Internet Science Made Stupid: “Scientists Warn Gulf Of Mexico ‘Supervolcano’ About To Erupt”

Guest geological storytelling by David Middleton

In my recent post, How Climate Change Buried a Desert 20,000 Feet Beneath the Gulf of Mexico Seafloor, we discussed the rifting that enabled the opening of the Gulf of Mexico. In one of the comments, TTY brought up a recent paper on long-extinct volcanic activity in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, which reminded me of the “volcano” that was drilled back in the 1960’s near New Orleans. When I Googled Gulf of Mexico volcanic rocks, I found more science fiction than science.

I’ll start with the science…

Cretaceous volcanoes in the Gulf of Mexico

Door Point is in Louisiana State waters, just offshore St. Bernard Parish, in an area that was thought to be free of Mesozoic volcanic activity.

Figure 1. Door Point location map. (Braunstein & McMichael, 1976)

The Door Point “volcano” was discovered by Shell when they drilled into it in 1963.

Figure 2. Cross Section of Door Point Structure.
(Braunstein & McMichael, 1976)

The Door Point structure technically isn’t a volcano.

An exploratory well, the Shell Oil Company, State Lease 3956 No. 1, Offshore St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, was completed in 1963 at a total depth of 8538 feet. The last 1300 feet of hole was cored and drilled through volcanic material of Late Cretaceous Age. The location of this well is shown on Figure 1.

Pre-drilling seismic data had revealed the presence on this prospect of intrusive material with a density slightly higher than that of the surrounding sediments. Gravity data defined a weak maximum here, and no salt was believed to be present.

The igneous material consisted of angular fragments of altered porphyritic basic rock. In cores it proved to be evenly bedded and cemented by sparry calcite. Radioactivity age dating fixed a minimum age of crystallization of this rock at 82 m.y.+8, or middle Late Cretaceous (Austin). Bulk density of the igneous rock ranged from 2.02 gm/cc near the top of its occurrence to 2.53 gm/cc near the bottom of the well.
Three gas accumulations, with an aggregate thickness of 38 feet, were encountered in the Miocene section between 5092 and 6219 feet in the Shell well. Gas-bearing sands were not present in two other wells drilled later on the same structure (Fig. 2).

Although evidence of Late Cretaceous volcanic activity is widespread in northern Louisiana, as well as in Mississippi, and southeast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico, the Door Point prospect lies within an area that had been previously designated as being free of volcanism.

Braunstein & McMichael, 1976

Although it is clearly composed of reworked volcanic material.

The Door Point structure penetrated by the Shell Oil S.L. 3956 well no. 1, located offshore in St. Bernard Parish Louisiana represents the singular observed subsurface occurrence of igneous rock in the entire offshore region of the GoM that is Cretaceous in age. Identified in the literature as a volcano, sill or other primary intrusive/extrusive feature, with an age of 82 ± 8 Mya, the Door Point “Volcano,” has received very little study since its discovery in the 1970’s.

Preliminary study of the core shows that the unit consists of volcaniclastic rocks. Initial review of the geophysical logs provided by Shell Oil and Drilling Info show a drastic and apparent offset in the resistivity, with a maligned or absent deflection of the Spontaneous Potential curve. The sequence of volcanics extend vertically a minimum of 396m with no base identified, and the singular cored interval taken of the final 8.5m. Initial petrographic examination has revealed there to be both massive un-bedded polymictic agglomerates as well as bedded volcanic ash. The basalt cobble agglomerates sequentially alternate with the packages of finer grained volcanic ash. Grain size for the igneous cobbles within the agglomerates range in diametric extremes from a maximum of 5 cm to a minimum of 1 – 2 cm. Sedimentary structures are absent in the coarser sequences, but are exhibited in the volcanic ash beds, in the form of cross bedding. The clast populations vary in composition from fragments of sedimentary rock, to the igneous rocks of interest. Possessing a porphyritic texture and angular in appearance the clasts contain visible clinopyroxene phenocrysts, in an aphanitic groundmass; CI > 90.

These results suggest the cobbles are sourced from multiple volcanic centers, and have undergone a multistage cooling history. Coupled with the presence of the calcite cement, the cross bedding is indicative of a marine or fluvial depositional system. We are able to reconstruct a regional story of episodic volcanism in the nascent Gulf of Mexico Rift during the late Cretaceous.

Session No. 320–Booth# 503

Anderson, 2015

Door Point is most likely a salt or shale diapir (piercement structure) that carried volcanic material up with it.

It’s not the only volcanic oddity in the Northern Gulf of Mexico.

Figure 3. Location maps for Door Point (left) and Alderdice Bank (right, Rezak & Tieh, 1984). Click for image.

Alderdice Bank is a salt diapir, which appears to have transported several large blocks of basalt to the seafloor.

A basalt outcrop was discovered on Alderdice Bank on the outer Louisiana continental shelf. The basalt shows an age of 76.8 ± 3.3 × 106 years. Textural, mineralogical, and chemical characteristics indicate that it is an alkali basalt of shallow intrusive origin. It was probably brought to the seafloor by salt tectonics and exposed due to salt dissolution.

Rezak & Tieh, 1984
Figure 4. “Alderdice Bank is an oval salt dome about 100 miles northeast of East Flower Garden Bank”… with three basalt spires sticking out of the seafloor. (NOAA)

Bottom Depth Range: 165-240 feet (50-73 meters)

Alderice Bank is located about 52.5 km (32.5 mi) southeast of Sonnier Banks, about 60 km (37 mi) west northwest of McGrail Bank, and 157 km (97 mi) east northeast of East Flower Garden Bank. The bank is an oval lying in an east-west direction, and covers an area of about 16 km2 (10 mi2).

Three spectacular basalt spires of Late Cretaceous origin (~77 million years old) are found at Alderdice Bank. These are the oldest known exposed rocks on the continental shelf off of Texas and Louisiana, and unique geologic features for this region. The outcroppings crest at about 50 m (165 ft), with their bases at about 73 m (240 ft).

Figure 5. “A basalt spire at Alderdice Bank” (NOAA)

The basalt at Door Point and Alderdice Bank formed shortly after the deposition of the Austin Chalk formation.

Figure 6. Left to right: Generalized cross section along northern GOM region (Galloway et al., 2009), depositional phases are numbered. Relative sea level (Miller et al., 2005), atmospheric CO(Berner & Kothavala, 2001) and temperature anomalies (Royer et al., 2004). Alderdice and Door Point are indicated with stars in depositional phase 4. For more detailed references, see How Climate Change Buried a Desert 20,000 Feet Beneath the Gulf of Mexico Seafloor . Click for image.

Analyses of recent gravity, magnetic and high resolution seismic surveys have fairly clearly revealed the ancient rift system in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico (Lin et al., 2019).

An extinct, late Jurassic-to-earliest Cretaceous ridge-and-fracture zone geometry in the western Gulf of Mexico (GOM), and extinct seafloor ridge segments in the eastern Gulf of Mexico (EGOM), were previously identified using the vertical gradient of satellite-derived free-air gravity data. Circular gravity anomaly lows, and magnetic anomaly highs, over the center of spreading ridge segments are interpreted as large volcanic centers that erupted within a late Jurassic-to-earliest Cretaceous,
slow-spreading center. Detailed mapping of oceanic basement using oil industry seismic data indicates that the EGOM oceanic ridge system is characterized by 30-60-km-long spreading ridge segments, that include 15-km-wide, 2-km-high axial volcanoes in their centers, and nodal basins at their ends. Stratigraphic evidence from seismic reflection data tied to a
deepwater well indicates that volcanism along the spreading ridge ended around the same time (Berriasian), or slightly after (Valanginian), the cessation of seafloor spreading in the EGOM. Flowlines of late Jurassic-to-earliest Cretaceous seafloor, based on a pole of rotation from the geometry of GOM spreading ridges and fracture zones, show a good match with gravity and magnetic anomalies along the Florida and Yucatan conjugate margins of the EGOM. Mapping of age-dated, stratigraphic downlaps onto the oceanic crust is consistent with an interpreted ridge jump at the beginning of seafloor spreading (Kimmeridgian) to the southwest, and in the same southwestward direction of a previously inferred mantle plume in the central
GOM. Our 3-D gravity structural inversion of the Moho requires 6.4 km thick oceanic crust in the northwestern EGOM, and 5.5 km thick oceanic crust in southeastern EGOM. We interpret this along-ridge, thickness variation to reflect faster spreading and thicker oceanic crust farther from the opening pole located in the southeastern GOM.

Lin et al., 2019

The EGOM volcanics pre-date Door Point and Alderdice Bank by about 50 million years

It is rather surprising that these volcanic oddities haven’t received more research attention… Maybe if there was oil in basalt, they would have… 😉 However, they have received some recent attention from some “alternate media outlets.”

“And now for something completely different”

Lew Rockwell is an interesting libertarian website. They actually have some decent articles on Mises, Hayek and other legends of the Austrian School of economics. However, when it comes to science, it’s full-Art Bell…

Something Incredibly Strange Is Going On In The Gulf Of Mexico As Temperatures Hit 130+ Degrees Repeatedly In One Location – Is Long Dormant Volcano Awakening Or Just A Bizarre Anomaly?

By Stefan Stanford
All News Pipeline
March 10, 2018

Back on January 11th, we reported on ANP that several days before a massive, 7.6 earthquake struck in the Caribbean Sea, causing a tsunami warning to be issued to several Caribbean islands, ocean water had suddenly and mysteriously ‘disappeared’ in locations more than 2,000 miles apart, both north and south of the epicenter of that quake.

As videographer MrMBB333 told us in a video that we used within that story, “water is trying to tell us something”.

Well if water suddenly and mysteriously disappearing in the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean then was trying to tell us something, then certainly temperature spikes of over 130 degrees in the Gulf of Mexico must be trying to tell us something, too!

As we see from MrMBB333 in the 1st video below, something incredibly strange is going on in the Gulf of Mexico with air temperatures recorded at over 130 degrees over and over again the past week, with temperatures fluctuating between ‘normal’ temperatures in the 75 to 80 degrees range before suddenly shooting up to at least 133 degrees as we see in videos and the 2nd image below.


Back on March 19th of 2013, Nesara News published a story titled “A Buried Ancient Volcano In Southeast Louisiana” in which they told us about evidence of Late Cretaceous era volcanic activity being widespread in Louisiana as well as in Mississippi and southeast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico.

Called ‘Door Point’, the proof of volcanic activity was found within an area which had previously been designated as being free of volcanism as seen in the next image below. Interestingly, that ’igneous free’ area includes where we are now witnessing these extreme temperature spikes in the Gulf of Mexico as seen in the images above and the videos below.
Might an ancient and long-dormant volcano be underneath the water of the Gulf of Mexico, suddenly coming back to life, its venting causing these temperature spikes we’re witnessing? Much more on that theory below with evidence that indeed we might be about to witness something un-thought of should a long-dormant volcano in the Gulf of Mexico be awakening.


Lew Rockwell

The article features this image… Does it look familiar?

If you click Read the Whole Article, it takes you straight into The Twilight Zone

While the ‘Ring of Fire’ has been heating up with volcanoes all around the planet now erupting and big earthquakes indicating an even bigger one is surely ahead as we hear in the 3rd video below from Infowars, it’s not lost on those paying attention that the Gulf of Mexico borders the ‘Ring of Fire’ as we see in the next image below. 


The largest Gulf in the world, is it just a coincidence that the Gulf of Mexico is shaped almost like the mouth of a gigantic volcano, with one side ‘blown out’ that just happens to align with the Caribbean islands? We find the theory of the origins of the Caribbean to be very interesting, especially knowing that the Caribbean is a ‘large igneous province’, volcano created

While we can’t see any underwater volcanoes in the Gulf of Mexico, what if the entire Gulf of Mexico was the ‘mouth’ of the ancient volcano and the ‘source’ of the Caribbean islands when they were created between 69 million and 139 million years ago? While Wikipedia says the islands are thought to be linked to the Galapogos Hotspot, which is quite far away, is the truth closer to home? 

While we’re unable to see them, underwater volcanoes are nothing new and as the LA Times reported back in 2014, scientists had recently created a high-resolution map of the ocean floor revealing thousands of underwater mountains and extinct underwater volcanoes that had never been known before then. And while their map was twice as accurate as any map of the ocean floor before it, they quickly admit that it could only resolve features at least a mile high or bigger.

Enter this May of 2017 story from National Geographic which uses a new ocean floor map created by a government agency most have never heard of called the “Bureau of Ocean Energy Management” yet as we see in the photograph this new imaging provides below, we still know very little about the floor of the Gulf of Mexico with the image on the right the highest quality resolution that we now have, compared with the image on the left showing what we’d known before.


All News Pipeline

The secret government agency’s map is apparently supposed to be evidence of a volcano.

Anyone recognize this? The high resolution bathymetry mapping was covered here: U. S. BOEM Releases Highest-Resolution Bathymetry Map of the Gulf of Mexico… Evah! Watts Up With That? May 30, 2017. The specific image is from an Eos article and it is the seafloor expression of a salt dome rimmed by a salt withdrawal basin.

Figure 7. “Horseshoe Basin in the western Gulf of Mexico, as compared using (left) the historic NOAA bathymetry map and (right) BOEM’s new map. The basin contains a salt dome at its center and is flanked by salt sheets. Movement of the salt is evident from the network of faults and rifts expressed on the seafloor around the basin, as well as from the sediment debris flows seen falling down the slopes of the basin and onto its floor. Credit: BOEM” (Eos)

The high resolution bathymetry map was derived from 3d seismic surveys, which relatively clearly image the salt domes, sills, massifs and other halokinetic features that form most of the hydrocarbon traps in the Gulf of Mexico and the rugose geomorphology of the seafloor on the continental slope. Calling this evidence of a volcano is the equivalent of crater hunters circling up roundish features on satellite images and declaring them to be impact features… without ever looking at the geology.

Oh… But it gets better (or worse depending on your perspective)… This is from “News Punch, Where Mainstream Fears to Tread”

Scientists Warn Gulf Of Mexico ‘Supervolcano’ About To Erupt
March 15, 2018 Sean Adl-Tabatabai

Scientists have warned that extremely high temperature readings emanating from the Gulf of Mexico in the last week might be a precursor to a deep underwater supervolcano eruption.
Scientists working on the RFS Viktor Leonov CCB175 recorded water off the South American nation of Ecuador disappearing on January 5. Three days later, on January 8, waters began disappearing off the North American Florida coastline – which was followed 24 hours later by a huge 7.6 magnitude earthquake in the Caribbean Sea adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico.


With the average sea surface temperature of the Gulf of Mexico never falling below 23 degrees Celsius (73 degrees Fahrenheit) over the winter for the first time on record last year, and whose “Dead Zone” has grown to its largest size in recorded history, scientists aboard the research vessel say that no evidence suggests these events are due to climate change.

Unlike their Western counterparts, these Russian scientists, when confronted by such mysteries, look backward in time to our Earth’s most ancient stories and myths to see if parallels can be drawn to what is happening now—and that led an examination of the Maya peoples who in ancient times inhabited this entire region—even stretching into the American States of Florida and Georgia.

As documented by Carleton College researcher Lyndon DeSalvo in his 2008 research paper titled “Bleeding Earth: Volcanoes as the Prototypical Mountains in Mayan Cosmological Past”, the Mayapeoples stories and legends of their past speak of the entire Gulf of Mexico as being the place where mountains come from—and, also disappear into—and whose only modern-times explanation of is someone describing the activities of a volcanic caldera—that is a large cauldron-like depression that forms following the evacuation of a magma chamber/reservoir in a supervolcano eruption.

Disregarding the Maya peoples ancient legends, stories and myths that the Gulf of Mexico could, indeed, be a massive volcanic caldera, Western scientists have long sought to discover as to how came to it came to be shaped like one—with the latest attempt being made in 2002 when American geologist Michael Stanton published a speculative essay suggesting an impact origin (comet/asteroid) for the Gulf of Mexico—but that all global geologists quickly rejected for its not having any credibility.

Coming closer to the Maya peoples ancient stories, however, was noted American geologist Dr. David Prior—who, while doing research at Louisiana State University (LSU), became the first scientist to document volcanic eruptions were, indeed, occurring in the Gulf of Mexico—and the discovery of which he wrote about in his 1989 scientific research paper titled “Evidence for Sediment Eruption on Deep Sea Floor, Gulf of Mexico”.

Building on Dr. Prior’s scientific proof of volcanic eruptions occurring in the Gulf of Mexico, in 2003, “asphalt volcanos”—which were never heard of before—were found forming in these waters, too—and that led to massive effort, all around the globe, to re-map all the world’s oceans to discovery just how many underwater volcanoes there are—and when completed, in 2014, revealed thousands of underwater mountains and extinct volcanoes that were previously unknown.

This past May (2017), the first in history detailed seafloor map of the Gulf of Mexico was finally released by the Americans—and whose stunning findings revealed its deepwater seafloor was dominated by canyons, ridges, and faults—some of whose fault lines spread to the ancient Jackson, Mississippi, volcano—and with many believing that further discoveries will soon link the entire Southeastern United States to the feared Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt.


News Punch

At this point, my brain began to leak out of my left ear. If anyone needs me to explain why nothing in the passage above is evidence of volcanic activity in the Gulf of Mexico, I will be happy to do so in the comments section… Hint: sediment expulsion, mud volcanoes and asphalt volcanoes aren’t related to volcanism, magma or any other igneous process… at least not in the Gulf of Mexico.

From abiotic oil, to The Weekly World News, to Earth crustal displacement, to supervolcanoes in the Gulf of Mexico… Why is it that they almost always cite “Russian scientists”?

Unlike their Western counterparts, these Russian scientists, when confronted by such mysteries…

In the case of The Weekly World News, it was usually, “according to Russian scientists, as reported by Swedish scientists (Fill in the blank: an oil rig drilled into Hell, a WWII bomber was located in a crater on the Moon, Batboy is advising Bill Clinton on the 1996 election).

Why did I take the time to debunk this nonsense?

Because it was both 1) fun and 2) easy… Apart from the minor brain hemorrhage.

There also seems to be a tendency among some AGW skeptics to gravitate toward alternative “science” in areas other than climate. This has to be done with care. And sometimes, even when done with care, it can lead to malicious attacks by the Warmunists. Rejecting the so-called scientific consensus on AGW doesn’t logically require skeptics to reject all scientific consensuses. While science isn’t a consensus building process, most scientific consensuses are the result of hypotheses being tested and confirmed, leading to scientific theories which demonstrate predictive skill… The theory of the formation of the Gulf of Mexico predicted that evidence of Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous rifting and volcanic activity would be found where it was subsequently found.


Anderson, Peter & Jonathan E. Snow. “Door Point: Volcano in the Gulf”. 2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Braunstein, Jules & Claude E. McMichael. “Door Point: A Buried Volcano in Southeast Louisiana”. Transactions-Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Volume XXVI, 1976

Lin, Pin, E. Bird, Dale & Paul Mann. (2019). “Crustal structure of an extinct, late Jurassic-to-earliest Cretaceous spreading center and its adjacent oceanic crust in the eastern Gulf of Mexico”. Marine Geophysical Research. 10.1007/s11001-019-09379-5.

Rezak, Richard & Thomas T. Tieh. “Basalt from Louisiana continental shelf”. Geo-Marine Letters (1984) 4: 69.

Featured image

Science Made Stupid: How to Discomprehend the World Around Us is a 1985 book written and illustrated by Tom Weller. The winner of the 1986 Hugo Award for Best Non-Fiction Book, it is a parody of a junior high or high school-level science textbook. Though now out of print, high-resolution scans are available online, as well as an abridged transcription, both of which have been endorsed by Weller [1]. Highlights of the book include a satirical account of the creationism vs. evolution debate and Weller’s drawings of fictional prehistoric animals (e.g., the duck-billed mastodon.)

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May 15, 2019 6:42 am

What?? You don’t think Bat Boy is real?? Sorry, David, you just lost all credibility with me.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
May 15, 2019 8:07 pm

He didn’t actually say Batboy wasn’t real. He just implied Batboy would never help Bill Clinton.

Bryan A
Reply to  Craig from Oz
May 15, 2019 11:19 pm

Good thing you didn’t lead with the Mr MBB333 part or I never would have read farther. Every Mr MBB333 youtube presentation I’ve watched sounds informative but has been Bunk.

May 15, 2019 7:16 am

There also seems to be a tendency among some AGW skeptics to gravitate toward alternative “science” in areas other than climate.

Just because one thing isn’t true, you can’t use that as evidence that something else is true. That’s what the warmists do. “We can’t explain why the world is warming any other way, so it must be all due to anthropogenic CO2.”

A good skeptic should be skeptical of everything.

Reply to  David Middleton
May 15, 2019 8:16 am

I wasn’t referring to you but to those who might call themselves skeptics but then accept some pretty crazy stuff. In particular that seems to apply to the postmodernists who, for some reason, also seem to be Marxist. link It seems to me that the skepticism is actually a false flag.

Bro. Steve
Reply to  commieBob
May 15, 2019 9:06 am

commieBob, you remind me of Dilbert calling the Skeptics Association.

Caligula Jones
May 15, 2019 7:35 am

Not hard to understand why low-information people can believe things like CAWG and that “Russians hacked the election” when there are people who believe this stuff and things like there is a face on Mars…

There is a reason why we have so many “gender studies” grads, and fewer science and math grads: learning can be challenging. Clicking “like” and forwarding is easy.

As the saying goes, everyone is conservative about what one knows best. Read a book on pseduo-science once and the author told of how he (almost) got snookered in to believing in some daft notion until the theorist came to the part where the author had expertise. Then he realized how wrong the entire theory is.

I still maintain that Bat Boy could exist as a Clinton advisory, though. Have you ever seen Jim Carville?

Reply to  Caligula Jones
May 15, 2019 9:39 am

You mean there ISN”T a face on Mars. … Dang! … and I bought the stamp years ago. But I also used to buy the story of human-caused climate/global/whatever.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
May 15, 2019 9:55 am

Many years ago, I was in an actual book store that had physical books. Hard for millennials to believe, I know, but its true! Its true!!

There was actually an entire SECTION, three shelves high, with “analysis” on the Face on Mars. Apparently, while most of us uneducated morons could see the Face, we weren’t expert enough to discern the pyramid(s) and entire CITY right beside it.

All based on a single badly-shot photograph using mid-70s technology. Yep, some real science there…

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
May 15, 2019 10:38 am

I did too, until they started to rewrite climate history. That was a part where I had expertise, so I started to wonder what the h*** was going on, and started digging into the physics. And then it all fell apart.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  tty
May 15, 2019 11:10 am

Same here. The “Face on Mars” being a good example of a single data point being devastated by the approximately 10 billion data points that say otherwise.

I realized that CAWG was alarmist nonsense when I realized that not only was there NOT a reliable current average global climate measure, but that even if there was, there is no reliable historical average global measure to which it can be compared to get a warmer\colder\wetter\drier comparison to get worried about.

Which lead me to remember the admonishment all the better math teachers used about averages in general, THEN I started to work on computer models myself for work, and saw how ridiculously inaccurate (and political) outcomes were.

May 15, 2019 8:24 am

Various so called experts have been claiming that the Yellowstone super volcano is on the verge of an eruption for decades.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  David Middleton
May 15, 2019 10:41 am

That reminds me of a quote from Mark Twain. He said that he had been on the verge of being an angel his whole life.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  MattS
May 15, 2019 9:40 am

Oh it will probably erupt soon – using the geological version of “soon” here, which means sometime in the next 100 million years or so.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  MattS
May 15, 2019 1:59 pm

Michael Poland is the USGS Scientist-in-Charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. He claims to be amazed at the crazy things that appear, especially from UK news, about Yellowstone ready to explode.

We went to a presentation in early April, wherein he mentioned this issue and stated that the monitoring shows exactly the opposite.

Reply to  John F. Hultquist
May 15, 2019 2:41 pm

The Long Valley Caldera is probably a much bigger threat.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  tty
May 16, 2019 6:04 pm

Long Valley Caldera also appears to be an anomalous source of CO2, despite not being active like Kilauea.

Reply to  tty
May 20, 2019 7:32 pm

Valles Caldera in New Mexico was last to erupt

La Garita in Colorado was the largest

Deloss McKnight
May 15, 2019 8:38 am

You mentioned, but did not debunk, the bomber on the moon. I wonder if it went through a time warp like that aircraft carrier in the movie?

Reply to  David Middleton
May 15, 2019 10:13 am

Thanks David for reminding me it’s been too long since I’ve seen it 🙂

mike the morlock
May 15, 2019 8:40 am

Science made stupid… Got that right.

David the picture of the bomber on the moon came close to making me weep. Can’t they at least use a bomber that has the shadows going the same way as the crater’s shadows for their cut and paste?

They need to do better.

Thank you David, as always very good article.


Reply to  mike the morlock
May 15, 2019 1:31 pm

The Bomber on the Moon article was in the old – not much missed – Sunday Sport.
Loosely described as a newspaper, it made the US’s National Enquirer look like The Newspaper of Record for the US Government, circa 1955.
They reliably got the shadows right on the poor (because they could not afford clothes, much) , but healthy, young ladies featured on many pages, in full colour.
I bought it mainly for the coverage of non-league football (soccer).
And the rantings of the Page 2 ad man, from Trago Mills. Even now, that makes Mr. Farage look utterly mainstream!


Reply to  Auto
May 15, 2019 11:30 pm

Friday night’s Fish ‘n Chip wrapper needed to have pictures and words for the kids, hence bombers on the moons (yes, there used to be two of them … don’t ask).

Caligula Jones
Reply to  WXcycles
May 16, 2019 6:43 am

Hey, I have a book from the 60s called “Secrets of Our Spaceship Moon” (you can guess what its about).

Bomber(s)? Meh. This guy found pyramids…

Reply to  Auto
May 16, 2019 3:46 am

There are still lots of things we don’t know to much information on. Maybe these anomalies are heating up the Gulf of Mexico and creating hurricanes.

James Clarke
May 15, 2019 9:17 am

Interesting stuff about the geology of the sea floor of the Gulf of Mexico. Thank you for that. Sorry about the brain hemmorage.

Reply to  David Middleton
May 15, 2019 5:03 pm

Pouring Jim Beam into the ear is a waste of good booze.

D. Anderson
May 15, 2019 9:23 am

David, I can’t get a definitive answer to this. Has volcanic activity and earthquakes increase in the last few decades?

“the ‘Ring of Fire’ has been heating up

D Anderson
Reply to  David Middleton
May 15, 2019 11:00 am

” it’s not as easy as I thought it would be.”

I know right? I keep hearing people say it’s happening without any proof as if it was self-evident.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  David Middleton
May 15, 2019 11:30 am

“They think that it’s a function of more intense observation than an increase”

Oh, that old bugaboo, huh? Kinda like, say, climate change? Or “species at risk”?

Smart Rock
Reply to  David Middleton
May 15, 2019 1:58 pm

Same thing with earthquakes. You could watch this video and conclude that earthquakes increased exponentially from 1901 to 2000, and not more sensitive and more numerous seismographs

I’ve watched this multiple times. The earth in action.

Reply to  D Anderson
May 15, 2019 5:05 pm

People seem to have an expectation that random equals uniform.
Any clustering becomes evidence that something is going on.

Gary Pearse
May 15, 2019 9:24 am

David, does the age of these volcanics seem near the super bolide strike in the Yucatan Peninsula that extinguished the dinosaurs?

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  David Middleton
May 15, 2019 12:35 pm

Alderdice Bank would have a been a pretty cool little island south of Galveston during the LGM. Probably lots of bird colonies before it drowned in the Great Climate Cataclysm, a climate catastrophe we call the Holocene.

Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
May 15, 2019 9:31 am

“the equivalent of crater hunters circling up roundish features on satellite images and declaring them to be impact features… without ever looking at the geology.”

What I find more interesting, is the lack of round features that geologists will admit are craters, when if you look at our nearest neighbour (the moon) it’s pretty obvious that there ought to be a lot more craters on earth than geologists will presently admit to.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that there are craters …. because there are other possible explanations as I’ve suggested in the past. But, it does point to an disquieting discrepancy between what ought to be there and what geologists are prepared to admit – which I think says more about geologists than our earth.

Reply to  Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
May 15, 2019 10:44 am

Also atmosphere, which stops all small bodies before they reach the surface.

And oceans which absorb smaller impacts without causing any craters in the solid sea-bottom, and makes craters much more difficult to find.

David Joyce
May 15, 2019 9:36 am

I was in Geology grad school when the WWII bomber on the moon came out. Turns out the crater was the ‘field area’ of a planetary geologist friend. As he pointed out, the real mystery isn’t how it got to the moon. The real mystery was how did it grow 100x times larger getting there?

In principle its ok to question everything,(if you have that kind of time) but be sure to question your own motives for the questioning, as well. You need to approach any such issue with the question – “What will it take me to conclude that this hypothesis *is* the best explanation for the facts?” If the answer is “Nothing, I already know the real truth about X because I know how the world works,” then you are not a scientist you are an acolyte. You are not on the side of truth – even if you are right.

HD Hoese
Reply to  David Middleton
May 15, 2019 10:37 am

As usual very interesting, have to reread and reread. Reminded me of the old explanation of mudlumps at the mouth of the Mississippi which I never saw despite seeing lots of mud there. I recall that it was Thomassy (Géologique Pratique de La Louisiané?) 1860, maybe some even later misidentified the gas and salt water coming up as “volcanic.”

Lots of gas and mud and salt there.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  David Middleton
May 15, 2019 10:47 am

Also, “We don’t actually have to ‘know how the world works,’ in order to recognize things that simply are.”

David Joyce
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 15, 2019 5:46 pm

By how the world works, I meant people with a world view that informs them, and therefore they don’t need facts. Creation Science and Climate alarmism are two that I have argued vainly against. I have long since realized the futility of arguing facts with someone whose world view won’t be changed by facts.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  David Joyce
May 16, 2019 6:09 pm

Back in the ’70s, when I was teaching, I subscribed to Geotimes. I was young and naive. (But, I’m being redundant!) I came to the realization that people are not rational when I read a letter to the editor from a micropaleontologist who earned his living identifying microfossils in well cuttings. He did not believe in evolution.

Reply to  David Middleton
May 16, 2019 3:58 am

Well said. The topic of the article was missleading.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
May 15, 2019 10:25 am

Am I wrong in suspecting that the people who believe there is a bomber on the moon and a face on Mars are also the same people who think the American moon landings were filmed in a studio somewhere in California (or similar). While all this kind of stuff is mildly entertaining it is disconcerting when young people fall for this nonsense about fake moon missions. Everyone knows the Clangers got there first anyway.

Joel O'Bryan
May 15, 2019 10:33 am

David’s article debunking obvious pseudoscience related to GoM vulcanism produces yet again the most vital observation about the process of science, science as a tool:
“While science isn’t a consensus building process, most scientific consensuses are the result of hypotheses being tested and confirmed, leading to scientific theories which demonstrate predictive skill… “

Negative learning is all around us. It forms a model, and even consensus building around a model, that when presented with new data or observations that produces incorrect interpretations or actions. Even though the underlying assumptions may be grossly in error, the actions or policy prescriptions that arise may work at times and not at others.

– Ptolemaic orbital mathematics “worked” pretty well for predicting the locations of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn… until some new observations from newly invented telescopes came along.
– Pepto-Bismol™ “worked” pretty well as providing longer term relief of indigestion and heartburn from gastric ulcers, (incorrectly) interpreted as from its acid buffering “antacid” chemistry. This supported the long held belief that ulcers were the result of excess acid production from stress and alcohol consumption. But the curing of gastric (stomach) ulcers with antibiotics was indisputable observational evidence of a microbial pathogenic origin, and thus now the realization it is the bismuth ions in Pepto-Bismol, which forms a potent microbicidal agent for Helicobacter pylori, that provides the longer term relief from gastric ulcers.
(Pro Tip: Next time you get heartburn or indigestion, rather than Tums or Maalox as your quick fix, try Pepto Bismol).

Negative learning is all around us. We generally don’t know where it exists, as “we don’t know what we don’t know.”
Negative learning forms the bias that, when presented with new data or observations, then produces incorrect solutions or actions. Even though the underlying assumptions may be grossly in error, solutions are applied that may seem to work for time, but then fail. Or actions or policy prescriptions employed may work at one time but then not at others. But the cognitive bias allows us to ignore the failures.

“Right for the wrong reason”, is one way to look at this. But frequently “right policy” or “right actions” fail miserably because our basic assumptions of the underlying paradigm are grossly wrong.

The geo-centrism paradigm of Ptolemaic Earth-sun-planets orbital models largely worked until moons of Jupiter or phases of Venus lighting were observed with telescope which the consensus theory could no longer accommodate.

The CO2 strong amplification-forcing hypothesis of Climate Change is clearly wrong now … by observation. Yet it forms a negative learning barrier for mainstream climate science. It seems to work at times as an explanatory/predictive paradigm, but then at others it fails (the Pause/Hiatus). And the failures are either ignored, or (becasue of reputational or financial considerations) observations are altered to fit the paradigm.

The bias from decades of negative learning allows climate modellers to continue to hand-tune the parameters of their models, though they run hot to observation, to meet their expectations. And the Group-Think of Climate Science reinforces this behavior with providing the path to continue grant funding.

Think of the 17th Century Vatican and Roman Catholic Church funding only to “approved” scientists who support geo-centrism and offer Ptolemaic models. Professional reputations and financial concerns intermix to produce incorrect conclusions. It seems obvious to us now then that “geo-cntrism” would be maintained by consensus in such an enviroment.

So now with Climate Change, we are presented with many public policy prescriptions, some of which may be “right for the wrong reason”. While others, asking to spend vast sums of public resources, will likely lead to far more harm in the long run than the climate problem they attempt to address.

Climate science urgently needs to correct itself from these decades of negative learning. The strong forcing model of CO2 is clearly wrong. The process of unlearning this incorrect climate science better start soon, as the stakes are far too high now for the actions demanded by non-scientist “policy makers”.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 15, 2019 11:36 am

Adding to your point:

The ancient-and-proven classic Greek (Ptolemaic model) was actually more accurate than the first Copernican model, and even the next attempt. (Yes, there were errors in the predicted planet paths that Copernicus could not explain.) His “perfect circle) model’s most important contribution was the simple theory of a solar centric orbit. But his model was NOT correct. As Gingrich found in his book about the Copernicus early editions by reading hundreds of annotations and edits by other astronomers who bought the First, Second, and Third editions, the fable about “epicycles in epicyles” is false.

Neither was Tycho’s model.

Only AFTER the elliptical orbit was proposed did ANY of the solar theories beat the Ptolemaic model.

And, of course, the theory and application of gravity to the orbits did not yet exist either.

David M.
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 15, 2019 5:16 pm

You must be very smart! Was nice to read your understanding.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 16, 2019 11:00 am

Along with what RACookPE1978 has said,
First prove “17th Century Vatican and Roman Catholic Church funding only to “approved” scientists who support Geo-centrism and offer Ptolemaic models” – since Galileo was gainfully employed.
As an aside, protestants always fail to bring up that Galileo was friends with the Pope at the time. Galileo was told to teach his ideas as suppositions not facts, especially since he couldn’t prove anything with the crude instruments of the time. He only got into trouble when he parodied his papal friend in a book discussing his ideas. In our time the IRS would be trained on you if you said something against the former Sec. of State.

Kudos to Kepler for figuring out the elliptical orbits from Tycho’s data. and enduring the criticisms of the hotheaded Italian Galileo.

Disclaimer: I’m a hotheaded Italian-decent Canadian. 😉

David Murray
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 16, 2019 10:37 pm

A most erudite and informative post for which many thanks.

May 15, 2019 10:54 am

Old volcanoes associated with continental rifting can indeed turn up in very odd places. For example there is a number of old volcanic necks in Scania in southern Sweden which is otherwise about as unvolcanic a place as you can imagine. They are also from the Jurassic and are associated with a failed rift arm from the beginning of the opening of the North Atlantic.

May 15, 2019 11:07 am

It strikes me that the Alderdice bank basalt seems to be the exact opposite of a xenolith. A xenolith is a foreign rock in a volcanic deposit that has been transported by the lava, often from a great depth. The Alderdice basalt is instead a volcanic rock that has been transported from a great depth by salt.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  David Middleton
May 15, 2019 7:19 pm

I study that with my salted-rim Margarita glass on a regular basis.
Usually after studying CO2 dynamics in my beer glass.

May 15, 2019 12:42 pm

“…with many believing that further discoveries will soon link the entire Southeastern United States to the feared Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt.” People who come up with this stuff give me a headache. Then I turn to ice cream for comfort. If they want to panic people, why aren’t they also including another episode of Noah’s Famous Flood (which coincided with the tsunami that nearly destroyed the city of Ur)?

I believe that the last active volcanic stuff anywhere near there was about 5,000 or so years ago on the Rio Grande rift zone. I could look that up, but it goes all the way up in a bit curve and has some geysers that opened up a few years ago, mostly in a northbound direction. There are the remains of dormant volcanoes on the southern portions of the Rio Grande Rift, if anyone is interested in tracking them down. If you go there, take food and a lot of water with you.

If you want to track volcanic activity, go to volcano discovery dot org. They keep track of all things volcanic, including the increased activity in the Danakil Depression in Ethiopia, but that has been going on for a couple of million years now, and Erta Ale’s caldera finally filled up to overflowing – almost the fountain that Kilauea used to sport – in (I think) 2010. That is an active rift zone, with Erta Ale (ehrta allay) sitting on the boundaries of three active plates.

I”m going back to ice cream now. Thanks for the article, David Middleton. The more this nonsense is put up for people to pick up, the sillier they become.

Reply to  Sara
May 15, 2019 4:15 pm

There are also volcanoes in Texas that are long dormant, but that doesn’t mean they could not return to activity some day. You only need enough subsurface disruption and thinning the lithosphere and layers below that. The Bruneau-Jarbidge_caldera in Idaho erupted a mere 12 million years ago, sent stuff south to Nebraska and buried lots of animals like horses, camels and rhinos, and there’s no saying it couldn’t happen again! 🙂

Johne Morton
May 15, 2019 12:48 pm

Just throwing this out there-

The New Madrid fault is supposed to be a result of the incomplete fracturing of N. America in that area, along the Mississippi River. Given the age and location of Door Point, is there any connection?

Reply to  David Middleton
May 15, 2019 2:50 pm

If you plot the (infrequent and smaller) earthquakes across the whole United States-Canada region, you’ll see numerous quakes on the St Lawrence River “track” inland – running parallel to the Niagara Escarpment towards the central US plate – and the center of the New Madrid quakes.

May 15, 2019 2:05 pm

The real question is what caused the persistent high temperature spikes mentioned in the Gulf of Mexico, and more importantly, are they being incorporated into the “average” temperatures?

Reply to  David Middleton
May 16, 2019 11:35 am

The video mentioned Intellicast, which is now available through Weather Underground. It looked a lot like their Wundermap, but I don’t know what option they were using to get the SST to display as numerals, if it is still available.

May 15, 2019 4:06 pm

Another dose of Yellowstone hysteria today:

Yellowstone volcano SHOCK: Eruption ‘can kill 5 BILLION’ in fiery fallout, warns geologist (15 May)

The trouble for the climateers is if they admit that we humans could make preparations to cope with such an event we could also make preparations to cope with global warming, if there was any.

I note that lately NASA has been ramping up the asteroid threat issue too, despite having successfully mapped pretty much every significant NEO. It must be budget time again.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Bruce of Newcastle
May 15, 2019 8:36 pm

The Express can be found on Lower Thames Street, London.

Perhaps there is something in the water.
That has to be the explanation for these odd Yellowstone stories.
I can’t think of any other cause.

May 15, 2019 4:56 pm

The Gulf of Mexico “borders” the Ring of Fire in the same sense that the Atlantic does.
They are both adjacent to a continent that is adjacent to the Ring of Fire.

Craig from Oz
May 15, 2019 8:20 pm

“Science Made Stupid: How to Discomprehend the World Around Us is a 1985 book written and illustrated by Tom Weller. The winner of the 1986 Hugo Award for Best Non-Fiction Book,”

Wow – back when the Hugo’s actually were a reflection on what people liked. Interestingly Best Novel that year was Ender’s Game. Orson Scott Card would be lucky to get a nomination these days because he is not politically correct enough.

As a sign of just how woke the Hugos have become, Doctor Who has been nominated TWICE for Best Shortform Drama for Rosa (aka – all white men are racist) and Demons of the Punjab (aka – all white men are racist and religious bigots). Fortunately there is still a ‘No Award’ spot in Hugo voting, so you know where I will be placing my vote this year.

Michael S. Kelly LS BSA, Ret
May 16, 2019 6:56 am

I love Science Made Stupid. Particularly the “Geologic Ages and Events” chart up front. You should post that along with some of your discussions of oil and gas formations. It’s a total crack-up!

Robert of Texas
May 16, 2019 10:24 am

The real question is how did that WWII bomber get to the moon!?

Now THAT is one lost navigator.

Guessing where volcanoes will erupt, except for active ones with some history, is a complete waste of time. They run on geologic time, not human time, and may sit idle for a mere few thousand years or a million years – a blink of an eye in geologic time – before deciding to erupt. Once they become active it gets more interesting.

One can make educated guesses about volcanic activity based on continental drift. Active subduction zones will lead to active volcanoes – eventually. Rifts will lead to volcanic materials coming out of tears – eventually. Hot spots, like Yellow Stone, will lead to massive volcanic activity – eventually. But assuming it is likely to erupt in the next 10,000 years is not much of a prediction.

Hot springs (or out-wellings of heated water) under the ocean is a common find – We are just starting to find out how common. How fast they appear, fluctuate, and then disappear is not understood. Trying to base predictions on hot water venting from the sea floor is a complete guess since there is no understanding of what is going on deeper down. If you are not seeing an increasing rate and intensity of earthquakes in the area, I would chalk this up to natural variation.

Johann Wundersamer
May 19, 2019 2:21 pm

long sought to discover as to how came to it came to be shaped like one—with –> long sought to discover as how came it to be shaped like one—with

/ ?

May 20, 2019 7:26 pm

This knowledge is so dangerous that you could die from learning this material if you have NOT been properly prepared by $cientology OT III level training!!!

proof of Xenu’s DC3 spaceplane on moon!
comment image

Legend of Xenu


Phineas Sprague
May 22, 2019 8:19 pm

So stupid is a permanent condition one doesn’t argue with stupid because….it is stupid. However the new bathymetry is stunning and look out the aliens fortress with a moat around it is in Cuba too! I call it the Bizarre Feature. If it is a diapir then the statigraphy is going to have to be rewritten. since the section previously stopped at basalt which was assumed to be the ocean basin. Now I think not which will be just a positively accepted as little green men. .. until they find oil under the basalt..

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