Sunday, September 9, 2012

Burckle Crater

The Holocene Impact Working Group is a group of scientists from Australia, France, Ireland, Russia and the USA who have hypothesized that meteorite impacts on Earth are more common than previously supposed. The group uses satellite imagery to locate the presence of landforms such as chevrons which are thought to have been caused by megatsunamis. Chevrons, which are wedge-shaped sediment deposits, often point in the direction of specific impact craters. The group feels that major chevrons around the world were deposited by tsunamis that originated from impact craters.

After searching for massive chevrons, the Holocene Impact Working Group identified the Burckle crater, which is an undersea crater located to the east of Madagascar and west of Western Australia in the southern Indian Ocean. The position of the crater was determined in 2006 using evidence of prehistoric chevron dune formations in Australia and Madagascar that allowed the team to triangulate its location.

Specifically, the group used the Fenambosy Chevron, which is one of four chevron-shaped land features on the southwest coast of Madagascar, 180 meters (590 feet) high and 5 km inland. The Burckle crater is located about 900 miles southeast of the Fenambosy Chevron. Core samples from the Fenambosy Chevron contain high levels of nickel and magnetic components that are associated with impact ejecta. The Burckle crater is estimated to be about 30 km (18 mi) in diameter and located at 12,500 feet (3,800 m) below the surface of the ocean.

The crater has not been dated by radiometric analysis. The Holocene Impact Working Group have suggested that it was formed about 5,000 years ago (c. 2800–3000 BC) during the Holocene epoch. Near the crater, unusual metals have been reported, including carbonate crystals, translucent carbon spherules, and fragments of mineral glass. Numerous ancient writings from various cultures make reference to a “great flood.” It has been hypothesized that these legends may be associated with the impact event. During this time in history the world experienced the end of the Early Harappan Ravi Phase, the end of the pre-dynastic “antediluvian” rulers of the Sumerian civilization and the start of the First Dynasty of Kish.

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