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Re: Discovery Impact Programs



At 04:49 PM 5/5/98 -0500, Rob Meyerson wrote:
>Last night, the Discovery Channel ran their programs on asteroid/comet
impacts all night long.  In the middle of one of them, the narrator made a
claim that I have not heard before (and severely doubt).  The program
claimed that the Deccan Traps Vulcanism (although the region was not named,
but it was clear what they were talking about) started *because* of the
Chixculub Impact.  They claimed that the shock from the asteroid collision
disrupted plate boundaries and induced massive vulcanism.  Is this merely
"sensationalist-catastophism" or is there actual evidence to back up these
statements?

Sensational catastrophism at its worst.

The Deccan volcanism clearly begins during a magnetic normal time, but the
boundary (and hence the impact) is in a magnetic reversed time.  Interbedded
sedimentary units within the Deccan sequence contain Maastrichtian pollen
and non-avian dinosaurs.

By every stratigraphic and chronological method used in geology, the Deccan
volcanism was already underway for 1 million years or so prior to the impact
event.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661