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Tunguska Meteorite

konstantin k. khazanovitch

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geological consequences of large
meteoric bodies rapprochement with
the earth. electrical factor

Tunguska Meteorite. Discussion

The model that author suggests is based on five units of data. Until recently, each particular unit has shown no logical connection with the other four, but all of them have a connection with the proposed model .

1.[1] assumed, for the first time, that electrodischarges in the Earth's (E's) bowels ("subsurface thunderstorms") are the true cause of some earthquakes. [2], specialists in diamond geology, expanded upon this idea and first suggested that the cavities of kimberlite pipes may be the breakdown channels of a "giant condenser" between the E's surface and mantle. Both these hypotheses were supported by [3] who suggested the presence of strong electric fields and discharges within the dielectric rocks of the E's crust. They stated that diatremes (channels from the E's interior) are the result of subsurface electrical discharges, their explosive effects, the mechanical fluctuations of rock destruction under conditions of strong electrical fields (>104 V/cm), and the melting of channel walls. The melting of the rocks produces hot gasses (possibly plasma), which escape from the bowels of the E's at great velocity, destroying the tops of the channel and forming explosive, funnel-like craters. According [3] these electrical processes and the electrical explosions are a possible explanation of the formation of pipes and some ring structures. This research was continued by [4, 5]. They suggested that the power of electrical discharges in the E's crust, with their energy concentrated in a small area, is enough to form explosive structures. The conclusion drawn by [5] is important to note: a necessary condition for electrical discharges in the E's crust like a trigger is a sharp increase of negative charges on the E's surface affected by atmospheric electricity.

2. [6,7] considered the process of accumulation of positive charges on the surface of meteoric bodies (MBs) moving through the E's atmosphere. MBs induce negative charges on the E's surface in zones of influence called "tension spots" in the same manner as thunderstorm clouds. [7] and later [8] made calculations, which showed that electrical discharges between MBs and E's surface are possible. Both of them suggest, for example, that the explosion of the famous Tunguska MB was caused by electrical discharges. These ideas didn't find support in scientific spheres for a long time. They have only recently began to attract attention.

3. The data supporting this axiom are known to be good by specialists in the field of electrophonic fireballs, but are not yet used by geologists. Material that has been accumulated points to the influence of the energy of MBs on objects in the E, including the following: i/ people and animals exhibit signs of fear and a sense of danger (without observing MBs); ii/ damage of TV, electric and radio-equipment as took place, for example, in the time of flying Chulym fireball over Siberia in February 24, 1984; iii/ activation of seismic processes. The effects identified in "ii" above form the foundation to suppose that the main causes of the energy influence are electric (i.e. electromagnetic) fields. All of these effects were observed in connection with the appearance of small MBs (of approximately one to 40 meters in diameter) that burned in the atmosphere. Imagine the scale of the effects which might occur if the MB entering the E's atmosphere was huge asteroid more than one kilometer in diameter.

4. Analysis of the distribution patterns of diatreme zones and fields revealed their common independence (indiffe- rent) relatively to the structures of the crust including the magma controlling faults [9-13 and many others]. For example, the well studied Markha-Olenek kimberlite zone, with a length of about 750 km, shows no spatial-genetic connections with major structures of the northeastern Siberian platform (pre-Vendian faults, relief of crystalline basement, main fold structures of the cover, and basite-controlling zones) [9]. The recognition of this structural independence led to the idea of their origin in terms of a "hot spot". However, this concept has found no support due to its inconsistency with the factual geological data. In particular, it can't explain why the deficiency of magmatic melt exists in diatremes which represents the main distinctive feature of these structures.

5. [14], for the first time, has paid attention to the spatial-temporal connections of some ring explosive ("cryptovolcanic") structures on the one hand, and diatreme fields and zones on the other hand. He illustrated this by some examples from the USA and Germany. Later, his ideas were developed in the publications of [15,16] and many others. As the most convincing argument for the relative connection of these structures all of these authors consider the ring explosion structures Ries (diam. 24km) and Steinheim (3km) in southern Germany. These structures are in the same straight line with a length of 100 km as the explosive pipe field Urach, and the K-Ar age of all these formations are identical and equals 14.8 Ma.

The author [17] gives other examples of the spatial connection between diatreme fields and ring structures. In particular, the above-mentioned Markha-Olenek kimberlite zone (369Ma) forms the "train" of the large Olenek ring structure, diam. 250 km (D3).

W.Bucher and his followers have used the above examples as evidence of the endogenic (not meteoritic) origin of ring explosive structures. However, there is conclusive evidence of the meteoritic origin of some of them. How can this be explained?

6. The PROPOSED MODEL [17] connects all of the main scientific data of the five units into one logical chain, by adding only one link proposed by the author (boldface type below). It sounds as:

The entry into the E's atmosphere of large MBs is accompanied by the accumulation on their surfaces of a power charge which induces a zone of electrical influence, a tension spot, on the E's surface. This zone moves together with the MB along its projected trajectory and even passes ahead it. The tension spot is fulfilling the function of the "driving force" for the geoelectrical activity in the E's bowels. In the zones where there are strong electrical fields in the E's crust or upper mantle, diatreme fields or earthquakes have originated as a result of the activity which occurs when the electro-discharges either reach or fail to reach the E's surface respectively (Fig.). In both cases, if the MB accumulates the extreme possible charge or enters into electrical interactions with the E, it is destroyed as a result of electrical explosions. The Tunguska and Sikhote-Alin events are probably examples of such explosions. Now we can interpret the diatreme field Urach as a "diatreme train" of a large MB which was split into two parts by electro-discharge. The smaller part forms the crater Steinheim and the larger ones the crater Ries. Naturally, the trajectory of flight of a MB in the E's atmosphere is independent of geological structures in the area. That explains the independent (indifferent) geological position of diatreme fields and zones.

Ring explosive structures can form in a minimum of two ways. First, as a result of the connection between high electric fields induced by a MB and zones where there are accumulations of electric fields in the E's bowels (for example, zones of deep fractures). Second, as a result of the MB's impact. In both cases, the reasons for the spatial-temporal connections between the diatreme "trains" and the ring explosive structures are clarified by this link.

It is interesting to note that our model can explain even the absence of kimberlite bodies on the E showing age older than 1,8 Ga. By this time our planet had no atmosphere yet, and lacking of its precluded strong electrical charge on MBs to take place.

It has been noticed that not all diatreme fields have associated astroblemes and vice versa. There are some possible explanations. i/ in some regions with a large cover of surface glacial deposits (for example, Canada and northwestern Russia), incomplete geological knowledge may mean that existing associated diatreme fields and astroblemes may not yet have been identified; ii/ in some cases, it is possible that no electric discharge occurred between the E's crust and the E's surface. For example, if the MB had a sharp trajectory, there may been no time for a large charge to accumulate, or, there may been no zones in the E's bowels inside the MB's tension area with electric fields strong enough to cause an electrical discharge to the E's surface. In this case, "underdeveloped" explosion structures could form inside this area, for example - Stopfenheim dome to North-East from the crater Ries, Hatzium Dome inside of the Gibeon kimberlite and meteoric fields, Namibia, and others; iii/ a diatreme field without an associated astroblemes may be the result of a MB which accumulated the extreme possible charge before impact and was destroyed in the atmosphere as a result of an electrical explosion. iiii/ in uplifted districts, astroblemes could be completely eroded while the roots of the diatremes connected with them could remain.

Additional new information shows that not only MBs, but even aircraft, may produce seismic activity in certain districts. In 1992, reentry of the Space Shuttle into the atmosphere of the E produced seismic phases that were well recorded by the Washington RSN [18].

7. Thus, geological consequences of large MBs rapprochement with the E are not limited only with the impact, but may also result from electrical explosions in the atmosphere and the E's crust connected with MB's flying.

Fig. Main events in the E's atmosphere and lithosphere connected with flying large MBs (diam.>1 km?). Black lenses - zones of strong electric fields localization on conditional levels. Black bold vertical lines in the crust - faults with strong electric fields. Thin vertical lines - channels of electrodischarges either rich (diatremes) or fail to reach (earthquakes) the E's surface.

Acknowledgements: I thank my cousin Manya Drobnack (Seattle, USA) and my friend Prof.Y.Voroschilov (Sankt-Petersburg, Russia) for their assistance in preparing of the English version of this text.

References: [1] Finkelstein, D. and Powell, J. (1971) XV Gen. Assembly Int. Union of Geodesy and Geophisics, Moscow, part 8, 35. [2] Alekseevsky, A. and Nikolaeva, T.(1972) Journal "Znaniye-Sila", N4, 30. [3] Vorob'yev, A.A. (1975) Phisical Factors Governing the Occurence and Properties of Plutonic Material: Strong Electrical Fields in the Earth's Interior (in Russ.), Tomsk University Press, 296 p.p. [4] Stepanov, O. (1989) Sov. Geol., No12, 95-104. [5] Balasanyan, S. (1990) Dynamic Geoelectric Theory (in Russ.), Nauka Press, Novosibirsk, 232 p.p. [6] Astapovitch, I.S. (1958) Meteoric phenomenon in the Earth's atmosphere (in Russ.), Fismatgiz, 640 p.p. [7] Solyanik, V. (1959) Yuniy Tehnik, N3, 64-65; (1980) Vzaimodeystviye meteoritnogo veschestva s Zemlyoy. Novosibirsk:Nayka, 178-188. [8] Nevskiy, A. (1978) Astronom. Vestn., No5, 206-215. [9] Brakhfogel', F.F. (1984) Geological Aspects of Kimberlite-Igneus Activity in the Northeast of the Siberian Craton (in Russ.), Yakutsk, 128 p.p. [10] Milashev, V. (1984) Explosion pipes (in Russ.), Nedra Press, 284 p.p. [11] Vladimirov, B.M., et al. (1990) Kimberlites and Kimberlite-Like Rocks (in Russ.), Novosibirsk: Nauka, 264 p.p. [12] Mitchell, R.H. (1986) Kimberlites: mineralogy, geochemistry, and petrology. NY, 442 p.p. [13] Skinner, E.M., et al (1992) Geol. and Geophis., No10 (in Russ.),33-40. [14] Bucher, W.H. (1963) Am.J.Sci, 261, No7, 567-649. [15] Vaganov V.I., Ivankin, P.F., Kropotkin, P.N., et al. (1985) Explosive Ring Structures of Shields and Cratons (in Russ.). Nedra Press, 200 p.p. [16] Nicolayesen, L. and Fergusson, J. (1990) Tectonophysics, 171, No1/4, 303-335. [17] Khazanovitch-Wulff, K.K. : (1991) Transactions of USSR Academy of Sci., Earth Sci Sections, vol.320, No7, 127-131. (1994) Doklady Akad. Nauk, vol.337, No1, 83-87. (2001) Abstracts of the 64th Annual Meteor. Soc. Meeting, 5078. [18] Qamar, A. (1993) Seismol.Research Lett., vol.64, No1, 46.

Tunguska Meteorite. Discussion

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