How Prehistoric Glaciers Could Have Been Formed Part 4

Written by Jerry Krause PhD (Chemistry)

Abstract: In this essay I attempt to regroup.  I do this by reviewing two factors (the centrifugal effect and impulse) to possibly explain how a prehistoric glacier which melted a little south of 45o North latitude (45N) could have gotten there.

For less than a few hundred yards south of the barn, on the farm (44.75N, 96.77W) where I lived for my first 20 plus years of life, were several large erratic boulders.  About this there can be no question.

Essay

The obvious factor, as already stated, is that it has to snow a lot to form a thick sheet of snow and ice capable of moving large boulders.  Another is the Arctic Ocean (AO); somewhat centered on the North Pole (NP), and which extends to near the boundary of the Arctic Circle (AC) at about 67N.  We also have proposed there needs to be heat (energy) to evaporate a lot of water to form a lot of snow which falls on the landmasses to the south of the AO.  So, we have reviewed that there is evidence of significant volcanic activity beneath the AO to possibly provide this necessary energy.

The movements of all glaciers being observed today are caused by gravity as these glaciers are formed by snow at high elevations after which snow and ice ultimately slide down slopes to lower elevations.

I have questioned why it has been proposed that these prehistoric glaciers of the North Hemisphere (NH) had thicknesses maybe as great as two miles.  Maybe the reasoning has been that this thickness is necessary to provide a necessary slope to slide the glaciers to 45N?

There is a factor, about which I cannot remember as reading, relative to glaciers, that I propose could help move ice sheets of a more modest thickness to 45N.  This factor is the centrifugal effect.  This factor is the result of the observed fact that the Earth does not stand still.  Instead it rotates about the NP:  the cause of the centrifugal effect which can only pull matter toward lower latitudes.

However, when I began to review what I knew about the Earth, there appeared a problem.  Without going into details, it is known that the circumference of the equator is significantly greater that the circumference of the great circle that passes through the poles.  This observed difference between these two circumferences seemed to be unquestionable evidence that there had to be a significant upward slope of the earth’s surface from the poles to the equator.  Hence, it seemed that this slope was balancing the influence of the centrifugal effect.  Hence, I could not use the centrifugal effect to move glaciers to 45N.  It just kept the glaciers from sliding back toward the NP.

I finally asked myself:  What am I assuming that might not be the truth (correct)?  Which question, given my recent blatant wrong assumption, should always be asked.  I had been assuming each of the two circumferences was of a sphere.  Which obviously, given the two different circumferences, the earth is not.  The earth is an ellipsoid; or as I discovered, a spheroid.

“A sphere is based on a circle, while a spheroid (or ellipsoid) is based on an ellipse. A spheroid, or ellipsoid, is a sphere flattened at the poles.” (Wikipedia)  Another way this could be stated is: that the curvature of the earth’s surface is greater at the equator than it is at its poles.  Hence, I can use the centrifugal effect to move the ice sheet as well as the AC’s atmosphere and any of its clouds toward 45N.

Another seldom mentioned factor of physics is impulse—force times the time the force is active—which in the case of gravity and the centrifugal effect is continuously.  Newton noted the importance of impulse upon the very elliptical orbits of comets which approached the sun so closely that the incoming comet can become an outgoing comet in little more than a day (24 hours).  For he wrote that the greater gravity of Jupiter and the massive planets beyond Jupiter did not have much influence upon these comet’s orbits as the comets passed by these planets because their gravities at this time had little time to the influence the movement of the comet.  Instead, it could be the much weaker forces of these planets which might influence the comet’s future path because of the long period of time involved as the comet very slowly moved at the outer edge of our solar system.

Relative to the possible movement of a massive ice sheet by the centrifugal effect, we must recognize that first the horizontal influence of the centrifugal effect increases as the distance from the pole increases and then begins to decrease as the vertical influence of the centrifugal effect increases as the distance from the pole increases.  A good logician, which I am not, could calculate at what latitude the vertical component of the CE would become equal to its horizontal component.

Relative to the ice sheet which melted and left erratic boulder on our farm’s field, the present elevation of the land for hundreds of miles to the north increases from Hudson Bay to about 50 miles north of our farm and lesser number of miles to 45N.

My point is that either the snow had to build a mountain for a downward slope for the glacier to slide southward or it had to build a far less thick base to level the playing field and to allow the centrifugal effect to slide the ice sheet southward to 45N.  Or, more likely it could have been a combination of these two factors which could decrease the amount of snow fall necessary.

I am not imagining the existence of the erratic boulders at my family’s farm.  They require an explanation.  And anyone is free to comment with their ideas.


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Comments (13)

  • Avatar

    Herb Rose

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    Hi Jerry,
    Was there an analysis of the boulders done to determine exactly where they came from? That would help in determining how they got there.
    Have a good day,
    Herb

    • Avatar

      jerry krause

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      Hi Herb,

      Knowing where they came from would not help determining how they got there. It is a given that they came from somewhere north of where they lay in the field as we farmed around them. I cannot write that where they now lay because with the modern, bigger equipment they have been either buried deeper or moved to a ‘stone’ and ‘boulder’ pile. It is a given that there is other evidence (sand) of the glacier action for feet beneath the ‘top soil’ we farmed where there were no erratic boulders on the top soil which needed to be farmed around.

      Have a good day, Jerry

  • Avatar

    jerry krause

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    Hi Herb,

    Knowing where they came from would not help determining how they got there. It is a given that they came from somewhere north of where they lay in the field as we farmed around them. I cannot write that where they now lay because with the modern, bigger equipment they have been either buried deeper or moved to a ‘stone’ and ‘boulder’ pile. It is a given that there is other evidence (sand) of the glacier action for feet beneath the ‘top soil’ we farmed where there were no erratic boulders on the top soil which needed to be farmed around.

    Have a good day, Jerry

  • Avatar

    T. C. Clark

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    Randall Carlson has examined the catastrophic flooding and the North American ice sheet of the Younger-Dryas time and he noted that huge boulders were likely carried by icebergs and the icebergs dropped the boulders after melting. Randall has lots of videos on Youtube.

  • Avatar

    Maurice Lavigne

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    The thickest ice during the last glaciation was over what is now James Bay, or southern Hudson Bay, which is today, as it was then, a continental depression. From this centre the ice flowed in all directions except north. This fact favours that this ice built up thick enough to create its own downhill and is not consistent with what you would expect if it was dominated by centrifugal force.
    The “erratics” were carried within or on top of the ice and are simply the remains of ice that melted away and whose waters carried away the smaller fragments.
    Occasionally the erratics are distinctive rock types that match bedrock from specific locations often as far as 500 miles away.
    Glaciers are the most destructive force on this planet and I hope this planet warms up another 8 degrees C to put an end to the 2.5 million year long ice age we find ourselves in.

    • Avatar

      jerry krause

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      Hi Maurice,

      I found that your name appears in a book ‘Breakfast at the Hoito’ at Thunder Bay. So I assume, perhaps wrongly, that you live there, or have lived there. So I am curious about the source of your knowledge about glaciers.

      Have a good day, Jerry

  • Avatar

    Matt Holl

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    Hi Jerry Krause and PSI readers.

    I was checking out Episodic Tremor and Slip (slow slip) plate tectonics when I came across American Geological Institute’s “AGI’s ‘Faces of Earth’ Series on YouTube”

    The third of the four part documentary series called Faces of Earth-Assembling America has a section informing the viewer on how the Washington State scablands came to be, the melting of the North America glaciers and the ice dam collapse causing a mega flood that likely deposited boulders on Jerry’s farm.

    Fascinating.

    Have a nice day. Matt

    • Avatar

      Matt

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      Don’t choke on your cornflakes, but we have made a mistake.
      The above reference should be to The American Geosciences Institute.
      Matt, WhoKoo, Toto’s Fan, and Moffin.

    • Avatar

      Jerry Krause

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      Hi Matt,

      We can be certain that the Mega Flood did not deposit boulders on our farm for there is ridge called the Rocky Mountains between Missoula MT and Clear Lake SD.

      And another simple fact is that the Washington State scablands are west of Missoula and not east.

      Matt, when you read or observe, you must look for relationships between the facts you see before you leap.

      Have a good day, Jerry

      • Avatar

        Matt

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        Point taken Jerry.

        I got over enthused by the documentary referring to a little about that which you have written and forgot to not run off at the mouth without putting my brain into gear.

        The documentary states the ridge called the Rocky Mountains was once higher than the Himalayas.

        In New Zealand we have a current Slow Slip event off Gisborne where the Pacific Plate is subducting under the Australian Plate and one months slow slip would have been a 7.1 Richter scale event if it had only taken one minute.

        Have a great 2020 Jerry.

        • Avatar

          Jerry Krause

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          Hi Matt,

          Off the coast of Oregon there is similar slow slip occurring which periodically registers in the 4’s. It my hypothesis the these slow slips are good, because they obviously relieve stresses. One should get ready for a bigger slip when these slow slips stop occurring.

          Have a good day, Jerry

          • Avatar

            Jerry Krause

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            Hi Matt,

            And I have to just accept that I make so many errors. But a good observer might help me by recognizing what I intended to write I hope.

            Again, Jerry

Comments are closed