When I first started studying the ignimbrites in the Chihuahuan desert it was the clear patterns of unimaginably violent motion in them that captivated me. I knew that whatever the experts had to say about them. There was nothing in standard theory that could believably account for the power, and violence, of the simultaneous explosions these thousands of cubic miles of blast effected materials described.
The Maps call the material ordinary volcanic tuff. But when you backtrack the flows you find no vents.
At the time of emplacement, these thousands of cubic miles of fast flowing melted stone weren't flowing downhill from highest elevation to lowest. There are no steep, volcanic slopes to provide way for gravity to account for the motions of the rivers of melted rock.
And some of the material can even be seen to have been moving up hill. Gravity wasn't the motive force. The patterns of movement, and flow, are all consistent with what you see when a fluid is pushed from behind by inconcievable heat, and pressure. And they describe very fast explosive motions like impact ejecta, and impact melt. But we find no craters when we backtrack the flows either.
Some ejecta I found that had been tossed around
was waiting for someone to assess.
That 'twas up in the air, that which tossed the stuff there.
What it was? I had not a guess.
Strange and quite queer. No volcano was near.
Or round crater to account for the mess.
How rude and sore cruel. To break every rule,
And lie in plain sight n'er the less?
Think of mud splattered on concrete driveway only bigger.
These pristine iignimbrites of the Chihuahuan desert are a detailed study in the fluid motions of rivers of melted stone. All of the melted, flowing, splashing, colliding, motion in this picture, every single pebble of it, was in motion at the same time. And from beginning to end we are only looking at a few short seconds. And, as fast, and violent as the motions were, everything re-solidified suddenly like a perfectly preserved snapshot in time of the motions of the flows.
Take your time and just look at this for a minute. Click on the picture to enlarge it. The Latitude and Longitude are in the bottom the image. we see 1/4 mile wide blobs of melted stone that flew from the direction of the ring structure at Manuel Benivides more than 80 kilometers to the north. Only to land in the middle of high speed ignimbrites which had been moving as fast flowing rivers of melted stone which were colliding, and inter-flowing, from many different directions at the same time just before it hit.
The ignimbrites, and melt bombs, solidified in mid flow so they are all a clear, freeze-frame, snapshot in time. And an amazing study in exquisite detail of the motions, and directions of the high speed, pressure driven flows.
Here we see the same area from a different angle.
Even If we ignore everything else and focus only on describing just the energy and destruction, implied in fluid motions of the melted stone in the hundred or so square miles shown in this image we will have succeeded in describing one of the most violent geological events ever known. And yet it was only a minor footnote in the events of that day. In fact, this is some of the milder effects to be found in more than 40,000 square miles in central Mexico alone. It's really very typical, ordinary, stuff.The pristine condition of the the ignimbrites, and melt bombs you see in these images make it easy to follow any part of it back upstream to its source location. Anyone with a good pair of eyes can see that the heat, and pressure to melt, and blow these flows of melted stone around came from above.
The standard assumption, is that these rivers of melted stone were erupted somewhere on the order of 25 million years ago, when vast rifts are thought to have opened up up in the middle of the continent. The first problem with that assumption is that it fails to account for the perfectly pristine condition of the melt. 'Perfectly pristine, at the surface, as the upper layer of the geologic column, does not fit in the same discription with '25 million years ancient'. Those rifts would have had to have erupted thousands of cubic miles of ash along a line of rifts more than 800 miles long. The rifts would have had to all open simultaneously, empty a giant magma chamber hundreds of times larger than any known super volcano, and then close without a trace. And, in spite of all our 21st century technology, no aeromagnetic data, or tomographic studies, or any other research, has ever revealed a single one of those magic trapdoor rift vents.
Here we see formations of melted stone of a type which, by its very nature, is the product of an atmospheric explosive event. If we put on our Forensic Geology hat, we can recognize that, if you want to understand an explosive event after the fact, you should look to the motions of the blast effected materials. In the past half decade, the satelite imagery available to anyone with a good intrernet connection has revealed the truth. The patterns of movement, and flow, are as clearly legible as spilled paint in a driveway.
The flash, melted, fast flowing, and still perfectly preserved, materials did not come out of the ground in an eruption millions of years ago. They were melted right out on the surface, and blown from their source locations, very fast by unimaginably powerful, and violent, above ground, atmospheric events, only a a geologic instant ago. These melt formations are not the work of terrestrial volcanism. They are the planetary scarring of the most violent natural catastrophe in 65 million years. They are the work of the fragments of a giant comet which was injected into the inner solar system, and began breaking up, 20,000 to 30,000 thousand years ago. It's debris streams are refered to as the "Taurid Complex", and they are the source of the Taurid meteor showers, and numerous NEOs.
These 'fire cloud rocks' are the pristine blast effected materials of a giant, multiple airburst, thermal atmospheric, geo-ablative event that happened when the Earth collided with the debris streams of the totally fragmented Taurid progenitor about 13,000 years ago.
These landforms aren't ancient, and 'heavilly eroded. They are geologically pristine, geo-ablative landforms. The ignimbrites are the product of that ablation.
We can learn much by studying the motions of these materials. And when we can isolate, and define, a specific instant in the impact sequence such as when our melt bomb here hit the ground. When use points like that instant in time to begin to draw a time line.
Every last pebble in this image was very quickly melted, and tossed to it's present position in seconds. The melt bomb landed about a third of the way down from the top-righ corner of the image. And its momentum kept it moving through the melt for another ten miles or so. The flows were still colliding, and unter-flowing untill just before the impactite landed, and plowed through the still soft stone.
The ignimbrites were still visibly soft when it hit. But there is no sign of thermal modification, or movement of them after the impactite gouged its path. There was no more motion in the target materials after its impact. And no further modification of the melt bomb either.
This impactite did more than just leaving it's mark on the surface of the Earth though. It is a precise marker of a specific two, or three second moment in time as well. And locations such as this are of paramount importance. Because they give us anchor points for a timeline of all of material movements. And that entire timeline is only a few seconds. It probably took less than 30 seconds for all of the fragments of the comet to hit. And the melt momb marks a precise instant in time at the very tail end of the Younger Dryas impact event Every thing that happend after this moment in time was post impact firestorm. This is the moment marked by the Younger Dryas Boundary layer.
All of the post impact heat, and violence flowed downwind to the northwest. It was a supersonic tsunami of thermal impact plasma hundreds of miles wide. And it's ground effects will be seen to be very extensive. After the world gets through studying those ground effects, and identifying which landforms have been mis-identified as volcanogenic, and which landforms are the result of instantaneous ablation in a thermal, geo-ablative impact event a few thousand years ago instead of millions of years of errosion as has been assumed, there won't even be a tattered remnant of the untested, unquestioned, assumptions of standard landform theory. But that is a story for telling at a later time.
This one is another perfect match for Mark Boslough's thermal airburst impact simulation . The patterns of movement in the ignimbrites around the mountain in this image show very clearly that they originated from the mountain ridge.
Impact melt is some times misidentified as volcanogenic. But if you click on the image for an enlarged view you can clearly see in the patterns of flow that the melted stone was blown away from a central structure that consists of uplifted, and ablated, meta-setimentary rock. It's not a volcanic vent at all.
In the chevron shaped shaped splashes of stone surrounding it we see much in common with the patterns of movement in ejecta. But the subtle differences are telling too. These materials moved as fast as impact ejecta from a crater. But where the motion of the ejecta from a crater is a balistic arc, up, and out of the crater, The material movement here is caused by pressure forcing it down, and away. The central uplift is produced as a rebound effect much like the central peak of a crater.
At the base of the mountain on the right we see surges of melt blown away away from the mountain like ejecta curtains. The force that melted it also provided considerable pressure to force the material away at the base. Since there are flows on the opposite side of the mountain. And also flowing away from it. We can also know know that the heat and pressure came from above. Standard geology can't explain this mountain formation process. This mountain wasn't eroded to its present form by ages of wind and rain. It was ablated and sculpted to this form in seconds by the heat, and pressure, of an over head blast of impact plasma.
This is typical of almost all of central, and northern Mexico
It only took two, or three exploding comet fragments to blast these two small mountains beyond all recognition of their previous forms. And the total number of them that fell on North America that day was too high to count. But it must have numbered in the tens of thousands. And yet, like these, every single melt formation on the continent that resulted from the impact plasma firestorm they caused has been mistakenly identified as volcanic. And the pristine, un-weathered, ignimbrites have been mis-dated, and their ages overestimated in many places by orders of magnitude.
The events of that day were caused by a large, but loose, cluster, hundreds of miles wide, of comet fragments. They came from the south and hit the atmosphere at a low angle. And each of the larger fragments added megatons more destructive energy to an impact firestorm that devastated the continent.
Each one of the clearings in the rivers of fast flowing, melted stone represents another impact downdraft from a comet fragment exploding above. And the flow directions, and patterns of flow of the rivers of melted stone, and their sources are perfectly obvious.
The scale and power of this event defies the comprehension, and imagination, of one who can only see it from the ground.
The general flow of the rivers of melted stone is from the bottom left in this image.
To find the source location of a gravity actracted fluid you bactrack the flow to the place of highest elevation it flowed down from.
To find the source locations for these blast generated, pressure driven ignimbrites, we simply look behind them. They moved from an area of highest pressure to a place of lowest pressure. And the bare patches that are cleared of ignimbrites are the places the blast effected materials were blown away from.
It is dramatically obvious that the source of heat and pressure that cleared patches in the fast flowing melt did not come out of the ground. The heat and pressure that melted all that rock, and set to moving so fast didn't either.
This was the single most violent ET encounter in 65 million years. Wide spread volcanism, and tremendous siesmic activty were a natural, expected, result of the event. And there is a good sized volcanic field to the east of the melt bomb above. In it we can see hundreds of small volcanic vents that were popping off like champagne corks during the event.
But in the overall picture described by the motions of the rest of the blast effected materials in the region we can clearly see they are only a small foot note. And in the satelite images they would be indistinguishable but for the difference in color. The lavas, and volcanic ash from the actual volcanic structures are very dark, almost black in color. And those vents produced small cinder cones. But the blast melted ignimbrites are of the same light color, and shade, as the parent rocks they were blown off of. So the difference is easy to spot.
Many off the more ancient volcanic vents, and dormant plugs of magma in the region are blasted smooth and level with the surrounding terrain like knots in a sanded board. And they are supposed to have last erupted anywhere from 18 to 30 million years ago. They were victims of the impact storm just like every place else in western North America that day. And they are too few, too far apart, and far too long ago, to account for tens of thousands of square miles of random ignimbrites, fast flowing rivers of melted stone, and rock melt formations that show virtually no sign of weathering or decomposition at all.