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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Oct 27;106(43):18155-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0907857106. Epub 2009 Oct 12.

An independent evaluation of the Younger Dryas extraterrestrial impact hypothesis.

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1
Department of Anthropology, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82070, USA. surovell@uwyo.edu

Abstract

Based on elevated concentrations of a set of "impact markers" at the onset of the Younger Dryas stadial from sedimentary contexts across North America, Firestone, Kennett, West, and others have argued that 12.9 ka the Earth experienced an impact by an extraterrestrial body, an event that had devastating ecological consequences for humans, plants, and animals in the New World [Firestone RB, et al. (2007) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104:16016-16021]. Herein, we report the results of an independent analysis of magnetic minerals and microspherules from seven sites of similar age, including two examined by Firestone et al. We were unable to reproduce any results of the Firestone et al. study and find no support for Younger Dryas extraterrestrial impact.

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