The Asteroid Impact Connection of Planetary Evolution

Author: Andrew Y. Glikson

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9789400763289

Category: Science

Page: 149

View: 543

When in 1981 Louis and Walter Alvarez, the father and son team, unearthed a tell-tale Iridium-rich sedimentary horizon at the 65 million years-old Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary at Gubbio, Italy, their find heralded a paradigm shift in the study of terrestrial evolution. Since the 1980s the discovery and study of asteroid impact ejecta in the oldest well-preserved terrains of Western Australia and South Africa, by Don Lowe, Gary Byerly, Bruce Simonson, Scott Hassler, the author and others, and the documentation of new exposed and buried impact structures in several continents, have led to a resurgence of the idea of the catastrophism theory of Cuvier, previously largely supplanted by the uniformitarian theory of Hutton and Lyell. Several mass extinction of species events are known to have occurred in temporal proximity to large asteroid impacts, global volcanic eruptions and continental splitting. Likely links are observed between asteroid clusters and the 580 Ma acritarch radiation, end-Devonian extinction, end-Triassic extinction and end-Jurassic extinction. New discoveries of ~3.5 – 3.2 Ga-old impact fallout units in South Africa have led Don Lowe and Gary Byerly to propose a protracted prolongation of the Late Heavy Bombardment (~3.95-3.85 Ga) in the Earth-Moon system. Given the difficulty in identifying asteroid impact ejecta units and buried impact structures, it is likely new discoveries of impact signatures are in store, which would further profoundly alter models of terrestrial evolution. .
Large Meteorite Impacts and Planetary Evolution VI

Author: Wolf Uwe Reimold

Publisher: Geological Society of America

ISBN: 9780813725505

Category: Science

Page: 644

View: 473

"This volume contains a sizable suite of contributions dealing with regional impact records (Australia, Sweden), impact craters and impactites, early Archean impacts and geophysical characteristics of impact structures, shock metamorphic investigations, post-impact hydrothermalism, and structural geology and morphometry of impact structures - on Earth and Mars"--
The Asteroid Impact Connection of Planetary Evolution

Author: Andrew Y. Glikson

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 9400763271

Category: Science

Page: 149

View: 179

When in 1981 Louis and Walter Alvarez, the father and son team, unearthed a tell-tale Iridium-rich sedimentary horizon at the 65 million years-old Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary at Gubbio, Italy, their find heralded a paradigm shift in the study of terrestrial evolution. Since the 1980s the discovery and study of asteroid impact ejecta in the oldest well-preserved terrains of Western Australia and South Africa, by Don Lowe, Gary Byerly, Bruce Simonson, Scott Hassler, the author and others, and the documentation of new exposed and buried impact structures in several continents, have led to a resurgence of the idea of the catastrophism theory of Cuvier, previously largely supplanted by the uniformitarian theory of Hutton and Lyell. Several mass extinction of species events are known to have occurred in temporal proximity to large asteroid impacts, global volcanic eruptions and continental splitting. Likely links are observed between asteroid clusters and the 580 Ma acritarch radiation, end-Devonian extinction, end-Triassic extinction and end-Jurassic extinction. New discoveries of ~3.5 – 3.2 Ga-old impact fallout units in South Africa have led Don Lowe and Gary Byerly to propose a protracted prolongation of the Late Heavy Bombardment (~3.95-3.85 Ga) in the Earth-Moon system. Given the difficulty in identifying asteroid impact ejecta units and buried impact structures, it is likely new discoveries of impact signatures are in store, which would further profoundly alter models of terrestrial evolution. .
Climate, Fire and Human Evolution

Author: Andrew Y. Glikson

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 9783319225128

Category: Science

Page: 227

View: 459

The book outlines principal milestones in the evolution of the atmosphere, oceans and biosphere during the last 4 million years in relation with the evolution from primates to the genus Homo – which uniquely mastered the ignition and transfer of fire. The advent of land plants since about 420 million years ago ensued in flammable carbon-rich biosphere interfaced with an oxygen-rich atmosphere. Born on a flammable Earth surface, under increasingly unstable climates descending from the warmer Pliocene into the deepest ice ages of the Pleistocene, human survival depended on both—biological adaptations and cultural evolution, mastering fire as a necessity. This allowed the genus to increase entropy in nature by orders of magnitude. Gathered around camp fires during long nights for hundreds of thousandth of years, captivated by the flickering life-like dance of the flames, humans developed imagination, insights, cravings, fears, premonitions of death and thereby aspiration for immortality, omniscience, omnipotence and the concept of god. Inherent in pantheism was the reverence of the Earth, its rocks and its living creatures, contrasted by the subsequent rise of monotheistic sky-god creeds which regard Earth as but a corridor to heaven. Once the climate stabilized in the early Holocene, since about ~7000 years-ago production of excess food by Neolithic civilization along the Great River Valleys has allowed human imagination and dreams to express themselves through the construction of monuments to immortality. Further to burning large part of the forests, the discovery of combustion and exhumation of carbon from the Earth’s hundreds of millions of years-old fossil biospheres set the stage for an anthropogenic oxidation event, affecting an abrupt shift in state of the atmosphere-ocean-cryosphere system. The consequent ongoing extinction equals the past five great mass extinctions of species—constituting a geological event horizon in the history of planet Earth.
From Stars to Brains: Milestones in the Planetary Evolution of Life and Intelligence

Author: Andrew Y. Glikson

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 9783030106034

Category: Philosophy

Page: 160

View: 884

The permutation of basic atoms—nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, carbon and phosphorus―into the biomolecules DNA and RNA, subsequently evolved in cells and brains, defining the origin of life and intelligence, remains unexplained. Equally the origin of the genetic information and the intertwined nature of ‘hardware’ and ‘software’ involved in the evolution of bio-molecules and the cells are shrouded in mystery. This treatise aims at exploring individual and swarm behaviour patterns which potentially hint at as yet unknown biological principles. It reviews theories of evolution with perspectives from the earth sciences, commencing with the earliest observed records of life. This is followed by reviews and discussion of the building blocks of life, marine and terrestrial communities, the arthropods, birds and finally humans. It is suggested that, further to the mutation/natural selection processes established by Darwin and Wallace, an understanding of the evolution of intelligence remains little understood. A directionality of evolutionary trajectories is evident, not least the purposeful thinking process of humans as well as animals. It is not clear how directional intelligence, manifested for example by the collective intelligence of arthropod colonies, has evolved from mutation/natural selection processes. Potential clues for the understanding of life and evolution are provided by Aristotle’s dictum of “the whole being greater than the sum of the parts”, Niels Bohr’s principle of quantum complementarity and George Ellis’ theory of top-down causality. Inherent in the question of the origin of life is an anthropocentric bias, related to the self-referential Anthropic Principle and theological paradigms of man’s supposed dominion over all other species. The Anthropic Principle, however, should be capable of being circumvented using the scientific falsification method, assuming universal verified constants of physics. The phenomenon of the human mastery of fire and the splitting of the atom, leading to the seventh major mass extinction of species, remains incomprehensible.
The Archaean: Geological and Geochemical Windows into the Early Earth

Author: Andrew Y. Glikson

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 9783319079080

Category: Science

Page: 238

View: 284

Archaean terrains contain a wealth of structural, stratigraphic, textural, mineralogical, geochemical and isotopic features allowing insights into the nature of the early Earth. This book is based on studies during 1964-2007 of Archaean terrains in Australia and to a lesser extent in South Africa and India, as well as on visits to Archaean terrains in Canada, the US and China, as well as petrological and geochemical studies of igneous and sedimentary rock suites from a range of terrains. The book will include a range of photographic and microscopic images, geological sketch maps and diagrams illustrating the lessons derived from field and the laboratory. Also other Archaean terrains are being reviewed. The book is intended for Earth scientists as well as broader intelligent readership.
Evolution of the Atmosphere, Fire and the Anthropocene Climate Event Horizon

Author: Andrew Y. Glikson

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9789400773325

Category: Science

Page: 174

View: 763

Unique among all creatures, further to the increase in its cranial volume from Australopithecus to Homo sapiens, the use of tools and cultural and scientific creativity, the genus Homo is distinguished by the mastery of fire, which since about two million years ago has become its blueprint. Through the Holocene and culminating in the Anthropocene, the burning of much of the terrestrial vegetation, excavation and combustion of fossil carbon from up to 420 million years-old biospheres, are leading to a global oxidation event on a geological scale, a rise in entropy in nature and the sixth mass extinction of species.
The Plutocene: Blueprints for a Post-Anthropocene Greenhouse Earth

Author: Andrew Yoram Glikson

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 9783319572376

Category: Science

Page: 154

View: 280

This book presents projections and blueprints of the future geologic period, climate and biosphere, based on our current understanding of the Earth’s history and recent developments in the atmosphere-ocean-cryosphere system. By the second decade of the 21st century it has become clear that, rather than channel its efforts into protecting its planetary biosphere and living species, Homo sapiens continues to sink its remaining resources into weapons, including nuclear missiles – thus increasing the risk of intentional or accidental spread of radioactive nuclides on land, oceans and atmosphere. With time, possibility becomes probability, and probability becomes certainty ‒ heralding a transition from the Anthropocene to a new geological period, named here as Plutocene after the element Plutonium. During the Plutocene the biosphere is dominated by elevated temperatures, analogous to the Pliocene (2.6 – 5.3 Ma ago) or the Miocene (5.3 - 23 Ma ago) when mean global temperatures were 2 to 4 degrees Celsius warmer and sea levels 20 to 40 meters higher than pre-industrial levels. High levels of radioactivity will persist for at least 20,000 years and acid oceans will severely limit biological activity to the hardiest species. Atmospheric CO2 higher than 500 ppm with residence time on the order of thousands of years will delay the subsequent glacial cycle. These factors restrict comparisons of the Plutocene with biosphere conditions during the Miocene and Pliocene periods, partly because the flora and fauna evolved more gradually during these periods, unlike the abrupt climate shift of state during the second half of the 20th century and first part of the 21st century. Following a long lull in biological activity dominated by radiation-resistant organisms, especially Arthropods, a resumption of glacial cycles and decline in radioactivity will lead to the re-emergence of descendants of burrowing mammals and other genera. Depending on the intensity of radioactive pollution, hunter-gatherer humans may survive in northern latitudes, relatively cold high-altitude mountain valleys and elevated volcanic islands. In some areas subsistence farming may be possible. A new cycle will commence.
Geological and Geo-Environmental Processes on Earth

Author: Arun Kumar Shandilya

Publisher: Springer Nature

ISBN: 9789811641220

Category: Nature

Page: 328

View: 366

This edited volume dedicated to late Prof. P.S. Saklani addresses the multidisciplinary themes pertaining to role of tectonism and magmatism in Crustal Evolution and global distribution of metallic and non metallic mineral deposits. It gives valuable information on geodynamic evolution, structural, petrological, isotopic, metamorphic, geochemical and geochronological attributes of continental and oceanic crust and is challenging reassessments of the existing paradigms. It addresses the implication of magmatism, metallogeny and application of geochronological ages (U-Pb SHRIMP age, Lu-Hf isotopic system; detrital zircons). This book also advocates the role of tectonics in contamination of ground water, and control on drainage pattern and geothermal systems. It explores the vulnerability of earth towards natural hazards viz. earthquakes, floods, cyclones, tsunami, volcanism, cyclones and drought. This volume throws light on the applications of remote sensing, GIS (Geographical Information System) and SRTM data for evaluation of the morphometric and morphotectonic parameters and exploring the susceptibility of river basins toward erosion and flood. It will be beneficial to graduate and post-graduate students as well as professionals and researchers.