Now that we have reviewed some of the
relevant features of the Standard Theory, it is time to take a look at Ben's
Antipodal Impact Theory, a theory of antipodal impact effects.
This new theory views the basic
structure of the Earth in the same way as the Standard Theory. This new theory
also agrees with the basic designation of the four major layers of the earth
the lithosphere, the mantle, the outer core and the inner core.
However, Ben's Antipodal Impact Theory
disagrees with the Standard Theory about some aspects of ALL of the other
features discussed in the previous chapter. This new theory especially
disagrees with the Standard Theory about the effects of a large impact at the
antipode of the impact site. The Standard Theory says that the effects at the
antipode would be minimal, as long as the lithosphere is not breached at the
impact site. Ben's Antipodal Impact Theory says that the effects at the
antipode can vary from significant to catastrophic.
Let's look at how Ben's Antipodal
Impact Theory views the results of a major cosmic impact.
A TWO-STEP PROCESS
This new theory finds that the effects
of a major cosmic impact on the planet Earth are a two-step process, one step
for the lithosphere and another step for the mantle.
But before getting into this two-step
process, there are some other factors to consider.
The first factor is the location of the
impact. Is the impact on-or-near-land or in deep water? These two different
impact sites can produce vastly different results.
An on-or-near-land impact would
transfer kinetic energy directly to the lithosphere and then to the mantle.
There would be little or no mitigating effect from water.
However, an impact in deep water would
see much of its power dissipated by the water before the impact object hit the
lithosphere. Yes, there would be mega-tsunamis, but the lithosphere and the
mantle would see a significantly reduced impact result. Let's remember that 50%
to 60% of the Earth's surface is covered by deep water.
The second factor to consider is the
fact that the Earth can be viewed as a closed hydraulic system, with a few
minor leaks (volcanoes). The Earth has the thin hard shell of the lithosphere
surrounding a liquid mantle and a dense core.
Just like the hydraulic piston of a
forklift truck, impact pressure on the Earth's liquid mantle will cause it to
transfer that energy with great efficiency.
Now we can look at the two-step process
involved when a really big cosmic object hits the Earth on-or-near-land. There
are two big kinetic results from this kind of impact
one at the surface
and another at the sub-surface level.
EFFECTThe surface of the hard shell of the lithosphere at the impact
site is pulverized to a significant depth (thousands of feet). The shock of the
impact causes a mega-earthquake, which radiates quickly around the globe.
The power of the impact will actually cause the Earth's
surface at the impact site to deform and bend inwards (it will recover
With the Earth being roughly
spherical, these diminishing but still very powerful earthquake forces all come
together at the antipode (the exact opposite side of the Earth) of the impact
site, where they pulverize the rock of the lithosphere. The diminishing
earthquake waves continue around the Earth many more times until they finally
subside. The important factor to note here is the fact that the pulverized rock
at the antipode is now extremely weak and will offer very little frictional (or
shear) resistance to any pressure from the magma below.
2. SUB-SURFACE EFFECTThe impact deforms the
lithosphere and transfers a great amount of kinetic energy to the liquid
mantle. Under great pressure, the liquid mantle seeks ways to relieve the
pressure, seeking out a weak point
especially a weak point that is near
the highest area of pressure.
pressurized water finding a hole in a garden hose, the liquid magma forms a
plume in the weakened area (the antipode) and relieves much of the pressure by
eruption at the antipode.
What happens when the Earth receives a
really huge cosmic impact
an impact so huge that volcanism at the
antipode cannot come close to relieving the pressure?
The answer to this question is:
When the pressure forces are so great
that even a roaring antipodal eruption can't relieve them, these forces will
overcome both the inertial force of friction that holds the rock of the
lithosphere together (the shear strength) and the gravitational weight of the
crust, itself. These huge uplifting forces will shear the rocks in a perimeter
line where the energy is just great enough to overcome both the weight and the
shear strength of the rock.
This uplifting force will create an
antipodal continent in the shape of a "blob with a tail" (more on that later).
This continent will be uplifted several thousand feet (once the inertial
friction or shear strength is overcome, the dynamic friction is all that is
left and it will be much less
and the force from underneath the
non-uplifted area will also join the party). This uplift
is aided by rapid crack propagation of the brittle surface (see Crack
Propagation in Appendix III). The uplift will continue until the
pressure has been relieved enough for the weight of the uplifted rock to
balance it out.
If the original impact occurred at an
angle (usually it does, and it is usually between 30 degrees and 45 degrees
from vertical), then the energy transfer imbues this new continent with huge
enough energy to cause the new continent to force
rapid subduction from both ends of the oceanic plate next to it and send the
new continent moving away in the direction dictated by that directional energy.
(Further reflection on this idea causes a revised
opinion. While the direction will be the primary influence of the shape and
orientation of the "blob with a tail," the off-center nature of the impact will
be the primary influence in the directional movement (see "Sidespin" in
This new continent will move rapidly in
the dictated direction until it runs into another continental mass. This
situation occurred 65 MYA during the formation of the Indian continent and 250
MYA during the formation of the Siberian continent. It has probably occurred
many other times during the history of the planet, as illustrated by the "blob
with a tail" continents which are visible (or, in the case of Australia,
This theory of continental formation is
very different from that of the Standard Theory.
TECTONIC PLATES & HOTSPOTS
The above examples of continental
formation through continental uplift focus on new continents forcing rapid
subduction of the ocean floor in a direction imparted by the initial cosmic
Ben's Antipodal Impact Theory regards
hotspots as directionally imbued entities created by aggressively directional
plumes of magma. A plume is created at the antipode of a large cosmic impact
and is imbued with the directional force of the angle of that cosmic impact
angle of that cosmic impact, and, in particular its
ISLAND ARCS & DEEP SEA
This new theory also differs from the
Standard Theory regarding island arcs and trenches. This new theory regards
most island arcs as evidence of hotspot activity. The new theory views hotspots
as being imbued with motion and as being the cause of most island arcs.
Now, this does not mean that the island
arc areas can't become involved with subduction later on. Far from it. Once an
island arc severs part of a tectonic plate from the rest of that plate, in
effect, it has created a new tectonic plate. At that point, material from the
old tectonic plate can be subducted beneath the new tectonic plate. This
process is now playing out with the old Australian plate being subducted
underneath the new Philippines plate, which was created from part of the old
Australian plate by the island arc of the Indonesian islands.
The deepwater trenches that are found
near island arcs are, at least in some cases, the result of a tearing of the
Earth's surface as a new continental blob passes by in a curved motion (the
curved motion usually being caused by the Coriolis effect). The Sunda (or Java)
Trench off of Indonesia is the best example of this type of trench. It will be
explained exhaustively in Chapter 8.
This chapter highlights some of the
major differences between the Standard Theory and Ben's Antipodal Impact
Theory. The next chapters will focus on more specific details concerning Ben's
Antipodal Impact Theory. Then, in the following chapters, this new theory will
be brought to life in the real story of the creation of the Indian continent.
Appendices I, II, III and IV further explore Ben's
Antipodal Impact Theory in relation to the creation of Siberia, Western
Antarctica, South America and Eastern North America.
illustration 3 - A for a graphic depiction of the difference between
Standard Theory and Ben's Antipodal Impact Theory.