9 Sep 2020

At ... the asteroid that struck earth at the K/T boundary came in at an angle of 60 degrees according to a new study. This is said to have maximised the amount of climate changing gases that subsequently ascended into the upper atmosphere. It likely unleashed billions of tonnes of sulphur, blocking out the sun. This is thought to comply  with the idea of nuclear winter, one of the theories on the demise of the dinosaurs (and many other animals that experienced a mass die off at the same point in time). 3D simulation is involved in this report  in Nature Communications journal (see also ... to get at earlier research. The comments at WattsUp include some very sceptical ones, not prepared to accept catastrophism in any shape or form ...


See also ... and ... a new paper in Science Advances offers evidence not just of the release of huge amounts of climate changing gases but it also created, we are told, a hydrothermal system  nine times the size of the Yellowstone caldera. It may have persisted for thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years, in the wake of the asteroid strike. It permanently altered the chemical and mineralogical make up of a large chunk of the earth's crust. The Chicxulub crater is a 240km wide basin beneath the Yucatan peninsular, stretching out into the Caribbbean Sea. Data has shown that the impact that formed it generated ideal conditions for a hydrothermal system developing. Mexican researchers, and others, found hydrothermal alteration that was 100m thick and it may have generated hot  fluids 700m below the surface. They analysed hydrothermally altered rocks recovered from below the sea floor - up to 1335 feet below the sea bed.

The reason for this post is that the one yesterday, Geology of Japan, 8th September, intimated that massive changes in Japanese geology occurred during the Cretaceous era and we may speculate it had a connection with the asteroid strike. We might also bear in mind that the massive Tanis fossil dinosaur site in North Dakota may also have a connection - see ... a town named after the Egyptian, and Biblical, city of Tanis in Egypt. It is all part of the extensively studies Hall Creek Formation. This spans the corners of four states and is famous for the amount of fossils it has delivered - dating to the Upper Cretaceous/Palaeogene period (embracing the K/T boundary). If we add the Interior Seaway and the Deccan Traps lava formation in India, we really do have a global event, not confined to a small geographical region in Mexico. Thought provoking. However, not likely to be taken up by mainstream.

Note ... another interesting point here is the Electric Universe people believe strongly that the Chicxulub crater was formed by a thunderbold. Not of course your garden variety of thunderbolt but a huge one generated by a large cosmic body such as a planet, interacting with the electromagnetic defence system of the earth. How does that pan out if we have a global event - as far as geological tectonics are concerned. So many questions.

Then we have Britain. Recently, flicking through Down to Earth geology magazine (May of 2020) we learn that basaltic lava flows in Co Derry and Co Antrim occurred around 60 million years ago - more or less contemporary, even on the uniformitarian model, with the K/T boundary event. In addition, we are told, if the magma was rich in silica, as in lava that is granitic when cooled, it will have been viscuous. This means the gases in the magma was inhibited from being released gently. Instead, pumice builds up and the gas and lava are extracted explosively. A good part of the lava will have been converted into fine ash ec. In the case of Northern Ireland the magma is basaltic and it could have flowed freely. Volcanoes extruding lava flow low in silica are not as violent as the others.

Volcanic gases include water, for example, in a vapour form, as well as carbon dioxide, chlorine, hydrogen chloride, flourines, hydrogen flouride, and various sulphurous volatiles. Steam is the main gas blasted in a volcano (boiled water) and the second is carbon dioxide. Geysers form due to the eruption of steam and hot water through a vent.

Micro fossils are those small things you can't see very well in a geologists hand lens - and require a microscope. Foraminifera (plankton) are protozoa. They are mostly marine and singled celled. Broken foraminifera fossils can form beaches of sands. They can be found in Ireland - at Dog's Bay in Connemara, for example. There follows several pages of pictures of micro fossils, many from British location ssuch as Kent. They are also found in the Upper Chalk (Late Cretaceous). In fact, many of the listed microfossils have an origin the in the chalk and therefore date from the Cretaceous (indicating ocean water was involved). Lots of sploshing around it would seem - or the continental land masses have changed (what was submerged at some stage became an emergent landscape).