Fields of Craters

From Comets, Catastrophes, and Earth’s History by W. M. Napier we read ,

“The evidence that an exceptionally large (50-100 km) comet entered a short-period, Earth- crossing orbit during the upper Paleolithic, and underwent a series of disintegrations, now seems compelling. The idea is not new, but it has been strengthened by an accumulation of evidence from radar studies of the interplanetary environment, from the LDEF experiment, from numerical simulations of the Taurid complex meteoroids and ‘asteroids’, and from the latter’s highly significant orbital clustering around Comet Encke.

The disintegration of this massive Taurid Complex progenitor over some tens of thousands of years would yield meteoroid swarms which could easily lead to brief, catastrophic episodes of multiple bombardment by sub-kilometer bolides, and it is tempting to see the event at ∼ 12,900 BP as an instance of this. Whether it actually happened is a matter for Earth scientists, but from the astronomical point of view a meteoroid swarm is a much more probable event than a 4 km comet collision.

Do we have images of disintegrating comets? What does a ‘meteoroid swarm’ look like, anyway? The answer is yes. And comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 is a good example of the distribution of fragments we can expect.


And comet Linear is another good example.


So, if we are looking for the planetary scarring of such an event, we should expect to find a lot of smaller craters, instead of one big one.



The simple empirical fact, is that there are literally thousands of craters averaging 100 meters in diameter in Texas, and New Mexico. And I don’t hear anyone talking about them.

Here’s a few places in New Mexico I’d like to visit someday.

sql1032 We’ll begin about 90 miles east, southeast of Albuquerque at 34.620355, -105.161029





sql1031 And a few miles north of there. at 34.683335, -105.156059




sql1022  34.187040, -105.016013





sql1016 110 miles southeast of Albuquerque at 34.133406, -105.098351




sql1027 Not too far away from there at 33.943979, -105.119779





sql1023 34.190525, -105.027640





sql1030 34.384999, -105.090811

Published in: Uncategorized on November 7, 2010 at 10:37 am  Comments (1)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I wanted to let you know that I found your article on Fields of Craters fascinating. I recently began scanning Google Earth craters as well. What got me started was the new found Kamil Crater in Egypt since it had been found with Google Earth. I live in Canada and have been trying to discover some places that I could explore in Canada but the climate here is too wet to preserve craters the way they are in dryer climates.

    Here are a few that I discovered in and around the areas you posted that may also be noteworthy as impact craters.

    34° 0’51.00″N 105° 8’41.46″W
    34° 2’45.15″N 105° 7’3.24″W
    33°59’17.58″N 104°52’30.07″W

    Thank you,

    Abe Guenther

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: