Cintos Research is an independent organization of individuals dedicated to interdisciplinary scientific research into the intersection of our solar system and the earth's geological history.
We wish to pursue the truth, no matter where it leads. But to find the truth, we need imagination and skepticism, both. We will not be afraid to speculate, but we will be careful to distinguish speculation from fact. – Carl Sagan, Cosmos Introduction.
Our current goal is to spark interest in the enigmatic Mid Pleistocene Transition Impact
among members of various professions. Our data is provided freely, and we are open to direct collaboration, or to support your independent research.
Our primary work product has been the Carolina Bay Survey
, in which we have measured the size and orientation of over 50,000 landforms. Considering the evidence contained in the Survey, we maintain that interdisciplinary research into a possible cosmic origin should be encouraged. Consensus opinion does hold a cosmic impact accountable for an enigmatic Pleistocene event - the Australasian tektite strewn field - despite the failure of a 60-year search to locate the causal astroblem. Ironically, a cosmic link to the Carolina bays is considered soundly falsified by the identical lack of a causal impact structure. Our conjecture suggests both these events are coeval with a cosmic impact into the Great Lakes area during the Mid-Pleistocene Transition, at 786 ka ± 5 k. What is a “Carolina Bay”, and why should one care? The following quote is from a 1998 PhD dissertation by Timothy D. Nifong:
Carolina bay depressions, once thought to number in the hundreds of thousands, are substantially rarer than previously believed. I estimate that fewer than 900 bay depressions with relatively unaltered site hydrologies remain within the study area. Those that do remain continue to disappear at an alarming rate. North and South Carolina bay depressions are important refuge for wildlife and for plant populations, including more than 65 "special status" plant species. Field observations and pertinent literature indicate that bay vegetation at relatively intact sites is highly dynamic, and that depression vegetation responds dramatically to differences in site disturbance regimes. Development of surrounding upland areas has resulted in increased isolation of Carolina bay depressions from the once pervasive role of fire as a landscape disturbance factor, and in the lowering of regional water tables. Consequently, bay vegetation has undergone an apparent "homogenization", with concomitant decreases in species richness and community diversity. If Carolina bay biodiversity is to be conserved and protected, increased and immediate attention must be given to prioritization, acquisition, and restoration of bay systems.Our personal energies have been directed at socializing the bays - for the pressing ecological reasons, but also to encourage scientists in general to consider research into how they were created.
A challenging aspect of the hypothesis involves the lack of an identifiable impact structure. The conjecture suggests an extremely oblique - nearly tangential-impact, and that terrestrial material ejected from such an event would be distributed in a stylized manner. Our analysis correlates numerous proposed ejecta material emplacements - including the Carolina bays and the Goldsboro Ridge - to a cosmic impact event that struck the Laurentide ice shield at ~43°N, ~87°W. The proposed cratering impact, when combined with the scouring action of 7 full glacial ages, is seen producing the current-day Saginaw Bay Basin. We have followed the chronological constraints to a proposed date of ~787 ±5 thousand years ago.
Gradualistic processes are considered by modern science to be responsible for the creation and evolution of the Carolina bay phenomenon. Given our LiDAR views of 50,000+ perfectly formed and aligned landforms, that approach seems silly. For a full explanation of our speculation as to the origin of the Carolina Bays, please see ages on Cintos.org, where we explore a cosmic impact into the Great Lakes at the time of the Mid-Pleistocene Transition, ~800,000 years ago.
A talk entitled “A Tale Of Two Craters: Coriolis-Aware Trajectory Analysis Correlates Two Pleistocene Impact Strewn Fields And Gives Michigan A Thumb
” was presented at the GSA’s North-Central Section 2015 Meeting in Madison, WI. The abstract is linked above, and a PDF version of the talk is available from the GSA via the link HERE
Pleistocene Epoch cosmic impacts have been implicated in the geomorphology of two enigmatic events. Remarkably, in both cases spirited debates remain unsettled after nearly 100 years of extensive research. Consensus opinion holds that the Australasian (AA) tektites are of terrestrial origin despite the failure to locate the putative crater, while a cosmic link to the Carolina bays is considered soundly falsified by the very same lack of a crater.
A poster entitled “Imaging 50,000 Oriented Ovoid Depressions Using LiDAR Elevation Data Elucidates the Enigmatic Character of The Carolina Bays: Wind & Wave, Or Cosmic Impact Detritus?” was presented at the GSA’s North-Central Section 2015 Meeting in Madison, WI. The abstract and a link to the PDF version of the talk is available from the AGU via the link HERE
Considering the evidence contained in the Survey, we maintain that interdisciplinary research into a possible cosmic origin should be encouraged. Consensus opinion does hold a cosmic impact accountable for an enigmatic Pleistocene event - the Australasian tektite strewn field - despite the failure of a 60-year search to locate the causal astroblem. Ironically, a cosmic link to the Carolina bays is considered soundly falsified by the identical lack of a causal impact structure. Our conjecture suggests both these events are coeval with a cosmic impact into the Great Lakes area during the Mid-Pleistocene Transition, at 786 ka ± 5 k.
Evidence continues to mount that a cosmic impact is directly implicated in the global cooling event known as the Younger Dryas (YD), yielding the acronym Younger Dryas Boundary Impact (YDB Impact), with the latest being findings of significant biomass burning at the onset 12,800 years ago. The creation of the Carolina bays has been linked by numerous researchers to the YDB (this group included, back in 2009), yet our work shows there is no such implication at the time of the YDB Impact. There is a significant probability that the Mid Pleistocene Transition Impact
(MPT Impact) is indeed linked through association with the same progenitor cosmic object. The MPT Impact is modeled as a tangential impact, in which a substantial potion of the now-fragmented cosmic impactor object continued on its solar orbit, only to revisit the Earth on numerous occasions during the last 800,000 years. One such intersection between the Earth’s orbit and the orbit of the impactor’s fragments may be the source of the YDB Impact event. Furthermore, we posit that during the impactor’s orbit around the sun since the MPT, it has been slowly dispersing into a ring of debris, setting it up as a possible “dust cloud” trigger for the transition from 42,000 year to 100,000 year glacial cycles which began during the Mid Pleistocene Transition.
Some insight that drives the Mid Pleistocene Transition Impact hypothesis:
- Shallow angle cosmic impacts can create “Lost Impacts” due to non-conventional astroblemes
- Large scale cosmic impacts create atmospheric blow-out situations, where ejecta is drawn upwards in a column which can reach earth escape velocity
- Catastrophically-formed Carolina bay rims are composed of tightly compacted angular siliciclastics, making them more resistant to erosion than uniformly-deposited sediments
- Heavily eroded Carolina bays reveal evidence of great age
- Carolina bays can be blanketed with significant surficial deposits through eolian, fluvial and marine deposits
- Buried Carolina bays can re-emerge when blanketing deposits are un-roofed by more recent erosion
- The precise geomorphology of the Carolina bay planforms is not determined or posited at this time - but we do insist they are catastrophically-generated landforms that occasionally display gradualistic surficial re-workings
- The Australasian Tektite strewn filed contains only distal ejecta representing the unique tektite qualities that differentiate them from typical terrestrial impact glass
- The Muong Nong type layered tektites are true devolatilized tektites which are co-located with splash forms, and should not be interpreted as proximal ejecta
- The devolatilization and glass-forming processes of multi-kg tektites required their presence in the vacuum of space during suborbital trajectories lasting hours, not minutes.
- Current scientific dogma that the Australasian tektite impact structure must be found within the bounds of the strewn field needs to be questioned by those who understand basic sub-orbital mechanics
If you are a Google Earth
user, you can click the GE logo here to download a starter kmz.
At present, the survey project is unfunded. Please contact us if should you chose to assist.
Send me an email