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"Natural" atomic explosion in the Sahara
Flying goat raised this topic in a muddled recollection. My own
recollection is also muddled, but as I recall it was a bit
farther south in Africa than the Sahara. The date was earlier
than 3 Ga. It was not an explosion as such but rather a contained
nuclear reaction rather like an atomic reactor, continuing for a few
thousands of years. This does not require partitioned isotopes of
uranium, merely a high local concentration.
REFERENCE TO DATA OF CHICXOLUB
Someone asked me about the references for the date of the melt
rock oc Chicxolub. I originally wrote from memory. I have finally
The best reference is Carl C. Swisher and others (eleven of them)
(1992). Coeveal 40Ar/39Ar ages of 65.0 million years ago from
Chicxulub crater melt rock and Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary tektites.
*Science* 257, 14 August 1992, pp.954-958. The same issue of
Science also includes a more general editorial on p. 878.
Swisher and his crowd found a date for the glassy melt rock nearthe
base of the crater (1,390 to 1,393 meters below the surface) of
64.98 Ma plus/minus 0.05 Ma. Glassy tektites from the K-T boundary
ejecta layer on Haita were dated to 65.01 plus/minus 0.08, and from
Arroya ek Mimbral, Mexico at 65.07 +/- 0.10 Ma. These dates are
statisti cally indistinguishable.
>From: David Brez Carlisle