1 post • joined 2 Apr 2008
The Köfels (Pseudo)impact is Too Old and Not an Impact Site
There is a significant problem with this specific theory as the Kofels landslide / (Pseudo)impact is too old to the alleged impact that is allegedly described in the tablet. First, about the Kofels landslide, Hermanns et al. (2006) stated:
“Pieces of wood recovered from a reconnaissance gallery in the Tauferberg gave a conventional 14C age of 8710+/-150 years BP (Heuberger, 1966), and an AMS 14C age of 8705+/-55 years BP (Ivy-Ochs et al., 1998),”
If a person presume that the 700 BC date is calender years, the transformation of years C14 to calender years gives a calibrated date of 9683 ± 90 BP (about 9700 BP) for the Köfels landslide. Thus, in calender years, the landslide happene about 7,000 years before the cuneiform clay tablet was made and about 4,600 years before 3123 BC (5123 BP) when it is argued that the impact occurred. The Köfels landslide occurred thousand of years before either the tablet was argued to have been made, or the when the alleged impact was suppose to have occurred. The Köfels landslide is much too old to have any connection with any of them.
Hermanns, R., L. Blikra, M. Naumann, B. Nilsen, K. Panthi, D. Stromeyer, and O. Longva, 2006, Examples of multiple rock-slope collapses from Köfels (Ötz valley, Austria) and western Norway. Engineering Geology. vol. 83, no. 1-3, pp. 94-108.
Heuberger, H., 1966, Gletschergeschichtliche Untersuchungen in den Zentralalpen zwischen Sellrain-und Otztal. Wissenschaftliche Alpenvereinshefte. no. 20.
Ivy-Ochs, S., H. Heuberger, P. W. Kubik, H. Kerschner, G. Bonani, M. Frank, and C. Schluchter, 1998, The age of the Köfels event. Relative, 14C and cosmogenic isotope dating of an early Holocene landslide in the central Alps (Tyrol, Austria). Zeitschrift fur Gletscherkunde und Glazialgeologie. vol. 34, pp. 57–70.
Also, there is a discussion of the evidence for the Köfels landslide being an meteorite / comet impact in:
Deutsch, A., C. Koeberl, J.D. Blum, B.M. French, B.P. Glass, R. Grieve, P. Horn, E.K. Jessberger, G. Kurat, W.U. Reimold, J. Smit, D. stoffler, and S.R. Taylor, 1994, The impact-flood connection: Does it exist? Terra Nova. vol. 6, pp. 644-650.
They found a complete lack of any credible evidence for an impact having created the Köfels landslide. The alleged "shock quartz" found by earlier investigators was discredited as neither being "shock quartz" nor formed by an impact. The melted rock associated with this landslide was identified as "frictionite" created by frictional heat generated by the landslide, the largest in Europe as discussed by:
Erismann, T. H., 1977, Der bimsstein von Köfels impaktit oder friktionit?. Material und Technik. vol. 5, pp. 190–196. Erismann, T. H., H. Heuberger, and E. Preuss, 1977, Der Bimsstein von Köfels (Tirol), ein Bergsturz-“Friktionit. Mineralogy and Petrology. vol. 24, no. 1-2, pp. 67-119.
Masch, L., H. R. Wenk, and E. Preuss, 1985. Electron microscopy study of hyalomylonites-evidence for frictional melting in landslides. Tectonophysics. vol. 115, pp. 131–160.
These above studies clearly demonstrate that the estimated kinetic energy of the rock mass displaced by the landslide would have generated the heat necessary to melt the rock and form the “pumice”, which they called “frictionite”.
Sorenson et al. (2003) concluded:
“Analysis of the Köfels sturzstrom seems to indicate that most aspects can be explained without recourse to exotic emplacement scenarios. The bulk of the material resembles the debris from an energetic but conventional landslide.”
Sorensen, S.-A., and Berthold Bauer, 2003, On the dynamics of the Köfels sturzstrom. Geomorphology, vol. 54, no. 1-2, pp. 11-19.
Go look at "Cause effect models of large mass movements" at
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