by Charles E. Weber, MS


It has been proposed by David Weber that the concentration of seismic waves from a meteorite impact at the antipode (opposite side of a sphere) on the earth could be the cause of many of the massive lava floods of the past . Schultz and Gault proposed antipodal disruption on the moon by impacts as early as 1975. Hughes, et al believe the affects are more violent in a liquid planet [Hughes]. Antipodal disruption was proposed as possible by Watts, et al in 1991 [Watts] and Boslough, et al, wrote of simulations of that process in 1995 [Boslough]. The strong correlation of the bulges and associated volcanoes on Mars and Mercury with large impact craters on the opposite side and an analysis by Williams and Greely makes this hypothesis very credible.

Also see this discussion. DISCUSSION

The analysis above by David Weber of possible antipode effects of the Chixculub impact, placing the volcanic ridge at the eastern side of Australia at the antipode, depends on elaborate assumptions of drifting continents. However, there is no possibility at all that the continents are drifting anywhere on Earth. There is no trench or Benioff “subducting” zone on the eastern shore of the Atlantic. This implies that the whole mid Atlantic ridge would have to be moving west with the whole of the western hemisphere, but with no transform faults to mark its motion at the ridge ends. There is no active trench on the western shore either nor “subduction” on the western side of North America either. Indeed the Pacific plate there is moving north 90 degrees off from the correct direction. There is a Benioff zone on the western part of South America, but it gives no sign of a cold subducting slab. On the contrary, it resembles hot rocks and magma moving UP into a batholith. The trench characteristics are hopeless also. The heat loss at the trench bottoms are much less than on either side and the gravity is much less at the bottom, both of which are impossible for a 60 km thick moving slab. Numerous other anomalies make drifting of the continents almost impossible to explain as well. So we can safely rule out having to make adjustments for moving continents.

Fortunately for the antipode hypothesis many of the largest known meteorite impact craters from ground observations and satellite photos have large lava flows or ocean volcanic islands in the present day world at or near the antipodes. I will consider these craters. All of them are terrestrial, no doubt because of the extreme difficulty of identifying oceanic impacts.

The Chixculube crater on the Yucatan peninsular of Mexico was impacted about 65 million years ago at about the time of the extinction of the dinosaurs, but not at the exact time of the extinction. The antipode for that crater is about where the volcanic islands east of Madagascar called Mauritious are located. So the crater on the Yucatan conceivably supports this hypothesis. Another possibility is the triple ridge junction a little further east. That convergence of three ridges has some logic to it as the disruption spot because the seismic waves under the Pacific are thought to move slower than under Africa. It seems more likely to me, though, that the disruption under Mauritious triggered the cracking of the triple junction because a cool ocean floor was already under some tension. Further investigation should cast light on this.

The Deccan traps in western India erupted a little before the time of the Yucatan peninsular impact above. The antipode to that area is approximately south west of the triple ocean plate junction west of Peru (See this site for eastern Pacific Ocean topography.). There is a large structure near there that resembles somewhat an impact spot according to the Google map if it were hit by a broken up comet or meteorite.

However, the situation is confused by the existence of a very massive crater, the Shiva crater, near the Deccan traps. It is believed to be caused by a meteorite 40 kilometers in diameter striking near in time to the Chixculube crater. Such a large meteorite could have caused volcanic eruptions nearby, not usually present near smaller impacts, and thus account for the Deccan traps. A hot spot from under a meteorite impact hypothesis is usually unlikely. When a meteorite strikes a curved crust it places the crust under temporary compression, which tends to prevent magma flowing through the crust. In addition to that, huge amounts of rock are blasted out of the ground to form the crater. As a result the crust becomes significantly lighter and less able to squeeze magma up if there had been cracks going down to the aesthenosphere. I suspect the primary reason is that a several kilometer thick layer of molten rock forms in the crater from the energy of impact [Gibson]. This molten rock heats up the adjacent crust making deep cracks impossible because of expansion of the crust. The heating is all the more affective because a layer of fluffy dust settles back on top of it and thus prevents much heat loss to the atmosphere or ocean. So a direct cause of hot spots by impacts is unlikely, and the many large known impact sites are devoid of aesthenosphere lava. Terrestrial impact craters do not, indeed, usually have significant volcanic activity associated with them. Volcanic lava flows of magma from below imply tensional forces in order to open up cracks in the crust. However, it is plausible that an impact onto a cold ocean floor which was already under some tension could open up cracks several hundred miles away, which might then migrate back toward the impact spot. So the triple junction could have been triggered by an impact. So it is possible that someone will be able to find some evidence of such a crater or tektites in the future at or near some ocean lava flows. It is not very likely though, because basalt is very difficult to drill through.

The Sudbury crater is in southern Ontario, Canada, 46 degrees north by 81 degrees west and was impacted about 1,850 million years ago. It is 250 kilometers wide. The antipode for that crater would be near the 1800 year old granite on the island of Tasmania just south of Australia provided the seismic waves move a little slower under the Pacific Ocean, which granite may be the manifestation of the antipode disruption.

The Morokweng crater at 26 degrees 28 minutes south by 23 degrees 32 minutes east in South Africa is 145 million years old. The antipode for that crater would be the main islands of Hawaii. It is impossible to tell when the Hawaiian Islands initiated because an enormous mound of volcanic lava has since covered the first eruptions. However, it is probable that the chain of islands trending about northwest happened about the same time, when it could be that a cold Pacific Ocean floor under some initial tension ripped open from the shock of antipode impact disruption. These northern islands are at least 80 million years old. The initial lava flows must have been much older. The 2 billion years old Vredefort crater is 4 degrees east of the Morokweng crater. It is possible that one reason for the enormous mass of the Hawaiian Islands is that they formed on top of a very ancient previous antipode eruption nearby.

Beaverhead crater in Idaho at 44 degrees 15 minutes north 113 degrees west is 600 million years old or possibly 900 million years old. The antipode for it is near the Kerguelan Islands in the Indian Ocean. The Kerguelan Islands are on a large plateau which is thought to have formed from eruptions 110 million years ago. It does not seem possible that it could have remained volcanically active for over 500 million years. So an ancient volcanism must have been reinstituted when the Indian Ocean floor was placed under tension by cooling if this is an antipode phenomenon. One of the islands is still sporadically active in the present era.

An Antarctic crater, 250 miles wide has been discovered in Wilkes Land, at 120 degrees east and 70 degrees south. The antipode of this crater is near the lava flows at Echo Bay, Canada. Echo Bay is on the Great Bear Lake. These lava flows are between 1,859 and 1,875 million years old. The crater is thought to be 250 million years old, but I doubt that this date is known for sure, because the crater is under a mile of ice.

Connelly has discovered evidence of a huge crater about 310 miles in diameter centered southwest of Alice Springs, Australia, at the Ayers Rock, Ayers Rock is at 26 21 south, 131 02 east. There is a ring of disruption 430 miles in diameter around that and another ring of disruption 1300 miles in diameter. The antipode for that is east of Haiti at 26 21 north, 49 west. It is possible that the lava under the Bahamas Islands is the antipode site, especially since the seismic waves travel a little slower under the Pacific Ocean. That lava goes back to the Cambrian, which makes it possible from the Australian meteorite.

Evidence for the crater includes large arcing deposits of pseudotachylite found only at impact sites, an extensive web of ground faults radiating out from the impact site, worldwide deposits of feldspar and zircon dated 545 million years ago that share the exact age (1.21 billion years) of the zircon found at the crater’s center, deposits of osmiridium that is a rare natural alloy of osmium and iridium in eastern Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia and found there at the Cambrian/Pre Cambrian boundary, and a pair of impact craters of the same age located to the northeast of the main crater that could be meteorites that broke off from the main meteorite. The impact was so massive that there was a 1300 mile wide disruption around the crater There is some lava near the periphery of the meteorite disruption. This exception to lack of lava at meteorite impacts elsewhere may be related to the enormous area of the disruption, much larger than anywhere else. This could have been possible because the periphery disruption was far from the area of lighter crust caused by impact removal plus melting of the crust, which undoubtedly usually inhibits upwelling of lava..

This impact could have been the cause of the initiation of the Cambrian period by warming up the snow ball Earth by a worldwide deposit of dust on iced areas. Dust on ice is a very important cause of ice melting. Abbot and Pierrehumbert also suggest that dust was necessary to bring snow ball Earth to a close [Abbot]. However the sources of dust that They suggest, micro meteorites, volcanic dust, and dust storms, are inadequate. High winds for dust storms, even if the land was not completely covered by ice and snow, would be impossible over a cold terrain. Volcanoes are usually a result of crust disruption from cracks caused by sudden cooling of a warm crust, obviously not possible on a snow ball Earth. Guillaume also proposes that carbon dioxide alone would not be sufficient and that dust is essential [Guillaume]. Once the ice on the ocean melted, it could have permitted large release of carbon dioxide from organic matter that could then decompose and, more importantly because methane is a much more important green house gas, methane from methane ice. Thus there would be a positive feedback from a greenhouse effect in addition to the heating of bare soil. Also this vast amount of dust was probably an important source of increased fertility for the oceans by direct deposition and erosion from land [Peters], which oceans were the primary location for life at that time and thus help spark the Cambrian explosion of life.

Another crater in Australia, the Tookonooka crater, is at 143 degrees east by 26.7 degrees south. It is 125 million years old in early Aptian, the Cretaceous. The lava flows for that impact should be somewhere near the island of Antigua, given that seismic waves travel slower under the Pacific. Some of the lava on Antigua has been dated into the Cretaceous, So, so far it is a good candidate for an antipode effect.

The Emeishan traps in China are at 30 degrees north by 102 degrees east. The place to look for evidence of a crater would be at 38 degrees south by 78 degrees west, off the coast of Chile.

The Siberian traps cover an enormous area centered about 70 degrees north by 100 degrees east near the city of Tura in Russia. The place to look for evidence of a crater would be in the Pacific Ocean north of Ellsworth Land, in Antarctica. Craters in the ocean would be difficult to detect, especially unusually large ones, because they could long since have been obliterated by ocean plate motion and/or sedimentary deposits. However, sedimentary deposits on nearby land may have tektites in them.

Iceland is another huge lava flood that has all the appearance of disruption from an antipode impact. The place to look for a crater would be somewhere near the Ross Sea. Iceland is considered part of the mid Atlantic ridge, and the ridge does continue through Iceland. However, I suspect it may do so by propagating through a more ancient lava flow.

There is a fairly large crater in eastern Australia 250 million years old. It is conceivable that it is the impact or one of the impacts that brought the Permian to a close. The place to look for lava would be somewhere in the vicinity of Alabama, USA. There is also a possible crater about that age off of north western Australia called Bedout, which would be a possible candidate. I assume the lava would be somewhere in the Lesser Antilles islands. Several scientists have stated that the evidence that it is an impact crater is not yet sufficient to conclusively establish it.


The above association of lava flows opposite meteorite impacts would require an extremely improbable coincidence. The Earth has approximately 197 million square miles of area. If you consider anything within the area of a million square miles as an antipode site, then that million square miles represents approximately one 197th of the earth’s area. So there is about one chance of volcanism materializing coincidentally opposite a meteorite impact in 197. For this to happen in all four of the known impacts above could be a coincidence of only one chance in approximately 1.5 billion. If the impacts on Mars and Mercury are included, the odds become astronomical. If you are making any bets on the validity of the antipode hypothesis, you had better bet for it.

It would be desirable to perform an experiment. I have shot at a one foot in diameter concrete globe with a 22 caliber rifle and succeeded in getting gypsum plaster at the antipode to flake off. What would be much more convincing would be a 10 foot wide hollow concrete sphere filled with a weak material like gelatin and hit with an artillery shell. That would be a lot less expensive than endlessly talking about it.

I have come across no geological information that would tend to invalidate the antipode hypothesis that Scultz, Gault, Boslough, Chael, Trucano, Crawford, Watts, Greeley, Melosh, have proposed and independently by David Weber, that antipodal disruption of the crust opposite massive meteorite strikes permits massive lava flows. Until it can be invalidated, it must be included with the hypotheses that geologists use in their explorations. If anyone reading this knows of any evidence pro or con in this regard, please contact me. My email address is; isoptera at . My telephone number is 1 828 692 5816 (USA).

REFERENCES are at the end.

---- A discussion of craters.
---- A discussion of antipode effects when a meteorite strikes at an angle.
---- Urey predicted in 1973 that huge meteorite impacts would prove to have profound affects on geological history [Urey]
---- An article that presents the statistical chances that meteorites of various sizes would strike the Earth in a given time span (scroll down)..
---- It is possible that a huge comet, large enough to have wiped out humanity if it had hit, passed close to Earth in 1883, judging by photographs taken by a Mexican astronomer..
----You may find useful a site which gives abstracts of journal articles in the physical sciences.
---- The cause of ocean ridges Ocean ridges are caused by shouldering aside of plates by up pointing basaltic wedges.
---- A Link you may find useful to a site with geological abstracts.
---- A list of igneus rock types with descriptions and pictures.
---- Professional geology organizations.
---- Miscellaneous geology resources on the world wide web.
---- Here is a map showing the most violent recent world wide earthquakes.
---- A geological glossary (definition of words).
---- Arab ancient scientists.

---- For those who have a sense of humor, here is a comic discussion of the difference between a geologist and a geophysicist.

Most of the damage to buildings in an earthquake is from side to side motion, because buildings are very strong against vertical forces. This is currently solved with isolator bearings successfully. I suspect that creating a concrete slab and then pouring a thick reinforced slab over it but isolating the two slabs with a layer of grease would be an inexpensive and fail safe alternative. A building built onto the second slab and made an integral part of its structure should, I suspect, have very little earthquake damage. That procedure probably would prove to be a practical way to retrofit existing buildings as well since the building could probably be isolated a hundred square feet at a time. A procedure involving single column sliding bearings has been developed.

---- The Canyons of Mars as Erosion by Rivers of Silicone Dust

---- Climate warming as caused by denudation of soil.

---- The Cause of the Characteristics of Quasars
---- The Cause of the Cosmological Red Shift
---- For some dramatic views of a a virtual travel to Mars and then to outer space, a trip which would take thousands of years even inside our own galaxy, but compressed into 12 minutes, see this site.


Glaze Ice Cause of Deciduous Forests
Evolution of forests as affected by glaze ice.
Origin of Angiosperm Vegetation.
Angiosperms are proposed to have arisen on the Ontong-Java Plateau.
Effect of Insects on Geological Processes
Wood Roaches, dragonflies, and termites affect ancient soils and oceans.
Did the Alkaline Gut of Termites Create Latisols (Ultisols) and Laterites?
Laterites and bauxites are proposed as resulting from the alkaline guts of humus eating termites.
Did the Evolution of Plant Smothering Termites Degrade Soil Phosphorus?
The loss of phosphorus from Cretaceous soils by termites is probably what caused the decline of bones, armor, and teeth in savannah dinosaur herbivores across the Cretaceous.
The Eve Controversy:
A proposal as to why the human species seems to be derived from a single couple.


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Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, some helps.
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Observations on Diabetes: Diabetes may be caused by a poison in food and potassium and vitamin B-1 are crucial when diabetes is present.
There is evidence that cell phones can produce tumors. Using remote ear phones would seem to be a good idea.

Fluoride in city water will cause fluorosis discoloration of teeth, weakened bones, damage to the kidneys and immune system, bone cancer, hypothyroid, and, worst of all, damage to the nerves resembling Alzheimer’s disease.

There is a free browser called Firefox, which is said to be less susceptible to viruses or crashes, has many interesting features, imports information from Iexplore while leaving Iexplore intact. You can also install their emailer. A feature that lists all the URLs on a viewed site can be useful when working on your own site.

Mail to Charles Weber; isoptera at or 828 692 5816


Abbot DS . Pierrehumbert3 RT 2009 Mudball: Surface dust and Snowball Earth deglaciation. Journal of Geophysical Research 115, D03104, doi:10.1029/2009JD012007.

Boslough MB Chael EP Trucano DA Crawford 1995 Axial focusing of energy from a hypervelocity impact on earth, International Journal of impact engineering. 17; 99-108.

Gibson RL Reinold WW, editors 2010 Large Meteorite Impacts and Planetary Evolution IV, Special Paper 465. The Geological Society of America, 3300 Penrose Place, box 9140, Boulder CO 8031-9140.

Guillaume LH Donnadieu Y Krinner G Ramstein G 2010 • Toward the snowball earth deglaciation. Clim. Dyn. 35: 285–297.

Hagstrom JT 2005 Antipodal hotspots and bipolar catastrophes: Were oceanic large-body impacts the cause? US Geologicl News (Available online at ). Hughes HG App FN and McGetchin TR 1977 Global seismic effects of basin-forming impacts. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors. 15; 251-263.

Peters SE Gaines RR 2012 Formation of the ‘Great Unconformity’ as a trigger of the Cambrian explosion. Nature 484; 363-366.

Schultz PE Gault DE 1975 Seismic effects from major basin formations on the moon and Mercury. Earth, Moon, and Planets 122; 159-167.

Urey, H.C., 1973, Cometary collisions and geological periods: Nature, v. 242, p. 32-33.

Watts AW Greeley R Melosh HJ 1991 The formation of terrains antipodal to major impacts. Icarus 93-168.

Wignall PB 2001 Large igneous provinces and mass extinctions. Earth Science Reviews 53; 1-33.

Williams DA Greeley R 1994 Assessment of antipodal - impact terrain on Mars. Icarus v 110 p196-202.

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