Press Release

Geological Myth Busting: Extraterrestrials Really Don’t Impact Volcanoes?

By SpaceRef Editor
November 8, 2001
Filed under , ,

The idea that volcanoes can erupt when the Earth is smacked by a large
comet or meteorite has become a popular idea in geology. But one
challenger of this idea says there’s no proof to back it up.

“Not only is there not any firm evidence that an impact started a volcanic
eruption on Earth or on any other planet, there is no known mechanism by
which this can occur,” explained Jay Melosh, professor of Planetary
Sciences at the University of Arizona. Melosh will present new research
that substantiates his case against this widely-held idea on Thursday,
November 8, at the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting, A
Geo-Odyssey, in Boston, Massachusetts.

“I will offer both evidence of the lack of impact-induced volcanism on
other heavily-impacted planets in our solar system and a theoretical
analysis of the conditions created by a large impact on Earth,” he said.
“This is new research based on both observational studies of planetary
images and theoretical studies of the conditions surrounding an impact
crater. It does build on previous efforts by a number of researchers.”

CONTACT INFORMATION

During the GSA Annual Meeting, November 4-8, contact Ann Cairns or
Christa Stratton at the GSA Newsroom in the Hynes Convention Center,
Boston, Massachusetts, for assistance and to arrange for interviews:
(617) 954-3214.

The abstract for this presentation is available at:
http://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2001AM/finalprogram/abstract_28367.htm

Post-meeting contact information:

Jay Melosh

Lunar and Planetary Lab-West

University of Arizona

Tucson AZ 85721 USA

E-mail: [email protected]

Phone: (520) 621-2806

Ann Cairns

Director of Communications

Geological Society of America

Phone: 303-357-1056

Fax: 303-357-1074

E-mail: [email protected]

SpaceRef staff editor.