Study supports theory of extraterrestrial impact

Mar 05, 2012
This image shows the "tectonic" effects of the collision of one spherule with another during the cosmic impact. Credit: UCSB

A 16-member international team of researchers that includes James Kennett, professor of earth science at UC Santa Barbara, has identified a nearly 13,000-year-old layer of thin, dark sediment buried in the floor of Lake Cuitzeo in central Mexico. The sediment layer contains an exotic assemblage of materials, including nanodiamonds, impact spherules, and more, which, according to the researchers, are the result of a cosmic body impacting Earth.

These new data are the latest to strongly support of a controversial hypothesis proposing that a major cosmic impact with Earth occurred 12,900 years ago at the onset of an unusual cold climatic period called the Younger Dryas. The researchers' findings appear today in the .

Conducting a wide range of exhaustive tests, the researchers conclusively identified a family of nanodiamonds, including the impact form of nanodiamonds called lonsdaleite, which is unique to cosmic impact. The researchers also found spherules that had collided at high velocities with other spherules during the chaos of impact. Such features, Kennett noted, could not have formed through anthropogenic, volcanic, or other natural terrestrial processes. "These materials form only through cosmic impact," he said.

These images of single and twinned nanodiamonds show the atomic lattice framework of the nanodiamonds. Each dot represents a single atom. Credit: UCSB

The data suggest that a or asteroid –– likely a large, previously fragmented body, greater than several hundred meters in diameter –– entered the atmosphere at a relatively shallow angle. The heat at impact burned biomass, melted surface rocks, and caused major environmental disruption. "These results are consistent with earlier reported discoveries throughout North America of abrupt ecosystem change, megafaunal extinction, and human cultural change and population reduction," Kennett explained.

The sediment layer identified by the researchers is of the same age as that previously reported at numerous locations throughout North America, Greenland, and Western Europe. The current discovery extends the known range of the nanodiamond-rich layer into Mexico and the tropics. In addition, it is the first reported for true lake deposits.

This is James Kennett. Credit: University of California - Santa Barbara

In the entire geologic record, there are only two known continent-wide layers with abundance peaks in nanodiamonds, impact spherules, and aciniform soot. These are in the 65-million-year-old Cretaceous-Paleogene

boundary layer that coincided with major extinctions, including the dinosaurs and ammonites; and the Younger Dryas boundary event at 12,900 years ago, closely associated with the extinctions of many large North American animals, including mammoths, mastodons, saber-tooth cats, and dire wolves.

"The timing of the impact event coincided with the most extraordinary biotic and environmental changes over Mexico and Central America during the last approximately 20,000 years, as recorded by others in several regional lake deposits," said Kennett. "These changes were large, abrupt, and unprecedented, and had been recorded and identified by earlier investigators as a 'time of crisis.' "

Explore further: Quakes destroy or damage 83 houses in Philippines

More information: “New evidence from Central Mexico supporting the Younger Dryas extraterrestrial impact hypothesis,” by Isabel Israde-Alcántara et al. PNAS, 2012.

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PPihkala
1 / 5 (2) Mar 05, 2012
There are 14-15000 year old stone buildings in south America. Obviously this impact did reset human cultural development done at that point.
Lurker2358
2 / 5 (3) Mar 05, 2012
Very similar time period of what was going on in Asia Minor and the mid east at the time.

http://en.wikiped...e#Dating

So, is this the mysterious culprit that some archeologists believed flash burned forests in N. America, causing or contributing to mass extinctions of megafauna?

It's interesting that this radiodating would coincide so closely with the oldest layers of Gobekli Tepe, since at least the wiki article strongly suggests the site may be associated with some of the earliest agriculture.

One wonders why human civilization in the mideast was so far advanced compared to the Native Americans, seeing as how Gobekli Tepe appears to have already been more advanced than many Native American cultures were, at least in N. America, even up until 500 years ago, while the S. American natives clearly developed much more rapidly.

Perhaps this impact event explains this inequality of development after all?
TS1
5 / 5 (1) Mar 05, 2012
Wonder if they are saying where it hit?

The article mentions the "13,000-year-old layer of thin, dark sediment buried in the floor of Lake Cuitzeo in central Mexico" but then again says that "The sediment layer identified by the researchers is of the same age as that previously reported at numerous locations throughout North America, Greenland, and Western Europe."

So I am taking that they are not saying it hit in central Mexico, but that one of the locations of the sediment is there.
sstritt
2.5 / 5 (2) Mar 05, 2012
Wonder if they are saying where it hit?

The article mentions the "13,000-year-old layer of thin, dark sediment buried in the floor of Lake Cuitzeo in central Mexico" but then again says that "The sediment layer identified by the researchers is of the same age as that previously reported at numerous locations throughout North America, Greenland, and Western Europe."

So I am taking that they are not saying it hit in central Mexico, but that one of the locations of the sediment is there.

I believe this is the impact posited to have hit the Laurentide ice sheet, melting it, which then somehow affected the N. Atlantic currents, which led to the Younger Dryas cold period.
R_R
1 / 5 (9) Mar 05, 2012
theres a 500 km wide crater at lower right hudson bay just 12,500 years old, whats it going to take to smack the liers of their pedistal?
Lurker2358
5 / 5 (2) Mar 05, 2012
theres a 500 km wide crater at lower right hudson bay just 12,500 years old, whats it going to take to smack the liers of their pedistal?


Really?

The alleged crater you are talking about isn't even proven, and even if it was, it is supposedly dated at a half billion years.
GeoGeo
3.5 / 5 (2) Mar 05, 2012
"The current discovery extends the known range of the nanodiamond-rich layer into Mexico and the tropics"

How can they say the "known range of nanodiamond-rich layer" when it was misidentified to begin with?

"Scientists have asserted that the carbon spherules originated as fungal structures and/or insect fecal pellets,and that the claimed nanodiamonds are actually misidentified graphene and graphene/graphane oxide aggregates"

Furthermore,"megafaunal extinction, and human cultural change and population reduction" is utterly inaccurate.

"A study of Paleoindian demography found no evidence of a population decline among the Paleoindians at 12,900 ± 100 BP, which was inconsistent with predictions of an impact event, etc., etc., http://en.wikiped...pothesis

These issues still need to be addressed before further unjustified claims are made in support of evidence that doesn't exist.
R_R
1 / 5 (9) Mar 05, 2012
Really Lurker, but your welcolme to believe such a perfect crater formation survived under miles of moving ice for millions of years like the brainwashers want you too. For those looking for the answers though, this impact pierced the continent, cracked it and shifted the pole 2000 miles.
Lurker2358
3.2 / 5 (5) Mar 05, 2012
Really Lurker, but your welcolme to believe such a perfect crater formation survived under miles of moving ice for millions of years like the brainwashers want you too. For those looking for the answers though, this impact pierced the continent, cracked it and shifted the pole 2000 miles.


REally?

An impact that big isn't big enough to shift the Pole 2000 miles. not by a long, long shot.

using Impact Earth calculator.

An iron asteroid the size of the United States impacting at 17km/s would effect the pole's alignment by less than 5/100 of a degree, and would only change the length of the day by less than one second.

Although it would melt over 21% of the planet, it says, so obviously all life would die...

Moving the axis by 2000km would require the Earth hitting something about 1/6th as massive as itself, which clearly has never happened.

If Mars magically hit the Earth, it would not move the pole by 2000km.
Urgelt
not rated yet Mar 05, 2012
I would also like to know where the impact crater(s) are.

The study authors probably have an idea. For laymen like myself, some context would be helpful.
R_R
1 / 5 (8) Mar 05, 2012
Real eeee lurker, but you got a degree and know everthing and are not interested in anything but what you think you know. By the way theres another 500 km wide crater at the great lakes youve been brainwashed into believing is just nothing. And another in scandinavia. unplug borg
Lurker2358
2 / 5 (3) Mar 05, 2012
I would also like to know where the impact crater(s) are.

The study authors probably have an idea. For laymen like myself, some context would be helpful.


The most recent "big" impact crater I know of is Barringer Crater, but that is supposed to be about 4 or 5 times too old. Plus, I doubt the Barringer Crater event is even big enough to send nano-diamond ejecta into Mexico or around the world.

Now the unfortunate thing with meteors is they partially contaminate your radio dating, since they will have different isotopic ratios than the Earth soils, and you can't possibly know those exact ratios since much of it gets vaporized.

Still, the ejecta from meteors and volcanoes typically has a unique signature, certain type and size of particles, with certain compositions, etc, that can be traced in soil layers.

Even if the crater's age is off by that much, I doubt it's big enough to have caused the alleged event.
R_R
1 / 5 (8) Mar 05, 2012
The impacters were mountain range size, dont be a bunch of brainwashed borg. think for your selves.
R_R
1 / 5 (6) Mar 06, 2012
Been 60 years since mr hapgood and mr einstien showed the way.
El_Nexus
4 / 5 (4) Mar 06, 2012
The impacters were mountain range size, dont be a bunch of brainwashed borg. think for your selves.


I don't consider throwing out all my knowledge of physics, geology, and common sense in order to accept your crackpot notions to be "thinking for myself". I wouldn't call that thinking at all.
R_R
1 / 5 (5) Mar 06, 2012
Nexus, your knowledge is a systematic deception and you are a brainwashed fool. I hope you can overcome it.
R_R
1 / 5 (6) Mar 06, 2012
every nation records this event. your science is a #$%^^$ joke
jsdarkdestruction
5 / 5 (2) Mar 06, 2012
R_R, then why is it that you are the one being laughed at?
roboferret
5 / 5 (5) Mar 06, 2012
*Best Yoda Impression*
The Dunning-Kruger effect is strong in this one.
Bog_Mire
5 / 5 (1) Mar 06, 2012
Well, we have all been brain washed. Derr.
Physphan
5 / 5 (2) Mar 06, 2012
Scientists keep trying to DIS-prove their own pet theories. The one that does so gets into the history books. Saying the whole field is brainwashed is analogous to saying all medical doctors know how to cure cancer, but they make more money if they don't. I think those that reject science because it is such hard work to learn it well are the one's being brainwashed. In other words...R_R, you seem to be a pompous lazy troll. Leave the nice scientists alone.
R_R
1 / 5 (5) Mar 06, 2012
I am just a guy who is sick of the lies. In this case the ice age lie and believe me Ive done my homework. Science needs a poke because polite has got us nowhere, just doing my part and poking. The response was expected, if you cant ignore then ridicule. Been your selfish mo since Hapgood.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (3) Mar 06, 2012
"I am just a guy who is sick". Yes, we figured that from the frequency of conspiracy theory comments.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (4) Mar 06, 2012
As for the post, IIRC GeoGeo has it right. With or without Wikipedia I seem to remember that the killer is the dating of diverse extinctions, fungus fossils et cetera - none consistent with an impact. This theory is pushing up the daisies.

Likely Kennett is one of those who invested a lot in it. If so, he will then go on to find other 'evidence', like this one none enough to test the hypothesis by themselves.
R_R
1 / 5 (4) Mar 06, 2012
This should be very simple, its so obvious its laughable, 12,000 years ago North America was covered with thick ice sheets while on the other side of the pole millions of mammals lived comfortably in an ice free Siberia, then suddenly North America thawes out and Siberia freezes solid. But theres little getting through the wall of arrogence of the savant Borg. Lukily there are some scientists willing to chalenge this establishment mentallity such as those behind the findings above.
GeoGeo
5 / 5 (1) Mar 07, 2012
I would also like to know where the impact crater(s) are.

The study authors probably have an idea. For laymen like myself, some context would be helpful.


Impact craters are not necessarily required for every impact (look up air bursts associated with comets and asteroids) as is evident from the Tunguska event (and others such as the Dakhleh Glass) and is what the authors support in a lack of crater evidence for the Younger Dryas event here.
GeoGeo
3 / 5 (2) Mar 07, 2012
I would also like to know where the impact crater(s) are.

The study authors probably have an idea. For laymen like myself, some context would be helpful.


Impact craters are not necessarily required for every impact (look up air bursts associated with comets and asteroids) as is evident from the Tunguska event (and others such as the Dakhleh Glass) and is what the authors support in a lack of crater evidence for the Younger Dryas event here.
j_stroy
1 / 5 (1) Mar 09, 2012
I'll just leave this here.... Check wikipedia for "Orion correlation theory"

Its the theory that the Pyramids of Giza are built in an alignment and pattern, using the constellation Orion to indicate a star date of 12,500 years ago.

I recall reading that other ancient monolithic sites record a similar date using a similar manner.
Ironhorse
5 / 5 (3) Mar 10, 2012
I'll just leave this here.... Check wikipedia for "Orion correlation theory"

Its the theory that the Pyramids of Giza are built in an alignment and pattern, using the constellation Orion to indicate a star date of 12,500 years ago.

I recall reading that other ancient monolithic sites record a similar date using a similar manner.


Or 12500 years is approximately half of the time period of the earth's precession of the equinox, within the precision available at the time, and the ancients might have figured that out. Nothing to do with the Younger Dryas event.
R_R
1 / 5 (5) Mar 10, 2012
Preccession of the stars is the result of Earths wobble and Earths wobble is the result of the impacts of 10500 BC, the Earths axis was more verticle before these impacts and there were no seasons. The ancient survivors measured the change in position of the stars due to this pole shift and the new preccession was for thousands of years charted by thier descendents. This is how they have shown us that Earths axis was changed by 28 degrees and the previous pole was at Hudson Bay. Orion is the skeleton key to unlock thier secrets. "Message from the Ancients"
Ironhorse
5 / 5 (2) Mar 10, 2012
Preccession of the stars is the result of Earths wobble and Earths wobble is the result of the impacts of 10500 BC, the Earths axis was more verticle before these impacts and there were no seasons. The ancient survivors measured the change in position of the stars due to this pole shift and the new preccession was for thousands of years charted by thier descendents. This is how they have shown us that Earths axis was changed by 28 degrees and the previous pole was at Hudson Bay. Orion is the skeleton key to unlock thier secrets. "Message from the Ancients"


Would these 'ancients' be the 'thetans' buried under volcanoes who occasionally pop up to do a mission impossible movie? ;P
schmenge
5 / 5 (1) Mar 10, 2012
"Lukily there are some scientists willing to chalenge this establishment mentallity such as those behind the findings above."

RR,
Your argument is intriguing and I would like to learn less. Would you please post the names of the "scientists willing to chalenge this establishment mentallity".
Shootist
5 / 5 (3) Mar 11, 2012
theres a 500 km wide crater at lower right hudson bay just 12,500 years old, whats it going to take to smack the liers of their pedistal?


No, no there isn't.

http://impacts.rajmon.cz/
R_R
1 / 5 (4) Mar 11, 2012
Heres another fact for the brainwashed borg to dismiss, the 500 km wide continent piercing lava filled crater at lower right Hudson Bay is smack in the middle of North American isostatic rebound. If the borg could think for themselves they might investigate if a similiar formation is found centered on the European isostatic rebound.
Ironhorse
5 / 5 (2) Mar 11, 2012
Heres another fact for the brainwashed borg to dismiss, the 500 km wide continent piercing lava filled crater at lower right Hudson Bay is smack in the middle of North American isostatic rebound. If the borg could think for themselves they might investigate if a similiar formation is found centered on the European isostatic rebound.


from wikipedia " Although a few geologists have argued that it is possibly related to a Precambrian extraterrestrial impact and have compared it to Mare Crisium on the Moon, no credible evidence for such an impact crater has been found by regional magnetic, Bouguer gravity, and geologic studies."

Note that there is no equivalent western arc in the geology of the bottom of the bay, look carefully at the google map view.
R_R
1 / 5 (4) Mar 11, 2012
Sorry borg but your the one thats blind, the geologic record clearly shows what happened to the other half of this crater but its not part of your programing and I don't want to short cuircut you.
Ironhorse
5 / 5 (1) Mar 12, 2012
"Sorry borg but your the one thats blind, the geologic record clearly shows what happened to the other half of this crater but its not part of your programing and I don't want to short cuircut you."

Really Lurker, but your welcolme to believe such a perfect crater formation survived under miles of moving ice for millions of years like the brainwashers want you too. For those looking for the answers though, this impact pierced the continent, cracked it and shifted the pole 2000 miles.


If it were an impact crater, Polar Bear Provincial Park would follow the curve started on the east. Try using a compass to complete the circle. ;P
R_R
1 / 5 (3) Mar 13, 2012
OK Ironhorse I'll make you a deal, I'll show you where the other half of this crater is if you agree to buy my book "message from the ancients" and write an honest review on amazon. I certainly can't do this alone. PS you will find supposed dinasaur killer crater at mexico is also missing a part, no coincidence.