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the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (Original)

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Carolyn Silver
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« Reply #75 on: July 28, 2008, 11:46:37 pm »

Figure 11. Former land areas in the present Pacific and Indian Oceans. Only those areas for which substantial evidence already exists are shown. Their exact outlines and full extent are as yet unknown. G1 -- Seychelles area; G2 -- Great Oyashio Paleoland; G3 -- Obruchev Rise; G4 -- Lemuria; S1 -- area of Ontong-Java Plateau, Magellan Sea Mounts, and Mid-Pacific Mountains; S2 -- Northeast Pacific; S3 -- Southeast Pacific including Chatham Rise and Campbell Plateau; S4 -- Southwest Pacific; S5 -- area including South Tasman Rise; S6 -- East Tasman Rise and Lord Howe Rise; S7 -- Northeast Indian Ocean; S8 -- Northwest Indian Ocean. (Reprinted with permission from Dickins [13]. Copyright by J.M. Dickins.)

    In the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, modified continental crust (mostly 10-20 km thick) underlies not only ridges and plateaus but most of the ocean floor; only in deep-water depressions is typical oceanic crust found. Since deep-sea drilling has shown that large areas of the North Atlantic were previously covered with shallow seas, it is possible that much of the North Atlantic was continental crust before its rapid subsidence. Lower Paleozoic continental rocks with trilobite fossils have been dredged from seamounts scattered over a large area northeast of the Azores, and the presence of continental cobbles suggests that the area concerned was a submerged continental zone. Bald Mountain, from which a variety of ancient continental material has been dredged, could certainly be a foundered continental fragment. In the equatorial Atlantic, continental and shallow-water rocks are ubiquitous.
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Carolyn Silver
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« Reply #76 on: July 28, 2008, 11:47:55 pm »

Figure 12. Areas in the Atlantic Ocean for which past subsidence has been established. Subsided areas are shaded. (Reprinted with permission from Dillon [14]. Copyright by the AAPG, whose permission is required for further use.)

    Subaerial deposits have been found in many parts of the midocean ridge system, indicating that it was shallow or partially emergent in Cretaceous to Early Tertiary time. Blavatsky says that the Mid-Atlantic Ridge formed part of an Atlantic continent. She writes:

    Lemuria, which served as the cradle of the Third Root-Race, not only embraced a vast area in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, but extended in the shape of a horse-shoe past Madagascar, round 'South Africa' (then a mere fragment in process of formation), through the Atlantic up to Norway. The great English fresh water deposit called the Wealden -- which every geologist regards as the mouth of a former great river -- is the bed of the main stream which drained northern Lemuria in the Secondary Age. The former reality of this river is a fact of science -- will its votaries acknowledge the necessity of accepting the Secondary-age Northern Lemuria, which their data demand? Professor Berthold Seeman not only accepted the reality of such a mighty continent, but regarded Australia and Europe as formerly portions of one continent -- thus corroborating the whole 'horse-shoe' doctrine already enunciated. No more striking confirmation of our position could be given, than the fact that the ELEVATED RIDGE in the Atlantic basin, 9,000 feet in height, which runs for some two or three thousand miles southwards from a point near the British Islands, first slopes towards South America, then shifts almost at right angles to proceed in a SOUTH-EASTERLY line toward the African coast, whence it runs on southward to Tristan d'Acunha [da Cunha]. This ridge is a remnant of an Atlantic continent, and, could it be traced further, would establish the reality of a submarine horse-shoed junction with a former continent in the Indian Ocean.[15]
Since this was written (in 1888), ocean exploration has confirmed that the Mid-Atlantic Ridge does indeed continue around South Africa and into the Indian Ocean.
    Blavatsky reported that in the ocean depths around the Azores the ribs of a once massive piece of land had been discovered, and quoted the following from Scientific American: 'The inequalities, the mountains and valleys of its surface could never have been produced in accordance with any known laws from the deposition of sediment or by submarine elevation; but, on the contrary, must have been carved by agencies acting above the water-level.' She adds that at one time necks of land probably existed knitting Atlantis to South America somewhere above the mouth of the Amazon, to Africa near Cape Verde, and to Spain [16].
    After surveying the extensive evidence for large continental land areas in the present oceans in the distant past, J.M. Dickins, D.R. Choi and A.N. Yeates concluded:

We are surprised and concerned for the objectivity and honesty of science that such data can be overlooked or ignored. . . . There is a vast need for future Ocean Drilling Program initiatives to drill below the base of the basaltic ocean floor crust to confirm the real composition of what is currently designated oceanic crust.[17]

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Carolyn Silver
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« Reply #77 on: July 28, 2008, 11:48:44 pm »

As stated in theosophical literature, 'hidden deep in the unfathomed ocean beds' there may be 'other, far older continents whose strata have never been geologically explored' [18].
    Some islands have apparently sunk as recently as late Pleistocene time. For instance, M. Ewing reported prehistoric beach sand in two deep-sea core samples brought up from depths of 3 and 5.5 km on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, over 1000 km from the coast. In one core there were two layers of sand which were dated, on the basis of sedimentation rates, at 20,000-100,000 years and 225,000-325,000 years [19]. R.W. Kolbe reported finds of numerous freshwater diatoms in several cores on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, over 900 km from the coast of Equatorial West Africa. He stated that one possible explanation is that the areas concerned were islands 10-12,000 years ago, and the diatoms were deposited in lake sediments which later sank beneath 3 km of seawater. He argued that this was far more plausible than the theory that turbidity currents had carried the diatoms 930 km along the sea bottom then upwards more than 1000 km to deposit them on top of a submarine hill [20]. The Atlantis seamount, located at 37°N on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, has a flat top at a depth of about 180 fathoms, covered with cobbles or current-rippled sand. About a ton of limestone cobbles was dredged from its summit, one of which gave a radiocarbon age of 12,000 +/- 900 years. According to B.C. Heezen and his colleagues, the limestone was probably lithified above water, and the seamount may therefore have been an island within the past 12,000 years [21].
    According to modern theosophy, Poseidonis -- Plato's 'Atlantis' -- was an island about the size of Ireland, situated in the Atlantic Ocean opposite the strait of Gibraltar, and sank in a major cataclysm in 9565 BC [22]. Former exploration geologist Christian O'Brien believes that Poseidonis was a large mid-Atlantic ridge island centred on the Azores [23]. By contouring the seabed, he found that the Azores were separated and surrounded by a net of submarine valleys that had all the hallmarks of having once been river valleys on the surface. He concluded that the island had originally measured 720 km across from east to west, and 480 km from north to south, with high mountain ranges rising over 3660 metres above sea level. Before or during its submergence, it tilted by about 0.4° with the result that the south coast sank about 3355 metres but the north coast only some 1830 metres. Only the mountain peaks remained above the waters, and now form the ten islands of the Azores. O'Brien thinks the island could have sunk within a period of a few years or even months, and points out that six areas of hot spring fields (associated with volcanic disturbances) are known in the mid-Atlantic ridge area, and four of them lie in the Kane-Atlantis area close to the Azores. Further surveys and core samples are required to test O'Brien's hypothesis.

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Carolyn Silver
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« Reply #78 on: July 28, 2008, 11:49:19 pm »

Figure 13. Christian O'Brien's reconstruction of Poseidonis.


When plate tectonics -- the reigning paradigm in the earth sciences -- was first elaborated in the 1960s, less than 0.0001% of the deep ocean had been explored and less than 20% of the land area had been mapped in meaningful detail. Even by the mid-1990s, only about 3 to 5% of the deep ocean basins had been explored in any kind of detail, and not much more than 25 to 30% of the land area could be said to be truly known. Scientific understanding of the earth's surface features is clearly still in its infancy, to say nothing of the earth's interior.
    V.V. Beloussov held that plate tectonics was a premature generalization of still very inadequate data on the structure of the ocean floor, and had proven to be far removed from geological reality. He wrote:

It is . . . quite understandable that attempts to employ this conception to explain concrete structural situations in a local rather than a global scale lead to increasingly complicated schemes in which it is suggested that local axes of spreading develop here and there, that they shift their position, die out, and reappear, that the rate of spreading alters repeatedly and often ceases altogether, and that lithospheric plates are broken up into an even greater number of secondary and tertiary plates. All these schemes are characterised by a complete absence of logic, and of patterns of any kind. The impression is given that certain rules of the game have been invented, and that the aim is to fit reality into these rules somehow or other. (Beloussov, 1980, p. 303)
    Plate tectonics certainly faces some overwhelming problems. Far from being a simple, elegant, all-embracing global theory, it is confronted with a multitude of observational anomalies, and has had to be patched up with a complex variety of ad-hoc modifications and auxiliary hypotheses. The existence of deep continental roots and the absence of a continuous, global asthenosphere to 'lubricate' plate motions, have rendered the classical model of plate movements untenable. There is no consensus on the thickness of the 'plates' and no certainty as to the forces responsible for their supposed movement. The hypotheses of large-scale continental drift, seafloor spreading and subduction, and the relative youth of the oceanic crust are contradicted by a considerable volume of data. Evidence for substantial vertical crustal movements and for significant amounts of submerged continental crust in the present-day oceans poses another major challenge to plate tectonics. Such evidence provides increasing confirmation of the periodic alternation of land and sea taught by theosophy.

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Carolyn Silver
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« Reply #79 on: July 28, 2008, 11:50:13 pm »


[1] Paul D. Lowman, in: Chatterjee & Hotton, 1992, p. 3.
[2] D. McGeary & C.C. Plummer, Physical Geology: earth revealed, WCB, McGraw-Hill, 3rd ed, 1998, p. 97.
[3] V.A. Saull, 'Wanted: alternatives to plate tectonics', Geology, vol. 14, 1986, p. 536.

Plate tectonics -- a failed revolution
[1] N.I. Pavlenkova, in: Barto-Kyriakidis, 1990, vol. 1, p. 78.
[2] S.P. Grand, Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 92, 1987, pp. 14065-14090.
[3] E.C. Bullard et al., Royal Society of London Philosophical Transactions, Series A, vol. 258, 1965, pp. 41-51.
[4] H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Theos. Univ. Press, 1977 (1888), 2:791.
[5] Meyerhoff et al., 1996b, p. 3.
[6] C.J. Smiley, 'Paleofloras, faunas, and continental drift: some problem areas', in: Chatterjee & Hotton, 1992, pp. 241-257.
[7] J.W. Gregory, 'The plan of the earth and its causes', The Geographical Journal, vol. 13, 1899, pp. 225-250.
[8] A. Spilhaus, 'Geo-art: plate tectonics and Platonic solids', American Geophysical Union Transactions, vol. 56, 1975, pp. 52-57.
[9] N.C. Smoot & A.A. Meyerhoff, 'Tectonic fabric of the Atlantic Ocean floor: speculation vs. reality', Journal of Petroleum Geology, vol. 18, 1995, pp. 207-222.
[10] H. Benioff, 'Orogenesis and deep crustal structure -- additional evidence from seismology', Geological Society of America Bulletin, vol. 65, 1954, pp. 385-400.
[11] D.W. Scholl & M.S. Marlow, in: Kahle, 1974, p. 268.

Emergence and submergence
[1] The Secret Doctrine, 2:787fn.
[2] Ibid., 2:783.
[3] C.D. Ollier, 'Mountains', in: Barto-Kyriakidis, 1990, vol. 2, pp. 211-236.
[4] H.C. Sheth, 'Flood basalts and large igneous provinces from deep mantle plumes: fact, fiction, and fallacy', Tectonophysics, vol. 311, 1999, pp. 1-29.
[5] See Meyerhoff et al., 1996a.
[6] The Secret Doctrine, 2:252.
[7] T.H. Van Andel, New Views on an Old Planet: a history of global change (2nd ed.), Cambridge Univ. Press, 1994, p. 170.
[8] A. Hallam, 'Secular changes in marine inundation of USSR and North America through the Phanerozoic', Nature, vol. 269, 1977, pp. 769-772.
[9] C.G.A. Harrison et al., 'Continental hypsography', Tectonics, vol. 2, 1983, pp. 357-377.
[10] V.V. Orlenok, 'The evolution of ocean basins during Cenozoic time', Journal of Petroleum Geology, vol. 9, 1986, pp. 207-216.
[11] E.M. Ruditch, 'The world ocean without spreading', in: Barto-Kyriakidis, 1990, vol. 2, pp. 343-395.
[12] See Theosophy and the Seven Continents,
[13] J.M. Dickins, 'What is Pangaea?', in: A.F. Embry, B. Beauchamp & D.G. Glass, Pangea: Global environments and resources, Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, Memoir 17, 1994, pp. 67-80.
[14] L.S. Dillon, 'Neovolcanism: a proposed replacement for the concepts of plate tectonics and continental drift', in: Kahle, 1974, pp. 167-239.
[15] The Secret Doctrine, 2:333.
[16] Ibid., 2:793.
[17] J.M. Dickins, D.R. Choi & A.N. Yeates, 'Past distribution of oceans and continents', in: Chatterjee & Hotton, 1992, pp. 193-199 (p. 198).
[18] A.T. Barker (comp.), The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, Theos. Univ. Press, 2nd ed., 1926, p. 151; The Secret Doctrine, 2:332-3.
[19] M. Ewing, 'New discoveries on the mid-Atlantic ridge', National Geographic Magazine, vol. xcvi (Nov.), 1949, pp. 611-640; Corliss, 1990, p. 245.
[20] R.W. Kolbe, 'Fresh-water diatoms from Atlantic deep-sea sediments', Science, vol. 126, 1957, pp. 1053-1056; R.W. Kolbe, 'Turbidity currents and displaced fresh-water diatoms', Science, vol. 127, 1958, pp. 1504-1505; Corliss, 1989, pp. 32-33.
[21] B.C. Heezen, M. Ewing, D.B. Ericson & C.R. Bentley, 'Flat-topped Atlantis, Cruiser, and Great Meteor Seamounts' (Abstract), Geological Society of America Bulletin, vol. 65, 1954, p. 1261; Corliss, 1988, p. 88.
[22] The Mahatma Letters, pp. 151, 155.
[23] Christian & Barbara Joy O'Brien, The Shining Ones, Kemble, Cirencester: Dianthus Publishing, 2001, pp. 435-42; 'Survey of Atlantis',

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Carolyn Silver
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« Reply #80 on: July 28, 2008, 11:57:51 pm »

Select bibliography
Barto-Kyriakidis, A. (Ed.), 1990. Critical Aspects of the Plate Tectonics Theory. Athens: Theophrastus Publications. (Especially articles by: Ahmad, Beloussov, Cebull & Shurbet, Chekunov et al., Choi et al., Kiskyras, Luts, Ollier, Pavlenkova, Ruditch, Saxena & Gupta, Shapiro, Udintsev et al.)

Beloussov, V.V., 1980. Geotectonics. Moscow: Mir.

Chatterjee, S. & Hotton, N., III (eds.), 1992. New Concepts in Global Tectonics. Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University Press. (Especially articles by: Anfiloff, Agocs et al., Beloussov, Cebull & Shurbet, Choi et al., Dickins et al., Grant, Kashfi, Lowman, Meyerhoff et al., Smiley.)

Corliss, W.R. (comp.), 1988. Carolina Bays, Mima Mounds, Submarine Canyons & Other Topographical Phenomena. Glen Arm, MD: Sourcebook Project.

Corliss, W.R. (comp.), 1989. Anomalies in Geology: physical, chemical, biological. Glen Arm, MD: Sourcebook Project.

Corliss, W.R. (comp.), 1990. Neglected Geological Anomalies. Glen Arm, MD: Sourcebook Project.

Dickins, J.M. & Choi, D.R. (Eds.). New Concepts in Global Tectonics Newsletter.

Jeffreys, H., 1976. The Earth: its origin, history and physical constitution (6th ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kahle, C.F. (Ed.), 1974. Plate Tectonics -- Assessments and Reassessments (Memoir 23). Tulsa, OK: American Association of Petroleum Geologists. (Especially articles by Beloussov, Dillon, A.A. & H.A. Meyerhoff, Jeffreys, Khudoley, Maxwell, Smiley, Teichert.)

Meyerhoff, A.A. & Meyerhoff, H.A., 1974. Tests of plate tectonics. In: Kahle, 1974, pp. 43-145.

Meyerhoff, A.A., Taner, I., Morris, A.E.L., Agocs, W.B., Kaymen-Kaye, M., Bhat, M.I., Smoot, N.C. & Choi, D.R., 1996a. Surge Tectonics: a new hypothesis of global geodynamics (D. Meyerhoff Hull, Ed.). Dordrecht: Kluwer.

Meyerhoff, A.A., Boucot, A.J., Meyerhoff Hull, D. & Dickins, J.M., 1996b. Phanerozoic Faunal & Floral Realms of the Earth (Memoir 189). Boulder, CO: Geological Society of America.

Storetvedt, K.M., 1997. Our Evolving Planet: earth history in new perspective. Bergen, Norway: Alma Mater.


December 2000

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Carolyn Silver
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« Reply #81 on: July 28, 2008, 11:58:11 pm »;f=15;t=000581;p=2
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Carolyn Silver
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« Reply #82 on: July 30, 2008, 09:44:45 pm »

Carolyn Silver

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   posted 02-12-2006 05:23 AM                       
Descent to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge:

In the September/October issue of Ancient American magazine, there is a brief article entitled 'U. S. Navy Atlantis Cover-up?' It says that on September 7, 2001, a team from Spain and the U. S. looking for oil have been "250 miles southwest of the Azores equipped with bathescape and two submersibles researching a 90-kilometer ledge with a central temple supported by three stands of nine pillars about 3 feet in diameter supporting a flat stone roof about 20 feet wide and 30 feet long. There are the remains of five circular canals and bridges, plus four rings of structures like the temple in between. It is roughly 2,800 feet deep in the Mid-Atlantic Trench and stable at this time." According to the researchers, when they tried to send photographic images from the site, their signals were jammed by a U. S. Naval exercise nearby, perhaps inadvertently.


That sounds very much like a temple of apollo 2,800 feet below the surface of the ocean, sitting intact, still standing.

[ 02-12-2006, 05:24 AM: Message edited by: Carolyn Silver ]
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Carolyn Silver
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« Reply #83 on: July 30, 2008, 09:47:13 pm »

Carolyn Silver

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   posted 02-12-2006 05:30 AM                       
As for the subject of a possible discovery off the Azores Islands
in the Atlantic, here was the first item that I saw in my issue. You can read
the exact version at as to
"U.S. Navy Atlantis Cover-up?" on p.36.

It seems a dispatch was put out from the mid-Atlantic and passed
on via William Donato who is President of The Atlantis Organization. This was
September 7th, 2001. A team was about 250 miles SW of the Azores. They had
some very high tech instruments which included underwater devices. They
were researching a 90 kilometer ledge. Why? Because these items were
"spotted" (I am unsure of the exact terminology depending on what devices were used).
They found a temple supported by 9 pillars(3 feet in diameter). The
pillars supported a flat roof of 20 feet x 30 feet wide. Remains of 5 circular
canals, along with bridges. And 4 rings of structures like the centrally
located temple. Location is approximately in 2800 feet in the Mid-Atlantic
ridge. At the moment it seems to be stable. They tried sending photos but
were jammed either inadvertantly or on purpose by several military ships
which carried a US flag. The dispatch notes their research ship was there
on a special research project for Spain. Finally they were chased off by the
military ship/ships. Mountains are said to rise within 300 feet of the
surface also in this vicinity. Using sonar, they tried following the ridge
west, but slowly towards the south. It is believed they may connect with a
shelf near Hispaniola and heads to Cuba.

Another ship tried tracking the ridge towards England or to its
East. However, the military ships seem to be doing maneuvers, but as if
they are trying to prevent the research.

NOW, awhile back, some updated information came to me, and they
wanted to remain anonymous due to governmental interference. So I guess
the best thing to do is make up a name to refer to them for future reference.
As much as I hate to, I guess some steps are necessary to protect others. And
I would not want to be the one to cause problems for them or endanger them.
So we will refer to him as AnonyMous, which will make it easy for me to

AnonyMous has shared some items on the Azores "find", but in brief
& very quickly. So my notes may not be complete. But the story I was given
goes like this. AnonyMous explained he was not on any of the ships when
the discovery was made, but calls them colleagues. And his information is
direct from them. Just like in the article, a Bathoscope was one item used. The
complex(my term here) consists of about 30 to 40 structures, and they seem
to be uncannily preserved. The "settlement"(his term) is about 2200 feet
deep which is about the same as Cuba's find. There are "rounds" or
circles, and on one end there seems to be a harbor, sort of like Plato's

Elsewhere recently, about 5 islands have surfaced 250 miles SW of
the Azores. However, this does occur frequently in the Atlantic. Here
today, gone tomorrow. Perhaps.... Time will tell.

At night they noticed something most unusual. It appears as if the
bottom is moving. It seems to rise 35 to 40 feet. I am not sure, but I
think it stabilized, bit I might be wrong.

They have retrieved a few pieces. Even though underwater for a
very long time, the Carbon-14 testing reveals a time which places it back in
the 10,000 BC era or 12,500 years back era. One plate (possible plaque) had
very strange pictographs on it. But it seems different from anything we know of
in today's time.

Further on the circles, there are 9 circles joined & separated. 3
Circles open to a Causeway.

In the middle of the complex, what appears to be a giant crystal
either 40 or 400 feet across(my notes have a contradiction as to if the
second zero was there). There is a huge 30 meter high statue that is
intact. Who knows, it may even be of Poseidon. Time will tell.

I have a note about the odd weight of one piece, but unsure of
what the oddity was. One pioece was tested with a laser, but it did nothing to
it. The material is not like anything we have today.

And AnonyMous wonders just why the government is trying to
suppress this find. Is it due to power, money, superiority, or just what. I was
informed that not only were there US Navy ships, but British ones as well,
and I think another countries if not mistaken. There is no question the
research ships were prevented from doing any more, as it was deliberate,
not just due to practice maneuvers. But the crew(s), as well as others, have
been threatened to turn over their find. However, nobody has given up the
data or the location of the find.

He named a few agencies of the US involved, such as CIA(Central
Intelligence Agency) & DIA(Defense Intelligence Agency), and of course the
Navy. These were the main 3 agencies that have kept this find suppressed.

He was afraid that if the government got the data, this find will
never be brought forth into the public's eye(into the community was his
thoughts) and into the scientific world. In other words, they want it out
in the open & want everything to be handled scientifically to document
everything. Their query is what we all want, to know of our past so that
we can face the future & not make the same mistakes.

I guess I'll end it here, except AnonyMous noted that Paulina and
those involved in the Cuba find have also been threatened if not being
suppressed. I have known of the CIA threatening researchers in the
Carribean concerning finds for a couple of years now. An archaeologist told me some
of the goings on behind the scenes. You would be amazed as to how far the CIA
has infiltrated the Atlantis researchers It is sad that such a thing

Now before anybody thinks I am into promoting a bunch of
conspiracies, I assure you, I am not. My hopes are that the researchers
will some day be free of interference & suppression so that we might find the
truth of our existence, or I should say our distant past reaching out to
our far future.
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Carolyn Silver
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« Reply #84 on: July 30, 2008, 09:50:21 pm »


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   posted 02-13-2006 01:24 AM                       
Huge New Hydrothermal Vent System Found on Seafloor
Surprise discovery dubbed "Lost City"

The top of an active chimney in the hydrothermal vent field Lost City taken from the submersible Alvin. The chimney rises 180 feet above the seafloor and is nearly 30 feet in diameter at its top. White carbonate minerals, which cap active portions of the chimneys, precipitate from warm vent fluids.

Cone-shaped pinnacles rise from a central edifice in the Lost City hydrothermal field. Actively venting, white colored chimneys stand in sharp contrast to beige colored edifices that are now extinct. This image shows the top 20 feet of a structure that stands 160 feet above the seafloor.

This image shows a carbonate ledge or flange that extends outwardly from the trunk of a 160 foot chimney in the Lost City hydrothermal vent field. The flanges trap pools of 160 degree Fahrenheit fluids. The nutrient-rich fluids support dense microbial communities.

A new hydrothermal vent field, which scientists have dubbed "The Lost City," was discovered December 5th on an undersea mountain in the Atlantic Ocean. The unexpected discovery occurred at 30 degrees North on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge during an oceanographic cruise aboard the research vessel Atlantis. A team of scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Duke University, the University of Washington and other institutions conducted the National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported expedition. "We thought that we had seen the entire spectrum of hydrothermal activity on the seafloor, but this major discovery reminds us that the ocean still has much to reveal, " says Margaret Leinen, NSF assistant director for geosciences.

"These structures, which tower 180 feet above the seafloor, are the largest hydrothermal chimneys of their kind ever observed," said Deborah Kelley, a University of Washington geologist and co-principal investigator on the cruise.

"If this vent field was on land, it would be a national park," added Duke University structural geologist Jeff Karson, a second co-principal investigator who, along with Kelly, dove in the submersible Alvin to the site.

Perhaps most surprising is that the venting structures are composed of carbonate minerals and silica, in contrast to most other mid-ocean ridge hot spring deposits which are formed by iron and sulfur-based minerals. The low-temperature hydrothermal fluids may have unusual chemistries because they emanate from mantle rocks.

Nothing like this submarine hydrothermal field has ever been previously observed, say the scientists. These events are unique, they believe, because they rest on one-million-year-old ocean crust formed tens of kilometers beneath the seafloor, and because of their incredible size. Dense macrofaunal communities such as clams, shrimps, mussels, and tube worms, which typify most other mid-ocean ridge hydrothermal environments, appear to be absent in this field.

The Lost City Field was discovered unexpectedly while Studying geological and hydrothermal processes that built an unusually tall, 12,000-foot-mountain at this site. In this area, deep mantle rocks called serpentinized peridotites, and rocks crystallized in subseafloor magma chambers, have been uplifted several miles from beneath the seafloor along large faults that expose them at the surface of the mountain.

"As so often happens, we were pursuing one set of questions concerning building of the mountain and we stumbled onto a very important new discovery," said Donna Blackman, a geophysicist from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and chief scientist of the expedition. She added that "the venting towers are very spectacular and, although they bring up a whole new set of questions, we will learn about the evolution of the mountain itself as we study the vents carefully in the future."

Observations using the submersible Alvin and deep-towed Vehicle Argo, operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, show that the field hosts numerous active and inactive hydrothermal vents. The steep-sided, 180-foot-tall deposits are composed of multiple spires that reach 30 feet in width at their tops. They are commonly capped by white, feathery hydrothermal precipitates. The tops and sides of the massive edifices are awash in fluids that reach temperatures up to 160 degrees.

From the sides of the structures, abundant arrays of delicate, white flanges emerge. Similar to cave deposits, complex, intergrown stalagmites rise several meters above the flange roofs.

Underneath the flanges, trapped pools of warm fluid support dense mats of microbial communities that wave within the rising fluids. Downslope, hundreds of overlapping flanges form hydrothermal deposits reminiscent of hot spring deposits in Yellowstone National Park. During the Alvin dive, expedition leader Patrick Hickey collected rocks, fluids, and biological samples for shorebased analyses.

"By studying such environments, we may learn about ancient hydrothermal systems and the life that they support," suggested Kelley.


Notes to editors and reporters: For samples of photos, see:
For more photos and graphics, see

The three principal scientists may be contacted aboard ship until Sat. Dec.16:
Donna Blackman/
Debbie Kelley/
Jeff Karson/

As of Monday, Dec. 18, they may be reached at their home institutions through their press officers: University of Washington: Sandra Hines (206) 543-2580/
Scripps Institution of Oceanography: Cindy Clark (619) 534-1294/
Duke University: Dennis Meredith (919) 681-8054/
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Important naval battles were fought in the waters of the Azores in that period during the attacks by corsairs and pirates. The following centuries were calmer, but in 1829 the Azores returned to the pages of history with the role played by Terceira in the struggle against the absolutist forces, and as the base for the liberal forces that invaded the mainland Portugal.

The archipelago developed during the 19th and 20th centuries with the introductions of new crops, the developing of industries and progress made with stock-breeding and fisheries. The last few years have witnessed a slow but progressive improvement in the economic and social well-being of the population. Most of this improvement is due to the inflow of capital donations from emigrants (almost all from North America) and the annual leasing of the Lajes Air Field to the United States.

The nine islands of the Azores and the European Union's remotest outpost are spread over some 600km of ocean (the Economic Free Zone is about 940km2) and are located roughly 1,500km or two hours' flying time from Lisbon and about 3,900km or five hours from the east coast of North America . Running along a southeast to northwest axis they lie on either side of the line of latitude that links Lisbon with New York and are between latitudes 36°-39° north and longitudes 250-310 west. The total population is approximately 243,000.

The islands separate conveniently into three groups: the Eastern Group of São Miguel and Santa Maria ; the Central Group of Terceira , Graciosa, São Jorge, Pico and Faial ; the Western Group of Flores and Corvo. The closest islands are Pico and Faial at just 6km apart.

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Geological origin
The nine islands are formed from the upper sections of old volcanoes. In mid- Atlantic on the ocean bed tectonic plates are pulling apart; the gap between them is filled by molten volcanic material that rises from the earth's mantle and continuously forms new oceanic crust. This extrusion wells up and forms a ridge, and the sea floor spreads. The ridge is frequently offset by cross- cutting fractures caused by spreading on a curved surface. These mid-ocean ridges occur beneath all our major oceans, and sometimes rise above sea level and form islands such as the Galapagos and Easter Island .
The Azores lie on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a fault line that runs for some 16,000km from beneath the northern icecap southwards, and turns east around the southern tip of Africa to meet with the Indian Ocean Ridge. Along its length lie also Iceland , the largest land made from oceanic crust, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha islands.
Beneath the Azores , three plates meet or rather diverge in a T-shaped triple junction. The North American, African and Eurasian plates meet at a point between the western and central group of islands between Flores and Faial . Flores and Corvo are on the American Plate. Graciosa,São Jorge, Terceira and São Miguel lie on the Eurasian Plate and FaiaI, Pico, Santa Maria and the Formigas Islets tend to move towards joining the African Plate. Thus the two western islands are distancing themselves from the rest of the archipelago by 2.5cm a year.
Southwest of Flores is the site of one of the deep water 'smoking' hydrothermal vents, 'Lucky Strike'.
The seismic tremors felt in the islands are mostly caused by magma flowing up the cracks left in the earth's crust as the plates separate. At times these tremors will occur with surprising frequency. Seismic activity in the Azores is measured on the McCawley scale which is twice the rating of the Richter scale used in North America . For example, six on a McCawley scale is rated as three on the Richter scale. Apart from Santa Maria , Flores and Corvo, the six remaining islands have all been subject to eruptions and earthquakes within historical times.
Santa Maria was the first island to rise above the sea some seven million years ago but changes in sea level and tectonic activity caused it to submerge again. Four million years ago the Formigas Islets and São Miguel rose above the sea and Santa Maria reappeared. It was during its long period of submergence that the island acquired its marine fossils. Sao Miguel is made from five volcanoes: the oldest is Pico da Vara, followed two million years ago by the Povoação caldera. Both are extinct, while the three other volcanoes are considered active but dormant. Água de Pau comprises an inner and outer caldera, the latter formed between 26,000 and 46,000 years ago. The inner encloses Lagoa do Fogo, and the caldera margin is about 15,000 years old. Sete Cidades dates from around 22,000 years ago, and the 500m-tall walls of the Furnas caldera date back 12,000 years. The remaining islands probably originated within the past two million years: Terceira two million years ago, Graciosa, São Jorge and Faial no more than one million years, and Pico just 300,000 years.
In 1811, about a mile off the coast of São Miguel opposite Ferreira, a new island appeared. One hundred metres tall and about 1.5krn long, it took about a month to create. The British frigate Sabrina was in the area and her captain, Captain Tillard, landed on the still steaming island, planted a Union Jack, named the island 'Sabrina' and claimed it as British territory! Unfortunately for his credibility, when the next surveyors arrived, there was no trace of the island; in just four months the sea had washed it away and all that remains now is a bank 40m below the sea. Most recently, in 1957, an eruption began just off the west coast of Faial that added a further 2km2 of land to that island. In this region much more frequent activity occurs under the ocean's surface on the seabed than is seen on the surface of the islands. Constantly, seamounts rise and fall, and new lava pressure ridges are formed. Currently there is a submarine eruption 10km west of Terceira on a small area known as the 'Serreta High'. It began in 1998, initially in three different areas, later spreading to six. Surface signs are plumes of smoke coming from floating lava debris as it cools. The basalt magma is rich in gases that are trapped inside, creating 'balloons' which float upwards towards the ocean's surface. As they rise the gases inside expand and cause the 'balloons' to explode. The debris floats on the surface for about 15 minutes and sinks when seawater enters as it cools. When great volumes of gas rise to the surface the sea becomes pale green, and it is very dangerous for boats, since they could easily sink. This surface evidence is not continuous and its absence reflects quieter periods of submarine activity. The earliest eruptions detected were at around 400m below sea-level, and the magma subsequently has risen to 180m.
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Fig. 3. Physiographic reconstruction of Poseidia (called here Poseidonis), after N. Zhirov, as based on a diagram by B. Heezen and M. Tharp. Note the location of the major (M7.6) earthquake of 1968. (Recall too this reading fragment, "And Poseidia will be among the first portions of Atlantis to rise again. Expect it [to begin clearly to rise?] in sixty-eight and sixty-nine…."[958-3]). A repository for the records of the Atlantean civilization may be found in the area shown by blue shading. The Atlantean records repository will be found in a specific temple "where a portion of the temples may yet be discovered." (See reading 440-5). See text for an explanation of red dots A-C, sites of deep-water sampling of subaerial material representative of an emergent continent. (Subaerial refers to conditions and processes that exist or operate in the open air on and immediately adjacent to a land surface).

Direct Evidence of An Emergent Atlantis

Here is information on a former emergent continent in the Atlantic Ocean that was summarized by MacKenzie Keith10 for former shallow water or emergent sites sampled by the Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP). The sampling sites are currently underwater in the region of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR). Locations for three of these sites (Keith, 2001, Table 1) are shown by large red dots on Figure 3, a relief map of the Azores region we have used in previous articles on THC’s website. The red dots are rather large because, while the sampling coordinates that are listed give degrees north latitude, they do not give degrees west longitude. It is understood, however, that the samples were taken in the vicinity of the MAR’s axial valley, clearly visible on Figure 3.

Here’s what was found at point A, at a depth of 12,802 ft.: highly vesicular basalt, weathered and oxidized basalt, and a major gap in the basal sedimentary section that indicates subaerial erosion. At site B, at a depth of 12,440 ft, basaltic pebbles and weathered and oxidized basalt were found. And at site C, in 12,313 ft of water, once again basaltic pebbles and weathered and oxidized basalt were found. All of the above findings are strong indicators of a formerly emerged MAR. And they suggest that this volcanic terrain has sunk a minimum of 12,300 ft since being exposed to the atmosphere. Note that Keith’s Table 1 lists six additional MAR sampling sites-to the south of those plotted on our Figure 3 and on down to the equator. Two of these sampling sites show ridge tops flattened by wave erosion, one revealed Tertiary-age shallow water sediment, and another revealed Cretaceous-age shallow water sediment. A final, rather startling finding consists of canyons and a trellis drainage system, quite possibly formed subaerially at a depth greater than 9800 ft. That MAR location is between 26º and 27ºN, to the south of the area covered in Figure 3.

The Azores Volcanic Plateau--A Hot Spot at a Triple Junction?

The mostly submerged Azores volcanic plateau is the meeting point of three lithospheric plates: the American plate to the west, the Eurasian plate to the northeast, and the African plate to the southeast. The boundary between the American, and the Eurasian and African plates, is the MAR. The boundary between the African and Eurasian plates is controversial. If, as some scientists think, sea floor spreading is occurring in the vicinity of the Azores Plateau, a recent age for the spreading is indicated.11

Other geophysicists think that a hot spot lies beneath the plateau and that the plateau is an expression of a persistent rising plume of hot mantle material. The hot spot itself is perhaps 60 to 120 miles in diameter and the center is usually designated to be at about 38.5º N and 28.0º W, or located roughly at the red dot labeled ‘C’ in Figure 3.

Lying southwest of, and perhaps just within, the surface expression of the hotspot is an area of “anomalously shallow depths (locally less than 400 m),” and “two volcanic regions bounded by prominent inward-facing scarps” that appear to be the two flanks of a [small] rifted volcanic plateau.” This location is shown on Figure 3.12 Also observed was a prominent ridge segment that is “highly tectonized with hundreds of small faults and fissures disrupting the sea floor…Sediment cover increases to the east, although clusters of small volcanic cones appear through the sediment. The summit of the ridge is characterized by three cones; these surround a depression filled with a lava lake.”

Such topography suggests the fingerprint of the massive volcanic upheaval said in reading 364-4 above to have occurred when

….[men on Atlantis] brought in the destructive forces as used for the peoples that were to be the rule, that combined with those natural resources of the gases, of the electrical forces, made in nature and natural form the first of the eruptions that awoke from the depth of the slow cooling Earth, and that portion [of Atlantis] now near what would be termed the Sargasso Sea first went into the depths.

Present-day geophysicists say the origin of the sea-floor topography in question was caused by the emplacement of large volumes of magma over old ocean crust (Footnote 12, Abstract T22C). But what, we ask, engendered that unusual supply? Could it not, perhaps, as in reading 877-26 have been generated by

….the turning of the etheric rays’ influence from the Sun – as used by the Sons of the Law of One – into the facet for the activities of same – [that] produced what we would call a volcanic upheaval; and the separating of the land into several islands – five in number ?

And what can we infer from those “anomalously shallow depths” mentioned above? Is Atlantis rising there? The geological explanation of the topography is that an excess of 30,000 cubic kilometers of magma were supplied to an otherwise normal mid-Atlantic ridge environment, between 5 and 10 million years ago, due to enhanced supply from “the Azores hotspot that is highly variable in time and space.” The resulting volcanic layer on top of the MAR was in places thicker, and thus relatively close to the ocean surface; and oh yes, the sea floor has not risen there at all “for millions of years.”

This scientific inference is hugely at variance with the readings’ explanation, as is the very idea of a formerly above-the-sea continent called Atlantis. Could the geologists’ sea-floor-magnetic-stripe, age-determination procedures, and their hypothesis of exclusively horizontal sea-floor motions (with no appreciable vertical motions) be in error? If not, Atlantis is merely a thought form with no physical reality.

Location of the Temple Repository of Records of the Atlantean Civilization

If N. Zhirov's Poseidonis (Poseidia of the Cayce readings)13 was at the location shown on Figure 3 before its submergence, when the records of the history of Atlantis were being written, we can further assume that the Atlantean repository for these records will be found in the area shown by shading on Figure 3. This Atlantean records repository will be found in a specific temple "where a portion of the [submerged Atlantean] temples may yet be discovered."

In attempting to speculate further on the location of this Atlantean temple, we find the following tantalizing information from p. 363 of Zhirov's book. It seems that in May 1968, Dr. R. Malise, the noted Swedish Atlantologist, wrote the following to Zhirov.

The Danish engineer, M. Frandsen, was looking at a depth-chart of the Azores and observed that at a depth of 600-700 fathoms (3600 - 4200 ft) above the surrounding sea-bottom there was an even plateau to the south of the islands.

This plateau is sheltered from the north by the present Azores with their summits 4,000-5,000 meters (13,120-16,400 ft) higher than it, and to the west by the main range [the MAR terrain]. To the southwest the plateau is limited by a somewhat lower mountain swell studded with high, flat-topped, now-submarine seamounts. The most prominent of these seamounts have been named by American oceanographers Atlantis, Plato, Cruiser, and Great Meteor. [See Figure 3].

As an experiment, Frandsen made a sketch with the measurements of the Atlantis Plain given by Plato, viz., 400 by 600 kilometers (250 by 375 miles) [Frandsen counted a stadius as 200 meters] and on the same scale as the chart. It fitted very well to the submarine plateau-land of the chart. By studying the depth-curves he found the declination of the plateau to be on an average 1:900; the plateau consisted accordingly of a real plain of a size about 2/3 of present-day Finland. On his sketch he drew in the contours of the mentioned canals and the circular ditch and likewise the squared lots of 'ten stadia each way.' According to Plato, the surrounding ditch had a length of ten thousand stadia (about 2,000 kilometers) and the number of squared lots was 60,000. By measuring the ditch on his sketch, Frandsen found it to be 2,040 kilometers and the number of lots to be 60,700, an acceptable difference. Having worked with irrigation in open and closed canals for thirty years he wanted to control the declination of the water level in the canals if adequate. He found the fall of the water to be 1:300 and1:600, which according to modern principles is acceptable, although barely for the last figure. The current in the canals was accordingly too slow to cause difficulties of navigation for the row-galleys of the time.

If this plain housed the last portion of Atlantis to sink beneath the sea, we might expect that it held the major temples as well. This area of the Atlantic seafloor looks like a very interesting one for oceanographers to explore. Multi-beam bathymetry surveys should be able to pick up signatures of canals without too much trouble.


The famous marine geologist, Francis P. Shepard, once wrote something to this effect. "If we could look down from the Moon at the Earth without her oceans, the most prominent relief features that one could see would be the steep continental slopes. They look suspiciously like giant fault scarps."

A variation to scientist Shepard’s observation might read, "The steep continental slopes look like giant fault scarps surrounding a sunken region of Earth's crust, a region called, in some foolish quarters, Atlantis."

Seriously though, it does seem that evidence for the existence of the Atlantis of the Cayce readings grows stronger every year. A few critics want to remind us that Atlantis did not visibly rise above the surface of the ocean, “as prophesied in reading 1602-3.” But the reading says only that

In 1998 we may find a great deal of the activities as have been wrought by the gradual changes that are coming about. ...This is a gradual, not a cataclysmic activity in the experience of the Earth in this period.

“This period” is linked in 1602-3 to the current, double-peaked solar cycle (number 23) that became “paramount” in 2000-2002. Cycle 23 is now in decline. Atlantis did not rise above the waves in 2000-2002, but consider that any evidence of a gradually rising Atlantis could easily still be concealed beneath the ocean’s waters.

To the foregoing I would add that geological processes like the elevation or sinking of large tracts of Earth’s crust occur slowly in “human time.” Thus, the slow pace of Earth changes that occur in geologic time must temper the expectations of people used to thinking in terms of human time.

An exception to this consideration is found, however, in accelerated Earth changes that would be caused by a sudden shift in Earth’s poles of rotation. Without such a pole shift, predicted in 3976-15 to occur any day now, the predicted rising of parts of Atlantis will forever be judged to have been only a figment of the imagination for those of us living today.


William Hutton’s efforts in 1965-1968 to sample and analyze Bimini rocks by drilling, and by examining rock fragments from a deep sand-dredging operation at the Bimini inlet, are reviewed in his book, “Coming Earth Changes” (A.R.E. Press, 1996, pp. 165-180). Partial costs for that research were funded by the Edgar Cayce Foundation (ECF). Results of a 2002 study of rocks dredged from the Bimini lagoon can be found in the article entitled, "Bimini Revisited". That study was self-funded by William Hutton and Jonathan Eagle.

An attempt to sample rocks and projections from the submerged cliff off Bimini was made in 1998-2000, under ARE sponsorship, but the results of that effort indicated nothing but carbonate rock had been sampled (J. Hanley, personal communication, 5/2003). <back>

The secretary, Gladys Davis, noted in Report of Reading 364-3, item 2: “In 364-3 re Par. 5 reference to Ram entering India it might be pertinent to study East Indian lore. In 1910 a book entitled RAMA AND MOSES, The Aryan Cycle and The Mission of Israel, by Edouard Schure', Translated by F. Rothwell, B.A., was published by Wm. Rider & Son, Ltd., London, England. On page 27 a young priest named Ram is mentioned. Some of the chapter headings are: The Human Races and the Origins of Religion, The Mission of Rama, The Vedic Religion, etc.” <back>

Turkey in Europe is bounded on the north by Bulgaria, on the east by the Black Sea, and the Bosporus, on the south by the Sea of Marmara and Dardanelle’s, and on the west by the Aegean Sea and Greece. <back>

Udintsev, G. B., and Others, 1990, “Finds of continental rocks and sediments of anomalous age in the equatorial segment of the mid-Atlantic ridge,” Doklady Akademii Nauk, v. 312, no. 2, pp. 450-454. <back>

Bonatti, E., 1990, “Subcontinental mantle exposed in the Atlantic Ocean on St. Peter-Paul islets,” Nature, v. 345, pp. 800-802. While Bonatti concluded that the midocean ridge is underlain by material left behind as the continents were rifted apart, there is a serious flaw in his argument. As explained by by A. Meyerhoff and H. Meyerhoff (1974, "Ocean magnetic anomalies and their relations to continents," in Kahle, C., plate tectonics--Assessments and reassessments, Amer. Assoc. Petroleum Geol., Tulsa, OK p. 415), "If the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is underlain by continental-type mantle, how are the allegedly young magnetic anomalies formed at the crests of the midocean ridges with attendant seafloor spreading? Bonatti fails to explain this. It is difficult to conceive of a mobile crustal layer at the surface of the midocean ridge underlain by what Bonatti terms a "stagnant" mantle. By his own admission, the newly formed basalt has to pass through the "stagnant" continental mantle." [Meyerhoff and Meyerhoff were citing Bonatti’s 1971 paper in the Jour. Geophys. Research, v. 76, no.17, p. 3825-383, entitled “Ancient continental mantle beneath oceanic ridges.”]. Bonatti ignored the Meyerhoff criticisms in his 1990 Nature paper. <back>

Bonatti, E., and Others, 1994, “Transform migration and vertical tectonics at the Romanche fracture zone, equatorial Atlantic,” Jour. Geophys. Research, v. 99, pp. 21,779-21,802. <back>

Jardetzky, W., 1962, Jour. Geophys. Research, v. 67, no. 11, pp. 4461-4472. <back>

Duggen, S. and Others, 2003, “Deep roots of the Messinian salinity crisis,” Nature, v. 422, pp. 602-606. <back>

A massif (mas-sif') is a massive topographic and structural feature, especially in a mountain belt, commonly formed of rocks more rigid than those of its surroundings. These rocks may be protruding bodies of basement rocks, consolidated during earlier mountain building periods, or younger rocks of deeper origin. <back>

Keith, M., 2001, "Evidence for a Plate Tectonics Debate," Earth-Science Reviews, 55 pp. 235-336. <back>

Lourenco, N., and Others, 1998, “Morpho-tectonic analysis of the Azores Volcanic plateau from a new bathymetric compilation of the area,” Marine Geophysical Researches v. 20, pp. 141-156, plus map. <back>

Information in this paragraph comes from three abstracts in the Proceedings Volume for the December 1998 meeting of the American Geophysical Union (Abstracts T72F-07, T22C, and T12C-11). These abstracts describe the results of detailed sea-floor mapping programs southwest of the Azores hot spot, closer to the central Sargasso Sea. The studies cover an area where the normal V-shaped median valley of the MAR is interrupted by a messed-up area of the sea floor. <back>

Zhirov, N., 1970, “Atlantis,” Progress Publishers, Moscow. <back>
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« Reply #87 on: July 30, 2008, 10:04:26 pm »


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   posted 02-16-2006 12:30 AM                       
Wow, blondie, who would have thought you had all of this in you? You annoying little researcher, you!! And to think, you're BLONDE, to boot!

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« Reply #88 on: July 30, 2008, 10:08:47 pm »

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   posted 02-16-2006 01:33 AM                       
And don't you forget it, either!

The Chesapeake Bay Bolide Impact: A New View of Coastal Plain Evolution

Bolide Impact

A spectacular geological event took place on the Atlantic margin of North America about 35 million years ago in the late part of the Eocene Epoch. Sea level was unusually high everywhere on Earth, and the ancient shoreline of the Virginia region was somewhere in the vicinity of where Richmond is today (fig. 1). Tropical rain forests covered the slopes of the Appalachians. To the east of a narrow coastal plain, a broad, lime (calcium carbonate)-covered continental shelf lay beneath the ocean. Suddenly, with an intense flash of light, that tranquil scene was transformed into a hellish cauldron of mass destruction. From the far reaches of space, a bolide (comet or asteroid), 3-5 kilometers in diameter, swooped through the Earth's atmosphere and blasted an enormous crater into the continental shelf. The crater is now approximately 200 km southeast of Washington, D.C., and is buried 300-500 meters beneath the southern part of Chesapeake Bay and the peninsulas of southeastern Virginia (fig. 1).

Figure 1. Location of bolide impact and of shoreline when bolide hit. The entire bolide event, from initial impact to the termination of breccia deposition, lasted only a few hours or days. The crater was then buried by additional sedimentary beds, which accumulated during the following 35 million years.

Bolide Crater
The Chesapeake Bay crater was recently identified by C. Wylie Poag (U.S. Geological Survey, USGS), who has assembled an international team to investigate its characteristics and consequences. Evidence of the crater comes from two sources: (1) cores drilled by the USGS and the Virginia State Water Control Board (fig. 2), and (2) marine seismic-reflection profiles collected by Texaco, Inc., the USGS, and the National Geographic Society.

Figure 2. Cross section showing main features of Chesapeake Bay impact crater and three coreholes that provided data on these features.

The cores sampled a sandy rubble bed, which contains hand-size to person-size chunks (clasts) of clay, limestone, and sand. The clasts change rapidly downcore in composition, size, color, orientation, and age. The clasts are fragments ripped from previously deposited beds that underlie southeastern Virginia. Small pieces of the deeply buried granitic basement rocks also are scattered throughout the rubble and contain shocked quartz and melted grains, which confirm an impact. The structure and geometry of the crater were determined by seismic profiling from ships in the bay. Seismic profiles are like two-dimensional cross sections of the subsurface beds. Analysis of 1,200 km of profiles shows that the crater is 85 km in diameter and 1.3 km deep; an excavation twice the size of Rhode Island and as deep as the Grand Canyon. It is three times larger than any other U.S. crater and is the sixth largest crater known on the planet. The rubble bed, which we now realize is an impact breccia, fills the crater and forms a thin halo around it, called an ejecta blanket.

Effects of the Bolide Impact
Discovery of the giant crater has completely revised our understanding of Atlantic Coastal Plain evolution. In particular, studies by Poag's project revealed several consequences of the ancient cataclysm that still affect citizens around the bay today: land subsidence, river diversion, disruption of coastal aquifers, ground instability, and location of Chesapeake Bay. These are discussed below.

Land Subsidence
Evidence of accelerated land subsidence is reflected in the geology and topography of the modern land surfaces around the crater. The breccia is 1.3 km thick and was deposited as a water-saturated, sandy, rubble-bearing slurry (like concrete before it hardens). The sediment layers surrounding the crater, on the other hand, were already partly consolidated, and so the mushy breccia compacted much more rapidly under its subsequent sediment load than the surrounding strata. The compaction differences produced a subsidence differential, causing the land surface over the breccia to remain lower than the land surface over sediments outside the crater.
Poag's team observed that the boundary between older surface rocks and younger surface rocks coincides with the position and orientation of the crater rim on all three peninsulas that cross the rim. The older beds have sagged over the subsiding breccia, and the younger rocks have been deposited in the resulting topographic depression. The topography also reflects the differential subsidence. The Suffolk Scarp and the Ames Ridge are elevated landforms (10-15 meters high) located at, and oriented parallel to, the crater rim.

Crater-related ground subsidence also may play a role in the high rate of relative sea-level rise documented for the Chesapeake Bay region. One of the locations of highest relative sea-level rise is at Hampton Roads (the lower part of the James River), located over the crater rim.

River Diversion
Even the courses of the modern rivers in the lower bay region point to the continued influence of differential subsidence over the crater. Most of the rivers, like the Rappahannock, flow southeastward to the Atlantic. In contrast, the York and James Rivers make sharp turns to the northeast near the outer rim of the crater.

Disrupted Coastal Aquifers
Another consequence of the bolide is that all ground-water aquifers were truncated and excavated by the impact. In place of those aquifers, there is now a single huge reservoir with a volume of 4,000 cubic kilometers. That's enough breccia to cover all of Virginia and Maryland with a layer 30 m thick. In this huge new reservoir, pore spaces are filled with briny water that is 1.5 times saltier than normal seawater. This water is too salty to drink or to use in industry. Geohydrologists have known of this salty water for decades, but only now are we beginning to grasp the true nature of its origin and distribution.
The presence of this hypersaline aquifer has some practical implications for ground-water management in the lower bay region. For example, we need to know how deeply buried the breccia is in order to avoid drilling into it inadvertently and con-taminating the overlying freshwater aquifers. Its presence also limits the availability of freshwater. On the Delmarva Peninsula, over the deepest part of the crater, only the aquifers above the breccia are available for freshwater. The crater investigation shows that we need to be especially conservative of ground-water use in that area.

Ground Instability Due To FaultingSeismic profiles across the crater show many faults that cut the sedimentary beds above the breccia and extend upward toward the bay floor (fig. 3). The resolution of our seismic profiles allows us to trace the faults to within 10 m of the bay floor. These faults are another result of the subsidence of the breccia. These faults are zones of crustal weakness and have the potential for continued slow movement, or sudden larger offsets if reactivated by earthquakes.

Figure 3. Location of faults (red lines) where they cross seismic profiles. The large circle shows the extent of the buried crater. The brick pattern shows the three main cities of the lower Chesapeake Bay. Red capital letters mark the locations of the Newport News, Windmill Point, Exmore, and Kiptopeke coreholes.

Some of the faults appear to completely breach the confining unit over the saltwater reservoir. They could allow the salty water to flow upward and contaminate the freshwater supply. Poag is mapping the location, orientation, and amount of offset of these compaction faults.

Location of Chesapeake Bay
Did the Chesapeake Bay bolide affect the location of Chesapeake Bay itself? We know that the bay is nowhere near 35 million years old. In fact, as late as 18,000 years ago, the bay region was dry land; the last great ice sheet was at its maximum over North America, and sea level was about 200 m lower than at present. This sea level exposed the area that now is the bay bottom and continental shelf. With sea level this low, the major east coast rivers had to cut narrow valleys across the region all the way to the shelf edge. About 10,000 years ago, however, the ice sheets began to melt rapidly, causing sea level to rise and flood the shelf and the coastal river valleys. The flooded valleys became the major modern estuaries, like Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay. The rivers of the Chesa-peake region converged at a location directly over the buried crater. In short, the impact crater created a long-lasting topographic depression, which helped determine the eventual location of Chesapeake Bay.

Metric Units Explained
1 kilometer (km) = 0.621 mile
1 meter (m) = 3.28 feet
4,000 cubic kilometers = 960 cubic miles


For more information, please contact:
C. Wylie Poag
U.S. Geological Survey

Woods Hole Field Center
384 Woods Hole Road
Woods Hole, MA 02543-1598 Telephone: (508) 457-2258
Fax: (508) 457-2310

Bolide Web Site:


U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey USGS Fact Sheet 049-98
May 1998


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« Reply #89 on: July 30, 2008, 10:12:55 pm »

Tom Hebert1
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  posted 02-16-2006 04:08 AM                       
Hi Carolyn,

I think you've done a great job with all of this research! Why can't people see the light? Must be a case of myopia.   Sad
Posts: 1321 | From: North Carolina | Registered: Nov 2005   
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