What Do You Think of These?

I had heard of the Rio Cuarto craters about 7 years ago, and had seen a copy of the cover of Science magazine with three large craters.  Really LONG craters.  REALLY LONG craters.  One of them was 4.5 kilometers long, about 3 miles long.

Take a look at this:

Pretty cool, huh?

These are craters that seem to have impacted 10,000 years ago.  That happens to be right when the end of the Ice Ages was.  Since I don’t think the ice age really existed, I think that is wrong, but for different reasons than scientists might contend.  They do consider that time to be the end of the Pleistocene and the beginning of our current age, the Holcene.  I think it is when Atlantis went down for the last time, and I think they read their interpretation into it, while I read mine into it.

But I had not thought of that when I first read about these craters.  Now I have to wonder.

I will cover that in another post, one about the Younger-Dryas Impact Event maybe, or just one on Atlantis.

Back to Rio Cuarto, here is a view from inside the one in the left foreground:

The articles – scientific ones and main stream media ones – all talk about there being something like 10-20 craters over a 30km long area, all NNE of the city of Rio Cuarto, about 600km west of Buenos Aires.

In this post I am writing to point out that there are more craters.

A LOT more craters.

Most of them are south-southwest of the city of Rio Cuarto.  I suspected there might be more, so I started looking for them on Google Earth.  I found them.  Here are the Google Earth images (click on them to enlarge them):

At that scale, you can’t see them all that well, but click on them and see them better.  They are pretty neat, actually.  In order, the images move progressively SSW down toward Tierra del Fuego, more or less.

These five images seem to include the majority of them outside the original 30km groups.  Possibly not the majority, but I think so.

They span all the way from the state of Cordoba, where Rio Cuarto is, and into the state of Pampas, with the farthest south crater I found at 37º01’02S, and the farthest west crater near that crater, at 65º59’50W.  I found the length of the area to be at least 502 km long, measured with Google Earth’s scale.

I see that the alignments of the craters varies a bit.  Taking North as 0º, the maximum angle of those measured is 232.1º, and the smallest angle is 195.9º, a range of about 20º either side of the most common angle, which seems to be 212º.  I suggest that the reason for these differences is that the comet/meteor was breaking up just before impact, giving some pieces and groups of pieces a side thrust.

I also noted that the lowest elevation impacted seemed to be 908 ft (283m) – at the farthest southwest – while most of the ones at the original site, Farm Valentina, impacted at about 1490 ft (465m).  This may give some capacity to determine the angle of incidence, but that is beyond my expertise.

Amazingly, the longest one is NOT the long one at Farm Valentina.  There is one 6.59km long.  See the table below.

I may have missed some.  I make no claims to have found them all so far.  But there are so many more, and over a very large area.

This table lists some of the major ones in each group.  The values are from measurement using Google Erth’s scale function.

Approx Angle
(North = 0º)
32º45’19S 64º10’24W 4.5 1.1 199.5º Farm Valentina
32º53’00S 64º13’45W 4.3 3.65 195.9º Farm Valentina
32º52’29 64º13’00W 3.65 0.57 196.5º Farm Valentina
32º58’14S 64º18’56W 2.43 0.30 202.8º This one looked like a “tumbler” Several in area
32º59’08S 64º17’00W 2.09 0.53 198.8º Several in area
33º16’56S 64º23’49W 0.53 0.10 207.9º Scores in area
33º15’12S 64º23’53W 0.92 0.14 200.1º Scores in area
33º25’22 64º27’23 2.17 0.38 209.9º Several in area
33º29’57S 64º31’02W 1.91 0.24 212.5º Several in area
33º34’05S 64º35’04W 1.29 0.20 212.9º Several in area
33º47’25S 64º50’51W 6.59 2.50 212.9º Lake Hundreds in area
33º48’30S 64º56’00W 9.11 3.62 217.6º 3 Lakes – overlapping
craters, apparently
Hundreds in area
33º50’16S 64º46’07W 5.03 1.44 214.3º Lake Hundreds in area
33º51’23S 64º50’00W 2.72 0.60 232.1º Hundreds in area
36º59’07S 65º57’45W 1.53 0.40 212.2º Hundreds in area
37º01’02S 65º59’50W 1.21 0.39 217.3º Hundreds in area

Note: Between the 33º51’23S crater group and the 36º57’45S crater group, there appeared to be a large area of mostly circular pockmarks that I speculate are part of the same event.  My first guess would be that one exploded out the back end (which would mean the force vectors canceled out mostly, giving a net horizontal speed of near zero) – but that is only speculation.

I thought this was a really cool thing – finding these other craters, and hundreds of them.  It does not appear that any scientists have spotted them.

It is not a done deal that these are impact craters, though.  One group of scientists determined them to have been caused by the winds in that area, and said they found meteors in the craters that dated long before the date given by the original group studying them.  I disagree.  The studies listed below detail findings in the craters that can only come from impact sites.


Observed Impact Craters – Scientific Articles

Which includes the following two papers:

  1. Recent Impacts on the Earth Recorded In The Crater Field, Rio Cuarto, Argentina” (Nature Jan16 1992) – Peter H. Shultz and Ruben E. Lianza
  2. Teardrops On The Pampas” (Sky & Telescope April 1992) – Peter H. Schultz and J. Kelly Beatty
Grazing RECENT IMPACTS ON THE EARTH RECORDED IN THE CRATER FIELD RIO CUARTO, ARGENTINAPeter H. Schultz* & Ruben E. Peter H. Schultz * & Ruben E. Lianza† Lianza †

*Department of Geological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912, USA * Department of Geological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02,912, USA
†LTV Aircraft Products Group, PO Box 655907, MS-1502, Dallas, Texas 75265, USA † LTV Aircraft Products Group, PO Box 655,907, MS-1502, Dallas, Texas 75,265, USA

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