MORE DIFFERENCES WITH THE STANDARD
The tightly argued "safe, conservative" version of
Ben's Antipodal Impact Theory provides a solid basis for launching into the
full version of Ben's Antipodal Impact Theory.
This full version will
challenge many geological suppositions relating to continent formation,
tectonic plate formation, hotspots and the energy that moves these features.
The purpose in having a "safe, conservative" version is so that it can
be properly evaluated by trained geologists. This "safe, conservative" version
should be able to stand up under close scrutiny.
The full version is a
different case entirely. While I believe that it represents the most probable
interpretation of what has actually happened during the past 250 million years
of the Earth's history, I recognize that it includes several concepts that
would be considered either "unproven," "speculative" or "not properly
But it will be novel and bold. It will challenge many
commonly accepted opinions.
DIFFERENCES FROM THE STANDARD THEORY
We have already seen some of the differences between the Standard
Theory and Ben's Antipodal Impact Theory in Section I. The full version of
Ben's Theory has several more differences.
continental formation is barely addressed in the Standard Theory, the full
version of Ben's Theory sees continental formation as the direct antipodal
result of a really huge impact ... the kind of impact that creates such a big
plume and so much pressure on the lithosphere that something has to give.
So, what happens when the Earth receives a really huge cosmic impact
an impact so huge that volcanism at the antipode cannot come close to
relieving the pressure?
The answer to this question is: Continental
When the pressure forces are so great that even a roaring
antipodal eruption can't relieve them, these forces will overcome both the
inertial force of friction that holds the rock of the lithosphere together (the
shear strength) and the gravitational weight of the crust, itself. These huge
uplifting forces will shear the rocks in a perimeter line where the energy is
just great enough to overcome both the weight and the shear strength of the
This uplifting force will create an antipodal continent in the
shape of a "blob with a tail" (more on that later). This continent will be
sheared along its perimeter through rapid crack propagation of the brittle
lithospheric rock. The uplift will continue until the pressure has been
relieved enough for the weight of the uplifted rock to balance it out. After
the initial uplift, the continent will settle back down to its original height,
except at the leading edge of movement, if it has forced subduction of the
tectonic plate next to it.
If the original impact occurred at an angle
(usually it does, and it is usually between 30 degrees and 45 degrees from
vertical), then the energy transfer imbues this new continent with huge
enough energy to cause the new continent to force
subduction from both ends of the oceanic plate next to it and send the new
continent moving away in the direction dictated by that directional energy.
This new continent will move rapidly in the dictated direction until it
runs into another continental mass. This situation occurred 65 MYA during the
formation of the Indian continent and 250 MYA during the formation of the
Siberian continent. It has probably occurred many other times during the
history of the planet, as illustrated by the "blob with a tail" continents
which are visible (or, in the case of Australia, reconstructible) today.
This full version of Ben's Antipodal Impact Theory, when relating to
continental formation, is very different from the Standard Theory.
TECTONIC PLATES & HOTSPOTS
The above examples of continental formation through continental uplift
focus on new continents forcing subduction of the ocean floor in a direction
imparted by the initial cosmic impact.
Ben's Antipodal Impact Theory
regards hotspots as directionally imbued entities created by aggressively
directional plumes of magma. A plume is created at the antipode of a large
cosmic impact and is imbued with the directional force of the angle of that
cosmic impact and, in particular, its off-center nature.
ISLAND ARCS & DEEP SEA TRENCHES
The full version of Ben's Antipodal Impact Theory also differs from
the Standard Theory regarding island arcs and trenches. This new theory regards
most island arcs as evidence of hotspot activity. The new theory views hotspots
as being imbued with motion and as being the cause of most island arcs.
Now, this does not mean that the island arc areas can't become involved
with subduction later on. Far from it. Once an island arc severs part of a
tectonic plate from the rest of that plate, in effect, it has created a new
tectonic plate. At that point, material from the old tectonic plate can be
subducted beneath the new tectonic plate. This process is now playing out with
the old Australian plate being subducted underneath the new Philippines plate,
which was created from part of the old Australian plate by the island arc of
the Indonesian islands.
The deepwater trenches that are found near
island arcs are, at least in some cases, the result of a tearing of the Earth's
surface as a new continental blob passes by in a curved motion (the curved
motion usually being caused by the Coriolis effect). The Sunda (or Java) Trench
off of Indonesia is the best example of this type of trench.
"A BLOB WITH A TAIL"
Whenever an impact is powerful enough to produce continental uplift, the shape
of the uplift is usually going to be a "blob with a tail."
At first one
might think that the usual shape of continental uplift would be a circular
blob. After all, a circle has the best area to circumference ratio of all
shapes available. Why wouldn't this shape be the preferred result?
answer has to do with the nature of the directed energy as it is transmitted to
the liquid layer of olivine in the mantle at the mantle/core boundary.
First, let's remember that the energy will be getting weaker as it
moves along. With a huge impact, the energy will still be very strong, even as
it reaches the antipode, but it will still be in the process of diminishing.
The energy of the impact pushes through the molten olivine towards the
antipode from all directions. However, the strength of the energy is not the
same from all directions. The energy that is moving in the direction dictated
by the angled impact will be the strongest. As this energy moves past the
antipode, it will combine with the weaker energy from the other direction to
create slightly more uplift force on the weaker side of the antipode than on
the stronger side, resulting in a slightly off-center (the antipode being the
center) uplifted blob.
However, on the strong side, there will be so
much undiminished energy that it will have enough extra force to create an
uplifted tail. South America and India are good, clear examples of continents
It also appears that Siberia (Asia is a mega-continent),
crashing into Europe and forming the Ural mountains, and much of the uplifted
land in Mongolia and China, has "a blob with a tail" shape. Surprisingly, even
Australia had a well-formed tail until that tail was shattered by the uplift of
the Indian continent 65 MYA
but more on that later.