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Meteorite Impact Origin of Yellowstone Hotspot

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DOI: 10.4236/ojpp.2016.64038    660 Downloads   914 Views  


Origin of the Yellowstone hotspot & Columbia River Basalts has remained uncertain until now. Here, we present evidence of meteorite impact origin. The hotspot is shallow, only 200 km deep, invalidating a theory of mantle plume origin. The hotspot track runs from the Yellowstone National Park in NW Wyoming to the volcanic Modoc Plateau in NE California. We present evidence of apparent remnants of an impact crater existing in the Modoc, a large multi-ring structure at least 160 km diameter. Much of the complex crater has become obliterated by later Cascadia and Sierra orogenies. The crater has a tall 4,100 foot central uplift cone, locally known as Chalk Mountain, consisting of diatomaceous earth, presumably the rebound cone of a meteorite impact. This falsifies a theoretical prohibition of cosmic impact volcanism. Based on recent insights into explosive volcanism a plausible mechanism is proposed for how meteorite impacts can lead to resurgent calderas of the Yellowstone type, & of apparent LIP origin from thin crust ET impacts, invalidating theoretical constructs of mantle plumes. We mention chaotic terrains, including plutons, arising antipodal to impacts.

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Burchard, H. (2016) Meteorite Impact Origin of Yellowstone Hotspot. Open Journal of Philosophy, 6, 412-419. doi: 10.4236/ojpp.2016.64038.


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