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

Davias confronts 2013 Denver GSA with the Carolina Bays

Restored from the library fire 1/1/20

Davias calls out “Wind and Wave” formation theory

Michael Davias of Cintos.org presented another astonishing Carolina Bay poster at the October, 2013, Denver meeting of the Geological Society of America. My apologies to bay fans for not posting this earlier. Here is the direct download from GSA.

I speculate that the robustly repetitive Carolina bays may have been generated between 780 ka and 140 ka during a catastrophic mass-transport and deposition of high purity quartz particles, materialized as a surficial blanket of sand, spread chaotically over an antecedent terrain. The bays may be imperfections generated within the blanket while the sand was in a state of liquefaction, and preserved at lockup as a densely compacted stratum.

Davias, from the 2013 poster


DAVIAS, Michael, Stamford, CT 06907, [email protected]
The juxtaposition and interplay between elliptical Carolina bay basins and accompanying aeolian dune structures has been previously recognized across the USA’s Atlantic Coastal Plain. Recent advances in 3D terrain visualization using LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) remote sensing technology allows for new insight into the nature of the bays’ enigmatic elliptical circumferential rims and their spatial relationships with unambiguous aeolian sheets. In support of a survey to discover and elucidate the full geographic range of Carolina bay landforms, 500,000 km2 of hsv-hinted (hue-saturation-value) Digital Elevation Maps have been produced using publically accessible LiDAR data. Using examples from the survey’s geospatial database of over 40,000 bays, I share some observations about bay-dune relationships that appear pervasively in the data. Instances of “secondary rims” are seen, where robust wave-like repetitions of bay rim structures are found rippling away from a Carolina bay’s primary rim. Also of interest are bay planforms that have remained intact while the surrounding landscape has been resurfaced with extensive parabolic and longitudinal dune topography, differentiated from others where classic aeolian landforms have encroached into bay basins; intriguingly, cases exist where both outcomes are seen in close proximity. An established hypothesis holds that bay basins and their closed rims were generated by glacial-era katabatic winds passing perpendicular to the bay’s major axis, yet inspection of classic wind-blown dunes in the vicinity of bays document long-term resultant sand drift directions which fail to correlate, perhaps suggesting entirely independent mechanisms were responsible for their presence in these topographies. Detailed examination of these spatial relationships may illuminate Carolina bay geomorphology research and guide future OSL dating and chemical analysis activities to relevant locales.

19 Responses

  1. That was a neat bit of scientific paper ju-jitsu.

    Define the “when” and “what happened” of the Caralina Bay’s sand depositing in such a way as to rule out gradualist origins or even ‘glacial-era katabatic winds’ without specifically stating it was an impact.

    Then say:

    I speculate that the robustly repetitive Carolina bays may have been generated between 780 ka and 140 ka during a catastrophic mass-transport and deposition of high purity quartz particles, materialized as a superficial blanket of sand, spread chaotically over an antecedent terrain.

    …without a specifically defined mechanism of how.

    The gradualist’s can’t punch at what isn’t there — “The Tusk” or CB equivalent.

    They are left with trying to fit evidence of catastrophic origins into gradualist model hiking boots.

    I predict de-Nile won’t be just a river in Egypt, regards this paper.

  2. THANKS, agimarc!

    The comment I just added to the WUWT post:

    Never never never stop asking “QUO BENE?” “Who benefits?”

    Think in terms of the Jones/Briffa/Mann “Team”.

    Look at the sceince writer on this one. HAHAHAHAHAHA – THE Richard Kerr who still has not acknowledged the pro-impact evidence from YEARS ago.

    At http://www.CosmicTusk.com, there is even a widget showing Kerr’s indolence:

    Number of days writer Richard Kerr has failed to inform his Science readers of the confirmation of nanodiamonds at the YDB: 3 years, 4 months, and 22 days


    Now look at the first name on the paper. MELTZER. Meltzer has spent his career on the mammoth overkill hypothesis, and is totally invested in it. If the impact hypothesis wins, Meltzer loses.

    So, with Meltzer, his career is on the line, THREATENED by the YDB impact hypothesis.

    Look at the second name on the paper. HOLLIDAY. Holliday is ALSO massively inverted in the Clovs Man DID IT hypothesis. If the impact hypothesis wins, Holliday also loses.

    Holliday and Meltzer have been carping on the YDB impact hypothesis since it came out, they and a very small cadre of gradualists who basically do not do any original work themselves regarding the impact evidence but just run around and try to poke holes in the pro-impact papers, which are loaded with ORIGINAL research and TONS AND TONS of forensic data on several fronts.

    Do you think I am kidding? EVEN THIS PAPER – look at the Abstract. It’s a JOKE. All they do is KIBITZ:

    Proponents’ evidence “is not internally consistent, not reproducible, and certainly not consistent with being produced by impact,” says a geochemist who has been publishing on impacts for 27 years.

    Do you SEE? All it is is a COMMENTARY paper.


    There ISN’T any.

    This crowd – being mainstream (meaning uniformitarian-gradualist) – has the ear of similarly gradualist science editors. Richard Kerr is only one. ThePro-impct people have a tough time getting published – and every time they do, one of the Meltzer crowd is interviewed to “give balance”.

    But where is the

    So, every LITTLE PUNY point in refutation they can make is heralded from the rooftops – even if it doesn’t amount to anything. Names on the YDB skeptical “Team” are Daulton, Pinter, van Hoesel, Boslough, and Surovell. Their work is SHODDY and proven to be shoddy.

    At the same time, Surovell, though a died-in-the-wool gradualist, pokes big holes in the Mammoth Overkill hypothesis with some of his papers. I point to Surovell’s 2007 paper, “How Many Mammoth Kills Are 14?…” (http://www.uwyo.edu/nmwhomepage/pdfs/qi%202008.pdf) Which craps all over the PUNY amount of evidence that Clovis Man was the “extinction event” for Meltzer’s Overkill hypothesis.

    I ALSO point to my blog entry of two days ago: “Mapping Clovis Man vs Mammoths – Just Asking” at http://feet2thefire.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/mapping-clovis-man-vs-mammoths-just-asking/ The theme of that blog entry is that whenever we here of CLovis Man did this sand CLovis Man did that, they talk about CLovis out WEST.

    You wanna know something? Google Image “Clovis Sites Map”. You will SEE where Clovis Man REALLY was – and, Baby, it wasn’t out WEST! Clovis Man was primarily – VASTLY SO – east of the Misssissippi River.

    And here is the kicker:

    In the region where Clovis was greatly populated, THERE WERE NO MAMMOTHS.

    So, the great Mammoth devourers, Clovis Man, was eating OTHER animals!

    You won’t hear Meltzer or Holliday

    The skeptics always get the science journalists to state something like the one here: “Now comes what some researchers consider the strongest attack yet on the Younger Dryas impact hypothesis.” They have counted it dead and buried (if you listen to THEM tell it) several times over. AND ALWAYS PREMATURELY AND AMATEURISHLY.

    They are fighting to save their careers. They have a VESTED INTEREST in the impact hypothesis failing, and they are doing everything – EXCEPT ORIGINAL SCIENCE – to shoot it down.

    This so-called “paper” and its contents are – as usual – WEAK and adding nothing to the discussion but WORDS. WHERE IS THEIR ORIGINAL SCIENCE? NEW ORIGINAL LAB DATA?

    As one last blast at them, I will agree with Richard Fireston’s comment, ““Radiocarbon dating is a perilous process.” And it IS. Only recently did the Carbon14 IntCal calibration curves get changed – FOR THE THIRD TIME IN NINE YEARS. In one of the changes, the of the YDB impact radiocarbon dates moved by 100 years – from 12,900 years ago down to 12,800 years ago. And that will not be the last such change. So the skeptics picking nits about a few scores of years is a tempest in a teapot. The pro-impact realize this uncertainty in dating, and put down the best dates they can – but realize that those may change down the road.

    Melzer and Holliday act like all that dating is written in stone (no pun intended), and jump on any 5-year anomaly.

    Like I said, amateurish.

  3. Meltzer… It is REALLY spooky sometimes how I serendipity things at the same time.

    I by accident ran across a link to Surovell’s papers with Waguespack (hot babe!), and started reading a couple. Metzger was mentioned a LOT. But I’d forgotten his name was among The Daulton Gang.

    Metzger is TOTALLY invested in the Overkill Hypothesis. He HAS to defend his career, or his career isn’t worth SQUAT.

    But it is PATHETIC! All they can do is Op-Ed papers? And what is Science Magazine doing publishing Op-Eds without labeling them Op-Eds?

    They are picking nits about 50 years here and 50 years there? Straight out of van Hoesel! And they didn’t even give her credit for the approach! These people are acting like anyone can even KNOW how accurate dates are. When UBER tightly controlled, a C14 date is claimed to have +/- 50 years or so. But that assumes a PERFECT sample is taken – no earlier material got in, and no later material, either. The +/- on IntCal is only as good as the sample taken, and no more – but WAY possibly less good. Add to that that the calibration is a work in progress, merging scores of studies by scores of C14 guys. They have to weigh each one against the other – and put off including some because of various tech reasons. The 100 yeara adjustment of the 12,900 ya down to 12,800 ya is a typcal example. Right THERE some of the UDB samples fit right on TOP of van Hoesel’s whining.

    Basically these guys are desperate. They are either too stupid or too lazy to go out and get their own samples, or they have gone out and gotten them and found out the datings don’t give them the cherry picked answers that they want – so they buried the results.

    It is PATENTLY OBVIOUS that these people HAVE the expertise to go out and get their own samples and refute all that Firestone and Israde and all of them have done. So, WHY HAVEN’T THEY?

    The clear reason is staring us in the face… Drum roll, please. . . . . . . .

    The fact that they have NOT published rebuttal data can really only mean one thing: That they DO HAVE their own sample data, and that the data keeps coming back in favor of the YDB Team, and that they cannot publish any of it, not without killing their own careers.

    So, they have to do a flanking maneuver, a slight-of-hand trick. If you can’t beat them, try to make a mountain out of the vague datings.

    Like van Hoesel, Metzger – who REALLY should know better – is pretending that the C14 calibrations are super precise micrometer-like measurements. Metzger knows better. Van Hoesel is young and naive, and some day she will wake up. Metzger – there is no excuse.

    Firestone hit it on the head with his comment in the article ““Radiocarbon dating is a perilous process.” But I am sure he said quite a bit more than taht. Richard Kerr is a scab, and would have put in the most innocuous Firestone quote that didn’t poke a big OBVIOUS hole in his slanted article – but to those in the know, Firestone’s comment is a scathing rebuttal. Kerr knows it, but it LOOKS so demure and unperilous, to his readership.

    These utterly FEEBLE attempts at Op-Eds/Kibitzes – aren’t these people EMBARRASSED? To put out such drivel?

  4. I always enjoy reading Michael’s latest presentations on the Carolina bays. I think he has probably poked sufficient holes into the gradualist theories to help focus future research into these enigmatic geomorphs. As most of you know I am quite biased toward a catastrophist view of their origins.

    There are several aspects of these presentations that need to be addressed, in my opinion, to make them more accessible to a wider range of readers and to improve credibility of the information.

    1. There needs to be some reference to research on bubble physics to account for the characteristic ellipsoid shapes of the Carolina bays. Foam analogies are interesting, but the physics of foamy bubbles relies on the cohesive properties of the fluid entraining the bubbles. Is it reasonable to expect that sand entrained in superheated steam will exhibit cohesive properties that allow trapping bubble-like structures that scale over three orders of magnitude (meters to kilometers)?

    2. While OSL dating seems to be a panacea for absolute dating of the sand blanket, the method is complex and quite sensitive to many environmental factors. Being unfamiliar with the method outside of nuclear worker exposure monitoring (TLD), I recently read through the Springer brief titled “Luminescence Dating in Archaeology, Anthropology, and Geoarchaeology–An Overview” by Liritzis et al, 2013 as part of a review of radiometric dating techniques. The book taken as a whole suggests that OSL is heavily dependent on establishing background radiation fluxes that account for the build-up of the luminescent signal. This can entail months of in-situ monitoring in 3D around a proposed sample site, extensive in-lab evaluation of glow curves of the selected samples, and so-on. The method is also dependent on the minerals involved, and assumptions regarding cosmic gamma fluxes and the presence or absence of ground water. A regional OSL survey will be a very expensive proposition.

    3. His diagram of the “manifold” of trajectories pointing to the Saginaw Bay in Michigan would be more convincing if he plotted the actual Coriolis trajectories (i.e., arcs). These straight lines incorporate assumptions that are articulated only in the development of the formulas he used to define the radial lines. The assumptions themselves need to be evaluated on the basis of the probably physics of emplacement.

    4. As a visual learner, I would like to see either a sequential diagram illustrating the the emplacement of the sand blanket or even an animation of the same. I believe a number of problems with the hypothesis would become evident by going through this exercise.

    5. Lastly, the phrasing of the language in which Michael’s research is presented may alienate a large segment of readers for various reasons. Interested but non-technical persons will find his use of arcane technical jargon in his reports confusing or even incomprehensible. He nearly always demurs at the beginning of his presentations with a statement that he isn’t a professional geomorphologist. So his employment of these kinds of terms that are rarely used by even the professionals except in highly technical contexts where precision of expression is essential may appear as a novice’s attempt at scientific legitimacy–of trying to gain access to the club, if you will. I spend a lot of time reading scientific journals in physics and geology as part of my job, and the effort required to understand these papers rarely attains to that required to grasp his information. I recommend that he back off from the jargon and go for understanding in a broader audience. He may discover the wider comprehension brings broader support for his ideas.

  5. Terry –

    Basically I think you’ve made some very good points here. I like the animation suggestion. On the OSL all of that is VERY informative.

    With the proposed (relatively) low velocity impacts disturbing the target to SOME degree (else there wouldn’t even BE bays), I’ve tired to logic out what would be the best sampling points, and frankly I’ve gotten nowhere. Every point – top of rim, bottom of rim, inner portion of rim, outer portion of rim, X feet away from the rim, bottom of bay near rim, bottom of bay near center – and none of them seem to be good, not without knowing how the impact deformed the ground.

    I have a tough slog through Michael’s stuff, too. Eventually I get it, but not always the first time through.

    Bubbles coming up from below don’t tend to be elliptical, so landing from above is the only other possibility. It’s a toughie, perhaps, but at the same time a cool experiment to run, best with very high-speed video, so that the mechanism(s) can be understood step by step…. Getting an individual bubble to hit at an angle should not be THAT difficult. It is times like this that I wish I had a lab of my own…LOL

    Good comment!

  6. Here’s an experiment I’ve suggested here before.

    On a large flat, and level, surface spread a thin layer of sand; say about an eighth of an inch thick. Then set a pan in the middle of it with a small IED in the bottom covered with ice. I used an M80 with an electric fuse like those used in model rockets. That way I could set it off from a safe distance.

    When you set off the explosive charge in that ice, the ejecta from the explosion will produce a radial pattern of oval shaped depressions in the sand surrounding the explosion lastcol that is a perfect match for the shape, and fractal distribution of the CB’s.

    Doesn’t do much for the idea of steam bubbles in the sand. But it sure speaks volumes to the idea that the CB’s may be the result of secondary impacts of ice ejecta.

  7. Dennis; Is it possible that the bubbles were formed when the superheated steam sand and other debris came down and into contact with the ambient temp earth surface that any moisture in the soil, plant etc would instaneously convert to steam and blow out of the sand cover while it is still in motion before setting up. This should account for the elipticle shaping. Also water content of the landscape could dictate some of the size variations.

  8. Not really. The only aspect from the point of origin we’re trying to simulate is the ice ejecta itself, and what happens when it hits the sand layer. So The point of origin at the pan of ice is not intended to simulate a “crater” at all; it’s just an ice ejecta source. It’s the fractal distribution of the individual, oriented impact ovals the ice fragments leave in the sand layer that make it a telling experiment.

  9. While small-scale simulation may validate large-scale patterns, I think it is going to require heavy-duty numerical FEA modeling methods to even begin to get a grip on a blast ejecta model for the formation of the Carolina bays.

    Without a lot of personal experience in large scale fluid dynamics, it just seems that a blast front of entrained sand would be too high-energy and chaotic to confine entrapped gas into immense bubbles under the sand blanket that break in characteristic ellipsoidal features. I think the difficulty may be envisioning the dynamics of the sand emplacement, whether the fluid was particulate sand in a superheated steam matrix, or a liquid water matrix. In any case, maintaining a coherent ground-level shock front structure over a distance of 800 to 1500 km, involving mountainous terrain, is going to require some explaining.

    As an aside, that rather distinct northern edge to the field of Carolina bays in the southwest portion of Davias’s video posted at the top of these comments coincides with a longish southwest-northeast-trending fault. If you superimpose the North Carolina basement geology map kmz in Google Earth over the CB ellipse kmz, the correspondence is remarkable and even suggests some relationship. According to the basement map, the Middendorf formation underlies both sides of the CB boundary, but the CBs stop abruptly at the fault.

  10. Terry, as to that “distinct northern edge to the field… in the southwest portion”, can you clarify “northern edge” and “southwest portion”?

  11. Steve,

    Sorry about that. If you run the video to about 2:50 you see a distinct wedge-shape to the left in the CB overlay. The lower edge is simply where the kmz cuts off at the South Carolina border. But the upper edge of the pattern angling upward from left to right is real–the bays simply disappear. That edge corresponds to a fault according to the basement geology map.

    If you wish, I can send you both kmz files so you can take a look yourself. Perhaps George can make them available for download here.

  12. Terry, I DO have the kmz file already, but thanks.

    Working with Michael’s data on 43,900 bays I did a distance>centroid look, trying to find a “best fit” single centroid for the bays, independent of alignment. I thought that if they LOOKED like they pointed at one point, where IS that point? What I found is that, yes, there IS a point. (Nearby points aer also very good, so the single point is pointing at a small region, bot necessarily at that one and only point.) And also that using that point 98% of the eastern bays were in a circular band that is only 150 km wide, stretching from NJ down to Alabama.

    42.290°N 89.406°W The average distance from the centroid was 1239.058 km.

    I started out at Saginaw and saw a very nice bell curve distribution. Then I thought to see if I could improve on the bell curve – make it a narrower spike. I reasoned that if the ejecta flew out, there WOULD be some a somewhat circular pattern and that the “splatter pattern” should be fairly narrow if it all got ejected by the same rapid expansion at the impact target. I wanted to see HOW narrow that pattern was and if the pattern really was circular as opposed to, say, elliptical.

    The tightest centroid pattern has over half of the 43,900 bays within a FIFTY km band.

    With a point in the USA Midwest mathematically connected to the bays in this way, what does it suggest? It seem to argue against local east coast geology or meteorology as a possible cause, because how in the world would NC or SC weather be connected to N Illinois or S Wisconsin? The same argument holds against local geology – how could NC or SC geology each across 1200 km to the Midwest and then back again to the bays?

    If there is a point in the Midwest tied mathematically to the bays, then some event or condition in the Midwest seems to be a cause.

  13. What if the cosmic object is a comet that has broken apart like the Schoemaker-Levy comet that collided with Jupiter? Then there would be several impacts from objects that share similar trajectories. This could explain how the data is hard to connect into a single impact. What if the bays are the result of impact of mostly water? The comet pieces throw up parts of the glacier which are mostly melted just as they impact the ground? Since the glacier would have been quite uniform material, the comet impact could have thrown up large chunks of ice which break apart somewhat uniformly, resulting in similar-sized ice balls, which would all melt into mostly water in a uniform way. Melting too fast means just rain, too slow means deeper ice impacts, but a Goldilocks impacting broken-apart comet would match the evidence. Now just calculate back from that evidence to get the characteristics of the glacier, and see if it matches what we know about the character of glacial ice. Just a thought or two…

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