Catastrophism news

Bloat and Float

At ... one mystery of fossilised dinosaurs concerns the armour plated ankylosaurs. They are often discovered belly up. How does this happen? Out of 32 two fossil specimens from Alberta 26 were belly up. A recent study has worked out it was a case of bloat and float. They are usually found in river or water channel deposits and would have flopped over as a result of turbulent water flow.

Toba Failing

Seems like the Toba super volcano eruption 74,000 years ago is looking weaker. Not only is there evidence it had little to effect people in India we now have evidence of the same in eastern Africa. No sign of an environmental crisis it would seem. Go to ... but I suppose one might argue over the dating methodology that was used. Do they have evidence of a downturn at some other period?

Global volcanism and Chicxulub

Sea floor data point to a global volcanism event after the Chicxulub meteor crashed into the Yucatan peninsular - see ... the highest peak of sea floor spreading (expansion of the sea floor) is deemed to have occurred at the same time as the Chicxulub meteor strike. That makes sense as recent investigations have shown how deep into the crust the asteroid penetrated. It caused massive magamatic activity - all around the world.

Fireballs and Ice Age

Sent in by Gary - at ... here we are back at the Younger Dryas boundary event. If nothing else these guys are persistent. Every time mainstream gives them a kicking up they pop with another major paper. This times it is a barrage of fireballs as a comet fragmented and disintegrated in the atmosphere, creating a series of rapidly descending meteors that they claim torched a considerable part of the landscape. Geochemcal and isotopic markers have left behind a lot of evidence of their passing.

Plankton Dispersal

Dating the 100,000 year Ice Age cycle depends on oxygen isotope changes in plankton shells taken from the sediment cores of the ocean bottoms. At ... we learn about a study published in the journal Nature Communications (January 4th 2018) that found that the age of plankton and the strength and direction of currents are key to how they are dispersed in the oceans - more so than water temperature, salinity, and nutrient availability.

Impact Site

At ... geologists exploring volcanic rocks on the Isle of Skye have exposed a meteorite impact zone - containing rare minerals with an origin in outer space. Some of them are known from the Stardust mission to Comet Wild2 and other bits seem to belong to the actual meteorite itself. A 2m thick ejecta layer confirms the impact - date way back to the Paeolocene era (60 million years ago) and nary a thunderbolt in sight. See the journal Geology (2017) DOI:10.1130/G39452.1

Alaska Muck

An article to stir the blood of all those people impressed by Velikovsky's book 'Earth in Upheaval' published back in the 1950s. Impacted related microspherules in Late Pleistocene Alaska and Yukon muck deposits signify recurrent episodes of catastrophic emplacement (of the muck deposits as well as the microspherules). This may be explained by encounters with cometary debris in earth crossing orbits (such as the Taurid complex), generated by the fragmentation of a large comet with the inner solar system.

Chicxulub and Cordillera

Researchers extracted cores from the Chicxulub crater recently - see ... It measures 110 miles across (180km) and is situated in Mexico's Yucatan peninsular. An object 6 miles across is thought to have crashed into the Earth - and brought the dinosaur age to a close. The research was focused on taking samples from the peak ring (under 50 feet of water). Holes were drilled into the sea floor to as far as 4380 feet deep.

Killer Floods

William sent in this link to Nova films. This one is about Killer Floods - go to .. for the moment only a trailer of the movie is available but Gary has forwarded a link to a You Tube video on the programme - go to

Supernova and Climate

An interesting paper is discussed at ... which is relevant to the SIS membership following the talk by Rupert Holms at our autumn meeting a couple of weeks ago (the video is not yet online). The idea of supernova having catastrophic effects in the historical past was quite popular at one time - as postulated by the likes of LaViolette and Firestone. Rupert Holms theory is in a similar vein - but with a twist.