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

New Paper: Greenland Ice sheet shows diamond rich layer at Younger Dryas Boundary

Discovery of a nanodiamond‑rich layer in the Greenland Ice Sheet
Andrei V KURBATOV, Paul A MAYEWSKI, Jørgen P STEFFENSEN, et. al.

Accepted 19 August 2010, Journal of Glaciology

8 Responses

  1. It’s #37 in this list of papers to be published.


    vitae of
    Wendy S. Wolbach
    Department of Chemistry, DePaul University
    1110 West Belden Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614-3214
    (773) 325-4262 (phone); (773) 325-7421 (fax)
    [email protected];

    1984-1990 The University of Chicago
    Ph.D., Chemistry, March 1990
    Thesis subject: Study of environmental changes at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary through characterization of reduced carbon.
    1980-1984 Franklin & Marshall College

    40. Methods for the Extraction and Purification of Nanodiamonds from Cretaceous-Tertiary and Younger Dryas Boundary Sediments
    Charles R. Kinzie and Wendy S. Wolbach
    In progress.

    39. Evidence for an extraterrestrial impact event 12,900 years ago that contributed to megafaunal extinctions and the Younger Dryas cooling – Part 2
    L. Becker, R. Poreda, T. Darrah, A. West, J.P. Kennett, D. Kennett, J.M. Erlandson, R.B. Firestone and W.S. Wolbach
    In progress.

    38. Evidence for Widespread Biomass-Burning at the Younger Dryas Boundary (YDB) at 12.9 ka
    J.P. Kennett, A. West, P.A. Mayewski, T.E. Bunch, T.W. Stafford, Jr., J. Ballard, and W.S. Wolbach
    In progress.

    37. Discovery of Nanodiamond-rich Layer in Polar Ice Sheet (Greenland)
    A.V. Kurbatov, P.A. Mayewski, J.P. Steffensen, A. West, D.J. Kennett, J.P. Kennett, T.E. Bunch, M. Handley, D.S. Introne, S.S. Que Hee, C. Mercer, M. Sellers, F. Shen, S.B. Sneed, J.C. Weaver, J.H. Wittke, T.W. Stafford, Jr., J.J. Donovan, S. Xie, J.J. Razink, A. Stich, and W.S. Wolbach
    Submitted to Journal of Glaciology.

    36. Tracing the Manson impact event across the Western Interior Cretaceous Seaway
    David J. Varricchio, Christian Koeberl, Russell F. Raven, Wendy S. Wolbach, William C. Elsik, and Daniel P. Miggins
    In: Proceedings of the Conference on Large Meteorite Impacts and Planetary Evolution (eds. W.U. Reimold and R.L. Gibson).
    Geological Society of America Special Paper.
    In press.

  2. Crap! What happened to the link? I used the html, and it didn’t work at all. And then it bolded everything. Geez… I’ve posted on a lot of blogs, and haven’t successfully inserted an href in probably 5 years.


    Title: Impact Hypothesis Loses Its Sparkle: Shock-Synthesized Diamonds Said to Prove Catastrophic Impact Killed Off N. American Megafauna Can’t Be Found
    ScienceDaily (Aug. 30, 2010)

  3. a definitive result — “No evidence of nanodiamonds in Younger Dryas
    sediments to support an impact event,” Tyrone L Daulton, Nicholas Pinter,
    Andrew C Scott, “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”: Rich
    Murray 2010.08.30
    Monday, August 30, 2010
    [ at end of each long page, click on Older Posts ]
    [you may have to Copy and Paste URLs into your browser]

    [ Rich Murray: However and nevertheless — since widespread ice comet
    fragment air bursts probably caused relatively milder ground shocks, there
    remains research opportunities re blasted and melted ground rocks and their
    surface coatings, as proposed by Dennis Cox and others.

    http://craterhunter.wordpress.com/ ]


  4. Pinter’s work is immaterial. In the final analysis, the NDs will be seen as minor clues only. But don’t be to quick to dismiss them. Even though it’s turning into a circular case of ‘we said, they said’. Who’s correct? Are the NDs valid?

    If, in fact, the NDs are really there, then they describe a violent set of minimum atmospheric conditions. We can test this easily enough if we work from the postulate that they can be thought of as a barometer, and pyrometer, rolled into one. If such exogenic thermal explosive conditions were real, and they were directed downwards at the ground, then the was enough heat, and pressure to make stone flow like water for a moment. The NDs are not the only blast effected materials of the powerful explosive events they formed in. Those explosions most certainly left their marks. And they aren’t craters.

    If they formed in airburst impact vortices, then the Boslough simulation predicts the temps, pressures, and rotation speeds of a single impact down-blast vortex. Working from postulate that the events of the YDB were caused by the impact storms, of the debris streams, of the fragmented Taurid progenitor. The YD impact hypothesis as it stands, describes tens of thousands of such airbursts in a little over an hour. And acompanied by clouds of particles down to the size dust grains falling into the atmosphere at something like 30 km/per second.

    Sounds too fantastic? Stay with me here. I’m on a roll.

    Firestone, and friends proposed destructive forces equivalent to as much as 10^9 megatons of TNT. or in ordinary English, A Million, Billion tons of TNT. And temps hotter than the surface of the sun.

    Is our comet predicted to have been big enough to account for such devastation? Judge for yourself.

    Before its breakup, the Taurid progenitor is estimated at 10^15 gm total mass. Yeah, I know, using a gram scale to weigh a giant comet is like giving the distance to moon in inches. It works out to well over 1.1 billion tons. And between 50 and 100 km in diameter.

    Since the YD hypothesis has become a fully fledged theory that gives a specific description of the exact nature of the impactors, then it follows that we can also predict the nature, and severity, of the blast effected materials. Only the first fragments to fall would have fell into cold atmosphere. The rest would have fell into already superheated impact plasma, and just cranked up the heat, and pressure. We aren’t looking for craters where a solid bolide hit the ground. We are looking for the signatures, whatever they might be, of a ‘Perfect Storm’ of thermal impact plasma. A full blown magneto-hydrodynamic-plasma storm, with winds gusting to supersonic, and the gusts are hotter than the surface of the sun. The surface of the Earth didn’t get smashed and broken. It was flash melted, and blown away.

    The overpressures of the blasts would have tossed whole mountain ranges like clumps of flour on a bakers table. And flash melted them like chunks of wax under a high pressure blowtorch. 10^9 mega tons TNT of destruction doesn’t seem like such a stretch, when you work out how big the comet was.

    Extraordinary hypotheses require extraordinary proofs. If the Younger Dryas Impacts were, in fact, the multiple airburst impact storms of the Taurid Progenitor, then there should be a hundreds of thousands cubic miles of flash melted rock, and blast effected materials on this continent, as pristine as the day they first cooled. And with no giant volcanic system to blame for them.

    Fortunately this has not a problem.

    Trust, and believe, that the world hasn’t been shown all the lines of evidence yet.

  5. Hi Dennis: There are very few comets of the size you have indicated here. Originally perhaps something in the order of 10 kms maybe as much as 20 kms across was the proto Encke object. Remember too, that the very large asteroid about 65 million years ago was in the order of ten kms across (though it created a crater some 200 kms across). And too, the Shoemaker-Levy 9 was a comet, this in that same 10 -20 km size range before it broke apart. What may have contributed to much of the mass of which you speak, was likely from the comet tail that can stretch hundreds of thousands of kms and contain all manner of objects, some as much as one kilometre across.

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