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Mahaney....Again!: New Evidence from a Black Mat Site in the Northern Andes Supporting a Cosmic Impact 12,800 Years Ago
event August 12, 2013 comment 84 Comments

The_Journal_of_Geology

Source: JOURNAL OF GEOLOGY Volume: 121 Issue: 4 Pages: 309-325 DOI: 10.1086/670652 Published: JUL 2013

Abstract:
Previous work has ascribed a cosmic impact origin to black, high-temperature, carbon-encrusted beds (2–3 cm thick), associated with the Younger Dryas readvance of ice at 12.8 ka during the Late Glacial in the northern Andes of Venezuela. The evidence for this includes carbon spherules, aluminosilicate melt rocks, melted coatings of glass-like amorphous carbon, and Fe-Mn on sands and clasts derived from local felsic gneiss and granite. These sediments have been subjected to renewed investigation using high-resolution scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive spectrometry, and new data show that spherules at site MUM7B exhibit unique morphologies and compositions. Molar oxide weight percentages prove the spherules are not volcanic and show little overlap with cosmic materials. Spherule microstructures display quench melting and, thus, could not have formed from slow geological authigenic, diagenetic, or metamorphic processes. Instead, geochemical values for the Venezuelan samples plot within the limits of impact-related materials, including tektites, ejecta, and impact spherules from a number of craters and strewnfields (cf. Chicxulub Crater, Chesapeake Bay Crater, Tunguska, Australasian tektite field, Lake Bosumtwi Crater, Ries Crater, and others). These results are identical to previously reported spherules from the Younger Dryas boundary layer (YDB) on three continents, North America, Europe, and Asia, and the most likely origin is from a cosmic impact/airburst 12.8 ka, as previously proposed. The MUM7B site is one of the two southernmost sites (Venezuela and Peru) in South America, thus extending the evidence supporting the YDB impact event into a new hemisphere on a new continent.

andes mahaney younger dryas