Asteroid Dust at Chicxulub

26 Feb 2021

Robert sent in the link to this story at https://phys.org/news/2021-02-asteroid-crater-case-dinosaur-extinction.html ... where we learn that dust from the asteroid impact at the K/T boundary was thrown into the sky where it blocked out light from the Sun and led to the extinction of three quarters of life on earth. Some of that dust did not rise high enough and quickly settled back down again, even collapsing back into the recently formed crater. The presence of that dust, we are told, proves that the asteroid impact was real, a claim that is primarily aimed at geologists who still won't accept it. They are emphatic that geochronology is not onboard with the idea of an impact event. What they mean is that sedimentary layers laid down were not instantaneously created but, following uniformitarian parameters, took place over millions of years. From a catastrophist angle the latter view is born out of uniformitarian misrepresentation of how quickly some sediments can be laid down. Not all geologists think every sedimentary layer is laid down slowly. One only has to look at modern volcanic eruptions, such as Mount St Helens. If the key to the past is what occurs in the present and then it is crystal clear from that volcanic explosion that sedimentary layers many feet thick, can be created in a matter of days or weeks rather than millions of years.

The Chicxulub crater is 125 miles wide, it would seem, and the asteroid dust has a matching chemistry that fits not just the nearby rocks that were obliterated in the exchange of energy but also that of what is thought to represent the make up of an asteroid, or meteor. The results can be read at Science Advances [Feb 24th] ... https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/7/9/eabe3647/tab-pdf

Robert harkens back to a 2017 paper in order to look at a different point of view - see https://phys.org/news/2016-07-oil-dinosaurs.html ... which is also a fascinating piece of research. The idea is developed that a burning oil spill may have been responsible for shutting out the sunlight and therefore reducing vegetation and killing the herbivores [and the predators also]. Of course, far more than herbivores and T Rex were involved. It affected a good many species that never reappeared in the fossil record. The dinosaurs are simply the biggest and most obvious of the fossil remains. It seems there is a huge reservoir of oil beneath the Gulf of Mexico and it was in fact oil explorers who homed in on the crater. Its existence was unknown until those intrepid oil men got to work mapping the sea bed etc. It seems fairly obvious that an asteroid impact would have set ablaze some of this oil - whether or not it had an abiotic origin or a conventional origin. Enough burning oil and you have the means to blot out sunlight - but for how long would the oil fires have burnt. A combination of oil fires and dust and debris from the impact would raise the bar even higher. No doubt other factors come into play, some of which have yet to be aired in public.

Robert also gave a link to a series of posts he made at https://forum.sis-group.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=38#p192 ... where he pointed out on page 6 a non-catastrophist explanation for the K/T [or K/Pg as it is now known] event - which is basically the Deep Earth Gas Theory of Thomas Gold [1977]. Gold also proposed oil, or some of it, had an abiotic origin, which is where this idea becomes manageable. These ideas were first espoused by the Russian chemist Dmitry Mendeleev in the 1870s, a rather venerable theory quite unlike plate tectonics, for example. He was also the chemist that gave the world the periodic tables of elements. According to Robert an upwelling of hydrocarbons from deep in the crust could have been responsible for the K/T boundary. I avoided using the term event as in a non catastrophist scenario it would not be an event. Just something that happened. The K/T boundary has a geological marker it is claimed, a global iridium layer. This means the asteroid impact was not confined just to central America but also affected various other parts of the world. It was a global phenomenon. I'm not sure if that could be applied to an upwelling of oil, natural gas, and methane. Lurking in the background is the massive volcanic outpouring represented by the Deccan Traps in India. Funnily enough, in a couple of the comments at PhysOrg this is actually correlated by one person and shot down by a couple of others on the basis that at the time India was in the process of wandering from Africa to its present position at the top of the Indian Ocean. Why they think this is a fact and therefore the Traps cannot be connected is unclear as the only reason they think the Indian plate [if there is one] made such a journey was to account for the Himalaya Mountain chain. India crashing into Asia is supposed to have raised the mountains - another mainstream fact that may one day be disproved. On the other hand it may not. Well, not in our lifetime. 

In another part of the same post [page 8] Robert claims 95% of all fossils are shallow marine invertebrates - mostly shell fish of one kind or another. There are certainly lots of rocks with the remains of plankton and algae with an origin in the sea. You can also walk through Jurassic clay country and pick up pieces of oyster shell, very often broken by ploughing, and left cluttering field margins [much like shattered flint pieces]. What is this telling us, even if 95% is an over estimation. A lot of water at different times was swished onto the land - or the land has at different times been submerged and what is now under the waves, such as continental platforms, were above the waves, in the past. None of this is counter to the prospect of a different earth geoid during various phases of earth history, an idea that might lead to a spot of scepticism regarding plate tectonics theory. That would of course include the idea that the Indian plate made a journey across the waves between Africa and its present position, and Antarctica was at the same time doing something similar. This is why research into the K/T boundary event is so interesting - for some people. It may open up uniformitarianism like a can opener does a tin of baked beans.