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Chain Of Giant Arctic Craters Likely Caused By Climate-Altering Supervolcanoes

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Figure 1.) Rendition of a Supervolcanic Eruption (Image Credit: MARK GARLICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRA/Getty Images/Science Photo Libra, see here)

A 2,000-mile-long linear chain of giant craters located in the Arctic is the likely result of multiple climate-altering supervolcanic eruptions associated with the movement of the North American continent across an underlying non-moving deep earth lower mantle superplume, not random meteor impact strikes.

For many years an impassioned debate has been waged between those who believe these Arctic craters are astronomical in origin with those favoring a volcanic eruption origin.

The recent discovery by the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) of two giant craters beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet that is positioned along the Arctic crater trend has pushed this debate back into the spotlight. NASA has stated in no uncertain terms that these two new craters are of astronomical origin.

However, NASA and those advocating an astronomical origin for this chain of giant Arctic craters have failed to include two extremely relevant and telling lines of evidence, the regional geological setting and the dynamics of supervolcanic eruptions.

Regional Geological Setting

A critical factor in determining the origin of giant crater features is to research, understand and then incorporate the Regional Geological Setting. Failure to do this, especially early on, leads to an investigation process that is too narrowly focused.

Limiting the investigation area to a very small geographical area when reviewing world-class-sized crater features, especially those that occur in groups, is an inherently bad idea. The result of this narrow focusing is to bias the search for which massive force or forces is behind the giant craters.

Specifically, biasing scientists to look upward into the vast expanse of outer space rather than looking laterally at regionally extensive geological features.

So, let’s review and then determine the relevance of the regional geological setting associated with the 2,500-mile-long linear chain of giant Arctic craters.

Several observations are extremely telling. First, as per Figure 2, the giant Arctic craters are positioned along with a linear trend which is unusual because meteor Impacts are distributed randomly across the earth and not aligned along with trends.

Figure 2.) A 2,000-mile-long chain of Arctic crater features (red circles) defined by geological, topographic, and research study evidence. Craters are positioned above a major fault shown as a thick black dashed line. (map credit Google Earth, fault line credit and labeling credit J. Kamis).

The trend coincides with the surface trace of a well-mapped major deep-inner earth-reaching fault system (see here).

Major fault trends often act to provide an open pathway for deep inner earth hot lava/magma to explode upward and onto the Earth’s surface. Current information indicates that the Arctic crater features are progressively younger in age to the northeast.

Secondly, major fault trends can tap into extremely deep non-moving/fixed lava pockets (magma chambers) termed lower mantle superplumes.

When activated superplumes violently explode upward along the fault planes thereby periodically expulsing super-high pressure and massive volumes of magma upward and onto outer continental rock layers in the form of supervolcanic eruptions.

As outer continental rock layers move sideways, per continental drift, across the underlying and non-moving superplume, the process creates a long linear chain of supervolcanic eruptions that are progressively younger in one direction. This is exactly what is thought to have occurred with the Arctic craters.

This idea is strengthened by comparison to other analog regional geological settings. An excellent example is the Snake River Plain Volcanic region (see here, here and here).

A 450-mile-long chain of large volcanic eruptions that are progressively younger to the northeast and ultimately terminate at the Yellowstone Supervolcanic Eruption Complex (Figure 3).

Figure 3.) Comparison of here contended to be a chain of Snake River Plain Super-Plume Hotspots which show up as circular collapsed volcanoes (Calderas) with the chain of giant Arctic craters. (credit image Google Earth and J. Kamis.)

The Snake Palin is expressed at the surface by a topographic low which is the result of downward movement along with major deep-earth-reaching fault zone.

Next, NASA researchers and others have confirmed the effects of an ancient mantle plume that affected various locations along a 1,500-mile stretch from northern Greenland to Iceland. Iceland sits atop the current position of the mantle plume (see here).

Relic bedrock heat flow from this ancient mantle plume is still anomalously high and thereby acting to bottom melt a huge swath of Greenland’s glacial ice sheet.

As a side note, the author has identified three additional giant craters associated with the giant Arctic trend (see Appendix 1). They are not included in this discussion because they are speculative/unproven, however well worth further investigation.

Dynamics of supervolcanic eruptions

The dynamics of supervolcanic eruptions is not well understood, however, recent research has shed light on how these monster volcanoes operate as follows:

  • Eruptions are located above major fault systems that tap down into the earth’s mantle or more likely lower mantle. These types of faults have non-complex plumbing systems (large open vertical pathways) that allow expulsed lava to rise upward at very high speeds.
  • Eruptions occur periodically as high pressure in the deep lava pockets exceeds the capability of the vertical fault system to keep the lava chamber from exploding upward.
  • High-pressure pulses are the result of the rapid warming of water present in the hot lava and not a movement of the lava pocket. Explosive release of huge lava pockets can occur in an extremely short time frame, as little as 48 hours!
  • For a more detailed explanation, the reader is directed here, here and here.

The dynamics of supervolcanic eruptions also affects the development of minerals within the hot lava mixture.

For many years the presence of the rare metal iridium in rock layers surrounding Earth’s giant crater features was considered by many scientists as strong proof and some said absolute proof, that the crater was of meteor impact origin.

This was based on the then thought to be 100% settled scientific fact that Iridium is common in meteors but extremely rare in earth’s outer crust rock layers.

Therefore, finding significant concentrations of iridium in rock layers that form the circular rim of Earth’s giant crater features must be strong proof of a meteor impact origin.

This supposed scientific fact has since been proven to be incorrect, primarily because significant concentrations of Iridium have been discovered in one of the largest outflows of molten lava on earth, the Deccan Traps.

This huge geographically extensive geological feature is not a crater and is now thought to be one of the primary and some say the root cause of the Great Dinosaur Extinction Event (Gerta Keller Princeton University and here).

The Deccan Traps lava flows were sourced by an underlying major fault break (see here and here) extending downward into Earth’s iridium rich mantle.

It is now accepted that the presence of Iridium in crater rocks is not absolute proof of a meteor impact origin, rather proof of a meteor impact or supervolcanic eruption (see here).

As was true with Iridium, for many years the presence of the rare mineral termed Shock Quartz in rock layers surrounding earth’s giant crater features was considered by many scientists as strong proof, and some said absolute proof, that the crater was of meteor impact origin.

New research has shown that shock quartz can theoretically be generated by supervolcanic eruptions as has recently been proven to be the case with the transformation of carbon to diamonds (see here and quote below).

“These findings contradict recent molecular dynamics simulation results for the shock-induced graphite-to-diamond transformation and provide a benchmark for future theoretical simulations. Additionally, our results show that an earlier report of HD forming above 170 GPa for shocked pyrolytic graphite may lead to incorrect interpretations of meteor impact events…The coupling of planar impact experiments and synchrotron XRD measurements has provided real-time, in situ structural information on the shock-induced graphite-to-diamond transformation. Shock-compressed pyrolytic graphite transforms to HD at a much lower stress than previously reported (35) and without CD formation. In addition to graphite, other shock-compressed minerals (for example, quartz) that transform to high-pressure structures are also used as markers for meteorite impacts (44). Thus, experimental results—similar to those presented here for the graphite-to-diamond transformation—can greatly benefit studies of shock metamorphism in other minerals.” (see here)

Shock Quartz is generated by an almost instantaneous pulse of super-high pressure onto relatively low-temperature, silica-rich molten lava/magma which is here contended to be the case with violent supervolcanic eruptions fed by magma from lower Mantle superplumes.

Other Evidence

The Nastapoka Arc (Figure 2) which is one of the larger crater-like features in the Arctic and has been research-proven to be absent of Iridium and Shock Quartz. This throws into question the consensus scientific theory that this crater and other craters along this trend are 100% proven to be of astronomical origin.

Regional geological mapping also shows that this arc is likely not of meteor impact origin because the arc is not circular feature, rather a distinct semi-circle sharply cut off by a major fault (see here).

Recent research studies have confirmed that all five Earth’s climate-altering mass extinctions are the result of massive world-class pulses of volcanism from land and ocean geological features including the previously thought to be Meteor Impact end of the dinosaurs.

These extinction events include the Ordovician (450 MYA), Devonian (370 MYA), Permian (252 MYA), Triassic (200 Mya), and K-Pg (dinosaur). The main take away from these volcanically induced mass extinctions is that until very recently many mass extinctions were still attributed to astronomical forces.

So, it is always a good idea to follow proper scientific methodology, keep an open mind and evaluate new data. Theories can change even those thought to be 100% settled.

Numerous World-Class Rare Metallic Mineral Mines are located south of the chain of Arctic craters all associated with deep earth reaching major fault systems.

Fault systems that brought rare minerals to the surface likely from the Lower Mantle. This emphasizes the important and very active role of regional geological features in the Arctic craters area.


Convincing, abundant and reliable evidence indicates that a long linear chain of giant crater features located in northeast Canada and northern Greenland are of supervolcanic and not astronomical in origin.

This includes the two recently discovered giant subglacial crater features located in northwest Greenland and three new giant crater features designated by the author (see Appendix 1).

In the past, the scientific community has in some cases narrowly focused their investigation of earth’s giant crater features in limited geographical regions, thereby not properly evaluating the significance of the regional geological setting.

In addition, they have not correctly interpreted the presence or absence of Iridium and Shock Quartz. Nor have they taken into consideration the growing amount of evidence that supervolcanic eruptions are a different kind of beast.

It’s way past time for the consensus scientific community to inform the public that supervolcanic eruptions have in past acted to control much of Earth’s climate and have forced many anomalous climate-related events most notably mass extinctions.

In a broader sense, this is yet another example of how geological forces have an underappreciated, underestimated but significant influence on our planet’s climate as per the Plate Climatology Theory.


This article is not intended to cast aspersions on NASA, other scientific organizations, or the dedicated high-skilled staff of scientists working for these organizations.

Rather it is intended to present a plausible alternative explanation of a long linear chain of giant climate-altering craters located in the Arctic.

Neither is this article intended to imply that all crater giant features are of supervolcanic origin.

However, the author strongly believes that it is critical to take into account the regional geological setting and the possible involvement of supervolcanic eruptions when attempting to determine the origin of the earth’s giant crater features.

James Edward Kamis is a retired professional Geologist with 42 years of experience, a B.S. in Geology from Northern Illinois University (1973), an M.S. in geology from Idaho State University (1977), and a longtime member of AAPG who has always been fascinated by the connection between Geology and Climate. More than 42 years of research/observation have convinced him that Geological forces, especially Earth’s Upper Mantle Convection Systems which drive the dynamics of outer crustal plates, are an important driver of the Earth’s climate as per his Plate Climatology Theory.

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