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Verneshot: Catastrophic Mass Extinction Events That Make More Sense Than Asteroid Strikes?

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posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 04:28 PM
Did you know that one day you may be blasted into near orbit from below, and with such force that you will never even know what hit you?
Yes, the forces we are talking about are so great that you would probably be splattered like a bug on windshield- but from the ground below pushing you upward at speeds rivaling that of an incoming massive asteroid.

What we are talking about is relatively recent scientific theory, dating back to around 2003, when scientists from Germany examined in further detail this possibility as an explanation for the many mass extinction events that have occurred in Earth's history. This theory is gaining increased acceptance in the scientific community, and threatens to rewrite the more common theory that large incoming asteroid strikes were the cause of the extinction of the dinosaurs, for example. Because some of these "extraterrestrial" impact craters, in some cases may instead be craters from terrestrial, catastrophic verneshot impacts!

Verneshot: History and Definition

While wiki describes verneshot as a volcanic eruption of sorts, I believe it is related to volcanism because of the way magma creates gases, but not exactly a volcanic eruption. Think of it more as massive gas pressure which builds up over millions of years underneath an otherwise stable part of a continent, also called a craton. The pressure eventually reaches such incredible proportions that even 150 km deep of stable continental rock mass above it fails to contain it- and it eventually catapults a huge column, like a giant pipe, of rock mass above it into near orbit, or perhaps some of it even out into space- at incredible, mind-bending speeds.

In 1865 Jules Verne's novel From the Earth to the Moon introduced the concept of a ballistic projectile escaping the Earth's gravity, from which Phipps Morgan et al. derived the name "Verneshot" in their paper theorizing cratonic gas ejection's connection to extinction events. This was in the projectile-naming tradition of John Hunter, whose 47 m expanding hydrogen gun, SHARP, is only a precursor to the "Jules Verne Launcher" with a 3,500 m barrel length, which was designed in the early 1990s[4] for first-stage satellite launch.

A verneshot (named after French author Jules Verne) is a hypothetical volcanic eruption event caused by the buildup of gas deep underneath a craton. Such an event may be forceful enough to launch an extreme amount of material from the crust and mantle into a sub-orbital trajectory.

The name verneshot was proposed in this key scientific document from 2003, upon which most of this thread is based, so it is critical that the reader open it for view if interested:

How The Gas is Created and Related To Magmatic Processes

The following picture from the above document illustrates at depth the processes which occur to cause the buildup of these carbon dioxide and silica rich gases:

Note a critical difference between this process and typical magma chamber driven volcanism is the different depths at which they occur. Volcanoes generally have magma chambers residing much more shallow- although in the case of the supervolcano Toba in Sumatra, I don't believe they have ever been able to accurately measure the deepest part of the magma plume. Seismic tomography can only get you so deep- which in itself raises other questions about the supposedly molten core- but let's not digress too far!

There is much more information in the document about how these gases are created, and how they can be created so deep, but as the picture notes, at depths of up to 250 km:

At high temperatures and pressures carbon readily dissolves in silicate liquids, however below V2.7 GPa, it exsolves into a critical gas CO2 phase. Any rising melts will spontaneously exsolve CO2 at this depth as the magma transforms from a liquid phase to solid plus gas phases.

So there is a point of depth at which the tremendous pressure causes a partial phase transition into gases. And so that is the proposed scientific mechanism by which a verneshot can happen. The following pic illustrates the process further:

Except keep in mind the tiny scale of the pic relative to the extinction level power of some of these events!

Correlations and Evidence of Verneshots Related to Mass Extinctions

Once you understand the basic process of how verneshots are created, perhaps an even more interesting part of this is how they potentially better explain many of the mass extinction events than typical asteroid impact theory.

This came about when scientists noticed a correlation in similar relative time periods between massive, catastrophic Continental Flood Basalt (CFB) volcanism, and huge craters- previously thought to be asteroid impact craters. And what became obvious is that it is EXTREMELY unlikely that through four of five mass extinctions, that these huge craters also happened to be created in the same period- when the CFB's were happening way too far away for them to be explained as asteroid impacts! Following is a pic from the doc that illustrates where these CFB's took place:

And again another pic from the doc showing the correlation of these events with the craters:

So all this is saying that these craters may have instead been caused by mass ejecta from verneshots, as huge pieces of earth were thrown into near orbit and then came back down. Note that asteroid impacts create shocked quartz, but as the doc explains, shocked quartz and micro-spherules can also be created by the tremendous shock the surrounding rock receives through hyper-powerful verneshots!

Further Implications of Galactic Proportions

To me, this theory is critical in perhaps explaining why some asteroids are traveling at such hyper speeds through space. Could it be that similar processes occur on every planet in the universe, in some cases ejecting huge rock fragments beyond their orbits, and sending them hurling through space at warp speeds?

And could this also be a possible explanation for the distribution of life bearing DNA throughout the universe?

This theory has far reaching, and interesting implications, indeed! Note that some scientists are suggesting a micro-verneshot as a possible cause for the Tunguska event of 1908 in Siberia. Here is part of a video on this- could not find all the parts!
Part 1:

Part 5:

Note that in 1999 there was a big quake in Taiwan, where a rock eruption occurred that is being described as a possible micro-verneshot. And considering that huge earthquakes displace massive amounts of crust sometimes, and potentially weaken the overriding earth layers above these trapped gasses, it gives me one more reason to be concerned with each and every big quake that occurs. Because you never really know just WHAT that quake might unleash.

Related Links on Verneshots
edit on Sat Aug 25th 2012 by TrueAmerican because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 05:05 PM
I also wanted to note some other things, but ran out of room in the OP:

So how could a verneshot cause a mass extinction? Well, it is due partly to the massive amount of toxic gasses released into the atmosphere all at once. This would essentially turn our air into a death sentence for just about everything living on the planet. The sulfur released would be very harmful as well, turning into essentially, sulfuric acid rain.

It is the mass quantity all at once that has the lasting effect. Whereas normally the atmosphere can handle smaller quantities of it- which is often produced through normal volcanism.

I also wonder to what extent this ejected column pipe would hold together, and to what extent it would break apart. But considering it would be largely highly pressurized rock, I imagine that would support the theory that very, very large pieces of it would likely survive intact- while some of it would break apart. Some might vaporize. Scientists are still looking for more of this shocked quartz in Tunguska- as well as other suspected spots for these verneshots.

It also brings up the question of what precursors might be for such events...Would there be any? Like escaping sulfur smells? Probably not much, seeing as this occurs so deep below impermeable rock, there would not likely be many escape routes that deep for these particular gases under continental rock.

And what about the massive earthquake, stated to be on the order of magnitude 11 or even 12 for the biggest verneshots?
Did you see the estimated energy released in the doc? I mean that shock wave would seriously cause some major, major damage. The SOUND alone of such a thing would be unthinkable.

Also very interesting and possible supporting evidence is the apparent finding of a circular depression and gravity anomaly near the Deccan Traps!
edit on Sat Aug 25th 2012 by TrueAmerican because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 05:05 PM
Hmm I guess the asteroid had nothing to do with the extinction of the dinosaurs then.

Okie dokie.

posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 05:55 PM

Originally posted by TheCaucasianAmerican
Hmm I guess the asteroid had nothing to do with the extinction of the dinosaurs then.

Okie dokie.

Well in the doc it does say this:

The apparent synchronicity of the Deccan Traps and Chicxulub crater formation could be exactly such a 1 in 8 bad luck coincidence.) Two such temporal coincidences would occur by chance only (0.13)2 or 0.0169 of the time, three 0.0022 of the time, and four with a probability of 0.00028.

While even one such coincidence is relatively unlikely to occur by chance within the past 400 Myr (it should have happened roughly once over the last 3 Gyr of Earth evolution), two or more synchronous CFBs, impact signals, and mass extinctions are so unlikely to occur by chance that it seems prudent to explore if there exist causal links between geologic ‘impact signals’ and flood basalts.

The bottom line is it is very unlikely, even still.

posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 05:59 PM
Excellent thread TA. Very good read.

I've always been a proponent of some ELEs being a mixture (geological processes and asteroid impacts), and not blaming it all one one thing.

As for impact craters vs Verneshot: I was going to ask about the shocked quartz, but you answered that one. The only other thing I can think of is the abundance of Iridium.

Unless you think that there might be a lot more well below the crust and is spread from the Verneshot?

Again, very good read and cool subject.....uhm unless one of these suckers is under me!

posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 06:00 PM
if that is how it was to end at least it would be quick and you would not know what hit you

posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 06:04 PM
reply to post by eriktheawful

Thanks! It really is a fascinating subject!

The doc addresses iridium too...

A sediment pocket containing the iridium ‘impact signal’ is found lying between two of the lower Deccan trap lava flows [18], documenting that the impact must have postdated the onset of, and thus cannot have caused, the Deccan CFB. Furthermore, the Deccan^Reunion trace can be followed as a time-progressive
lineament of 3He-rich small alkalic continental eruptions for s3.5 Myr before the eruption of the oldest, lowermost, Deccan Traps [40]. This implies that the Deccan Traps/Reunion Plume were not created by a ‘sister’ impact shortly before the Chicxulub impact, instead the plume was ponding beneath Indian cratonic lithosphere for at least 3.5 Myr prior to the main Deccan flood basalt activity.


For example, the archetype K^Tiridium anomaly, while definitely non-crustal in its relative abundance, lies within the field of iridium concentrations observed in the volatile phases degassing from current plume volcanoes
such as Kilauea, Hawaii, and Piton de la Fournaise, Reunion [48].(In fact, Reunion’s present day
Piton de la Fournaise volatile release is particularly rich in noble metals [48], offering a possible explanation as to why the K^T boundary could be particularly rich in iridium relative to other great extinction boundaries.)

edit on Sat Aug 25th 2012 by TrueAmerican because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 06:11 PM
reply to post by TrueAmerican

Very interesting!

posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 11:39 PM

Originally posted by seethetruth
if that is how it was to end at least it would be quick and you would not know what hit you

Yep, ultra fast. I wonder what that would look like on a seismometer?
You'd probably see every seismometer there is clip for a brief second, then it would cut out, as the closest seismic networks would likely be destroyed instantly.

If anywhere near that event, I don't see it likely anyone could survive. If anywhere on top of the earth that gets ejected, forget it- you'd be food for vultures- lol, and that's if any vultures themselves lived through it.

In searching around the net on this subject there is really not all that much written about it. But I did find a booklet that was written by a student for a college assignment, which explores a utilitarian way of

Surviving the Vernshot

I made this survival guide as a response to an assignment we had the first year of uni. The task was to promote a certain ideology as a way of living. My ideology was utilitarianism, and I chose to present this survival guide as a way of living in the case of a verneshot, following utilitarian survival methods.

That booklet is hilarious. I think the author forgot that the air would be highly poisonous.

posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 11:43 PM
reply to post by TrueAmerican

Wow where do you come up with this stuff?

Anyway I wonder if it has to do with the sink holes worldwide in the past decade or so? What about that area in Louisiana where the methane gas is wrecking havoc on the locals in that area and possibly a danger to all of us any where close?

Alwyas enlightening stuff my friend, thanks for this new heads up...

posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 11:55 PM

Originally posted by antar
Anyway I wonder if it has to do with the sink holes worldwide in the past decade or so? What about that area in Louisiana where the methane gas is wrecking havoc on the locals in that area and possibly a danger to all of us any where close?

Well I thought of that too, seeing as there has been recent threads on the sinkhole subject. And I don't rule that possibility out. It turns out verneshots are more likely to occur long distances away from CFB's. So yeah, I've been wondering if all the reports of sulfur smells up and down the mid- continent USA could be....

Darn I hope not! But I don't think it is likely cause of the depths involved. It would be too hard for the gases to escape.

lol, check out this whacky video done by some student somewhere on the subject.

posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 11:58 PM
Great thread TA! Awesome read.

I can't help but wonder, what kind of tsunami this would create if it happened in the water?

I mean really, land would be bad enough, but in the water, WOW!



posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 12:04 AM
reply to post by TrueAmerican

Fresh, clean and I LOVE him! Even my sons sitting on the couch behind me where into his talk. Interesting topic and something new to add to the bevy of possibilities for the future. Makes sense to me...

Edit to ask if this could somehow be related as well?

Could the location of the next Vernshot have been aided by the irresponsible acts in the gulf? Will Issac become a greater problem to the 2 ongoing problems in Louisiana?
edit on 26-8-2012 by antar because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 12:33 AM
reply to post by antar

Antar, I think if you study that scientific doc in the OP, and get a grip on how verneshots are created from very deep magmatic processes, you may answer some of your own questions.

These things take millions of years to explode. The gasses created are way deep. Problem is, it has been millions of years since a big one occurred. So are we due? Could this be the impending doom so many people feel nowadays?

I have no idea. But check out that map again in OP, and look at the Atlantic province called CAMP, which happened some 200 millions years ago. You telling me there is 200 million years of gasses built up down there ready to kill us all?

edit on Sun Aug 26th 2012 by TrueAmerican because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 10:52 AM
Good ideas are worth talking about! We really don't know what killed the dino's off, But we can say something did, in fact maybe a combo of things actually did it. Still, one could ponder that in many lifetimes and still miss the point.
Now add this to the EQ, back then there was oil in the earth, why? Is there a reason its there we don't know yet - what we use it for. Now all the oil holes are filled with salt water, sink holes poping up, what did we miss? Could the oil helped cooled the planet?
Dino's died by natural chain of effects, we will have done it ourselves!

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 01:20 PM
reply to post by TrueAmerican

I hope it is not so, there is so much evolution we have the right to experience. *Bump*

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 01:51 PM
Sure is a lot of power beneath our feet too bad we havent tried very hard to tap more of it.

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 01:56 PM
This thread looks very interesting, just posting to say thanks and S&F it.
Busy times today but will return to read your whole post and then reply with a proper post.

Regards, Iwinder

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 11:28 PM
Mind blown - *poof* It just makes too much sense to me. It fits and scares the living sh*t out of me.

posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 04:56 PM

Originally posted by iforget
Sure is a lot of power beneath our feet too bad we havent tried very hard to tap more of it.

Umm, how do you propose to tap into the gas talked about in this thread to exploit it for energy when-

1) we are talking about 150 km deep or more here,


2) the pressure is so great that even all that stable rock can't contain it eventually?

There are so many problems with your comment, I don't think you really thought about it much- and/or you haven't seen the doc in the OP- heck did you even read the thread?

edit on Mon Aug 27th 2012 by TrueAmerican because: (no reason given)

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