New evidence supporting extraterrestrial impact at the start of the Younger Dryas

There’s a new paper in PNAS worth having a look at. It seems the authors found some very strong evidence for a comet or asteroid impact during the period known as the Younger Dryas. According to Wikipedia:

The Younger Dryas stadial, also referred to as the Big Freeze, was a geologically brief (1,300 ± 70 years) period of cold climatic conditions and drought which occurred between approximately 12,800 and 11,500 years BP (Before Present). The Younger Dryas stadial is thought to have been caused by the collapse of the North American ice sheets, although rival theories have been proposed.

File:Epica-vostok-grip-40kyr.png

Three temperature records, the GRIP sequence (red) showing the Younger Dryas event at around 11.0 ka BP. The vertical axis shows δ18O, which is a temperature proxy showing the water molecule isotopic composition of 18O in an ice core.

With this new paper, this may be one of those “case closed” moments in science showing that “climate change”/ice sheet collapse itself wasn’t to blame for the cold event, but the climate changed due to the impact event. This rather undoes the claims last year covered on WUWT in the story Sudden Clovis climate death by comet – “bogus”. I’d say it is pretty hard to argue with micro magnetic impact spherules dated to the time.

Evidence from central Mexico supporting the Younger Dryas extraterrestrial impact hypothesis

Fig. 5. SEM images of magnetic impact spherules. (A–B) Magnetic impact spherules with dendritic surface pattern. (C) Framboidal pyrite spherule. (D) Collisional magnetic impact spherules. (E) Light micrograph of same magnetic impact spherules. (F) Teardrop-shaped spherule with dendritic pattern. (G) Photomicrograph of same MSps. For labels such as “2.80 #3,” “2.80” represents depth of sample in meters and “#3” is the magnetic impact spherule number as listed in SI Appendix, Table 4.

Abstract

We report the discovery in Lake Cuitzeo in central Mexico of a black, carbon-rich, lacustrine layer, containing nanodiamonds, microspherules, and other unusual materials that date to the early Younger Dryas and are interpreted to result from an extraterrestrial impact. These proxies were found in a 27-m-long core as part of an interdisciplinary effort to extract a paleoclimate record back through the previous interglacial.

Our attention focused early on an anomalous, 10-cm-thick, carbon-rich layer at a depth of 2.8 m that dates to 12.9 ka and coincides with a suite of anomalous coeval environmental and biotic changes independently recognized in other regional lake sequences.

Collectively, these changes have produced the most distinctive boundary layer in the late Quaternary record. This layer contains a diverse, abundant assemblage of impact-related markers, including nanodiamonds, carbon spherules, and magnetic spherules with rapid melting/quenching textures, all reaching synchronous peaks immediately beneath a layer containing the largest peak of charcoal in the core. Analyses by multiple methods demonstrate the presence of three allotropes of nanodiamond: n-diamond, i-carbon, and hexagonal nanodiamond (lonsdaleite), in order of estimated relative abundance.

This nanodiamond-rich layer is consistent with the Younger Dryas boundary layer found at numerous sites across North America, Greenland, and Western Europe. We have examined multiple hypotheses to account for these observations and find the evidence cannot be explained by any known terrestrial mechanism. It is, however, consistent with the Younger Dryas boundary impact hypothesis postulating a major extraterrestrial impact involving multiple airburst(s) and and/or ground impact(s) at 12.9 ka.

Fig. 4. Markers over the interval between 3.6 and 2.2 m. The YD episode (12.9 to 11.5 ka) is represented by dark band. YDB layer is at 2.8 m. NDs and magnetic impact spherules both peak at the YD onset, whereas framboidal spherules, CSps, and charcoal peak higher in the sequence. Magnetic grains peak just prior to the YD onset. NDs are in ppb; Msps, framboidal spherules, CSps, and charcoal are in no./kg; magnetic grains in g/kg.

Summary

Synchronous peaks in multiple YDB markers dating to 12.9 ka were previously found at numerous sites across North and South America and in Western Europe. At Lake Cuitzeo, magnetic impact spherules, CSps, and NDs form abundance peaks within a 10 cm layer of sediment that dates to the early part of the YD, beginning at 12.9 ka. These peaks coincide with anomalous environmental, geochemical, and biotic changes evident at Lake Cuitzeo and in other regional records, consistent with the occurrence of an unusual event. Analyses of YDB acid-resistant extracts using STEM, EDS, HRTEM, SAD, FFT, EELS, and EFTEM indicate that Lake Cuitzeo nanoparticles are dominantly crystalline carbon and display d-spacings that match various ND allotropes, including lonsdaleite. These results are consistent with reports of abundant NDs in the YDB in North America and Western Europe.

Although the origin of these YDB markers remains speculative, any viable hypothesis must account for coeval abundance peaks in NDs, magnetic impact spherules, CSps, and charcoal in Lake Cuitzeo, along with apparently synchronous peaks at other sites, spanning a wide area of Earth’s surface. Multiple hypotheses have been proposed to explain these YDB peaks in markers, and all but one can be rejected. For example, the magnetic impact spherules and NDs cannot result from the influx of cosmic material or from any known regular terrestrial mechanism, including wildfires, volcanism, anthropogenesis, or alternatively, misidentification of proxies. Currently, only one known

event, a cosmic impact, can explain the diverse, widely distributed assemblage of proxies. In the entire geologic record, there are only two known continent-wide layers with abundance peaks in NDs, impact spherules, CSps, and aciniform soot, and those

are the KPg impact boundary at 65 Ma and the YDB boundary at 12.9 ka.

If you’re interested, the paper is published with unrestricted access on the PNAS website.

Or, you can read a full PDF copy that’s been mirrored on Dropbox.com at: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2268163/Mexico%20YD%20Paper.pdf

h/t to reader Dennis Cox

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
NovaReason

See… THIS is Science. No observation-free modelling, or cherry picking… “We have observational findings, it relates to previously known observational findings, there is no other explanation which includes all relevant data, it’s falsifiable and reproducable (go dredge up another core sample and check for the same materials, or find an alternative hypothesis that includes all known observations)…
If Climate Science was done like this, there wouldn’t be a need for so devoted a skeptical community, because they scientists would be providing the healthy skepticism themselves.

Kozlowski

I’ve been reading about this theory for many years. So I guess it has finally gained enough credibility to be mainstream? Which climate science worked like this too.
Any connection to the Carolina Bays?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carolina_Bay
It would seem to me that a multiple impact event, or a single large impact with the ejecta coming back down on top of ice sheets, instantly evaporating them could leave what we now can observe. Rings of sand, possibly part ejecta and part flash evaporated ice sheets (they carry a great deal of sand and debris.) The shallowness of the bays could also be a result of the impact having to melt through the ice sheet.
?

Caleb

I followed a link on another WUWT post to some interesting ideas about frozen wooly mammoths. For what it’s worth: The link suggested that, in order for a body as massive as a mammoth’s to be frozen without rot occurring in the middle they had to be subjected to ultra cold temperatures, in essence flash-frozen at 150 below. Yet they were frozen in a standing position, with unchewed summer beans still within pods in their mouths. There was the suggestion they were buried in a strange hail, unseen by modern scientific observers in modern times.
Here is the link: http://www.grahamkendall.net/Unsorted_files-2/A312-Frozen_Mammoths.txt

Robert Clemenzi

The caption for the first figure is wrong. (Never trust wikipedia!)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Epica-vostok-grip-40kyr.png
The Vostok and EPICA Dome C data are deuterium, not O-18. As a result, the graph proves, beyond all doubt, that if one (either deuterium or O-18) is a temperature proxy, then the other can not be. Yet the “official” position is that they both are. Using deuterium, there were about 4 ice ages in the last 420,000 years while O-18 suggests that there were from 8 to 12.
From deutnat.txt

Deuterium data is from core 3G between 138 and 2083 meters below surface (mbs) (with one long missing section between 312 and 320 mbs)

My translation of this is that the temperature data from 13,992 to 14,466 years BP is simply invented. In wikipedia, the Younger Dryas is given as 12,800 and 11,500 years BP. However, in the Vostok core, the peak temperature (the start of the Younger Dryas) was at a depth of 311 meters (13,938 years BP).

Jimbo

The Younger Dryas stadial, also referred to as the Big Freeze, was a geologically brief (1,300 ± 70 years) period of cold climatic conditions and drought which occurred between approximately 12,800 and 11,500 years BP (Before Present).

Yet 15 (± 5) years of global warming [now stalled] means a Mann made calamity. This is what I call geological time shape shifting to suit one’s purpose. 😉
[My bold emphasis]

ah, music to my ears.
Younger Dryas, impact event. Carolina Bays implicated. Geomagnetic excursions. Iridium. Nanodiamonds. Charcoal & coal. Magnetic spherules. Yes. Fullerenes too? Orthodoxy shutting its ears and making rude noises because the theory implicates (a) catastrophism (b) a degree of rehab for Velikowsky (c) also, electric universe material is also obliquely implicated. Can’t have that can we?
One of the most interesting books I know came through a recommendation here a few years back. Magnetic Reversals and Evolutionary Leaps by Robert Felix. I really cannot recommend it too highly. Looking at the Amazon reviews I see a familiar two-tail rating ie some top, some bottom ratings tho mostly top. Must look carefully at one of the “intelligent” low ratings some time. Certainly, last time I reinvestigated the claims of “poor science” “lies” etc from an “intelligent” debunker on another two-tail rating, I started believing it, then as I investigated further, found I was soundly debunking the debunker’s debunks. After a while I thought, case closed. It was Cook’s Skeptical Science all over again. Thimblerigging a speciality.

Jimbo

That Wiki graph shows Greenland and Vostok proxies. Funny how both proxies ‘fail’ to show the Medieval Warm Period. Pick and choose. 😉

Jimbo

I should have added………..
Because the MWP was a northern hemisphere event.

Willis Eschenbach

What’s interesting to me is that previously a large freshwater flood was the consensus explanation of the Younger Dryas … and people found a bunch of evidence to support it.
Also of note is that the Younger Dryas is often cited as evidence of fast climate change from postulated natural “tipping points” … whereas it now appears to be a meteor impact.
Dang, climate science is fun. Always something new in this most settled of sciences …
w.

Sure there could have been an extraterrestrial event at the beginning of the Younger Dryas, but that doesn’t mean that it caused the YD (post hoc fallacy). If you look at most isotope proxies like the Greenland Ice cores and high resolution oceanic sediment cores ie Santa Barbara basin Cf, the fingerprint is always the same to the Dansgaard Oeschger events, this is especially true for the deuterium excess in the ice cores. This would suggest that these events have similar causes and that would require a lot of near identical terrestrial events.
Also interesting to note that the typical start date of the YD, 12,900 years (from the Caracio grey scale and GISP-II ice core) ago is now under pressure. In Europe researchers long knew that the YD started some 12,700 years ago, because of 200 varve counted years difference between the Laacher sea tephra dated 12,900 years ago and the start of the YD. Nowadays a new carbon dating calibration table (INTCAL09) shows a large discrepancy with the old one (INTCAL04) which suggest that indeed the YD started around 12,700 Cal BP.

Philip Bradley

The Younger Dryas lasted 1300 years, which is a very long time for a single event cause.
This study throws serious doubt on the Forcings model/theory which dictates that the Earth’s climate changes at the rate that forcings change, in effect slowly (at least in the pre-anthropogenic CO2 era).
This study indicates that the climate flips between more or less stable states irrespective of changes in forcings.
FYI the Younger Dryas also ended rapidly.
From wikipedia,
Measurements of oxygen isotopes from the GISP2 ice core suggest the ending of the Younger Dryas took place over just 40 – 50 years in three discrete steps, each lasting five years. Other proxy data, such as dust concentration, and snow accumulation, suggest an even more rapid transition, requiring about a 7 °C (12.60 °F) warming in just a few years.[6][7][20][21] Total warming was 10 ± 4 °C (18 ± 7 °F).

CodeTech

Interesting – next step, locating the impact location? Or do we have any leading theories? I know it took a long time for people to settle on the Chicxulub impact for the 65 mya event.
I agree with the commenters above… nice to see some actual Science. And I bet that if someone else had a credible competing theory, the authors would actually be interested in hearing it.

markx

Willis: “….Always something new in this most settled of sciences …”
Ha ha!

As if they used m for the scale in the first picture to mean microns. I thought that they were huge at over 10 meters in diameter. The µ symbol should be easy to use now-a-days. — John M Reynolds

The big problem so far has been where to find some reasonably big crater(s) that are young enough. My feeling is that easily identifiable craters are missing because the impact area was covered by some kilometer of ice. The result would be seemingly very old craters the result of a billion years of weathering because the typical thick layers of ejecta are missing. I think two areas in SW finland should be checked. Mossala fjaerd is a crater like formation where broken edges still are sharp, experts say the crater is of volcanic origin and extremely old. My view is that what we see is the very bottom of an impact in a 1…2 km thick ice layer. No ejecta is found because it melted soon after the impact. The size of the Mossala crater is ca 6 km diameter. In the Aland area some 40 km towards WNW there is another slightly smaller crater 5.5 km in diameter. Again with broken surfaces that still seem fresh. Some 15 km south of Mossala I have found glazed sea bottom fragments similar to material found in the old Swedish Siljan krater (dia 50 km). If there is interest I could create a web page with some pictures. It is easy to see that two impacts like these would have injected tens of km^3 of water into the stratospere probably causing an extended “atomic war” like winter. /Lars Silen, physicist Finland.

Garacka

Isn’t there also a paper that looked at mammoth bones from that time and found high speed particulate impact pits? I recall comments seemed to be leaning toward it being a stretching of the data.

beng

Hey, I posted a link to UniverseToday about this several days ago — thought I might get a hat-tip (never had one). Oh well….
Willis, a large-enough impact near or on the N American glacier could cause a massive fresh-water flood — faster than any natural melting.

tim in vermont

So where did the evidence of the Gulf Stream slowdown that supposedly provided the mechanism for the temperature drop come from?

beng

And then there was recent post on a mass-extinction event where Smokey posted a link to somebody’s site that examined some very strange instances of Mammoth flash-freezing (in-cased in ice) across Siberia. An impact on a massive glacier in NA could have vaporized & flung extraordinarily large amounts of ice that precipitated out on the other side of the earth as a massive hail/rain storm. Sounds like science-fiction, but who knows?

Settled science unsettled, again. Looking forward to reading the trolls comments on this one.

Also, a little prediction for you. Richard Black will not even tweet this paper, let alone write a piece on it.

Stephen Richards

Heard a great one today. Why were economists made? To make climatologists look good.

Stephen Richards

This study indicates that the climate flips between more or less stable states irrespective of changes in forcings.
As predicted by chaos theory.

Greylensman

I believe, a single event, the eruption of Mount Toba not only caused a 1,000 year cold event but the near extinction of Humanity.
You dont need an impact for such events, a bolide atmospheric explosion will do the business.

George Tetley

Lars Silen,
I would buy into that Sir, just love photos of Finland, it is not to difficult to find the results ( providing there is a will there is a way ) a seismic survey would show the whats and wherefores, and who knows you might even find oil.

Gail Combs

Garacka says:
March 12, 2012 at 5:10 am
Isn’t there also a paper that looked at mammoth bones from that time and found high speed particulate impact pits? I recall comments seemed to be leaning toward it being a stretching of the data.
Here is a reference to that: http://www.universetoday.com/10975/did-a-supernova-kill-the-mammoths/

markx

Jimbo March 12, 2012 at 3:06 am
“…That Wiki graph shows Greenland and Vostok proxies. Funny how both proxies ‘fail’ to show the Medieval Warm Period……”
The trouble is, the MWP and the current warming appear to be very small on the general scale of climate change – We need to get a bit closer, as Anthony did very nicely here:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/09/hockey-stick-observed-in-noaa-ice-core-data/

Pamela Gray

Certainly the dust alone cannot account for the length of the cold spell. However, the kicked up dust could account for the first couple years. Still, dust rains out pretty easily, which could happen as a result of the dust getting kicked up there in the first place. We call it cloudless rain here in NE Oregon.
It is possible that the event could have overlapped with another oscillation that was unrelated. We have so many oscillations on different beats, it seems plausable that they will overlap. Looking for one cause over such a long period seems a bit short sighted.

Jimbo says:
March 12, 2012 at 3:06 am
That Wiki graph shows Greenland and Vostok proxies. Funny how both proxies ‘fail’ to show the Medieval Warm Period. Pick and choose. 😉
Jimbo says:
March 12, 2012 at 3:09 am
I should have added………..
Because the MWP was a northern hemisphere event.

Uh, Jimbo, the MWP occurred at around the very leftmost tick on that graph. (Each division is 1,000 yrs). The little wobbles you see there are quite “consistent” with an MWP. Trivial natural variation, of course, all of it.

Robert Clemenzi,
“The caption for the first figure is wrong. (Never trust wikipedia!)”
I hope you then took the trouble to correct the error, or at least tagged it. Using Wikipedia implies a certain obligation upon the user to correct errors, that’s the genius of the system. Just remember to cite an authoritative source, and leave a note on the article’s Talk Page to explaining your rational.
And, or course, Wikipedia cannot itself be relied upon to be the authoritative source, its an encyclopedia. In a real way Wikipedia is just another version of what we are doing here, real people with real experience taking a grasp of humanity’s knowledge for the common good – for free.
I devote some of my time and treasure to improving the project in my small way, do you?
Atani

RockyRoad

Good paper–worth reading. Especially loved their micrographs and corroborative evidence of nanodiamonds.

Mike McMillan

Lars Silen
Interesting region. You guys took some heavy hits.
Here are a few Google Earth coords:
Mossala 60.299612° 21.382232°
Angskars 60.471579° 21.016164°
Aland 60.140649° 20.124260°
Siljan 61.046054° 14.899703°
Might have to unzoom a bit to see the crater, especially Siljan and Aland.

KenB

Now if we hadn’t had that inconvenient release of CRU emails, who on the team would have been assigned to lean on PNAS to prevent publication, I guess it took quite a while anyway when you look at the date of submission and approval….

Matt Schilling

Atani – Perhaps some people think that, while you are earnestly trying to improve the Wikipedia ointment, we still cannot ignore the myriad carcasses of dead flies.

beng

The only two major observed impacts in recorded history are the Tunguska, Siberia event & the Shumacher-Levy comet impact on Jupiter. The first was an air-burst of a supposed chondrite meteor, the second a tidally-broken comet-train, producing a “string” of impacts. From this it is hard to imagine that such impact characteristics are unusual — much more likely they are common.
Simple postulate: Approximately 12,900 yrs ago a comet-train impact produced shallowly-angled air-burst(s) with multiple in-line impacts — in this case stretching from central Mexico north north-east (west Texas has evidence too) to near, say, ~500 miles north of Lake Superior directly above, or on the 10,000 ft thick Laurentide ice-sheet . Terratons of ice were vaporized, or on the edges, physically blasted onto the surrounding land and into sub-orbital trajectories. How that would affect areas when it inevitably came back down is hard to imagine — but it would be awesome & incredibly destructive.
The climate change that would occur after this event would also be hard to imagine, but yet perhaps we have the evidence right in front — the YD.

Caleb has provided a very interesting link about wooly mammoths. Thanks.
http://www.grahamkendall.net/Unsorted_files-2/A312-Frozen_Mammoths.txt

tim in vermont

Wikipedia_User
Wikipedia is next to useless wherever there is controversy. It is basically a battle of who has the most free time. Since the alarmists have hundreds of millions, billions of dollars in funding for agitprop, they can give communications prizes to fund the spamming of that site.
People get personally invested in their articles. It is like asking a flock of seagulls to decide the proper ownership of a fish.

I just finished downloading and reading the paper – very interesting.
Carolina Bays?? Maybe, probably not.
Evidence proving them to be related to impact events seems to be elusive. In my mind Carolina Bays seem to be a result of a geological self-forming process of some kind, which would tend to explain their persistence in the modern landscape rather than being buried meters under the surface as at Lake Cuitzeo; genuine impact features tend to be subject to erosion, which makes identifying them later difficult.
The new evidence presented in this new paper also tends to argue against the Carolina Bay impact hypothesis:

“This layer contains a diverse, abundant assemblage of impact-related markers, including nanodiamonds, carbon spherules, and magnetic spherules with rapid melting/quenching textures, all reaching synchronous peaks immediately beneath a layer containing the largest peak of charcoal in the core.”

Since we now have a very good idea of what to look for at the YD boundary, we should expect to find similar beneath the bays, no matter their striking appearance and inexplicable orientations. So far as I know nobody has shown this to be true of the CBs.
Though I could be wrong.
W^3

Or maybe the ice sheet changes caused a large quality of heat to suddenly sink into the deep ocean into Trenberth Hidden Heat deposits which in turn mimicked either an asteroid hit or a major decrease in SUV sales.
In any case, the ice sheet/thermohaline explanation for the Younger Dryas has been incorporated by doctrinal convenience into the Consensus and any findings to the contrary must therefore be dismissed.

Andrejs Vanags

Kudos to WUWT:
“This rather undoes the claims last year covered on WUWT story: Sudden Clovis climate death by comet – “bogus””
No drama, no trying to support an indefensible position, simple acknowledgement of a better or supperior analysis or data, the attitude of lets move on and build from this, etc. Kudos. thats how it should be.

Mr. Schilling,
Nobody who actually works on the Wikipedia project is ignoring the issue, it is the central focus of our work, so I would reiterate everything I said above and challenge you to contribute some of your expertise to improving the project in whatever fields interests you.
Massively collaborative projects like Wikipedia, created and maintained by ordinary people, are going to be the way humanity eventually learns to solve its problems – not the UN, not the IPCC, not the World Bank and the IMF, not the Bavarian Illuminati or the Cult of Cthullu either.
History will prove me right on this.
Atani

I am extremely familiar with this issue, and I cannot see why THIS paper has begun to finally convince everyone of the likely validity of the Y-D impact hypothesis. But I am glad something finally did.
And thank you, Anthony, for finally picking up on this study.
Yes, as one of the early comments said, “THIS is science.”
There are other studies that show just as much evidence of the impact materials that are in the “black mat.” I point anyone interested in this to browse through http://www.cosmictusk.com posts for other examples.
I would also point out that 12,900 years ago – the boundary between the Pleistocene and the current Holocene – was well within the time of man. This confutes all that we have been told about the dangers ‘out there’ from relatively small objects wandering around in the nearby solar system.
Now, this all begins to point to the next development in this saga: If we recognize that a major impact within the time of man is supported by enough evidence, then we need to begin thinking about what we should do about it. The particulars can be worked out in time, but we need to begin thinking about the import of this event. This touches on alarmism in its own right, so this will probably not be welcome here at ground zero of anti-big-government-science. Yet if it can be shown that the threat has happened before, then what? Mammoths and sabre-toothed tigers went extinct last time – not to mention Clovis Man in the New World. It is not far different from the phrase “being blown back to the stone age.” (I hope I don’t sound like James Hansen here…)
One more thing: There is ample – if not conclusive – evidence that even more recent impacts have occurred. Much of it is historical, some of it is in the accounts of indigenous peoples (ambiguous when taken singly, but it begins to be persuasive when taken all together, by all the similarities), and at least some of it is scientific. If – and right now it is still a big ‘if’ – those other impacts happened, then we live in a much more active shooting gallery than we have realized.

Bill Illis

There are 25 of these rapid cooling events in the record of the last ice age. We would need 25 meteorite strikes.
I think the issue is that it is really difficult to get glaciers all the way down to southern Canada and into the northern US. The solar energy was not much different than today, yet here we are on March 12 and the snow and ice is rapidly melting out now across North America. Even in the ice ages, the Sun is already warm enough at this time of year to start melting back glacial fronts in Chicago for example. How warm does the solar energy get by the summer.
I think, in the ice ages, there are many glacial advance pulses that last for a few thousand years at a time which is then followed by periods of glacial retreat – there are at least 25 of them – the Dansgaard-Oeschger events. The Younger Dryas was just the last in these series of glacial advances.

Doug Proctor

The following is somewhat circuitous, but is the the point of meteorites, CAGW, Greens and why they are so insistent that we, not the world, are warming the planet:
The posted article supposes that the Younger Dryas some 12-13,000 years ago had a sudden, warming end as the result of a meteorite impact:
Calgary, Alberta lies in the Bow River valley literally at the joining point of the continental glaciers sourced to the east in the Hudson Bay region, and the Rocky Mountain alpine glaciers sourced to the west (obviously in the Rockies). The line of contact is the northeastern edge of the city around Nose Hill, a bulge 200m above downtown Calgary (and the Bow River which cuts the city in two). A glacial lake, Lake Calgary, was formed when the river draining the two at their mutual front, was damed by a westward relative flow of an alpine glacier wedge along what is now the Elbow River. This lake was only one of a series of such ice-barrier bounded lakes on the way to the south perhaps a thousand kilometres, as the general drainage led into Montana, Idaho and across Washington (the state) to the Pacific Ocean.
One raw day, with a west wind blowing an ice dam failed in mid-Alberta several hundred kilometres north of Calgary. A sudden, deep rush of water came moved massive blocks of ice capable of carrying blocks of rock approximately 7m high and 30m long from their original position west of Edson down to glacial Lake Calgary. The lake filled to overflowing, but the time it took allowed the west winds to push smaller blocks of ice with their smaller rocks – the size of Volts – to ground on the east side of Calgary, at the top of Nose Hill. The ice dam then failed and another of a cascading series of ice-dam failures occurred. Lake Calgary drained and the water carried the largest of the blocks to Okotoks and kilometres from the normal drainage path of the glacial meltwaters, where it was stranded (and is now known as the Okotoks Erratic). Others of this rock type, peculiar to its place of origin, dropped out along the way, creating a distinctive Erratic Train to the American-Canadian border. All the erratics, including the ones on the westward facing slopes of Nose Hill, sit on top of the underlying glacial sediment without sediment around them, indicating a rapid stranding without a continued surrounding body of water.
The rush of water was, in its final amount, equal, I’ve read, to that of Lake Erie, draining in about three days. Dry waterfalls, water-cut, smooth drainage channels are present at Sunset Falls in Idaho (I’ve hiked them), looking out-of-place and telling a story of massive but suddenly ending floods. The floods swept across Washington, leaving boulders scattered across the volcanic landscape in an area now known as the Scablands. As I recall, the waters eventually ended in the Columbia River system and exiting into the Pacific (I’m hazy here: I’m in Abu Dhabi right now, thinking rather than researching). This fresh water suddenly entering the Pacific Ocean, would have been part of the similarly timed drainage of Lake Agazziz/Lake Champlain into the Atlantic Ocean that stopped oceanic currents and triggered the Big Freeze.
The point of this story is this: the timing of this catastrophic event is in the 12,250 YBP, the same time as the supposed meteoritic event. While the set up of drainage systems had to be in place, the trigger of the cascading floods has not been known, instead suspected as a threshold event of no significance except for those pale-Indians on the west coast of Washington. I’ve been searching for years for some event that ties in to this after, in 1979 an eccentric geologist thought that Veilikovsky was right, and Venus, in near-missing the Earth, dragged up a 2000m wave from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic that, when Cytheria left our planetary space, sloshed back from whence it came (and filling Great Salt Lake in Utah, explaining the salt there in the process).
The catastrophists have long claimed our imagination, but common sense suggested to me that more mundane reasons probably were responsible.
It is ironic that a meteorite impact may be thought of as a “mundane” reason for a heating event that resulted in me plotting the positions of Cambrian Gog Quartzite from the Tonquin Valley area as they were stranded on the hillsides of eastern Calgary. But that is how it is with our planetary life: the evangelical community who think that God drifted along gently for millennia before man, and drifted along gently since man first planted wheat until men and coal-burning power plants twisted His music out of key, seem intellectually unable to accept a universe (or God) who does, at times, Stuff that isn’t man-friendly. Nature, be-it in the form of a pantheistic Gaia, a non-denomimational God or a Large White Man with a Large White Beard (other than Santa Claus), is supposed to be not just benign, but kind. Even polar bears, a determined predator unafraid of men or ice-breakers crashing through nearby, are, in this view, essentially well-intentioned towards the sons of the Earth, herein known as Greens.
I know that religion is not supposed to be part of the CAGW debate, but I cannot but wonder if some of the Greens do not hold their alarmist positions precisely because, in their view, God (the Universe) is neither arbitrary nor unfriendly to its (His) followers. I have read it speculated at the early 20th century desire to get the Jews back to their homeland (Israel) was to further the Second Coming of Christ in this time, as the rules say that Christ will not come back unless/until the Jews are back “home”. George and George W., I understand, are of this belief; if true, it certainly explains why so many Christians in the southern States can be both anti-Semitic and hugely supportive of Israel. Theology, not intellect, rule in the recesses of their mind. Perhaps CAGW is not a religion, though even the English Archbishop of Cantebury has said that is what it appears to be, but an EXPRESSION of a preexisting religious belief. Hansen and Gore: perhaps they ignore evidence that C02 is not responsible for the global warming of late because to do so would be to accept that their Gods/Universe simply doesn’t care about whether they sweat in Washington or freeze in Phoenix.
Logic is often linear. You accept “A”, you accept “B”. To skeptics there appears no moral issue in such connections: they are or are not, simple matters in a neutral universe. The meteorite comes, a large amount of heat is injected into the atmosphere which precipitously melts more water than ice dams can hold, and large blocks of rock end up dotting otherwise flat prairie landscapes. Who could know, who could predict? But if your Universe (or God) has created and is creating a world of promise, hope and security for your benefit, perhaps this opens the possibility that either evil, not good rules, or that … hold the thought …. there are no rules. Or at least no Plan.

Doug Proctor

Error on the first part:
Jeepers. The Younger Dryas was a COOLING event, not a warming event, that came at the end of something that was warming, and may have been a sudden, catastrophic warming event.

MarkW

Pamela Gray says:
March 12, 2012 at 6:36 am

Possibly the earth was slowly emerging from the ice age, warming very gradually. Then the dust caused much ice to reform, and the ice cooled the earth. Basically setting back the warming by 1000 years. Whatever was causing the original warming was still operational, but had to deal with all this new ice. When the new ice was dealt with, the earth’s temperature then snapped back to where it would have been had the impact never happened.
Just a layman’s WAG.

Tim Minchin

Otto Muck wrote about this over half a century ago – UNfortunately he titles his book ‘the Secret of Atlantis’ – so it was not considered mainstream – yet if you read it m you’ll realise he was a gifted scientist and knew his stuff. The book is available on Google Books and is highly recommended

TRM

This is one of the many reasons I love WUWT. Last year they carry a story about research showing that the YD not being impact related and now more on the opposite side. Science is wonderful when you actually follow the scientific method. Eventually you get a picture of what happened. Like developing a photo used to be. A darkroom was fun as you watched the picture become clearer and clearer.

@Kozlowski 1:07 am: “Any connection to the Carolina Bays?”
Though the CBs were originally thought to be connected, that connection has gotten a bit tenuous lately. It still may turn out to be true, but C14 dates are not for the most part contemporaneous with the 12,900 date.
I myself hold out some hope yet, though. See http://www.cosmictusk.com for more.
Steve Garcia