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Re: Discovery Impact Programs



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?

This proposal was made a few years back by some computer modellers at, I
think, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, who calculated that shock waves
from the Chicxulub impact would have been focused on the antipodes -- the
opposite point on the earth -- which they estimated was pretty close to the
Deccan Traps. It generally is not accepted. -- Jeff Hecht