
    are far to irregular to be candidates for impact craters. In addition,
    sinkholes can also have nice circular outlines as can be seen in
    the Bottomless Lakes of Bottomless Lakes State Park about 14
    miles southeast of Roswell, New Mexico.

    The Bottomless Lakes are discussed at:

    Bottomless Lakes State Park, New Mexico

    Kottlowski, F. E., 1979, Bottomless Lakes: New Mexico
    Geology, vol. 1, pp. 57-58.

    McLemore, V. T., 1999, Bottomless Lakes: New Mexico
    Geology, vol. 21, no. 2, p. 51-55.

    Rawling, G., and D. J. McCraw, 2010, Geologic map of
    the Bottomless Lakes quadrangle, Chaves County,
    New Mexico. Open-file geologic map. no. 126. scale
    1:24,000, New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral
    Resources. Socorro, New Mexico.

    Second, if a person looks at the regional topographic maps,
    these features lack any sign of the rim that an impact crater
    would typically have. Finally, geologists have looked
    at these features and found them to be classic examples
    of carbonate karst, which are developed in the alternating
    layers of limestone and dolomite of the San Andres
    Formation, which underlies this area.

    What one of these sinkholes looks like near the ground
    surface can be seen the web page for Fort Stanton Cave,
    Lincoln County, New Mexico, at

    The cave is located at lat. 33.50673?, long. -105.4936248?
    about 28 miles south of the above area of karst.

    I have talked about these features before in:

    [meteorite-list] Impact Crater in New Mexico ? Part 2
    Lincoln County Revisited, January 6, 2009,

    A couple of web pages:



    There might be an impact crater or few lost among all of these
    sinkholes. However, distinguishing them from the sinkholes
    and demonstrating that they are impact craters will take a lot
    a field work. It is certainly something that will be impossible
    to do simply from aerial imagery.

    Rich Murray wrote:
    ?Ground samples may reveal evidence of blast and surface
    melting and coating.?

    A person can look if they want. I suspect that it such a search
    will find a complete absence of any credible evidence ?blast
    and surface melting and coating.?

    If a person wants to look for features to investigate as
    possible impact craters, they can check out a reported
    possible impact crater by Skotnicki (2009) within the
    Lincoln 7.5 quadrangle, Lincoln County, New Mexico.

    The reference is:

    Skotnicki , S. J., 2009, Preliminary Geologic Map
    of the Lincoln Quadrangle, Lincoln County, New
    Mexico. scale: 1:24,000. Open?file Digital Geologic
    Map OF?GM 188. New Mexico Bureau of Geology
    and Mineral Resources, Socorro, New Mexico.

    Rich Murray wrote:
    ?69 views are in:

    A Cox
    34.281890 -105.139342 1.755 km area el
    just S of County Road 3Ka, which comes from
    10M SW of 285
    and then W and N to 54, 60, 285 just W of Vaughn —
    22 M S of Vaughn
    75 M NNW of Roswell
    many craters .01 to 0.1 km size?

    No craters. Just craterwrongs in the form of sinkholes.

    Rich Murray wrote:
    ?B Cox
    34.254942 -105.117973
    10 M SW of 285
    many craters?

    No craters. Just more sinkholes.

    Rich Murray wrote:
    ?C Cox
    34.203891 -105.058533 1.674 km area el
    9 M SW of 285
    .05 km wide 4 m deep?

    Even more sinkholes.

    Rich Murray wrote:
    ?D Cox
    34.191197 -105.027841 1.644 km area el
    8 M SW of 285
    .07 km size 13 m deep?
    Just another sinkhole.

    Rich Murray wrote:
    ?E Cox
    34.207906 -105.02134 1.606 km area el
    7 M SW of 285
    .04 km wide 3 m deep?

    Just another sinkhole.

    34.207906 -105.02134
    ?F Cox
    34.210453 -105.03963 1.645 km area el
    8 M SW of 285
    .05 km wide 4 m deep?

    More sinkholes. 🙂

    Best wishes,
    Paul H.

  19. Geez…. no wonder the study of Carolina bays has become associated with blithering idiots! Please take the drama elsewhere – at least away from my subject matter and don’t hijack this thread for discussion of your own agenda.

    The thread above started out with some very helpful (to me) observations by Steve Garcia and Dennis Cox. If I may, I’d like to rewind back past all the bullshit and address the issues raised by Steve. My presentations to the GSA, by design, focused on the planforms of the bays and my survey and methods. My speculation discussed at the end was only to encourage discussion, not to nail down a “solution”.

    My work is full of wild speculation, but the poster and talk did nothing to address the mechanics of bay planform shape. The goal of the poster was to show the gentle evolution of the shape and orientation as they are traversed across the region. The motivation to do a poster specifically about the more northern bays was an attempt to dismiss the “common knowledge” that the bays suddenly display a more N>S major axis in MD, DE and NJ. I propose that they must be viewed on a continuum from the Eastern Shore of VA (where they are certainly oval and aligned to WNW>ESE) all the way up into central New Jersey.

    states with great authority:

    “At the northern end of the distribution of Carolina bays within the Delmarva Peninsula, the average orientation of the long axes abruptly shifts by about 112 degrees to N48°E. Further north, the orientation of the long axes becomes, at best, distinctly bimodal, and exhibits two greatly divergent directions and, at worst, completely random and lacking any preferred direction (Kacrovowski, 1977). ”

    Also, the”common knowledge” assures us that the bays further north become chaotic in orientation. While there is quite a bit of dune activity messing with them, everyone who has seen these “bay bell” planforms in NJ is stunned by how robust they are when viewed in the LiDAR.

    Again, the Wikipedia Carolina Bay page states with great authority:

    “Plate 3 of Rasmussen and Slaughter (1955), which is reproduced as Figure 51 of Kacrovowski (1977), illustrates the disorganized nature of the orientations of the long axes of Carolina bays within the northernmost part of their distribution within Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties, Maryland.”

    If one were to view the northern bays as “triangular”, one could easily represent them as any of three possible orientations, but the broad, flat ESE end, and the pointy WNW tip, make for a strong case of common alignment, slowly rotating counter-clockwise as one moves north.

    My proposal for a distribution of ballistically emplaced distal ejecta from an impact in central Michigan, when adjusted for Coriolis Force steering, proposes that the bays in Alabama should point to the North, and those in Northern NJ should point almost due west. Both cases hold true, in my opinion.

    One fact that all should recognize when addressing my work is that the bays were in existence well prior to the “YDB”. All the C14 and OSL data supports that conclusion. Certainly well before the Last Glacial Maxima at 20,000 ya and my money is on the MIS-3 period of rapid climate shifts around 40,000 years ago.

    Now, back to Steve’s remarks: You have managed to home in on my premise. Yes, I am suggesting quantities of glacial ices exploding into steam clouds, but entrained in a matrix of pulverized terrestrial strata (as noted by Dennis) and -yes- pulverized cometary nuclei. Given our knowledge of comets being comprised of low-density hydrated silica, it should not be surprising that they may be rendered into pure quartz and water during the enormous energies of an extraterrestrial impact. The physics of the rendering is mere speculation, also. But as Dennis noted, Schultz and Stickle work suggests the results of oblique impacts into a low-impedance layer (i.e. ice) would not correlate to typical impact damage.

    Steve raises the question of the distribution. We propose a distribution that correlates to what is know by example from other shallow, oblique impacts. The ejecta is thrown laterally from the elongated oval crater, and there exists a “no fly” zone back up range and a “blow-out” zone down range, which results in a butterfly ejecta distribution. The bays on the East coast out one side, and those in the midwest out the other. The major axis of the Saginaw basin (220º) bisects those two realms nicely.

    The bubbles I posit are filled with superheated water VAPOR in a foamy curtain wall of ejecta. We see this matrix traversing the atmospheric envelope of the Earth, with the “bubbles” undergoing the common process of growth by accretion as the 5 to 8 minutes of transit time transpires. Then, as the wave strikes terrain, it spreads across the surface where the “bubbles are effectively voids in the blanket. The existence of an annulus of Carolina bays is explained as an artifact of this growth. Closer to Saginaw, the voids in the matrix are too small, while further away, they are too big.

    One very positive result of our 27,000 bay survey is the undeniable distribution of Carolina bay sizes. This is presented as a very robust log-normal distribution with a long tail. The distribution is identical, in both regional and full-extent datasets, and at any subsets of elevations above sea level. You might be aware: collections of bubbles display this natural physical property in general. Some graphs are presented on a slide near the end of the oral talk’s deck.

    Best wishes,

  20. I have had it. I am plan to closely monitor comments and any personal invective at all will be deleted from here out.

  21. Thank You, George. My apologies for my own descent to the level of others.

    To the matter at hand, models are one thing, data is another. This team got it straight.

    A few comments. Usually, for impacts greater than 8%, a point explosion is the standard model. Oblique impacts are as the team cited.

    My only note is with “pulverize”. Usually, the bonding forces are broken, and the material is transported up a column, as in the process seen in armor piercing shells. There it condenses, to form tektites and bediasites.

    In the case of ice impact, there must be steam produced. I have no idead as to how that effects the walls of the transport column, (and we must note that that in the entry column atmosphere has been cleared by the impactors entry) except for what knowledge has been gained from oblique ground impact, which will not hold in the case of ice impact, due to the production of steam.

    PGE’s and carbon products are pretty diagnostic for comet impact, while silicate transformations would be hard to spot. Would they also condense to spherules?

    My “guess” is that there still should be bediasites and tektites.
    It should be interesting to check the Saginaw Bay area for shattercones.

  22. Next time one of you uses the other’s name (one measure of hostility) you will be deleted. Just sayin’

  23. I am grateful to Paul V. Heinrich for at least answering my post — my friend Michael H. Barron and I visited putative craters in and around Vaughn, New Mexico, one afternoon, taking many photos and samples and GPS coordinates — there seems to our untrained geology layman eyes plenty of evidence for Cox-Boslough geoablation — notably both dark and white glazes on many broken, overturned, and shattered bedrocks — Sondra Spies and I are very busy sorting and packing up all our things to move to a small rental house in Imperial Beach, California, by the first week of December, to quickly select, inspect, buy, fix, and move into a small house near the beach, then getting all our things shipped from Santa Fe.

    I hope in a few months to put up dozens of photos, along with a proper commentary — meanwhile, no one has yet commented on our presentation of a very similar expedition, just south of Santa Fe:

    10 m broken rock hill with black glazes, W of Rancho Alegre Road, S of
    Coyote Trail, W of Hwy 14, S of Santa Fe, New Mexico, tour of 50
    photos 1 MB size each via DropBox: Rich Murray 2011.07.28 2011.08.03
    photos 3-5 of 50

    [ faulty URLs corrected 2011.08.26 ]

    photos 3-5 of 50

    [ Note: this long post serves to provide detailed evidence for shared
    discussions about the effects on ground rocks of very hot, high
    pressure gas jets from multiple clusters of air bursts of already
    highly fragmented debris in solar orbit from an initially large mostly
    ice comet. ] …..

  24. Hi Rich –

    Welcome to the world of crater wrongs.

    Your work has allowed you to join a rather select club, and many people don’t make it that far. If you keep looking, someday perhaps you’ll probably be the first to spot a crater or impact structure. Sadly, you don’t get naming rights.

    As regards Dr. Melosh’s model, its tantalizing, but its a model. At both Tunguska and Rio Curaca no plasma flows with momentum were observed, and no evidence of them have been recovered, to my knowledge.

    In the south western desert, features have survived for 46,000 years in relatively good shape – i.l. Barringer Crater. Dating anything to the Holocene Start will be difficult.

    It took 10 years to find Chicxulub, and 25 years or so to find Shiva. The search for the Holocene Start Impact craters has just started, and work on Holocene impact mega-tsunami’s has just begun.

    It doesn’t take much thought to estimate how long it is going to take to locate Tunguska class structures from the Holocene, and how difficult that is going to be.

  25. Hello EP, All

    In the case of Berringer crater, seems to be originated from a sporadic meteor (meteoroid), not from a radiant, so it seems to have been for Curuçá and Tunguska. In the case of Curuçá in the middle of the rainforest, nothing too small to be visible over a short time. On Tunguska the explosion location of the meteoroid and the location of the impact of the rain of debris (Cheko lake), the model looks perfect.

    I also oberverved in my studies for the case of the Panela the model also works. The meteoroid tropospheric explosion was observed by prehistoric peoples in the region, and the crater (field) is there.

    Unfortunately in the case of Tunguska none impactite was found. Considering that much of the region is composed of permafrost, I think it will be difficult to find any impactite. Besides being a place of very difficult access.

    I’ve been finding possible impactites structures that I propose, shallow and elliptic palaeolagoons oriented fields.

    Anyway, the year 2012 may be promising for us beginners. I prefer to believe on non-linear, non geometric, non-exponential and more random jumps of knowledge. You do not?


  26. Hi Pierson –

    At Tunguska the comet disassociated into a plasma, which then recondensed into spherules, which were finally found embedded in both the ground and trees.

    It “only” took several years of field work by several major institutions and laboratories to locate these spherules from a small impact from 100 years ago.

    As to how fast this field progresses, it needs to be much, much faster.

    I pretty much did all I could do, its up to others now.

  27. Pierson: “. . not from a radiant . . Tunguska” — by daytime early= morning, direction of trajectory= from SE, calendar= June 30 this came from the daytime Taurid radiant, comet Encke, Pleiades, no?

  28. Hello Hermann

    The meteoroids of Tupana event came from the south (southwest). The same must have happened with another prehistoric event that I am investigating in South Africa, I have no doubt that these events occurred during the daytime, and probably also that the same for Rio Cuarto.

    Interestingly, also the Tunguska bolide came from the south (southeast).

    It is unlikely that these bolides have originated in a northern sky, from the Pleiades (Tauri) for exemle. If so, they would come from the north (northeast, northwest), never from south.

    Who knows if any radiant shower still active in the southern hemisphere is the source of meteoroids?


  29. I regard Ed Grondine and Dennis Cox as friends.

    I don’t need my friends to refrain from vigorously disagreeing with me.

    I’d like to offer any new readers to CT a chance to see space views and ground views of unusual melted surface rocks just E of Fresno, California:


    Colvin Mountain
    36.470550 -119.16445

    Google Earth image 6/15/2011 shows many dark rough roads on the W side that do not appear on the
    9/22/2009 historical image — could be a lot of impact geologists rocking around the interesting dark melted rocks that look like rows of geoablative melt splatter flowing uphill from W to E …

    use Ctrl up arrow to tilt image for 3D view…
    and Ctrl L and R arrows to rotate image…
    click and hold L key on slider bar to zoom in and out…
    use up and down arrows to fly forward and back…

    36.451890 -119.151449
    .485 km el top pond, .354 km above .129 km el canal to W,

    376 Piedra Ave. on W joins road 201 Echo Drive on W at N of Colvin Mountain,
    36.472935 -119.152227 .140 km el pond

    Campbell Mountain, SE Fresno, California 93654
    (Also known as Reedley Mountain among the locals)
    36.695991 -119.421076 .535 km el top,
    click on green triangle just to SW to get 4 different elevation profiles, a ground view, and a fine aerial tour video,


    “You only need to get out of your car, and hike a couple of hundred yards up the mountain side, to break off a piece of the truth, and hold it in your hands. This typical burnt rock is about the size of a small car. And has some very interesting properties. Rocks like this are riddled with thermal fractures from cooling very quickly. And the whole rock is magnetic enough that any part of it can be picked up with a magnet.

    Due to cooling so quickly, these rocks have an onion-like layered structure to them that makes the outer fusion crust very fragile. That same thermal fracturing makes it ring with a sound somewhere between a large drum, and a bell.”

    Cox gives many more images of ground rocks, very similar to what I’ve been finding for 3 years within 160 km of Santa Fe, NM…

    Rich Murray [email protected] 505-819-7388

  30. Hi Pierson –

    I seem to recall that Schultz pretty well showed that the Rio Cuarto impactors entered from the north.
    The archaeological sequence appears to demonstrate the same.

  31. Michael –

    I was totally impressed with how much detail is visible with the LIDAR. A couple of the locations I tried to see what was visible on GE, and nearly none of the LIDAR-imaged bays show up on GE. They are all lost in agricultural obliteration or in forest/brush/whatever.

    I consider this collection of yours as very important, and for the exact reasons you point out – that the change in alignment is NOT abrupt, as is stated in Wikipedia’s text. Feel free to edit into Wikipedia your objection to that – that is how Wikipedia is set up. It might be a bit premature to state as fact what you’ve found, but parenthetically interjecting a rebutting link to your LIDAR talk and poster may open some eyes).

    I see where Ed also agrees that steam is involved. It only makes sense, even if we can’t presently go beyond thought experiments.

    Ed pointed out

    My only note is with “pulverize”. Usually, the bonding forces are broken, and the material is transported up a column, as in the process seen in armor piercing shells. There it condenses, to form tektites and bediasites.

    I don’t disagree, though I am not up on it much. But I think it is more complicated than just what happens in the central core of the impact. I think the zone of what Ed describes would quickly drop off with distance from the center. Yes, the center would have a column (as I understand it, that is due to reflection of the forces off the ground). But that does not tie in well with ejecta blown 800 miles to the side. I think that ejecta (including, as you note, steam, pulverized comet material and pulverized terrestrial matter) arriving in the SE US would come more from the periphery of the impact, where forces would drop off from the level needed to break bonding forces. After all, the forces do eventually drop off to zero (out beyond the impact explosion area), so there is a wide range of forces to be seen and considered. In a conventional weapons explosion there is both a column AND debris blown out sideways. (I envision volcano-like columns as well, but those are literally the suddenly – but continuous – depressurization of steam within magma, continuously shredding the molten magma encasing it, without the “benefit” of a single and massive, instantaneous pressure spike that an impact has. Some volcanoes do have explosions that hurl pieces of the mountain outward, but the column and explosions are to my mind two distinct events.) I would suggest, then, that the phenomenon is complicated, and – moreover – that no two would have quite the same characteristics, due to velocity at impact, composition of the comet, and the makeup of the impacted geology. This would make every impact a unique event.

    I can easily envision the impact of steam bubbles, with their walls of ejecta. But it is no simple image. The steam would have a much higher pressure than the surrounding atmosphere (especially above the troposphere), so it would be expanding (rapidly!), even when passing down through the troposphere. Though comets are composed of water ice to some extent, I think that the bays do not come from this water, which I think was part of Ed’s breaking-of-the-bonding-force central impact “zone.” I think it is much more likely to have come from ejecta ice (pre-impact terrestrial surface ice).

    The steam bubble would explain why the impacts are so shallow.

    On the other hand, I do have trouble with the bays all being so consistently elliptical. I can’t see the steam bubbles as having a monolithic morphology, so it seems more likely that their craters would have a myriad of shapes, too.

    I am not slaved to that argument, but it seems most likely. It MAY turn out that there may be enough time in transit, so that their pressures DO tend to make them round, like soap bubbles. Since they are formed within the troposphere but then exit it and re-enter it, there would seem to be some consistent series of processes going on. By the time of impact, round steam bubbles (if they are round), landing obliquely, would seem to be likely to form elliptical bays.

    AND: As a bubble impacts, the soap-bubble effect bursts (pops), with much of the pressure exploding upward, perhaps in a column like what Ed talks about. A person viewing the numerous impacts might see it all as a bunch of mini-Hiroshima columns, instead of a bunch of Boslough fiery flashes/explosions.

  32. Hello EP

    That sounds interesting, I have not seen anything about it, can you send me something about the archaeological sequence for Rio Cuarto?

    On Las Plumas Chubut (AR) more than 1,000 km (south) from Rio Cuarto, the meteoroids would not have been seen if they come from the north.

    I need to investigate more sites and do a better position of the rock arts on a map, to try to see some relation of parallax. There are so many possible structures, and there must be many rock art too. I know it will not be easy, but some day I resume the study. Lately I’ve focused more on impactites, you know.


  33. Steve has made some interesting observations. I have used the word “pulverize”, and was thinking as he does about the reaction of terrestrial layers outside of the “vaporize” zone. Whatever the actual physics, I envision a massive volume of sand being distributed. The steam would be creating bubbles within the sand shower as it is spread over the ground. The transit is modeled as a 5 to 10 minutes, which is ample time for the bubbles to accrete and grow. Bubbles do not move as spheres, but as teardrop shapes; they are only spherical at rest. I am stressing a sand deposition, and that all the sand in the bay rims was delivered to the area and deposited during bay creation. Anyone who has seen that sand know it is “different”, but no one has challenged the status quo, which states that all bay rim sand was in the local area before bay creation. Why should they challenge that? Sand is sand, right? It has to be marine or windblown or fluvial deposits, right? What else could they be? So geologists never considered an ejecta deposition method – and continue to ignore the possibility.

    Best wishes,

  34. Hi Michael –

    For the Bays to have retained their shape against erosive forces for such a period of time, perhaps what makes that sand different from other sand in the area is some kind of binder. Perhaps there lies a clue, but I think you’re going to have to take a good look at the geology around the Saginaw area.

    If you have dates, then you’ll need to look at the ice sheet and permafrost extent at your hypothesized time of impact.

  35. Greetings:

    The “binder” Grodine suggests may simply be the high energy deposition environment, and the resulting tight compaction. As for Saginaw, the proposed very shallow strike into the ice sheet would have resulted in a unique set of geological results. The event would have deposited much of the local ejecta up on the sheet, only to be bulldozed across Illinois and Ohio, while filling the Saginaw “Lobe” with new glacial flow for the next 20,000 years. But, yes, someone needs to dig down through 100 to 1,000 meters of glacial till to test the bedrock. And science needs a rational reason to do that; none has been proposed up till now.

    Similarly with the Greenland Ice cores. There would be markers of some sort there, but where to look and why? If the concept gets some traction and OSL dates of sand rims could be done by the thousands, a more finite date could be used to test the ice cores.

    First order of business is simply to promote the bay survey and results, which might motivate geologist to consider the ejecta deposition layer hypothesis.

  36. Hi Michael –

    The only thing which will motivate most geologists is money, and as you know there is a general denial of recent impacts. The mechanisms of denial take many forms, each separate to the case at hand.

    There is no central research focus at the USGS, NASA, or NSF, and there is no longer any online quick way of sharing information on impact research.

    While your idea to use OSL to limit an ice core search is undoubtedly the “cheap” way in to examining this impact, as we all know there is no “cheap” in impact research, as there is no funding.

    The process of Denial takes many forms.

  37. Hi Michael, again –

    Also, ejecta with datable shocked quartz may show up in the glacial kames.

    Good luck, but see my previous note on denial and funding.

  38. Michael –

    With a couple of weeks to cogitate on this, I come back to it with comments on your specific points:

    Whatever the actual physics, I envision a massive volume of sand being distributed. Whatever the actual physics, I envision a massive volume of sand being distributed.

    I didn’t register this about sand on the first read. While sand is a possibility (see comments further down) I would guesstimate the chances at less than 50%, if the Saginaw impact was on the ice sheet. It would depend on the depth of the ice, of course, and I for one have no idea about the depth there 13kya.

    The steam would be creating bubbles within the sand shower as it is spread over the ground.

    I am not sure which end of the transit you are talking about here – the impact point or the ejecta landing sites. If the former, it wouldn’t apply to CBs, and would also have been on top of the ice sheet, so the amount and characteristics of sand found may or may not be able to be recognized or attributed to an impact. If at the CB (landing) end of the trajectory, (nitpicking on your wording) the bubbles would have already been created earlier, and would have had their dispersal in the ejecta “stream of matter” by the time they arrived. This you mention in the following:

    The transit is modeled as a 5 to 10 minutes, which is ample time for the bubbles to accrete and grow. Bubbles do not move as spheres, but as teardrop shapes; they are only spherical at rest.

    There is tremendous shear as gasses in volcanic magma are released from extremely high pressure – shear that continues for minutes as the gasses continue to expand as the plume rises. Just so, I think the shear will continue throughout the transit time of the steam and solid ejecta. Also, there is that internal pressure, but adding to that is the turbulent shear from friction with the atmosphere on both the upward arc and downward arc, with some of it having perhaps a mid-journey in space, above the atmosphere. And I think any steam that cools in space enough to turn liquid or solid will be re-boiled on re-entry – complicating the picture with further shearing. With the stream having this 10-minute lifespan, of shock, ultra-rapid heating, rapid expansion, turbulence up, then entering vacuum, then turbulence and heat of re-entry, then further turbulence all the way to the ground, I can’t see bubbles as being either spherical or tear-drop shaped. By the time the steam bubbles land, it seems they won’t have had time to re-configure by condensation or accretion. Once they’ve sheared apart, it is one chaotic maelstrom. The shearing would be worst just at “take-off” and then diminish due to friction with the atmosphere. Could they have re-assembled into tear-drops or spheres before landing? Very unlikely, IMHO.

    BTW, one study using an ultra-fast motion camera long ago determined that rain drops were neither spherical nor tear-dropped, but more like flattened, irregular toroids with a web connecting across the inside diameter.

    Now if THOSE hit the ground, then we might just see CB-like elliptical shapes. Perhaps THAT should be a direction for research into the CBs.

    ALSO: Raindrops reach a terminal velocity of about 20 mph (8.8 m/sec). At that speed, depending on the size of the drops, they sometimes oscillate (or perhaps it is actually wobblingly rotate – I think the video/film and photos are ambiguous on that account), and sometimes they take on a flattened webbed toroidal shape, then tent into a parachute shape and disintegrate. I don’t find so afr any work done on raindrop impacts. But I think it is as close to what the CB impacts are about as anything else. In saying that, I am agreeing with you that steam bubbles are the most likely avenue to finding the cause of the CBs. High-speed impacts like Bosloughs are almost certainly ruled out, since ellliptical shapes don’t come from such velocities. I think that thinking smaller and (especially) slower is the right approach. Boslough is looking at the hundreds or thousands of meters/sec. What happens at such levels seems logical, but what happens to steam bubbles passing up and down through the atmosphere may not allow such high speeds. The atmospheric drag over a 10-minute transit has to slow the stream of gasses and pulverized debris down by some large percentage. I don’t have the math/physics background to figure it out. But I will bet that at re-impact the velocity is in the tens of m/sec, not the hundreds or thousands. And if the impactor is a slurry of steam and small particles I don’t think it acts like Boslough’s high-speed ballistics projectiles.

    I am stressing a sand deposition, and that all the sand in the bay rims was delivered to the area and deposited during bay creation. Anyone who has seen that sand know it is “different”, but no one has challenged the status quo, which states that all bay rim sand was in the local area before bay creation. Why should they challenge that? Sand is sand, right? It has to be marine or windblown or fluvial deposits, right? What else could they be? So geologists never considered an ejecta deposition method – and continue to ignore the possibility.

    I am continuing to cogitate about sand, as you describe it. The real thing would be to have an open-minded geologist look into it. While one may think all geologists are too conservative, I know of at least one who may want to work on this. He’s burst a couple of balloons before.

    In any event, yours is the only concept that seems to have some forward potential. All the others I’ve heard of have hit brick walls. And the thinking still is “in the box,” so no progress is being made. So, what do they do? Sit on their hands and say, “I ain’t crossing no stinking threshold and get laughed at! I’d rather say, “I don’t know,” and go on to the next topic – IOW, leave it for someone else.

  39. Hi Steve –

    Your info on raindrops is important.
    You may want to look at tektite shapes.

    That said, read the piece again. The formation of the Bays substantially precedes the Holocene Start Impacts.

  40. Going back to a question I asked earlier… what if an impactor were all or mostly water ice? The answers all related to the unlikelyhood of that happening, but if it did, what would be someone’s guess as to what physical evidence would be left here on the ground? I’m asking about the initial object impacting the planet from elsewhere, not a secondary piece of ejecta. Actually, not even just water ice. A solid form of matter (in space)that becomes a liquid or a gas at temperatures commonly found on this planet.

  41. Ed –

    I’ve seen enough changes in dating of events and phenomena to not accept any pre-historical dating as written in stone. You are convinced that the CBs date from before the Holocene Start. I am not. I remain open. I also don’t exactly trust those who do the dating; there are enough pre-conceptions and agendas involved that I hear them but accept them each as one opinion only.

    One aspect of the CBs as I am coming to view them, especially now that I have read a couple of papers on raindrops impacting dry soil, is that a good deal of the material in the CB rims was moved from the basins. Therefore if a sampling is not thorough enough it might be dating material that was there much earlier but was moved. This would show up as a much earlier date.

    If the CB impactors were steam bubbles (with or without sand) falling at low speeds (<100 m/s), no work has been done (and I am not expecting any to be done) on the mechanisms involved in such an event, and how the pre-existing local soil is moved around. The raindrop studies may be as close as we ever get, and they suggest that a good deal of pre-existing local soil does end up in the rim. Therefore, I withhold accepting any earlier dating as being definitive.

  42. LiDAR data along with OSL dates from Carolina bays with multiple sand rims in South Carolina show that some bays actually migrate. In some cases, it appears that bays have migrated partly through their own basin (former basins often visible with LiDAR) while producing a regressive sequence of bay sand rims. Multiple rims have been dated at Big Bay with OSL that confirm bay rims are progressively younger closer to the bay basin. The migration process is analogous to scrollwork produced by a meandering stream. In both cases, sub-aqueous circulation drives migration. For bays, prevailing wind patterns drive this circulation and explain oval morphology, orientation, and migration. The fact that bays can migrate over many millennia and yet maintain their oval morphology and orientation show that they are not single events features, but rather reflect pervasive and long-term lacustrine and eolian processes within shallow ponded depressions of the Coastal Plain. Ray Kaczorowski’s (1977) dissertation work showed how this process works. Basal OSL dates indicate that some bays in South Carolina are in excess of 100 ka, while others are younger. Results of an intensive geoarchaeological study of 3 Carolina bays within the Central Savannah River Area(CSRA) of South Carolina is forthcoming and will be published as an occasional paper of the Savannah River Archaeological Research Program in 2012.

  43. Chris –

    None of the aeolian speculations are capable of explaining either the ellipticity of the bays, nor the progressive north-to-south major axial alignments Davias’ LIDAR work shows.

    Aeolian effects on existing bays is one thing. Explaining the ellipses themselves is something aeolian simply fails at, and has failed at for over half a century of trying. Many papers assert this as the cause of the bays, but all of them conveniently ignore the formation of the ellipses. None of the aeolian effects of dunes along rivers looks anything like a bay. They have curved arcs on one side only. Not one shows a mirror of such an arc. Nor do they explain about overlapping ellipses.

    Like all attempted explanations of bays, this concept simply fails.

  44. I have always maintained that if the bays were formed over several periods separated by tens of thousands of years, as postulated by Ivestor, you should be able identify genetic relations between the individuals in a given temporal group. Put simply, you should be able to say these bays were formed at one time — and these others bays were formed in another. The regularity and symmetry between one another over thousands of miles and thousands of individual bays, however, suggests they were indeed formed together. If not in an instant — than surely not over three or four periods over one hundred thousand years. Clearly they have all followed the same conductor’s wand. If that wand oriented them together — old and new — in the last formation age, I think you could easily identify those that existed previously, and were subsequently modified in tandem with “new bays,” versus the new bays themselves. That last “wind wand” must have something to have taken all bays created over multiple periods, and modified them together so that you could no longer tells which was which. Or, on the other hand, that same wand, coming and going, was playing exactly the same tune each age, resulted in the same orientation. This is not supported by the entirely different climatic conditions and circulation patterns recognized to exist in the different age. I love your input, Chris, but am not convinced.

  45. By the way, Chris, I look forward to the paper and will certainly post it as soon as it is available. Last time I checked, I was not Al Gore. Skepticism toward my beliefs is wise and encouraged.

  46. Steve and George,

    I’m not suggesting an eolian explanation for bay orientation and shape. The bays are shaped and oriented by sub-aqueous circulation cells. These circulation cells are driven by wind on ponded water. Lacustrine processes (water-lain and eolian) are responsible for producing the sand rims. Bays form perpendicular to the prevailing or dominant wind pattern and these pattern shift with latitude from northern Florida to Maryland to New Jersey. Bay orientations reflect long-term averaged prevailing wind. Our model for SC includes prevailing wind that, based on analysis of numerous source-bordering dunes, has been from the SW since the late Pleistocene. These patterns change with latitude and so do the orientation of bays. These winds drive the circulation cells, and the circulation cells are responsible for bay shape and orientation. We also include a likely seasonal strong NW wind component that reworks eastern bay sand rims into pronounced and often multiple southeastern sand rims…thus a complex combination of prevailing winds and seasonal winds drives migration (generally towards the NW in the Carolinas).

    Kaczorowski created bays using a wind-table in 1977 and he also measured water circulation patterns and velocity in current open water bays and oriented lakes to show how these circulation cells are set up by wind and how they erode and shape the bay basins. If the same uniform process of prevailing wind can create bays once, it should be able to do it again. We need many more OSL dates before we can speak empirically about this, but I suspect bays have been formed and re-activated many times along the south Atlantic Slope. Many of the bays we see today may have a time zero for formation, but this is a question for geochronology. Bays within any particular region…for example in Georgia, or the Carolinas, or Virginia, or Maryland generally show the same orientation reflecting long-term trends in regional prevailing wind that really haven’t changed that much over many millennia, although we know that during glaciations winds tended to be much stronger. The regularity in bay form between bays in any particular region, even if formed many millennia apart, are telling us the same thing that source-bordering dunes are telling us…that is, all bays are a product of similar processes and that these processes (in this case, prevailing wind and sub-aqueous circulation) haven’t really changed very much during the late Quaternary. What does change is climate and hydrological regime, and this causes many bays to shut-down or become inactive or infilled during warm interglacials or relatively stable periods of climate. Bay are probably activated during rapid climate change events such as stadials or transitions between cold and warm climate regimes. Of course weather and hydrology play a big role, because you can’t shape, orient, or migrate a bay without shallow ponded water. My point with respect to the impact hypothesis for bay formation (YD or otherwise) is that if we can empirically show that bays can migrate, produce a regressive sequence of sand rims that we can date with OSL and archaeology (relative dating), and yet have maintained their recognizable morphology, then their shape and orientation is not the result of a meteor or comet impact or any other synchronous event, but rather the result of long-term and pervasive hydrological, geological, and climatological processes within the shallow Quaternary cover-sands common along the eastern seaboard and elsewhere.

    Much of this will be discussed in much more detail in our forthcoming paper. George, I’ll let you know when our paper is available on our website.

  47. The water… Before you can form the distinctive shape that we recognize as Carolina bays, you have to have ponded water. Any natural depression can potentially pond water, particularly when you have the shallow cover sands like we have in the Coastal Plain overlying a clayey substrate or other geologic formation that acts as an aquatard. Bay basins and bay sand rims are lacustrine features and require water.

  48. Hi Chris –

    Hopefully George will remove CL’s creationist drivel immediately.

    In the meantime, in your studies did you observe substantial maritime sediments and alterations at around 1,000 BC of those bays nearest the Atlantic coast?

  49. The same aeolian arguments are put up by one side of the argument about the Rio Cuarto ellipsoidal landforms. See:




    And though these are accepted as impacts, the group that argues aeolian has not given up.

    However, some things about the Rio Cuarto landforms make them considerably different from the Carolina Bays. One is the extreme ellipticity of the Rio Cuarto bays/craters. Next, there is the depth of the Rio Cuarto landforms. Also, one end of the Rio Cuarto landforms has a distinctly sharpened point. In addition, Rio Cuarto is in a decidedly dry climate, whereas the CBs are in a region of plentiful rain.

    Although I have not found data on it, I am certain that at Rio Cuarto the prevailing winds are not perpendicular to the long axes.

    Both groups are spread over a widespread area, and both areas run essentially SSW-NNE. Yet the CBs long axes are across the short width of the area (essentially SE-NW though swinging from S-N in the south to E-W in the northern end), while the Rio Cuarto long axes are aligned WITH the swath (SSW-NNE). Yet, to the uniformitarian “aeolianists” both these populations of landforms were made by the same forces.

    I applaud any and every researcher who attempts to “solve” the enigma of the CBs. I still reserve the right to disagree.

    I am stumped, though, by the insistence of the uniformitarians to force an aeolian explanation. That explanation has been tried since they were first discovered, and it was rejected decades ago. But each generation of uniformitarians insists THEIR generation can dredge it up again and explain it. And they always leave out the inconvenient evidence, choosing only the evidence that supports it. Good scientists are supposed to also present all the arguments against their explanations and show why such evidence can be excluded. Every aeolian explanation fails in this – at least the ones I’ve seen.

    Chris, I will address some specific points you made in my next comment…

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