Alaskan Muck (Mucks), Tsunamis, and Hibben Revisited (Long)Paul bristolia at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 5 09:09:35 EDT 2007
Mr. Grondine wrote;
"Thanks for the references to the post war research,
but I think you overstate your case."
Anyone, who takes the time and trouble to read through what
is called above " post war research", instead of mindlessly
dismissing it as "baffling BS" will find that what you "think"
is absolutely wrong. These publications provide overwhelming
evidence and arguments that show that I have not overstated
the case for the so-called Alaskan being composed largely of
eolian sediment, called "loess", and colluvial and other
deposits reworked from it and the complete lack of either any
megatsunami deposits or layers composed entirely of impact
"Surely no archeological remains from 2 to 3 million
years ago are in the deposits which I refered to, and
which Hibbens examined.
Given that Hibben (1943) studied "
muck deposits exposed in the
grounds of the Fairbanks Exploration Company in the vicinity of
Fairbanks, Alaska.", it is quite clear that he did not limit his
examination to only those Alaskan "muck deposits", which contained
archaeology. Some of the peat layers (paleosols), which are
mentioned in Hibben (1943) likely are tens to hundreds of thousands
of years old. The youngest known "forest of trees", which occurs
buried in the deposits, which Hibben studied, is the Eva Forest Bed.
This bed has been dated as being about125,000 years old (Pewe et al.
1997).Thus, you are quite wrong about Hibben having only examined
so-called "Alaskan muck deposits" containing archaeology. Lacking
any sort of radiometric dating to guide him, Hibben (1943) wrongly
assumed that all of the so-called "muck deposits", which he was
studying, are young enough to contain archaeology.
Hibben, F. C., 1943, Evidences of Early Man in Alaska.
American Antiquity. vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 254-259.
Pewe, T. L., and others, 1997, Eva Interglaciation Forest
Bed, Unglaciated East-Central Alaska: Global Warming
125,000 Years Ago. Geological Society of America Special
Paper no. 319, Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO.
"The strata that I refered to did have archaeological
remains. They were also the source for the mega-fauna
ivory that was used commonly in the United States for
the manufacture of billiard balls and piano keys at
the turn of the last century."
Your distinction between Alaskan surficial strata containing
archaeological deposits and those that do not contain them
completely is a complete figment of your imagination. The
parts of the Engineering and Fairbanks loesses and Ready
Bullion Formation, which contain archaeological deposits,
are identical in texture, sedimentary structures, pedogenic
(soil) structures, cyrogenic structures, stratigraphic layering,
composition and other physical characteristics to the
underlying and older parts of these formations, which lack
archaeological deposits. If a person reads the papers, which
I provided citations for in my last post, they will find that
there is a complete lack of any significant scientific evidence,
which demonstrates that your distinction between the surficial
strata containing archaeology and older strata, which lack
them, has any scientific basis. These citations, all of which I
have either read at one time or the other, can be found at:
In fact, if person takes the time to look at what has been published
about the archaeological geology of cultural deposits found in these
deposits as reported in the peered-reviewed literature and Cultural
Resource Management reports, he or she will find that I am not at
all overstating the case to conclude that there is a complete
absence of any definite textural, stratigraphic, compositional, or
sedimentological evidence for any of the archaeology-bearing
deposits being of impact origin. Instead, a person find in these
publications an abundance of data and observations, which
repeatedly demonstrates that these surficial deposits consist of
eolian deposits, called loess, which have been modified by
colluvial, pedogenic, and other processes. One of these
Esdale, J. A., Le Blanc, R. J., Cinq-Mars, J., 2001, Periglacial geoarchaeology at the Dog Creek
site, Northern Yukon.
Geoarchaeology. vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 151 – 176
This article provides a perfect example of the colluvial deposits
and loess, which have been disturbed by solifluction, frost heave,
and cryoturbation, which comprise the deposits, which you and
other claim to be the result of the imaginary catastrophe of choice.
Also, in 1978, archaeologists studied the location of a site along the
southern shore of Chinitna Bay between Coffin Creek and Sea Otter
Point, where Hibben (1943) claimed to have found a Paleo-Indian
point in his "muck deposits” (Myers 1980). Using his photographs,
they were able to relocate his site. Instead of any tsunami deposits,
they found “...marine muds and salt marsh deposits which are capped
by a layer of peat and, in some locations, by colluvial sediments.”
Within these sediments they found “one or more woody peats or
paleosols...”, of which one was the “humus stratum”, from which
Hibben (1943) reported to have found cultural material. They found
that the layer of “muck”, which was reported by Hibben (1943), at
this site, likely consists of a stratum of oxidized marine muds and
salt marsh deposits. In situ wood samples from a blue-grey clay,
which underlay Hibben’s cultural stratum, yielded two C-14 dates;
1. a date of 375+/-120 radiocarbon years: 1575 A.D. (GX-5655) and
2. a date of 300 +/-130 radiocarbon years: 1650 A.D. (GX-5656)
(Myer 1980). Neither the early man occupation, mammoth remains,
nor any Pleistocene sediments capable of containing them were found
where Hibben (1943) stated that he found them. Also, Hibben (1943)
was wildly wrong about the deposits exposed at Chinitna Bay being
**older** than the "muck deposits" near Fairbanks , Alaska. In this
and, very likely many other cases, Hibben grossly misinterpreted
both the age and origin of his Alaskan "muck deposits" and
exhibited a vivid imagination in what he has written about them.
Hibben, F. C., 1943, Evidences of Early Man in Alaska.
American Antiquity. vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 254-259.
Myers, T. P., Current research. American Antiquity. vol. 45,
no. 1, pp. 182-199.
Why these mega-fauna all chose to die at the same
time is an interesting question."
This is a very fascinating question. However, abrupt disappearance
of megafauna have occurred during the Pleistocene at different times,
separated by tens of thousands of years on different continents. The
abrupt extinction, which occurred at the end of the last glacial stage
is not the unique event, which you and other catastrophists claim it
to be. It is simply impossible for a single extraterrestrial impact to
have caused multiple Pleistocene extinction events. For an idea of
the complex nature of the Pleistocene extinctions, a person can
Barnosky, A. D., Koch, P. L., Feranec, R. S., Wing, S. L., Shabel,
A. B., 2004, Assessing the Causes of Late Pleistocene Extinctions
on the Continents. Science. vol. 306, pp. 70-75.
Stuart, A. J., Kosintsev, P. A., Higham, T. F. G., and Lister,
A. M., 2004, Pleistocene to Holocene extinction dynamics in
giant deer and woolly mammoth. Nature, vol 431, pp. 684-689.
In addition, there were two periods of terminal Pleistcoene
megafauna extinctions in North America as noted in
Elias (1999) and Stafford et al. (2005) and based upon 140 AMS
radiocarbon dates from protein extracted from bones of
Pleistocene megafauna collected from sites from all over North
America. concerning the research of Stafford and others, Elias
"It now appears that the major megafaunal extinction
event took place at 11,400 14C yr B.P. This event
included the extinction of camels, horses, giant sloths,
Pleistocene bison, and all other genera of megafaunal
mammals that did not survive beyond 11,400 14C yr
B.P., with the exception of the proboscideans.
Mammoths and mastodons persisted beyond
11,400 yr B.P. Stafford et al. have dated the extinction
of North American mammoth and mastodon to
10,900-10,850 yr B.P. So it now appears that there
were two distinct extinction episodes. Each event
took less than 100 years."
Also, the dating of dung, bones, and other tissue from late
Quaternary sloths, shows that not all of them "chose to die at the
same time". Steadman et al. (2005) stated:
" Radiocarbon dates directly on dung, bones, or other
tissue of extinct sloths place their “last appearance”
datum at ≈11,000 radiocarbon years before present
(yr BP) or slightly less in North America, ≈10,500 yr
BP in South America, and ≈4,400 yr BP on West
This and other research certainly reveals that your statement,
"the mega-fauna all chose to die at the same", grossly oversimplifies
the complexity of Pleistcoene extinctions. I seriously doubt that the
mega-fauna “chose to die”, which sounds like they got together in
suicide pact, as the phrasing unintentionally suggests. :-) :-)
Elias, S. A., 1999, Quaternary Paleobiology Update Debate continues
over the cause of Pleistocene megafauna extinction. The Quaternary
Times: Newsletter of the American Quaternary Association. vol. 29,
no. 1, p. 3
Stafford, Jr., T. W., Graham, R., Lundelius, R., Semken, H.,
McDonald, H., and Southon, J., 2005,14C-Chronostratigraphy of
Late Pleistocene Megafauna Extinctions in Relation to Human
Presence in the New World. Clovis in the Southeast Conference,
October 26-29, 2005, The College of Arts & Sciences, University
of South Carolina, Columbia South Carolina.
Steadman, D. W., Martin, P. S., MacPhee, R. D. E., Jull, A. J. T., McDonald,|H. G., Woods, C. A.,
Iturralde-Vinent, M., and Hodgins
G. W. L., 2005, Asynchronous extinction of late Quaternary sloths
on continents and islands. Proceedings of the National Academy
of Science. vol. 102, no. 33, pp. 11763–11768.
"As far as depositional mechanisms goes, I do not believe
that there has been any work done on these deposits since
the discovery of impact mega-tsunami as a geological
This is case of just because a person believes something to be
true does not make it true. The depositional mechanisms of these
Quaternary deposits in Alaska have been discussed in various
publications since "the discovery of impact mega-tsunami as a
geological process." They include Lagroix and Banerjee (2004,
2006), Muhs et al. (2003), and Muhs and Budahn (2006).
Muhs and Budahn (2006), they did a very detail geochemical and
sedimentological analysis of these Alaskan Quaternary deposits.
Muhs and Budahn (2006) found:
"Major-element geochemistry shows that Alaskan loess
also has been derived, at least in part, from sediments
that have undergone one or more cycles of weathering
and Na-plagioclase depletion (Fig. 5). Loess in Alaska,
as elsewhere, appears to have a large component of
particles that have undergone previous cycles of
weathering and specifically Na-plagioclase depletion.
Such particles could be derived from weathered soils,
sedimentary rocks that have experienced a significant
degree of diagenetic alteration, highly altered
metamorphic rocks, or some combination of these
"Fairbanks-area loesses also show typical UCC (upper-
crustal) compositions on REE plots (Fig. 9). Samples at
all depths in all sections show enriched LREE, negative
Eu anomalies, and relatively flat HREE curves. The
Alaskan loess REE trends are in agreement with those
reported by investigators who have studied loess deposits
from other regions (Taylor et al. 1983; Gallet et al. 1996,
1998; Jahn et al. 2001).
They found the geochemical data to be indicative of wind-blown
sediments derived from the floodplains of the in Tanana, Nenana,
and Yukon rivers and typical of other known loess deposits.
There is nothing in their geochemical data, which is indicative
of any extraterrestrial component.
Lagroix, F., and Banerjee, S. K., 2004, The regional and temporal
significance of primary aeolian magnetic fabrics preserved in
Alaskan loess. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. vol. 225,
pp. 379– 395
Lagroix, F., and Banerjee, S. K., 2006, Discussion of "Geochemical
evidence for the origin of late Quaternary loess in central Alaska"
Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. vol. 43, no. 12, pp. 1887-1890.
Muhs, D. R. and Budahn, J. R., 2007, Geochemical evidence for
the origin of late Quaternary loess in central Alaska. vol. 43, no. 3,
Muhs, D. R., Ager, T. A., Bettis, E. A., III, McGeehin, J., Been,
J. M., Begét, J. E., Pavich, M. J., Stafford, T. W., Jr., and
Stevens, D. S. P., 2003, Stratigraphy and paleoclimatic significance
of late Quaternary loess-paleosol sequences of the last
interglacial-glacial cycle in central Alaska: Quaternary Science
Reviews. vol. 22, pp. 1947-1986.
Also a person can look at “A Complex Origin for the Late Quaternary
Loess in Central Alaska by D. R. Muhs and J. R. Budahn at:
"Hibben ascribed them to volcanic activity, and
saw volcanic ash."
The mindless manner in which you keep citing of "Saint Hibbens"
as if he is the infallible source of all information about Pliocene
and Quaternary deposits of Alaska just indicates to me the extent
that you and other catastrophists are quite ignorant of any of
what you call “post war research”. This research clearly
demonstrates that Hibben's observations and interpretations, as in
case of Chinitna Bay, about these sediments are so badly flawed,
antiquated, and unreliable to the point they are quite useless in
any discussion of the origin of these deposits. In addition to these
problems, there exists significant doubts about the basic integrity
of his research concerning both Sandia Cave and Alaskan
early man sites. Some of these doubts are discussed in detail in
"The Mystery of Sandia Cave" by Douglas Preston as published
in the June 12, 1995 edition of the New Yorker Magazine.
Anyone, who automatically assumes that Hibben is a credible
and trustworthy authority needs to read this article.
Yes, there are thin volcanic ash beds ranging from Pliocene, through
the Pleistocene, and into the Holocene in age, which occur these
surficial Pliocene and Quaternary sediments. All they prove is that
major volcanic eruptions, as is typical of the Aleutian arc, have
occurred throughout the late Pliocene, Pleistocene, and Holocene
and 2. that the deposits containing these thin ash beds accumulated episodically over the last
two to three millions years. The wide
range of stratigraphically consistent dates that have obtained from
these ash beds soundly demolishes any claim that these deposits,
even the loess and collivial deposits containing archaeology,
accumulated as the result of single catastrophic event. In addition,
the thinness of all of these ash beds demonstrate cataclysmic
volcanic eruption had nothing to do with the formation of beds.
"To my knowledge, they have never been examined
for impactites; the recent work that was done on the
holocene start impacts was privately funded to the
tune of some $70,000.
I think that ALL of these studies will need to be
re-examined before the questions of depositional
mechanisms is considered settled."
As summarized in Muhs et al. (2003), the fact of the matter is
that the depositional mechanisms that created the Pliocene and
Quaternary deposits covering large areas of Alaska and Adjacent
parts of Canada have been repeatedly examined in very fine detail
a number of times and are extremely well known. There is more
than enough data and observations to found in the published
literature to: 1. soundly demolish any possibility that they contain
any megatsunami deposits and 2. demonstrate that they consist
only of a mixture of loess and colluvium largely derived from
loess. An re-examination of the depositional processes for these
deposits is the equivalent of beating a horse that is not only dead,
but has decomposed into a weathered pile of bones. However,
this is a free country. If you want to waste your life; pour your
personal money down a rathole; and make a complete and utter
fool of yourself by trying to duplicating 60 years and a couple
million dollars worth of geological research, it is your problem
Another is problem is that none of the numerous known examples
of tsunami and megatsunami deposits remotely resemble any of
the Pliocene, Pleistocene, and Holocene deposits within the
Fairbanks, Alaska region. However, that is another two to three
page essay and a couple of dozen citations to add to this post.
Given the way loess accumulates, there could be widely scattered
extraterrestrial / impact-related material to found in these deposits.
However, like the volcanic ash beds found in it, this material will
be completely unrelated to how these sediments accumulated.
Examples of such material, which can be found in loess, is the
horizon of Australasian microtektites, which has been recognized
in loess sections in China (Li et al. 1993) and impactite-bearing
horizons found in Argentine loesses. They would be more practical
and productive stuff to look for.
Li, C. L., Ouyang, Z. Y., Liu, T. S., An, Z. S., 1993.
Microtektites and glassy microspherules in loess—their discoveries
and implications. Science in China B. vol. 36, pp. 1141–1152.
Muhs, D.R., and Bettis, E.A., III, 2003, Quaternary loess-paleosol
sequences as examples of climate-driven sedimentary extremes:
Geological Society of America Special Paper no. 370, pp. 53-74
“Finally, you left Alain and Delair out of your
list of cranks.”
I failed to mention their book because I did not want embarrass
you by associating you with such a laughably ignorant piece of
pseudoscholarship. The degree to which this book is functionally
illiterate in its understanding of Quaternary, planetary, and other
types of geology is shown by the manner in which it confuses
Midwestern glacial tills with either megatsunami or volcanic
deposits and argues that deep sea manganese nodules are the
result of an extraterrestrial impact. This book consists of the type
of very sloppy and careless thinking, which a person expects to
see in the answers to essay questions in freshman level college
courses, but not in a book, which pretends to be a serious piece
of scholarly research. This book is one of the reasons that
research concerning terminal Pleistocene catastrophes has
acquired a significant “giggle factor” among conventional
Some web pages on manganese nodules:
You finely wrote:
“But then as the saying goes, if you can't win on
points, baffle them with BS.”
That you have to dismiss 60 years of “post war research”, which I
discussed in my post, out-of-hand as “BS” just shows to me how
completely lacking in either any evidence or arguments, outside
of Hibben’s antiquated and discredited research, which you have
to support your ideas about there being any tsunami deposits in
the so-called “Alaskan muck”.