As I was readying the first edition of
this book, I forced myself to look more closely at South America and its
origins. Instead of finding an old continent that was too old to explain. I
found that South America didn't exist as a separate continent until 132 MYA.
I had assumed that both North America
and South America were actually really old continents (some of their craters
date back well before 250 MYA) that had been conjoined with Eurasia through the
subduction mechanism and then were knocked away when the slow motion crash of
Siberia into Eurasia occurred approximately 200 MYA.
Now I had discovered that South America
didn't even exist as a separate continent until 132 MYA.
What about North America?
A COMPLICATED CONTINENT
Well, North America is complicated.
To begin with, North America consists
of a combination of parts of three different tectonic plates.
First, there is the Eastern American
Plate, which came into existence approximately 202 MYA at the end-Triassic
extinction. This plate remained partially attached to the European Plate until
it was completely jolted loose by the Chicxulub impact 65 MYA. This Eastern
American Plate moved to the northwest (or moved somewhat north but mostly west
at the lower latitudes) until it ran into the tail end of the Siberian Plate.
This makes the tail end of the Siberian
Plate the next player in the drama. The Siberian Plate had been moving north
and west and splitting into three different parts as it tried to make a hard
left turn as it neared the North Pole. It had been making this journey since
By the time the tail end of the
Siberian Continent was finally reaching the middle latitudes about 70 to 80
MYA, the relatively new Eastern North American Continent came out of the east
and ran into it, beginning the Laramide Orogeny (the raising up of the high
plains and the Rocky Mountains).
This tip of the Siberian tail
eventually broke off and remained lodged between the Eastern American Plate and
the San Andreas pushed-up-land. The rest of the Siberian tail continued north
The third player in the drama is the
pushed-up-San-Andreas-land of the Pacific Plate. As the huge Siberian Continent
moved north and rotated westward, it pushed up land on the plate next to it
(the Pacific Plate). This situation is similar to the Indian Plate pushing up
land on the plate next to it, creating Java, Sumatra, and the Thailand and
Because the pushed-up-San-Andreas-land
was too high to subduct, the Siberian Plate merely slid by it. When the
Siberian Plate ran into parts of the Pacific Plate that were not pushed up (the
Farallon and Cocos Plates), it subducted them. In fact, these mini-plates were
actually pieces of the Pacific Plate that were torn away from the Pacific Plate
because it could not stretch enough to accommodate these two forces acting in
THE EFFECTS OF THE CHICXULUB
While most of this book deals with the
antipodal effects of large cosmic impacts on earth, this appendix also deals
with the effects at the impact area, itself.
The impact at Chicxulub is generally
treated as an event that did not change the shape of the land around it, except
for creating the impact crater.
After analyzing the New Madrid fault,
the Sierra Madre mountains, the shape of the North American Continent, the map
of CAMP structures in the area and the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean basin,
I have come to the conclusion that there is more to the actual Chicxulub impact
than meets the eye.
When looking at continental theory
involving a "blob with a tail," I have had difficulty with two continents:
1. EURASIA - I concluded that this
large land mass was the "vacuum cleaner" of planet earth, absorbing continents
as the subduction process inevitably brought continents together.
2. NORTH AMERICA - A blob with two
tails. One tail was Mexico and Central America. The other tail was
Florida/Bahamas and the Caribbean islands. Furthermore, the largest earthquake
in North American history occurred right in the middle of the continental mass.
What was this all about?
After looking at several possible
explanations, I finally realized that the two tails might actually be one tail
that had been split in two. The more I examined this possibility, the more I
found that this splitting option explained other features, too.
The crux of this splitting explanation
is the idea that the Chicxulub impact actually occurred slightly inside of a
North American tail that curved down sharply to the Florida area and towards
the Caribbean area.
The Chicxulub impact is located today
right on top of the northern "thumb" of the Yucatan Peninsula. When examining
the shape of this area (including the continental shelf), we can see that there
are several miles of land just under the water to the north of the impact.
If the impact was actually slightly in
the interior of the meat of the tail of this reimagined North American
continent, the force of the impact could have caused the land to move to the
southwest (as explained previously, the impact object came out of the
This moving process would have unhinged
a significant amount of the tail, forcing it to move along with the crater
area. The top edge of the continental-shelf-thumb would have been originally
located along the panhandle of Florida prior to the impact 65 MYA.
The energy of the impact forced this
area to move to the southwest and form the beginnings of the Gulf of Mexico.
Over time, the ocean rounded out the ragged edges of the gaping opening,
creating the Gulf of Mexico as it exists today.
As the moving impact site peeled off
most of the lower tail to the south and west, it also pulled down the western
edge of the upper tail and the lower blob. This action stretched out the Sierra
Madre mountains and created a navigable (by land) high plain in the lower part
of Arizona and New Mexico. 95,96
Furthermore, it stretched the land and
caused a partial rift in the middle of the lower U.S. as it pushed that same
land to the west. The rift did not extend all the way to the northern border.
THE EFFECTS OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY
About 35 MYA, a large object crashed
into Chesapeake Bay in Maryland from out of the northeast. The impact caused an
antipodal hotspot that ran down the east coast of Australia.
At the impact site, itself, the energy
pushed the east coast of the U.S. in a southwestward direction, causing the
indented eastern coastline of the U.S. from Massachusetts to Georgia and
gradually closing the rift in the middle of the country.
The rift, located at the Mississippi
River and the Ohio River valleys, still experiences strike slip fault movement
from the pressure to the south on the eastern side of the now-closed rift (i.e.
the New Madrid earthquakes). 101,102
LOOKING AT THE EVIDENCE
Now, let's ask the question: What makes
this impact scenario more plausible than the Standard Theory, which doesn't
posit movement at the site of the impact?
1. MECHANISM FOR NEW MADRID - The
Impact Effect Scenario offers a clear mechanism for the cause and continued
movement of the fault in the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys. Without some
kind of really good reason for the New Madrid fault, it is bizarre to have the
largest earthquakes in the history of the U.S. occurring in the middle of the
normally stable continental mass.
2. LARGE IGNEOUS PROVINCES - The map of
Large Igneous Provinces shows a questionable magmatic location (it has a
question mark on it) in the "thumb" of the Yucatan Peninsula. This is mostly
questionable because it located so far away from the rest of the magmatic
locations of the CAMP. The Impact Effect Scenario moves this magmatism
location's initial site to a spot right next to the CAMP locations in lower
Georgia and Alabama. 103 pg 4
Furthermore, an analysis of the
Caribbean Ocean plateau by Keith H. James finds that the thumb area of the
Yucatan has been tectonically linked to Florida, across the Gulf of Mexico.
57 pg 2
3. STRETCH MARKS - A look at a relief
map of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean basin shows stretch marks
indicating the movement of Mexico and Central America away from the Caribbean
islands, Florida and the Bahamas shelf area. The pieces seem to fit together
with Jamaica, especially, appearing to be partially pulled towards the Central
4. STRETCHED OUT AREA NORTH OF THE
SIERRA MADRES - There is an area between the Sierra Madre Mountains in Mexico
and the lower Rocky Mountains in the U.S. that is not very mountainous
it is as though that area was stretched out, lowering the mountainous area that
was probably there originally. The Impact Effect Scenario provides a definite
cause for this stretched out situation.
5. IT FITS THE "BLOB WITH A TAIL" MODEL
- North America is the only continent (with the exception of the Eurasian
conglomeration) that does not fit the "blob with a tail" model. This Impact
Effects Scenario would explain this anomaly.
6. COMMON SENSE - Does it make sense
that a huge impact that comes in at an angle would not have at least some
angular effect at the impact site? If tectonic plates are going to move around
because of mantle plumes, why wouldn't a huge angled impact cause at least some
of the earth's surface to move?
Another example of movement as the
result of an angled impact is the Permian extinction impact in Antarctica 250
MYA. The impact caused the entire Old Australia continent to move to the south
and east, with Eastern Antarctica eventually breaking off and moving south as
the stresses from one-sided (not evenly applied along the whole length of this
huge continent) forward pressure would not allow such a large structure to stay
intact. 57 pg 2
EXPLAINING EASTERN NORTH AMERICA
While this explanation of the three
plates which formed North America does explain the interaction involved, it
does not explain the origin of the key player ... Eastern North America.
Siberia was previously explained. The
pushed-up-land at the San Andreas Fault has been explained. Let's look at the
explanation for Eastern North America.
I contend that Eastern North America
was created as a result of a very large impact at the end of the Triassic,
about 202 MYA. This event caused the formation of the Central Atlantic Magmatic
Provinces (CAMP), as a side effect of uplifting the new Eastern North American
Because the northern part of the new
Eastern North American Continent did not fully separate from the European
continent until 65 MYA, it has been more difficult to see how the process
worked. However, we can find reasonable candidates for the necessary
participants in this continental formation.
1. CRATER -- There are no absolute
answers here. However, we do have a candidate. Looking at where the original
hotspot was likely to have been and where an impact would have had to have been
to be antipodal to the initial hotspot, there is a candidate: The South
Sandwich Islands, which are located just to the east of the closest point
between South America and Western Antarctica. Looking at the blob and tail of
the Eastern North American Continent, the impact would have had to have
occurred in the South Pacific, out of the northwest, heading south and east.
Two hundred million years later, the remnant could be to the crater-like
structure that includes the South Sandwich Islands.
2. HOTSPOT -- The hotspot for the
uplifting of the Eastern North American Continent is interior to the continent
and likely located at or near Montreal, Canada or under northern Lake Ontario.
It is also possible that the initial hotspot was located to the northwest of
either location and that the cracks propagated to that area and the volcanism
started "squirting out" at one of those points (similar to the Columbia River
volcanism in Washington State, where the Yellowstone hotspot, then located
under the Rocky Mountains, couldn't break through the surface due to the weight
and thickness of the rocks. Instead, the volcanism moved sideways to the
Columbia River valley where it could break out). The entire hotspot situation
is confusing, in that much of northern Eastern North America remained mostly
attached to the European Continent for tens of millions of years. This means
that the Eastern American Continent might not have started outrunning the
hotspot until 60 million years after the creation impact.
However, there are very visible crack
and split lines in the initial hotspot area that can explain the CAMP volcanism
as the cracks propagated to the uplifted edge area of the new continent. The
clearest crack propagation lines are the St. Lawrence seaway, the Hudson
Valley/Lake Champlain divide, the Mohawk River in New York State and the basin
structure of the Great Lakes, much of which is underlain by basalt intrusions.
Even the Finger Lakes of Upstate New York might be the result of tentative
crack propagation. As the propagated cracks released the magmatic pressure and
uplifted and partially separated the Eastern North American Continent from
Europe, they also created the huge CAMP lava flows. Adding to the problem of
determining the original location of the hotspot is the fact that continued
glaciation over the millennia has eroded identifying features on the landscape.
"The unusually large amount of
volcanism of the CAMP could mean that a significant amount of the pressure of
uplift was relieved through the CAMP rather than being used in the uplift. This
could explain the partial attachment of the northeastern section (Greenland) to
Europe, as well as a possible lower-than-usual uplift on the western side of
this new continent. 81 pg 22
"An only semi-uplifted western edge of
this new continent could have resulted in subduction of that edge under the
Siberian Tail remnant during the collision 80 MYA to 70 MYA at the start of the
Laramide Orogeny (building of the Rocky Mountains). This subducted collision
could have uplifted the high plains and built the Rockies as a normal
continental mountain range from the east, rather than a uniquely strangely
shallow-angled subducted Farallon Plate from the west. The separation of the
pieces of the Siberian Tail as it moved north and east could explain the Big
Horn Basin and other intermountain basins.
3. BLOB WITH A TAIL -- While the
Eastern North American continental uplift did produce a blob with a tail, it is
difficult to see this today because:
a. THE TAIL MOVED 65 MYA -- As
detailed earlier in this appendix, the Chicxulub impact 65 MYA moved most of
the tail to the south and west, as it opened up a gash in the midsection of the
Eastern North American Continent. The pushed-over tail material lined up under
the Siberian tail section of the combined continent, making the continent look
as though it had two tails.
b. COMBINED CONTINENTAL MASSES
-- As Eastern North America moved west, it collided with the tail of the
Siberian Continent, which (With the small pushed-up portion of the Pacific
Plate at the western edge) formed the combined continent that we see today.
4. CONTINENTAL MOVEMENT -- The creation
of Eastern North America 202 MYA took a significant amount of land from Europe,
as well as raising up some ocean crust on its western side. When it comes to
continental movement, we can see where Eastern North America was connected to
Europe and we can see where it ended up today.
However, this was not a straight line
path. The collision with the Siberian tail (80MYA to 70 MYA) would have moved
it northward and/or caused it to rotate clockwise. The Chicxulub impact 65 MYA
would have moved it to the southwest, until the tail split and the western tail
continued on its southwest journey. Then, 35 MYA, the Chesapeake Bay impact
would have moved the entire plate to the south and west.
5. TANDEM MOVEMENT -- The original
hotspot location is difficult to determine. There is a good possibility that
the Eastern North American Continent did not start to outrun the hotspot (due
to the continent still being partially attached to Europe) until around 130
MYA. Given the likelihood that the original hotspot and the crack propagation
occurred near Montreal and/or northern Lake Ontario, there is a clear candidate
for the subsequent track of the hotspot. This track is the New England Seamount
Chain. The New England Seamount Chain begins off the southeast coast of Cape
Cod with the Bear Seamount (102 million years old) and continues southeast to
the Nashville Seamount (82 million years old).
If we follow the New England seamount
chain backwards in time, we find that this same hotspot built the White
Mountains in New Hampshire circa 124 MYA and created volcanic intrusions in the
Montreal area approximately 136 MYA. The Nashville Seamount was created 82 MYA.
Then the seamount chain seems to end. However, many geologists believe that it
continues at the Corner Rise Seamounts and then, later, across the mid-ocean
ridge, with the Great Meteor Seamounts.
But, how could this be? The New England
Seamounts move in a relatively straight line and then end at the Nashville
Seamount. The Corner Rise Seamounts begin at 75 MYA and are located
significantly to the north. Why would the hotspot change direction like that?
The answer is that it didn't. Instead, the Eastern North American Plate changed
direction. Somewhere around 80 MYA and 70 MYA, the Eastern North American Plate
ran into the Siberian tail, which was moving to the north and west. This
collision would likely have caused the Eastern North American Plate to be
grabbed and rotated clockwise, thus moving the eastern edge of the plate to the
Because the eastern edge of the Eastern
North American Plate moved to the south, the New England hotspot appeared to
move significantly to the north, where it created the Corner Rise Seamounts (75
MYA to 70 MYA). At this point, the seamounts stop. However, in a location of
similar latitude across the mid-ocean ridge, a new group of seamounts begin.
Some geologists conclude that this new group is a continuation of the New
England Seamount Chain, now rechristened the Great Meteor Seamounts. I believe
that this interpretation is correct, although my version is slightly different.
The standard view is that the hotspot is moving southeast. I believe that the
hotspot is moving very slowly northwest, but that the plates (Eastern North
American and Europe) are both moving faster in a westerly direction than the
slow moving hotspot. 88,89,90,91,92,93,94
The extinction caused by the impact
which created the Eastern North American Plate at its antipode, as well as the
CAMP, was the end-Triassic extinction. The extensive magmatism of the CAMP were
the primary driving force for this major extinction. But we must remember, the
CAMP were created by the antipodal impact effect.