T. rex and the crater of doom essay

They reveal the provocative nature of science and how it raises profound and sometimes uncomfortable truths as it advances. The search for an impact crater caused Alvarez to turn to evidence of a tsunamiwhich a large impact would have likely caused if it had occurred in the middle of the ocean.

Questions?

Vaporized impactor and debris from the impact site were blasted out through the atmosphere, falling back to Earth all around the globe. The only option Alvarez had left was to find undisturbed sediment left over from the impact still on the surface rock layer somewhere in northeastern Mexico.

In a good mystery story where the crime is concealed almost perfectly, there is usually a red herring to confuse the detectives. If we could find an exposure of marine sediments near the edge of an ocean, with a turbidite right at the boundary, it would point to that ocean as the site of the impact.

Clearly, such a narrative can grow only from intimate understanding of the complex and varied scientific material that, for Alvarez, has fostered poetic, lucid simplification without simplism. He understands, as Voltaire maintained, that the adjective should be treated as the natural enemy of the noun.

As the search for more KT localities continued, Beloc was just another deep-water KT iridium site on a growing list. It is a saga of high adventure in remote parts of the world, of patient data collection, of lonely intellectual struggle, of long periods of frustration ended by sudden breakthroughs, of intense public debate, of friendships made or lost, of the exhilaration of discovery, and of delight as a fascinating story unfolded.

T. Rex and the Crater of Doom

William GlenIsisMarchpg. Some species may have been largely eliminated immediately; others disappeared more gradually. We had been fooled for years, but we were about to stumble onto the flaw in the nearly perfect concealment. However, there was a tiny flaw in the concealment.

The age of the crater needed to be determined if it was going to be a candidate for the KT boundary impact, but access to the region was limited by the crater being buried over time and the core samples obtained by the geologists had been lost.

The main clue would come from somewhere else. Eventually the detective finds the flaw, the rest of the disguise crumbles away, and the culprit is finally exposed. It was close enough that a tsunami was generated in the adjacent ocean anyway—perhaps by debris from the crater falling into the deep water nearby, or from seismic waves or submarine landslides triggered by the impact.

He published a paper on Beloc in —the same year as the original iridium discovery papers— and then, learning of our work, he sent samples to Berkeley. This, with the plentiful fossilized material of extinct foraminiferaallowed them to date the time differences between each reversal and catalog the species of microscopic life found in each era.

It left evidence of its passage in the form of a torn-up sea bottom covered by sedimentary debris—the evidence we were seeking. The discovery was made thanks to a graduate student named Alan Hildebrand that notified Alvarez of the evidence of a crater on the Yucatan peninsulawhich had never been published in the scientific literature by the Mexican petroleum geologists that had found it.

The stories behind these four discoveries reflect more than the fascinating push and pull of scientific work. Just above this boundary, there was a thick layer that had no evidence of fossils at all, pointing to an almost complete extinction of microscopic sea life.T.

rex and the Crater of Doom gets the facts across in a lighthearted, almost playful manner. But it's also solid science, a clear and efficient exposition that conveys plenty /5(84).

C H A P T E R 6 The Crater of Doom Throughout the decade of the s, more and more evidence was discovered that supported the impact theory for the KT extinction, but the impact site remained frustratingly. T. rex and the Crater of Doom gets the facts across in a lighthearted, almost playful manner.

But it's also solid science, a clear and efficient exposition that conveys plenty of cogent detail while keeping an eye on the subtle interplay of thought, action, and personality that makes scientific research such arresting human behavior.

"T. rex" and the Crater of Doom Walter Alvarez, Carl Zimmer Published by Princeton University Press Alvarez, Walter & Zimmer, Carl.

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