Throughout our solar system, on rocky planets, moons, asteroids, and comets we see evidence for events never discussed in standard geological textbooks. We see carpets of highly circular, cleanly cut craters and crater chains, in defiance of the notion of periodic bombardments shaping these rocky topographies. We have suggested that these features have been carved by high-energy electrical discharges, a hypothesis supported by decades of laboratory experiments. On our own planet, we also see abundant evidence for the geological influences of a kind of cosmic lightning. In these episodes, we are considering that complex processes in electrical discharges may help to explain the extraordinary geology of the American southwest.
In the previous Space News, Thunderbolts contributor Andrew Hall proposed that a process known as sputtering discharge produced the amazing features in Utah’s Canyonlands called the Arches. Today, in part two of this three-part presentation, Hall presents his case that the same electrical processes produced countless of the spectacular, sharply cut features seen throughout the Colorado Plateau.
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