Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Geologists Suggest Meteorite Caused Unusual Rock Formation

Date:
October 6, 1998
Source:
University Of Utah
Summary:
Bands of "crinkly-looking" rock in and around Arches National Park in Southeastern Utah may be the result of a meteor impact during the Jurassic Period.

Bands of "crinkly-looking" rock in and around Arches National Park in Southeastern Utah may be the result of a meteor impact during the Jurassic Period.

Marjorie A. Chan of the University of Utah and Walter Alvarez of the University of California-Berkeley believe some of the unusual rock formations in the park may have been caused by a meteor striking the Earth about 20 miles away at a site called Upheaval Dome.

The unusual deformations in the layers of rock referred to as the Carmel Formation and the Entrada Sandstone in and around the national park have long been a subject of debate among geologists. Five theories on the origin of this crinkling ranging from an earthquake to minerals evaporating within the rock have been put forth, but Chan and Alvarez say none of these explanations fully accounts for the features found there.

The two researchers, joined by Berkeley colleagues Erick Staley and Diane O'Connor, suggest that the deformation may be an example of folding and liquefaction due to impact shaking. They believe the possible source of that impact shaking may have been a meteor at Upheaval Dome, which has a concentric structure similar to a crater. The dome has long been considered the remnant of a salt diapir, although more recently scientists have speculated that it could have been an impact crater.

The two geologists actually came up with the impact shaking concept independent of one another Alvarez while passing through the area and Chan while conducting sabbatical research there. When they learned of each others' similar hypotheses, the two decided to collaborate on a scientific paper. Their hypothesis was published in the July 1998 issue of the scientific journal Geology.

Chan says the deformation of rock in the area points to an energy release equivalent to at least a magnitude 8 earthquake.

"It's a controversial idea and still needs to be tested with more data," Chan says. "But it's a novel concept and can explain some of the rock wrinkles better than any of the previous ideas that have been published."

Chan says their paper is a starting point from which to examine the area more closely in an attempt to explain the unusual deformation and prove or disprove the impact theory.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Utah. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Utah. "Geologists Suggest Meteorite Caused Unusual Rock Formation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 October 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981006073850.htm>.
University Of Utah. (1998, October 6). Geologists Suggest Meteorite Caused Unusual Rock Formation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981006073850.htm
University Of Utah. "Geologists Suggest Meteorite Caused Unusual Rock Formation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981006073850.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

AFP (Aug. 1, 2014) The discovery of a bear cub in the Pyrenees mountains made headlines in April 2014. Despire several attempts to find the animal's mother, the cub remained alone. Now, the Pyrenees Conservation Foundation has constructed an enclosure. Duration: 00:31 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rare Whale Fossil Pulled from Calif. Backyard

Rare Whale Fossil Pulled from Calif. Backyard

AP (Aug. 1, 2014) A rare whale fossil has been pulled from a Southern California backyard. The 16- to 17-million-year-old baleen whale fossil is one of about 20 baleen whale fossils known to exist. (Aug. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Greenpeace Ship Arctic Sunrise Free to Leave Russia

Greenpeace Ship Arctic Sunrise Free to Leave Russia

AFP (Aug. 1, 2014) Greenpeace's ship Arctic Sunrise, held in custody by the Russian authorities since September last year, has departed the Russian city of Murmansk en route for its home port of Amsterdam. Duration: 01:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins