The causes that started the Younger Dryas (YD) event remain hotly debated. Studies indicate that the drainage of Lake Agassiz into the North Atlantic Ocean and south through the Mississippi River caused a considerable change in oceanic thermal currents, thus producing a decrease in global temperature. Other studies indicate that perhaps the impact of an extraterrestrial body (asteroid fragment) could have impacted the Earth 12.9 ky BP ago, triggering a series of events that caused global temperature drop. The presence of high concentrations of iridium, charcoal, fullerenes, and molten glass, considered by-products of extraterrestrial impacts, have been reported in sediments of the same age; however, there is no impact structure identified so far. In this work, the Roseau structure's geomorphological features are analyzed in detail to determine if impacted layers with plastic deformation located between hard rocks and a thin layer of water might explain the particular shape of the studied structure. Geophysical data of the study area do not show gravimetric anomalies related to a possible impact structure. One hypothesis developed on this works is related to the structure's shape might be explained by atmospheric explosions dynamics due to the disintegration of material when it comes into contact with the atmosphere. Relationship between structure's diameter (D) and deformed strata thickness (h) as well as the relationship between the diameter of the projectile (d) and the depth of the water column (H ), which is considered in this study due to the geographical considerations of the area 12.9 ky ago and BP, are consistent with an extraterrestrial event. Other hypotheses, such as lake processes and glacial processes, are difficult to reconcile with the reported observations, so the impact hypothesis and its relationship with the formation of the Roseau structure are viable.
A Plan B Project submitted to the faculty of the University of Minnesota by David Tovar Rodriguez in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science, August 2020. Advisor: Howard Mooers.
Tovar Rodriguez, David.
A Possible Late Pleistocene Impact Crater in Central North America and Its Relation to the Younger Dryas Stadial.
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