THE VOLCANO THAT SHOULDN'T
by Ben Fishler
The current theory, when pressed, explains the
120 mile diameter area of volcanism detected below the surface of southern
Georgia as an "ancient volcano complex from the Triassic period" (201 - 252
MYA). It is assumed that the volcanism may have something to do with the
Central Atlantic Magmatic Provinces that were created around 201 MYA. However
there is no linkage between this huge volcanic remnant and any other volcanism.
It is just off by itself. This is not normal.
Smaller eruptions of
volcanism can occur almost anywhere, but large, impressive volcanic sites like
this one only occur under specific circumstances. Huge volcanic remnants can be
formed by three different processes. These are:
1. DIVERGENT PLATE SPREADING
This occurs when two tectonic plates are moving apart. There is a line
of volcanic separation between the two plates with major intermittent volcanism
present. This can be seen in Iceland and along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in
2. CONVERGENT PLATE SUBDUCTION This occurs when one
tectonic plate is subducted beneath another tectonic plate. The subducted plate
carries water-laden crust down into the mantle, where it heats up and turns the
water into steam at 500+ times the volume of water, leading to explosive
volcanism at the surface. This process forms a string of volcanic mountains
that are located within a few hundred miles of the subduction line. Examples of
these are the Cascades on the west coast of the US (think Mount St. Helens) and
the Andes in South America.
3. HOTSPOT VOLCANISM According to the current theory,
when a tectonic plate passes over a mantle plume, it experiences hotspot
volcanism, which can be rather mild (Hawaii) or intermittantly explosive
(Yellowstone). Either way there is a trail of old volcanoes or seamounts
showing the past path of the volcanism.
These are the three ways that
large volcanic remnants are formed. All three of these processes are connected
with a telltale trail of volcanic remnants. None of them exist in isolation
except in southern Georgia. Well, maybe there's more to the story than
the current theory understands. Maybe it isn't an ancient volcano complex.
Maybe it's a mascon.
A mascon is a concentration of mass that rises up from the
heavier mantle material to fill a void created by an impact object entering and
moving through the mantle. Originally, my theory posited that somewhere in
southern Georgia, northern Florida or southern Alabama there should be a mascon
from the dinosaur-killing asteroid from 66 MYA. I believed that the asteroid
penetrated the Earth's crust and created a void in the mantle as it traveled
towards the underside of Australia and New Zealand.
When I found that that there
was actually an "ancient volcano complex" covered with an unusual sandstone
layer in southern Georgia, I realized this was probably the mascon that I was
especially since non-sulfurous Vidalia onions would grow in
the sandstone area to the northeast, but could not be grown in the
re-sulfurized area where this mascon was located.
I believe that the volcanism
from the mantle material will date to 66 MYA or younger, whereas the
evolutionary track of the foraminifera in the sandstone willl date to 66 MYA or
older. This directly contradicts the current theory, which expects the
volcanism to date to 201-252 MYA, while the sandstone would be younger and
gradually even younger as it gradually accumulated through the ages.
I believe that the sandstone came in all at
once from a tsunami that was created by the impact, filling much of the crater
before the mantle had a chance to respond to the void. Thus there would be
older sandstone on top of younger volcanism.