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

Google Earth video of Carolina Bays

A couple of months ago I was having some fun with Google Earth Pro and put together this little video demonstrating the ubiquity of Carolina Bays in Eastern North Carolina. This is one of those projects where you swear you will return and do a “second draft” in the near future — and never do. So it is still kinda rough.

But people unfamiliar with the Carolina Bays should find it interesting. I’d enjoy hearing what you think.

5 Responses

  1. I find this subject endlessly fascinating. I wonder, has anyone ever connected the shape of the Carolina seaboard to these bays? If the three “dips” in the shoreline are the edges of bays, the material to make them must have been truly gigantic.
    Good job on the video by the way.

  2. George,

    I have been (slowly)working on creating a database of basic Carolina bay (CB) properties, starting at the northeast corner of South Carolina. In GE you can clearly see many CBs just inland of Myrtle Beach in this location. I have created polygons of over 100 of them so far, but have compiled data on only about 30. After manually measuring the headings of the long axis of 34 bays, which have an accuracy of +/- 1-2 degrees True, I created a distribution plot, just to get an idea of the variation in headings.

    Interestingly, the distribution roughly shows a peak at around 312-315T from this location. But more than half of the CB headings diverge from this bracket by quite large amounts. In fact, headings span an arc of more than 30 degrees, from about 300T to 330T.

    Now, 34 data points is not a statistically significant sample. But the heading spread speaks against a common ballistic source. It is especially problematic if you consider the hypothetical comet disintegrating at a distance of about 1600 km above the Great Lakes. At the location of Myrtle Beach, SC, the CBs should be aligned virtually parallel if they were formed from a common event.

    Another observation: If you project a line in GE at 315T from the location of these few CBs, the great circle trajectory lies over Illinois, Iowa, southern Minnesota, and beyond…not north of the Great Lakes. Now I realize that this analysis does not take into account the Coriolis effect. But that would make the problem even worse. The cometary fragments would have to approach from the WNW of this location to be the cause of the CBs elongated to the NW. That would place the comet above the Midwest approaching on an easterly trajectory. I don’t recall reading of any such hypothetical event, but then I’m not well-read in this issue at this time.

  3. Thank you so much, Terry! I thought of you yesterday. I also thought our friend Michael Davias. The bays are not blood spatter or worm burners you say? Indeed. But what are they, sir?

  4. George,

    Well, as Alice said, its becoming “curiouser and curiouser.”

    To begin my familiarization with the whole YDB debate, I read the Firestone, et al paper “Evidence for an extraterrestrial impact 12,900 years ago that contributed to the megafaunal extinctions and the Younger Dryas cooling” last night. OK, well, I skimmed it, looking for information pertaining to the CBs.

    As you know (speaking of heterodoxical thinking), I start with the premise of a global flood about 4500-5500 years ago, accompanied by tremendous tectonic upheaval and probably a bombardment by 30,000 plus-or-minus meteorites, many of which seem to be referenced in the YDB/Clovis literature. So my initial thoughts were how much of the CB chemical and radiological evidence was created in situ, and how much of it could have been washed into place during the recessional stage of the flood? The most damning piece of evidence for my theory was the glassy carbonized piece of white pine discovered in a CB. If its location in the sediments corresponded to where it was burned, then this could be evidence for a continental-sized blast. But if it could have been washed into place, then its presence has little significance with respect to the formation of CBs. The paper doesn’t provide the details needed to assess these points. Based on my presuppositions, I do not give much credence to C-14 dates older than about 5500 years. The variability of C-14 dates for YDB components given in the paper supports this position.

    I’m missing the significance of “worm burners”, but I’m becoming more and more sure that CBs are not “blood spatter”. I will be reading more of the papers you have linked to better understand the issues.

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