[meteorite-list] Mammoth Stew

From: Jason Utas <meteoritekid_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2007 18:38:09 -0800
Message-ID: <93aaac890712161838k5b07a596ka4185a401c95ce21_at_mail.gmail.com>

Hello E.P., All,

> 1) From the descriptions, the spherules in the tusks
> appear to be the result of the condensation of iron
> plasma, the same as at Barringer crater.

Completely wrong. The spherules from CD are spherules that condensed
out of the atmosphere and fell to Earth as solid spherules of
solidified iron; otherwise they wouldn't retain their spherical shape
upon contact with the ground.
The tusks, on the other hand, show evidence of (apparently) very hot
(to the point of being molten) iron having hit them at a fairly high
velocity. IF this were the case with CD droplets, they wouldn't be

> 2) When Nininger did his survey of spherules at
> Barringer crater, I doubt if he looked several hundred
> miles away from the crater - that's what I think of as
> a ballistic re-entry. The internet site for this
> impact has been greatly improved, and I'm sure that
> some here must have been active in that.

He looked until he stopped finding them.
And I still don't know what your term "ballistic re-entry" means.
It seems to imply that something which has (left what...?) left is
re-entering (whatever it left). Seeing as the CD spherules are merely
the product of an atmospheric condensation that occurred directly
above the crater (or maybe a little downwind), I don't see from where
you're getting the terms "entry" or "re-entry."
Nothing ever left.

> I don't know about winds at the time of Barringer
> impact, but I can't remember any statement as to angle
> of impact. But then I can't remember many things
> anymore.

Indeed. The angle of impact has been determined (I'm feeling a little
pressed for time, as I have a choral concert rehearsal in half an
hour, so I won't bother to look it up), and is available in a number
of books and websites, I'm sure; if you'd care to look it up, by all
means, do so, but I don't see what it has to do with the discussion at
this point.

> 3) I have no idea what the spherules' temperatures
> were when they landed - but my guess is that they must
> have been too high to use any type of barrel to
> duplicate their hitting the bones. My guess is that
> magnetic suspension and acceleration would be about
> it.

Seeing as they retained a spherical shape, and did not fuse to
surrounding sand or rocks, they were undoubtedly below the melting
point of iron. Beyond that, I can't really guess, but I can assure
you that they were all below the melting point of iron upon contact
with the ground, and any temperature in such a range is easily
simulated, from ~700 to, well a reasonably low guess to temperature
would probably be around 0 degrees C, as sometimes the ambient
temperature gets down to that in the upper desert.

> 4) As far as locating the 31,000 BCE crater goes, its
> possible that the situation might be similar to the
> K-T crater - that one took 10 years to find. Same
> goes for impact point(s) for the 10,900 BCE event. If
> you look at impact crater distribution maps, you'll
> see that more have been found in the areas where
> geologists live.

Firstly -

> you look at impact crater distribution maps, you'll
> see that more have been found in the areas where
> geologists live."

Yes, and this impact of which you speak supposedly occurred in the
North America, one of the areas (namely the US) with the largest
number of geologists in-residence in the world.

With regards to the rest of your statement, the trouble with saying
this that we simply haven't found it yet is that technology and
knowledge at the time, back when the Yucatan crater was found, with
regards to impact craters and mechanisms was extremely limited.
Nowadays, we know much more about them, and, were there such a crater
on the continent with such a young age, I have *no* doubt that it
would have already been found. It's one thing to compare two similar
craters, but that's not what you're doing. You just compared a
(probably) 10-20 mile diameter crater with an age younger than that of
CD to a crater that, regardless of its size, is sixty-five million
years old, and has been eroded to nothing visible.
Bad comparison. A thirty-thousand year old crater of such a size
would be painfully obvious, regardless of where it was. You can try
to deny this fact as much as you like, but that makes it no lesser a
fact. You're talking about a crater 3/4 the age of CD, with a
diameter ten to twenty times as large.

Ejecta fields would span the country, and probably other continents as
well. Have a look at the australasian tektite field. It was formed
by a crater that might be no more than 10km across, or so I hear, and
we find these tektites strewn more than halfway across the world, and
many are turned up (microtektites in any case) in core samples from
the bottom of the ocean, by chance. It's a 700,000 year old impact.

And yet we find no trace of your ~30,000 year old impactites anywhere
- not on the ground, under water, or anywhere else.
I'm inclined to believe that your crater shares the same fate.

It's not hiding...if it did exist, we would have found it...we haven't
found it...it doesn't exist.


> good hunting,
> E.P. Grondine
> Man and Impact in the Americas
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Received on Sun 16 Dec 2007 09:38:09 PM PST

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