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Re: Vredefort

Thanks Richard,

If memory serves, I read about this thing while I was in high school,
during the late 50's.  My garbling of the name is perhaps due to the
'half life' of my memory (what there is of it -- or maybe I just screwed
up).  Anyway, I don't remember seeing anything about it since then.  Can
you give me a reference on the Dietz material, so I can look it up?

Richard Ellis wrote:

>>Apparently an asteroid a mile or so in diameter plunged...

> In the terminology of nuclear explosions, it was at least a 1.5
> million megaton event.... By comparison the meteorite impact that
> produced Barringer Crater was a mere five-megaton explosion.?

Barringer Crater is about what would be expected as a result of a house
to football field sized meteorite impact.  The movie  'Starman' contains
some pretty good photos of it.

Assuming that Chicxulub (I fouled up the spelling on that, too) was
about the same density and traveling at about the same velocity, the
latter impact would have had about (6/1)^3 = 216 times more impact
energy, or 324 Teratons, rather larger than the impact energies I've
been quoting.

> And yes, he does say that ?a giant meteorite falling into the middle
> of the Atlantic Ocean could generate a wave 20,000 feet high that
> would overwhelm vast areas of the continents surrounding the ocean,
> sweeping over the entire eastern seaboard of the U.S., and across the
> Appalachians.?

Chicxulub was a water impact with a hundred or more times the impact
energy of the Vredefort impact, and there was a direct path for the
consequent tsunami up through the inland sea.  It's possible that it
could have given dinosaurs in the western US and South America a bad

Thanks again, Richard