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Aerial view of Factory Butte, Utah. Photographer unknown.



Craters and Buttes Part Two
Dec 04, 2009

Craters often have flat bottoms and forty-five degree slopes. Buttes often exhibit forty-five degree shoulders and flat tops.

Crater morphology was discussed in part one of this article. Meteor Crater, Arizona was used to illustrate various anomalies associated with craters, in general. Factors such as steep walls, flat floors, and electrically induced fulgurites (glassified minerals) led to the conclusion that craters on Earth result from lightning strikes of incredible violence. Lightning of strength sufficient to excavate craters that measure up to 100 kilometers in diameter is no longer active on our planet, although it might exist on some of the Solar System's many moons.

Something else that might have been caused by past bursts of intense plasma activity on Earth are buttes, also called mesas, or tepuis. How do craters and buttes relate to one another as the children of catastrophic parentage? Could the same force excise holes in the ground, as well as pile up giant mounds of material, transmogrifying them into layered mountains adorned with embossed Lichtenberg figures as seen in the image at the top of the page?

A fulgamite, or lightning blister, develops when an electric discharge pulls charged material from the surrounding area, incidentally dragging the neutral matter with it. A large enough electric arc will act like an enormous plasma tornado, with an extremely low pressure region in the center enclosed by powerful electromagnetic fields. It is this central vortex that can exert forces that crush and melt dust and other substances until they become stone.

The most notable fulgamite in the Solar System, apart from the largest one, Olympus Mons, is probably the “face on Mars.” Another, except found on Earth, is the Brandberg Massif.

As Electric Universe theorist Wal Thornhill wrote:

"An arc struck to an anode tends to 'stick' in one place, causing much melting and often raising a circular blister, called a fulgamite. Fulgamite scars on lightning arrestors are bell-shaped with a circular crater, or craters, at the summit. They often rise steeply from a circular depression or 'borrow pit,' with many rings. This should sound familiar to any keen observer of Mars. Olympus Mons has all of these strange features, which do not fit the volcano model. The giant volcanoes on Mars are in fact massive fulgamites!"

No one knows how lightning might behave when it is scaled up to continental or planetary dimensions, since activity on that level has never been observed. However, the forensic evidence left behind on Earth, Mars, the Moon, and every other rocky body in the Solar System seems to indicate that it will do the same thing that it does when it is tamed and confined in laboratory plasma experiments.

Mars is a desiccated wasteland, preserved in a low pressure deep-freeze. The winds that blow there might move at over 100 kilometers per hour, but the atmosphere is so thin that the dunes found on the vast desert world might be transported a meter every thousand years. The Mars Exploration Rovers can "feel" no wind, only the gentlest breath of a breeze. Therefore, no erosion issues are present to disguise the effects of past electrical scarring on its surface.

A particular kind of crater found on Mars is called a "rampart crater." Rampart craters are found on top of upraised, wide stoney formations that have vertical walls. In many cases, they have central mountain peaks similar to those that are commonly seen on Earth's Moon. In other cases, the center of the crater is dominated by oddly shaped scallops cut into the floor that crisscross one another.

Mars might be the best place to look for the signs of electricity's "pulling" force. There are regions covering thousands of square kilometers where giant mounds of loose regolith have been turned to stone and then had their summits ripped out almost down to bedrock, leaving conical shells.

Perhaps all craters are fulgamites with their tops electrically eroded. Depending on the power, an electric arc might leave the fulgamite intact before leaping upward to complete a circuit with whatever it was that initiated the leader stroke. In that instance, there will be no crater on top.

Electric Universe pioneer Ralph Juergens explained the structure of Tycho Crater on the Moon in electrical terms:

"The visual evidence suggests that triggering electrons for the Tycho discharge were assembled by means of an atmospheric-breakdown process that drew them from numerous distant points in all directions and hauled them over the surface to a common collection point. On the far side of the Moon are several more long-rayed craters, presumably marking sites where much the same thing happened; these, too, are located in highland terrain."

A plasma leader stroke descending towards the surface of a planet might cause oppositely charged rocks and sand to gather from hundreds of kilometers, leaving Lichtenberg trackways that point to where a secondary return stroke is building up, awaiting a discharge trigger. As the electric current flow reaches up to meet the leader stroke, the materials mound up, but being similarly charged, create repulsion, so the mound will be loosely formed at first.

When a certain critical threshold is reached, the two electric filaments meet and the secondary stroke jumps upward, pulling the center of the mound out with it, excavating it like a rotating auger of fire. The reason that craters have raised rims is that they are all that remains of the original mound of loose material. Once the discharge occurs, thermal and magnetic effects fuse the remnants into solid stone.

Stephen Smith




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