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Re: Theories on the extinction of dinosaurs
Great post. The H-bomb 'hole' analogy isn't quite valid because of the
effect, but you certainly can expect massive amounts of material to be blown
orbit or reach escape velocity. There is some evidence that the moon itself is
formed from debris from an earlier, larger impact with the earth. There would
lot of collateral damage from stuff that didn't reach orbital velocity, or whose
orbital path intersected the earth's atmosphere. Personally, I think the
rain/flood/erosion/sedimentation cycle triggered by the impact may have caused
most long-term damage, but I'm probably prejudiced because of my profession.
generation or so, the repetitive flooding would have moved a massive amount of
material from the uplands to the seas, causing damage from erosion in the
and siltation in the floodplains and coastal areas.
nicholas roy longrich wrote:
> I seem to recall from Dark Sun: The Making of The Hydrogen Bomb
> that there is an upper limit to the effective size of an H-bomb because
> past a certain point, it just blows a hole in the atmosphere and sends the
> blast out that way. So it's not like you're bombing the whole planet. This
> hole would probably be a lot smaller than the ones in Jupiter, considering
> that our atmosphere is held more loosely. And although doubtless heat,
> molten debris, tidal waves and the like are going to be nasty, it's that
> layer of iridium clay- suspended in the atmosphere- which is supposed to
> have been the real killer, and that would explain why you lose planktonic
> organisms (photosynthetic food chain).
> Regarding multiple impacts, it's my impression that the dust layer
> gets thicker as you go closer to Yucatan, as opposed to being more evenly
> distributed. Still, I suppose you could have much smaller impacts away
> from it, and maybe get the same effect.