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

Clovis Age Crater Found in Canada: That Makes Three

A little bird shared the paper below with me last week.  It is exciting to have another crater found (for the impact with no crater).  The dating is provisional but right on the nose.  The base of the sediments blanketing the feature tested contemporaneous with the initiation of the Younger Dryas and the time of the purported Clovis Comet impact, 12,900 cal BP.

This crater joins two others, the Charity Shoal feature and Bloody Creek in Nova Scotia, that also appear in this dramatic period.  Each crater is something of a challenge to get to, with two underwater and a third beneath a peat swamp.  But all three seem to come at the Pleistocene\Holocene transition, just when the rest of the evidence assembled by the YDB team appears in the record

To be valid a hypothesis must be predictive.  The Younger Dryas Boundary Hypothesis, despite the bullying of skeptics, seems to have a little touch of Carnac the Magnificent, no?

TUSK Glitch:  Cant seem to get the usual “embed” to play in my browser (at least).  I think you can still click to the document below.  Please let me know if folks can “see” this doc or only click to see it….

One of the Clovis Comet Craters found underwater in Canada?

46 Responses

  1. There are likely to be more craters from the YD event – Lloydminster in Canada and Iltrude in South America are candidates as well, and there is likely to be one somewhere out west along the paleo lakes. Even Dennis and Rich’s formation is in the running.

    And if these structures are not from the YD event, then it is certain that they are from other “recent” impacts.

    I got to get me one of those hats.

  2. Hello George

    I can see.

    The crater of Corossol is fantastic. It does not appear to be elliptical, it seems that its impactor dropped almost 90 degrees (?).


  3. Re: Charity Shoals –

    The Five Nations did not remember that impact, and if that impact had of occurred at the YD they would have.

    Further, to the best of my knowledge, there is continuous YD occupation in the area of today’s New York, and if Charity Shoals had of occurred at the YD, there wouldn’t have been.

  4. Hi all

    Although it is almost silted up, the structure of Bloody Creek seems rather akin to elliptical palaeolagoons I have observed. Its estimated age is also consistent with the Quarí pond in Piauí, Brazil.





  5. I have only a limited knowlege of first nations mythology. However, is it not possible that some legends and events are lost or forgoten, or even ‘deleted’ by political forces within the tribes for some reason?

    Also, Were the tribes of the Five Nations prone to seasonal or food driven migrations, which might have placed them outside the area for a period of time?

    That said, if these three impacts can be dated in close event history to each other, that presents good evidence of a common source. The ‘grouping’ of the bullets is persuasive.

  6. I tend to agree with Pierson about Bloody Creek. While I haven’t read the entire paper he linked to, the “extremely shallow depth-diameter ratio of the structure”, the elliptical shape, and the NW-SE alignment are amazingly – even obviously – reminiscent of the Carolina Bays, including its low 1-2 meter scarp/rim.

    However, having the shock characteristics makes it unlike Carolina Bays from what I know about them.

    I would point out the complete difference in shape and impact structure between Bloody Creek and Corrosol. Corrosol seems on the surface (no pun intended) to be an almost vertical meteoric very high-impact event (which I would predict to have an as yet undiscovered impactor). The NW-SE surface structure of Bloody Creek appears to be pushed up to the SE, but only very slightly; this gives me the impression of a low-impact event, in spite of the shocked nature of the materials and sub-structure. Yet, perhaps I am wrong on this, though, and perhaps the granodiorite simply resisted the impactor better than most rock would. At the same time, the similarities to Carolina bays in terms of cross-section shape and ellipticity are undeniable.

    We seem to have at Bloody Creek a transitional condition which may be instructive in learning the overall scope of impact types – perhaps a “missimg link” of sorts. Such intermediate conditions must exist, especially if the Carolina bays are impact remnants. Bloody Creek may actually represent the solid proof of the CB’s ET origins.

    Classify my comments here as just first impressions and an attempt to place it in the broader context, even if my observations are all speculative at the present.

  7. BTW, in re to the impactor I expect to be found at Corrosol, I would NOT expect one to be found at Bloody Creek, based on what I know of the Carolina bays.

    One more thought comes to mind:

    I am an advocate of the meme that all the asteroids, comets and meteors are the remains of an exploded planet. I interpret the different composition of these bodies to be due to the heterogeneity of the exploded planet, with water having been present in some large amount. In such a scenario, it is not out of the realm of possibility that different “chunks” within a “meteor stream”/cometary stream would have much different water-to-rock compositions. If that is the case, then Corrosol and Bloody Creek could, indeed, have arrived at the same time and had very different impact site characteristics, due to Corrosol being solid rock while Bloody Creek was an amalgam of mostly ice. Thus far the solid impactor landing sites (meteoric) I’ve seen all seem to appear circular; that may be a necessity of solid impactor sites, regardless of impact angle. And it may, for some as yet unknown reason, be just as necessary that ice impactors leave a more true evidence of lower-trajectory impacts.

    In any event, elliptical impact sites do appear to be shallow. Why that would be so escapes me at the moment. Shallow implies low-mass impacts or low velocity – or both. Is there a tie-in? More evidence in the future may make the picture clearer.

  8. Steve; just a point to carry on your thinking.
    Given the exploded planet hypothis, ‘meteor streams should tend to sort themselves according to mass and density. I suspect that the Carolina Bays’ similarities might support that idea.

    Without very good dating of impact craters it might be difficult to convince other people that it proved anything other than geologic conditions which preserved craters in a given area.

  9. Paul –

    Where you say

    Given the exploded planet hypothis, ‘meteor streams should tend to sort themselves according to mass and density. I suspect that the Carolina Bays’ similarities might support that idea.

    just what are you saying? Can you be more specific?

  10. Easy Steve..I’m way beyond my “Peter principle” toe hold. My knowlege of astrophysics is nil.

    I was just theorizing that different types of material would react differently to applied forces such as planetary disintigration from explosion or impact, and also the forces of galactic gravity. I’m only guessing, but perhaps that is why some comets are primarily ice and others primarily rocky. The different densities would having ranges of enertia and ranges of gravitational strength. Thus the orbit of one density of material would differ from heavier or lighter materials. From the article on the Carolina Bays, there don’t appear to have been any features which varied by as much as an order of magnitude. To me this suggests that if they had extra terrestial origin, the impactors were quite similar?/ ?? Guessing. lol

    You may wonder at an outsider having the termerity to post opinions on a specialized forum. Humility has never been my forte’. Also, I think that perhaps novices can provide weird and unconventional possibilities.

    I’m not on this forum much, so you can email me at [email protected]

  11. Hello

    Density, weight, mass are not exactly the same things. What weighs more: a pound of cotton or a pound of iron? I think I missed that class!


  12. Pierson;
    I’m well aware of the ‘weight’ aspect in terrestial physics. However, in relation to my conversation with Steve, we are dealing with a very large time scale where subtle variation might be compounded. I concede that comet or astroid bodies would be very little influenced by “atmospheric” resistance in open space and that differences in gravitational attraction is probably also very small. However, though the age and origin of groupings of small orbiting bodies is not known, I suspect that they are not a recent arrival in our solar sytem. As such the comets and astroids have been subjected to planetary gravitation fields and solar radiation many times. I could theorize that even the offgasing on the sunward side of icy bodies could influence their orbits slightly, and cause an orbital annomally relative to rocky bodies.

    An interesting way to test this might be to one day drop your “pound of iron and pound of cotton” from a stationary point, ten thousand kilometers from the surface of the moon. But substitute some form of ice for the cotton. or perhaps just add ice as a third object. I recognise that is not a great comparison for astroids, but it is a currently viable experiment.

  13. Paul and all –

    I happen to be a doubter in the “gravity as glue” for either comets or in the formation of planets/solar system, including stars themselves. I know, they have the formulas and all, but my innate common sense just can’t wrap my brain around 1000 kgs of mass attracting 100 kgs and having any impact velocity at all. Even 1000000 kgs doesn’t do it for me. And without impact velocity, to me it is basically like two feathers floating toward each other. Every time I read of this “nebula-to-planets” concept, I gag on it.

    Also, Paul, ask Ed: I have no credentials, either. LOTS of reading, on voluminous subjects, enough to have a fool’s opinion. I like to think mine are informed opinions, but don’t really pretend that that is true.

    Once in a while, though, in my obstinacy I rebel against their so-called “facts” and then find out their facts got shot out of the saddle. I tend to smile when that happens. Sometimes, the new facts tend to support my own understanding, and then I smile for a bit longer. But I know that given the state of science – theirs and mine both – even when I seem to be (more) correct, I know it is only a passing fancy: In a few years mine will be just as wrong.

    As long as the overall keeps moving toward better understanding, I am happy. When pomposity or hubris gets in the way, I get a bit furious.

  14. LOL, thanks Steve.
    Sometimes, I think that funding requirements and egos built on huge volumes of of hard written reseach do impair humility. To some degree I understand how such things can overshadow a personal view of the ultimate goal of scientific advancement. I only get really upset when there are obvious “commercial” agenda being promoted.

    On the Carolina Bays: I have spent a lot of time looking at Mr. Davias wonderful picture. The fold on the NE side of many of the elipsiods is to me a smoking gun. If you want my analysis, you need to take the risk of emailing. I’m going even further out on the limb with this one…:)

  15. Paul,
    “The fold on the NE side of many of the ellipsoids is to me a smoking gun.”
    Thanks for that pointer! Went back to Michael Davias’ image to see it, hadn’t noticed before. Pretty remarkable now that I know it’s there.
    Confirms his Saginaw Bay impact ejecta hypothesis of CB origin. This what you have in mind?

  16. Steve,
    you make an excellent argument for comets having metal cores for nuclei of condensation. Unfortunately, so far data on comet masses are scarce, and NASA JPL people get very low average densities from their fly-byes so far. Need to wait for further evidence.

  17. Hi Paul –

    Without getting into a long discussion of the First Peoples’ historical traditions, simple blast mechanics and blast mortality combined with the archaeological record put some limitations on the likelihood of all of these geo-blemes being from the YD.

    In closing this note, I observe that the Earth has gotten hit far more often than most people suspect, and thus they tend to elide impact events.

  18. Hermann –


    I wasn’t arguing for a metallic core for comets, actually. May I ask what made you think that I was? Perhaps I mis-spoke.

  19. Steve –

    I wasn’t arguing for a metallic core for comets

    My failure to put into my comment the needed redundancy:

    “. . excellent argument for comets having metal cores for nuclei of condensation, , ,”

    which is my own favorite theory as I had advocated years ago on Benny Peiser’s CCNet. Our TUSK contributor E.P.G. may recall the occasion. He had responded on CCNet with a phrase about like this: “. . then comets are no longer to be seen as dirty snowballs but as dirty lumpy snowballs with imbedded rock pebbles, . . ” where the last few words were not his (my lack of full recall of what EPG actually wrote).

    No, Steve, I hadn’t meant to imply at all that you were arguing for metallic cores of comets at all, the comment was just meant to send a note of my appreciation to you for this assist in my own pursuit. .

  20. Hermann –

    I had not ever before thought about comets having metallic cores.

    Now that I do think about it, it isn’t how I have grokked them, but let me cogitate…

    …I can see that one might think that in a loose aggregating process the density of any metals that “land” on a comet or comet-in-making would tend to shift the center of gravity in their direction. Over time they might gravitate to the center in any shifting that goes on – and there is a long time for that process to occur, though I don’t know what besides tidal forces near planets might occur. Well, there is the arrival of new material. There is also the re-arrival of material that has been shaken or outgassed away to some distance.

    There are short-period comets that, in their planetary passages, have lost material. What would happen to “hetero-dense” aggregates? One would think that the more dense (and presumably generally more cohesive) metals would “attract” the bypassing planet more strongly, thus even managing to push their way through looser materials – and would tend to be the materials most likely to “fall” into the planet. (I don’t think this is counter to the reality that “heavy and light objects fall at the same rate; I see it more like light-heavy separation in a centrifuge.)

    I don’t see this as a tidal thing, but it does give me an insight I had not had before into tidal forces, in a clarifying way. I can see how the greater pull of denser materials (including most metals) would create shearing forces within the passing body, whether it be a comet or a planet/moon. At the same time, when I know how small the gravitational attraction is at the surface of the Earth, I have difficulty – and always have – seeing the “tidal” forces engendered by the Earth at the distance of bypassing NEOs as being enough to pee on, to coin a phrase from my upbringing.

    F = G*m1*m2*R^2 as I recall it, and with such large R values, the delta-F between denser materials and less-dense sure isn’t much – hardly enough in most instances to overcome the internal frictions, adhesions, and what we in engineering sometimes refer to as a “mechanical” holding force (meaning when protuberances “lock” into each other enough to impeded “sliding”). That latter has to do with tribology. I think tribology has much to say about what goes on in comets and other aggregated “wanderers.”

    One of the main things gold prospectors do is “pan” in creeks, swirling the particles into a slurry. Within the slurry, the mechanical holding force is reduced as close as possible to zero, and this allows the gravity of Earth to work the gold particles down to the bottom and allowing the lighter particles to be “sloshed” out of the pan. Eventually, the remaining gold particles are the only ones left.

    I see a parallel to this in a comet/aggregated body passing by a planet. The solar wind mixes with the ever-increasing gravitational “pull” of the planet to shift particles/nodules within the comet. I see comets as being semi-fluids, like piled up gravel or dirt, which have what we in the U.S. call an “angle of repose” – the threshold angle of the hill. A steeper angle will cause the particles to flow – downhill – while any less of an angle has no effect on this potential flow. And that potential is very real. A bit of rain or even wind can cause the surface of the the pile to start flowing, by changing the tribology, I have always assumed. So, when the gravitational attraction exceeds some threshold, a heavier particle/nodule shifts within the comet – “flowing” downhill toward the planet – pushing its way through the crowd, one might say.

    And what happens when the metal has passed through all the rest of the aggregate? I would assume it would begin to separate from the comet. That is what my brain is telling me.

    Perhaps this is how meteoroids form, when metals leave an aggregate/comet behind. It seems possible, but I am just throwing all this out there, since you got me thinking.

    Now, one might ask, “Does the metal then “pull” some of the rest of the collection with it?” While there is some attempt at this, I somehow think it is not strong enough. The gravitation between the various nodules in a comet has to be really, really small to begin with. Yes, the metals have more mass in a more concentrated package, but I can’t see that they have enough. Look at the mass of any of the meteors in museums. As “planetoids” they are essentially zeroes. They are more than feathers and ice, but it is like comparing the weight of gnats and “no-see-ums.” I just see the magnitudes of the forces as being inadequate.

    If this is all solid and logical thinking (as far as it goes – it is a poor man’s Einsteinian thought experiment, perhaps) this would probably argue that metals would tend to not stick around in a comet as long as the lighter materials do. When the “pull” significantly affects any part of an aggregated collection, it would seem intuitively/qualitatively to mean trying to pull the metals out of the collection. I would maybe even liken it to magnetic separation in, say a recycling plant.

    All this supposes some great age for comets, as it seems it would require many passages past planets to “swish” the metals out of the aggregate. I would think that on some passages no such swishing even occurs, due to other, greater forces (no matter how small) that had not been overcome.

    But there are long-period comets, too, and those might certainly have retained whatever denser materials within themselves. There may not have been any noticeable fly-by events. Without those events, the only significant agitation would be from new materials “falling in.” Perhaps that would, indeed, move the metals to the middle.

    That is about all I can think of right now, Hermann… I probably bored you silly.

    Why don’t you go ahead and tell about your own ideas? They are probably more solid than these musings.


  21. In that long thing, I noticed I didn’t mention passages by the Sun. Of course that is the biggest single event of any full cometary period, barring an impact.

  22. Steve –

    thanks for you sympathetic and imaginative account of metal cores arising within comets. If I may, a slight change in your model:

    any metals that “land” on a comet

    The comet probably comes into existence 1. as a metallic body, which we know existed in the early stages of the solar system, and 2. gradually accumulates ices and grit attracted by its gravity, hence the “condensation core” idea.

  23. Hermann –

    I don’t adhere to the idea that comets have been around since the beginning of the solar system, nor that metals are just floating around in deep space. I accept – for the moment – that heavier elements (at least down as low as Carbon) were created in super novas, though I think that is more a rationalization than solid fact. I believe that future information will prove it wrong, though I wouldn’t know what it will be replaced with.

    I think that if metals were ejected from super novas, their velocities as they pass through our solar system would be much higher than the planets, but that isn’t the case.

    It is 100% certain that the metals did not just “occur” in orbit around our Sun, “hanging around,” waiting for other particles to collect on them.

    I fall in with the exploded planet astronomers like Tom van Flandern, though I don’t agree with much of his other ideas. In that model, all the material is just following its natural course since the explosion, with attractions occurring between nearby particles. But just because a hunk of metal is more dense doesn’t mean it is the local “great attractor.” It is the total mass in any aggregate that does the attracting, so small metal chunks will be the “attractees,” not the attractors. Density counts, but total mass governs. Density isn’t in Newton’s equation at all. And then there is that inverse square thing we all know and love: A water molecule very close by might have more attractive force than a piece of metal 1000 km away.

    Science (like myself) tends to go for the simplistic explanation until it finds the complicating factors. Occam’s Razor rules thinking more than it rules reality, IMHO. And once they have posited a reasonable sounding simplicity, others accept it. That is only natural. Yet I don’t know of a science that has found the Occam’s Razor rule rules very long; we are forever reading where scientists get blindsided by some new fact that makes them go back to square one. I call those moments “Science Does It Again.”

    The nebular theory seems to everyone else to make a lot of sense, but to me it immediately brings up the question of how 92 elements showed up right in our vicinity. And then the aggregating theory, as I explained yesterday, doesn’t hold water to me. I cannot see how it can cause enough compaction to melt iron in the Earth’s core. Feel the level of gravity in the Earth’s surface – it ain’t much. Why it would keep on compressing when the dirt and rocks are resisting with friction I can’t understand – and the tighter IN particles go, the stronger the friction is, as there are horizontal forces being developed, too. And then there is the mechanical and tribological effects, too, and all resisting that compression. I think it gets to a “steady state” and goes no further – on Earth and much less so on comets. Try to shove a shovel into solid dirt and see how far it goes before total friction wins out, keeping the blade from going any further.

    I admit all this is simplistic thinking, too – but I haven’t seen any answer out there I will accept to counter these. I am willing to be convinced, but am a semi-tough audience.

  24. BTW, the nebular theory doesn’t explain worth a darn why there is material out of the plane of the Ecliptic. By now it all should have been pulled into the Ecliptic. But the one satellite last year started finding a lot of material up and out of “the plane” before they clamped down on that info getting out. I predict they will find so much that the nebular theory goes the way of the ether. The more they find, the more it argues for an exploded planet.

  25. “attractees,” not the attractors. Density counts, but total mass governs. Density isn’t in Newton’s equation at all. And then there is that inverse square thing we all know and love: A water molecule very close by might have more attractive force than a piece of metal 1000 km away.

    maybe I not so smart …..
    but you seem to have forgotten what I call, all the “greater laws”
    ok so gravity is what I call a sterile law “mass x whatever =whatever ).. but it can, and is, over ruled by greater laws. and so like the laws of aerodynamics which require life/heat/warmth etc to implement these are greater laws than gravity and thus can overrule the lowest/sterile laws of gravity/mass.
    every law in the universe can be overruled by greater law.. those greater laws have to involve life and or heat and or warmth and or friction and or magnetism still = to life etc .

    life only comes from or maintained by elements of friction and magnetism etc and all things are attracted/magnetized by and to , or even away from the laws of life/ friction/warmth/heat etc .
    so I suspect your/science’s ” mass”/gravity is a basic law .. but magnetism and friction and heat over rule and are greater laws and thus more stable laws that attract and maintain life. but they all take life/heat to implement! so there they are forever stuck there seems.
    and so I suspect a meteor flying past a hot sun is going to get friction, lots of friction thus be magnetize by that same friction thus attract more elements, gain more weight/mass etc till friction is applied again which makes it lose some elements so that it can later attract more elements and more mass .. and so that the tiniest metal can have gone through enough friction to have much weight/attraction though not enough mass to be even noticed .
    so heat=friction =magnetism are all greater laws in and of themselves than just mass is.
    so no I do not think anyone can explain the universe workings by just using the law of mass/ weight , it is just too sterile, just to lifeless/frictionless/ and very unmagnetic ;P.

  26. C.L. –

    The next time we are looking around for a “greater law,” I will make it a point to ask you which ones you’ve invented lately. We wouldn’t want to violate your laws…

  27. Steve –

    Have not read Tom van Flandern’s “non-mainstream views.” The 92 elements were created in supernova explosions, which arise late in the life of certain giant stars on main sequence of the the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram. These events cycle the matter in us & the solar systm every so often. Older systems where this is uncommon have fewer heavy elements, e.g., the globular clusters. — Check this for accuracy, this is what I seem to recall from grad student days.

  28. ok so I am wrong.. but righter than you!

    so your using your theory based on your ideas of ” mass”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_matter In comparison,”

    ordinary matter accounts for only 4.6% of the mass-energy density of the observable universe, with the remainder being attributable to dark energy.[2][3] From these figures, dark matter constitutes 80% of the matter in the universe, while ordinary matter makes up only 20%.”

    so your theories of mass and it’s weights are
    so sense you applied that to yet another a theory of YD which is 98% wrong because it is based on the” Observable” evidence like’ mass’ was once ALSO .

    if you add those together it doesn’t make you 6% right!, add more of ed’s theories which are also based on ignorant conclusions of observable maters that have 98% wrong conclusions also…

    yes I am also always about 90% wrong, but I always know it!! and not ashamed one bit.

    ! yes like everyone else because way too often I only use my mind and eyes and rely on them first .. first .. instead of resorting to the constants of his laws and then other eye witnesses to confirm the constants . yes my averages would be higher of I only did that first!, instead of last.. oh but I am learning me lessons!

    Your see the problem comes when you and other folks are using theories that are 95.4% to 98% percent wrong and JUST don’t know it and worse don’t care if you are . because you all agreed to the same ignorance!

    . and feel that if you add those 2 or 3 % rights from your cumulative working theories you keep keep adding endlessly … so the working theory that you are “evolving new Truth”.. but that ain’t how math works. and sure is not how truth works either and thus this working theory in action they got going here would make it also about 99% wrong.

    this I know just this one event was so large no one will ever know the laws of it, that makes every one starts off 1000 % wrong, period.

  29. Hi Steve; if you are still here, have a look at Itokawa. This baby is a fine example of gravitational attraction in smaller bodies. The darn thing looks and acts like iron filings on a weak magnet.

  30. Paul –

    I went and looked up Itokawa, as per your suggestion.

    Based on the numbers given by the Japanese probe that actually touched down on Itokawa, I came up with the following gravitational forces on the surface, based on the 3 given overall dimensions, which I assume are averages, but it doesn’t really matter much.

    F1 (in the longest direction) = 0.0327 N

    F2 (in the 2nd longest direction) = 0.1084 N

    F3 (in the shortest direction) = 0.2145 N

    These surface gravitational force pretty much make my main argument for me, in that the forces are so low that the accrued materials just lie on the surface and don’t do anything. There is no aggregating, no agglomerating, no fusing, etc. It is all like dust on a windowsill.

    But look at the main body of Itokawa, and you see solid siliceous material. At least the surface material is mainly that. I ask this question: From what accruing force did the body solidify into a solid mass? they tell us gravity, then the numbers and the “dust-covered” nature of this body show clearly that gravity is sufficient to attract smaller particles/objects, but it does nothing to explain the solidification of the main body itself.

    Based on this evidence of Itokawa, I stand by my assertion, that gravity is insufficient to cause solidification. I further assert that gravity is insufficient to cause heat to the point of melting iron and rocky materials. I actively refute that asteroids could have possibly formed as solids while in their current orbital range and its possible interactions.

    I further submit that if the asteroids were in existence since the beginning of the solar system, that the amount of “rubble” (their term) on the surface of Itokawa would be much in excess of what is seen today. In the 4 billion years since the Earth became fully formed, Itokawa should have attracted many magnitudes more rubble. The amount of rubble seen on the surface now looks like the asteroid has only been around for a few tens or hundreds of thousand of years (perhaps not even that long). I argue that Itokawa was not formed when the Earth formed.

    I see nothing in Itokawa to negate my thinking, and I see much to support my thinking. Thanks for the heads up.

    I do not argue that I have a solution for how solid bodies form in star systems. But I do argue that the existing theories are incorrect.

  31. BTW, I liked this “Science Does It Again” quote from http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn9257-rubbly-itokawa-revealed-as-impossible-asteroid.html

    What they found was completely unexpected. “Five years ago, we thought that we would see a big chunk of monolithic rock, that something so small doesn’t have the ability to hold onto any pieces,” says Erik Asphaug, a planetary scientist at the University of California in Santa Cruz, US, who is not involved with the mission. “Everything we suspected about it turned out to be wrong.”

    I love it when scientists admit that “everything they thought about ______ turned out to be wrong.” It is evidence that our ideas about the universe (and even the mundane world) are only a work in progress, and that our theories need to be understood to be tentative.

    I see such quotes articles a few times a year. Astronomy is one common field for such admissions. In between these statements, amazingly, the scientists assert solid knowledge about what is going on. Yes, they are the closest things we have to experts, but at this stage of our scientific progress, that only means the blind leading the blind. IMHO.

    yes, I am pretty hard on them. When they are humble, I appreciate the humility. When they pontificate, I snicker – because I know that another “Science Does It Again” moment is only a few weeks or months away.

  32. On further cogitation, in looking at those images of Itokawa, I can’t for the life of me understand why the scientists are surprised at what the images show. It is exactly what I would think a local attractor would look like, after a few hundred or a few thousand micro-planetesimals “landed.” To me, the big question is how did the solid body itself form in the first place. Certainly not by space dust and a few dirt clods came together under 0.214N/1000kg.

    I forgot to mention, the three values I came up with were based on a 1000kg body lying on the surface. When 1000kg only “weighs” 0.2N, where is the compression to squeeze it all into a solid body?

  33. LOL Steve; You missunderstood the intent of my post. I for one do not believe that the majority of these astroids “were in existence since the begining..”. I found a page of astroid photos (lost it) The irregular shapes and impact evidence, suggest the destruction of atleast one planet body. Certainly, Itakawa’s shape could suggest such an origin.

    Your dust on the windowsill is a fine annalogy. At those gravitational levels, the forces would be similar to static electric forces. If there was enough material available for accretation, there might eventually be enough mass to reach some critical level, which would presumably have a spheroid tendancy. Unlikely small bodies like Itakawa could ever achieve that.

    I presume that to find this post you must have had some alerting mechanism of a new post.

    The timing of your “Science Does It Again” moment, comment is priceless..:) Heads in the clouds and feet of clay.

    I see that you are a ‘mutt’ like myself. Oh well, breeding isn’t everything…:)

  34. @Steve, Paul’s comment alerts me to “Science Does It Again,” being a newbie on this (was a lazy & spotty Tusk reader lately).

    As a scientist I should take huge offense at seeing colleagues belittled, when they work so hard 24/7/365.2442 — to qualify for grant renewal.

    ?’^) (<– smiley showing my squinty eyes, curly locks.)

    But in maths we don't have these “everything they thought about ______ turned out to be wrong” moments. There are sometimes mistakes in proofs found after publication, but this is rare. Conjectures in pure math are later proved correct more often than I expect (applied maths guy myself).

    Here is the true reason for my comment today: Your incredibly perceptive, insightful remark:
    Occam’s Razor rules thinking more than it rules reality, IMHO"

    I have a 93 page paper on this very topic (in a variant setting — title does not mention Occam) in the journal FOUNDATIONS OF SCIENCE, June 2005. Abstract is here:

  35. Herman; just to be clear. I will never “belittle” anyone, if I think there is any chance their motives are honest. I will argue endlessly, and lay waste on all sides with my multitude of opinions, I don’t expect anything but rebutal in return. God help you if the only rebutal you offer is someone else’s words. Cut and paste is great for providing sources, not so good for proof.

    Thanks for posting the link to your work, It appears I will need to stretch my brain to read it, but I will.

    One little thought on mathematics being free of “Oh Shit” moments; If I understand correctly, mathematics is founded upon basic assumptions which are fundamental to our entire current view of the Universe. Is it not possible that somewhere in these assumptions, there is, a yet undiscovered flaw? Just sayin’ don’t count yur chickens till yu check it out with god..:)


  37. From an astro guy, (former) orbit analyst and satellite operations professional….

    Clearly there are many impact scarring sites coming to light w/ the same 12.9 ka age. This implies multiple impacts within the resolution of the various dating technologies used on all of these sites. Not necessarily coincident, but nearly so, historically.

    One simple conclusion is that there were multiple cluster impacts over a period of time that could have contributed to large scale, long term climate tweaking for whatever reason (i.e. various mechanisms for releasing mega volumes of fresh water into the Atlantic Ocean to upset the steady state heat transport engines in that basin, gunking up the atmospherea to block sunlight reaching the surface, etc.)

    The multiple cluster impact hypothesis also explains different geographic regions of impacts, with each regional impact scarring cluster likely being one crossing of Earth’s orbit w/ some heliocentric debris stream orbit.

    So for a period lasting many years, or decades, or even hundreds of years, there could have been cluster impacts lasting only hours or less, as Earth swept out the debris of that stream one segment at a time, like playig different keys on a piano. The entire keyboard is the debris stream. Each Earth crossing of that debris stream orbit is playing one key on the keyboard. Each key separated in time by a year or more.

    The concert doesn’t end ’till all keys are played (debris stream completely absorbed by Earth), which happens over a period of many Earth crossings of that debris stream orbit.

    This helps explain why such drastic, long term climate effect could be the result of bolide impact(s) without any single scarring feature big enough to explain continental extinction and 1400 yrs of climate cooling.

    Also, approach angles from vertical down to about 45 degrees off of vertical will all produce a round crater as all of the astronomical energy and momentum are absorbed by the impact. Not till the approach angle starts becomming relatively shallow do the impact signatures start to become non-circular.

    The first surfaces to show effects of nonvertical approach as that approach angle is closer to horizontal are ocean impacts, where the mega-tsunami is directed more down range than up range. For solid surface impact, however, all kinetic energy is absorbed and re-released as heat in a somewhat radially-symmetric fashion down to relatively shallow approach angle.

    Where was the Ice Sheet boundary at the 12.9 ka time?


  38. The link in the post here “One of the Clovis Comet Craters found underwater in Canada?” does not seem to work anymore. That article has been deleted from Scribd, it says.

    After a decent amount of searching, I found the paper that undrlies all of this, at http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2011/pdf/1504.pdf, entitled “BATHYMETRIC AND PETROLOGICAL EVIDENCE FOR A YOUNG (PLEISTOCENE?) 4-KM DIAMETER IMPACT CRATER IN THE GULLF OF SAINT LAWRENCE, CANADA” by Higgins et al 2011.

    The paper ascertains that the youngest date given by field samples is 12,900 ya (dated by the then current IntCal09). While it may not mean anything, that THIS date was derived as opposed to all other possible young dates to me seems amazing. This was based on a core in the central uplift.

    Also the paper mentions that the location at that time was covered in ice, and if so, then I would suggest that the normal scaling laws may not apply. Schultz’s hype-velocity experiments showed that very little energy makes it through an ice layer of any thickness. In his tests the energy was so diffused that the sand under the ice did not look like an impact crater at all.

    So, since Corossol is VERY clearly typical of “normal” meteor cratering, what can be made of this contradiction – between its shape and Schultz’s experiments?

    Speculating, the statement that the area was under ice at 12.9 kya may not be correct. It is known that the ice sheets after 18 kya had receded and then re-advanced during the YD. It may be that this immediate area was either ice free or had very thin ice remaining. At a little lower latitude in Michigan the ice front had receded in the Bolling-Allerod to what is called the Mson-Quimby Line, just north of Saginaw Bay.

    The book “Quaternary Glaciations – Extent and Chronology: Part II: North America” by J. Ehlers, P.L. Gibbard 2004 on page 243 discusses Quebec deglaciation:

    “During a part of the Bolling-Allerod phase, a series of ice front positions mark a fast retreat of the ice front in the Appalachians of southern Quebec [near Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine and south of the St Lawrence], between about 11,900 (or as recently as 11,600) and 11,600 (or 11,300) conventional 14C years B.P… The ice mass over the Canadian Shield, north of the St. Lawrence Corridor, dissipated slowly, between about 11,600 (or several centuries later) and 6,500 B.P.”

    Calibrated to IntCal13, those dates are: 11,900 > 13,750 cal B.P.; 11,600 > 13,450 cal B.P.; 11,300 > 13,130 cal B.P.; 6500 > 7420 cal B.P.

    In addition, the Corossol site is VERY close to the St Lawrence, so it would have been the earliest of the northern Quebec region to deglaciate, so we should look at it as close to the 11,600 date [13,450]. That is 650 years prior to the YDB date of 12,800. 650 years would certainly qualify as “several centuries later.”

    On page 248 of that book a map of tentative dates in that region show an “iso-ice-date” line of 10.8 kya C14 [12,720 cal B.P.] JUST off the current shore line near Corossol the crater. See https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15112789980/

    That is pretty damned close.

    So, my surmise about thin or no ice at Corossol at the YDB is not without some support. The depth and perfection of the “crater topography” suggests ice either did not affect the impactor or VERY little. The nearness of the ice front at 12,800 ya supports this speculation.

  39. Steve, if you read the wiki page and Corossol and follow the references you will find that none of what you are saying is true. The crater is being extensively studied and appears to be very old. They should soon have a more precise dating. It is not a Younger Dryas impact.

  40. TLE –
    You need to accept that the date has a very wide range, depending on which papers you read. Yes, most of the dates are older. So what? The range is from 12,900 years and up to about 2.5 million. I didn’t make that up. I got it from papers.

    Dates are dependent on selection of sampling points. Ask Surovell about that. If you select one place, you get one date. Select another place, you get another date. Which sample is right? Each researcher has their own samples and their own dates. You act as if if he dating is settled, which it isn’t.

    You prefer one date over mine. So what? I am open to any or all of them. And neither your opinion or mine matters, but the subject is open to discussion, whether you want it to be or not.

  41. You can believe whatever you want to believe, Steve, that’s the beauty of science in a free society. I’m not going to debate or discuss your beliefs with you. If you think you have a theory or information on how Corossol is 13 kya rather than 2 Mya or 20 Mya, take it up with the guys who have gone out there and drilled the cores and dredged the bottom of the gulf and have the materials and the acoustic and topography data. You’ll soon have your nuclear dates from actual material inclusions, so you can then see how it all came out in the wash.

  42. I don’t care one whit if you discuss with me, TLE. Your opinions are lacking in imagination and have too much religion in them. Sorry.

    I don’t have theories. I react to what facts I glean and throw stuff out for discussion. If you don’t want to discuss, why should I care? The world is big enough for your opinions and mine. I don’t need you to agree.

    And you don’t even hear what is said. I did not make up the 13,000 date. I never heard of it till GEORGE brought it up here.

    Like so many topics of so long ago, dates come in all over the place. I don’t run a lab, so the dates aren’t mine. That 12,900 date WAS based on material inclusions, right in the central uplift, but you didn’t even bother going to look.

    For everybody but TLE:

    My main discussion was that IF it happened then, would such a clear-cut crater geomorph have been possible? That seems a straightforward falsification argument. If the ice was a mile thick, IMHO it would utterly falsify the 12,900 date, based on Schultz’s basic hyper-velocity test results. So, I went looking for the ice to falsify that date, and I found out that the ice was NOT able to falsify that date.


  43. Dear Tusk,

    Much as I enjoy your Carolina Bay hypothesis, I have to tell you that the Corrosol crater is definitely older than you believe. About 420 MY older, try middle Ordovician.

    Keep trying, but try for accuracy….they didn’t believe Velikovsky either.

    Regards, Ted on the tundra

  44. Ted:
    I’m somewhat in agreement. Although I believe the YDIH to have some merit, and certainly believe the Carolina Bays to be impact related, I am having a hard time seeing how an age range of Ordovician-YD (~450Ma!) can be interpreted as being a smoking gun.

  45. Where do you get your date range from… This is evidence of the 12,800 circa dates…. maybe several cycles, but hitting ice vs land is going to produce different effects… What, during ice yes, n america never hit???? So if hit… what effect?

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