As an alternative to the scenario above, if the Arctic impact could be dated to ~200 Ma at the end of the Triassic, the author speculates that the shock wave of such a massive impact may have fractured Earth's outer shell longitudinally, cleaving Earth's crust from Alaska to Cape Horn and punching out the antipodal Antarctic continent. Such a massive fracture in Earth's crust could have been the first step in separation of the continents to form the Pacific Ocean, and may have been the event that caused the massive faunal extinction at the end of the Triassic.
Speculating further, but based on study and observation of uplifted mountain facies that display steeply-angled layers originally laid down on horizontal planes, cleavage by such a catastrophic shock wave may have formed an enormous graben (similar to Valles Marineris on Mars) into which large crustal blocks broke off from the continental shield and fell into the graben at an inclined angle, leaving the fractured inland edges thrust into the sky to form the North and South American cordilleran mountain chains.
A good example of block fracture orogenesis is the great Andes Cordilleran geosyncline that extends unbroken for more than 42,000 feet (20,000 feet of it below sea level and rising to over 22,000 feet in the Andes peaks). The fractured inland edges of layers, originally horizontal, are now very high, sharp peaks with numerous volcanoes paralleling their inland edges.
Other examples of block fracture orogenesis are the Appalachians and the Kyrenia Range of Cyprus. The latter has a granite base that rises vertically from the sea and younger E-W strata (non-granitic) stretch southward towards the capital of Nicosia. This suggests that the Kyrenia Range broke off from the Mediterranean seafloor and rotated 90° southward, as if it had fallen into an abyss.
This block fracture hypothesis is supported by the Troodos Range (with Mt. Troodos, elev. 1951 m/6400 ft) that forms the southern coast. The Troodos Range is volcanic in origin and the site of historic copper mines and the world's largest asbestos mine. The two mountain ranges so close together, but with totally different origins, suggest that the Mediterranean Sea fractured laterally to form an abyss into which the northern Kyrenia Range fell and volcanism then formed the Troodos massif.
Volcanoes are generally thought to be terrestrial but they also occur underwater, either singly, or en echelon along a crustal fracture (propagating crack) that is structurally different from a midocean ridge, which is actually an extended and continuous linear underwater volcano (LUV). The Emperor Seamounts and Hawaiian Islands are examples of en echelon volcanoes that arose individually and successively along a linear crustal fracture
The Emperor Seamounts stretch southward from a point near the Kuril-Aleutian Trench conjunction, but at approximately 33°N latitude, 171°E longitude, the Emperor Chain abruptly changes direction to the southeast, becoming the Hawaiian Island Chain. The first seamount above sea level is Midway Island, the first island in the Hawaiian Chain. Deep Sea Drilling Program (DSDP) evidence confirmed that these two chains were formed successively en echelon. Sediments cored near several seamounts of the Emperor Chain and the Hawaiian Islands disclosed a pattern of decreasingly younger ages (~70, 65, 55, 56 Ma) from the Kuril-Aleutian Trench conjunction to Midway Island (~20 Ma) to Hawaii Island (~2 Ma).
The Hawaiian Island Chain generated the misguided and erroneous invention of “hot spots” by J. Tuzo Wilson to fit the concept of subduction and a fixed-diameter Earth required by the nebular hypothesis. This unwise deduction illustrates how erroneous basic assumptions breed erroneous results, because there is no evidence that the Emperor Seamounts are now any closer to, or are moving towards, the Kuril-Aleutian trench than when they were first formed.
Wilson, assuming subduction, postulated that the northern Pacific seafloor is moving northwestward, carrying the Emperor Seamounts and Hawaiian Islands with it to be subducted into the Asian trenches. He correctly deduced (prior to proof by DSDP age-dating) that the Emperor Seamounts and the Hawaiian Islands aged progressively towards Asia, but ignored the prevailing view that seamounts formed along fault lines. In endorsing Wilson’s concept of “hot spots,” Menard stated on page 195:
Only the "Big Island" of Hawaii still has an active volcano, Kilauea. Maui's Haleakala to the northwest is now dormant. Hawaii is now the last island in the Hawaiian chain, but it is not the final island with an active volcano because it will soon be joined by a second. A new island, Loihi, is now rising underwater southeast of Hawaii and under close study by volcanologists watching the birth of this new addition to the Hawaiian chain.
Loihi, then, is the newest of two active volcanoes 28 km apart, and from this evidence it appears that these are separate volcanic vents successively spaced along an advancing rift in the Pacific seafloor. This separation suggests that each of these volcanic structures arose independently along a lengthening seafloor fracture slowly extending farther southeast into the Pacific Ocean basin. Look for future siblings to arise southeast of Loihi some time in the future.
The most common type of en echelon volcanic seamounts form during seafloor growth at an active midocean ridge but are then left behind in the same spot on the seafloor where they were born. As the midocean ridge continues to spread and recede from the first seamount, a second new seamount may be created to form an echelon of seamounts on either flank (or both flanks) perpendicular to the ridge.
Occasionally a seamount, fed by an extraordinary volume of magma, becomes massive and rises above sea level to become an island such as Iceland, the Azores, or the Galapagos Archipelago. But Iceland is very large and is unique in having a perpetual LUV running through the landscape at surface level to illustrate how molten magma from the core (the oldest material on the planet) is brought to the surface and recycled into new real estate.
Some seamounts may have been above sea level earlier when ocean levels were lower, but have since been drowned by increasing volumes of water filling the widening ocean basins.
LENGTH OF DAY (LOD)
An increasing length of the day is further evidence the planet's diameter and circumference is increasing. Astronomers were unaware of a problem with the LOD until the mid-1930's, and on 1 January 1972 began periodic addition of "leap seconds" every 12-18 months to bring the world's clocks into 'sync' with Earth's rotation. The 22nd, and latest, leap second was added 1 January 1999. A 23rd leap second is to be added 1 January 2000 and should be followed regularly by others.
An increasing circumference satisfies the requirement for conservation of angular momentum and is a more plausible explanation for lengthening of the day than deceleration due to tidal friction and winds slowing rotation of the Earth, which is the current explanation offered by astronomers. Because the ocean basins are increasing in size, and the water volume is also increasing, such phenomena may well be additional braking factors contributing to Earth's slower rotation, but the author submits that the primary factor is not a decrease in rotational velocity due to surface phenomena but an increasing circumference that requires longer to make one complete daily revolution past a given point.
However, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the planet's rotational speed is also decreasing, a possibility the world's astronomers and timekeepers will sort out in due time.
Another possible external source of mass, albeit minor, may derive from solar energy and photosynthesis by trees, plants, and other organisms that grow by absorbing energy directly from the Sun. (This source of mass is debatable, depending on whether the Sun’s photons contribute mass in the photosynthetic process of mixing with carbon, oxygen and other terrestrial chemicals to produce organic growth.) These organisms decompose to form surface soil, coal beds, or organic detritus that falls to the ocean floors to mix with the immense volumes of extraterrestrial meteor dust.
Palaeobiotic populations on continents now widely separated by broad oceans have been correlated in detail by van Steenis and Shields, both supporters of Carey and expansion of the Earth, to show how species shared a common ancestry in the past when the continents were contiguous. Speculation about aerial dispersion, floating rafts or sunken land bridges for biotic migration across what are now large ocean expanses becomes unnecessary because ~200 Ma all continents comprised a single outer shell of the planet when Earth's diameter was roughly 55-60% of its present diameter, when faunal and floral migration was not impeded. Confirmation of expansion would have a great impact on palaeontology and related disciplines that necessarily involve conjecture and theoretical speculation about the lives and habitats of ancient species.
Additional evidence supporting expansion of the Earth has been provided by Stephen Hurrell (http://www.dinox.freeserve.co.uk/english/exlink.html) and Tim Harwood (http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Rampart/4871/images/megafauna.html), who point out that the immense size of the dinosaurs and birds revealed by palaeontology was due to the greatly reduced gravity of a much smaller Earth. Their belief is that the great size and weight of these huge palaeozoic creatures would not have been possible on today's Earth and its greater gravitational pressure on surface objects.
(Many explanatory details have been omitted to conserve space, but a
more complete explanation of the Accreation Theory can be found at our
companion website: http://home.earthlink.net/~meteordust)
© 1999, St. Clair Enterprises (Page last updated 9 June 2001)