DEEP IMPACT, New Hypothesis Of The Tunguska Explosion
Space Daily, Novosibirsk, Sept 2, 2002
A geologist from Novosibirsk has set up a new hypothesis of the explosion in Podkamennaya Tunguska, which took place on June 30, 1908. It was not a meteorite that caused such extensive destructions and conflagration, but a fluid jet, which had shot up under high pressure from the interior of the Earth. The event which occurred almost a hundred years ago in Podkamennaya Tunguska has drawn scientists' attention again. What actually exploded at that time in the remote taiga, the power of explosion being equal to the 50-megaton H-bomb? The hypothesis that it was a meteorite or any other extraterrestrial object has not quite satisfied inquisitive minds, since too many puzzles remain unsolved. A geologist Vladimir Epifanov, Siberian Research Institute of Geology, Geophysics and Mineral, reported to the recent Conference "Degasification of the Earthe" (Moscow) that the reason for the explosion could have been a powerful fluid jet suddenly shot up from the depth of the planet.
Extensive carbohydrates accumulations exist in the area where the alleged 'Tunguska meteorite' fell down. Two abyssal breaks in this area split the sedimentary rock containing the gas-and-oil fields and gas-condensate fields sealed up by basalts on top, the basalts streamed from multiple fissures and volcanoes 200 million years ago. The epicentre of the explosion is located just above one of the ancient craters. The scientist assumes that the gases associated with the oil deposits, and methane produced in the depths of coal beds were accumulated under a thick cover of basalts and then they broke free one day. It seems that a moderate earthquake could have promoted the process. The gas kick started nine days prior to the major explosion, a narrow jet of gases rushed up southbound. The fluid jet from under the earth was accompanied by dust, and the wind carried the dust to the west. In the upper layers of atmosphere a layer of aerosols was formed. This layer charged with electricity could have produced the fatal 'sparkle'. It put on fire the top of the liquid jet, and the fire ball rushed towards the Earth. In the oxygen saturated layer of atmosphere the fire ball exploded, the blast wave stirred up the ground, and the gas discharge ceased.
The conflagration was in full swing in the area of explosion, however the trees in the epicentre remained alive. An ice dome was probably formed around the place where from the gas discharged, similar to that as it gets formed in a refrigerator when the gas goes through a narrow opening and then gets into a large chamber. It is interesting to note that the local carbohydrates are rich in helium, which could have ensured the H-bomb effect. Vladimir Epifanov is perplexed by some circumstances of the Tunguska catastrophe, the extraterrestrial hypothesis being unable to account for them. For instance, not all the trees in the epicentre got burned. Judging by the strength of the blast wave, radiation burn, pine-tree mutations and other parameters, the event resembles the H-bomb explosion, except for high radiation. The motion path of the exploded body is such that it could hardly be a spaceship or a meteorite, the substance of which has never been found in the soil. All these facts have made the scientist think about an earthly nature of the explosion, particularly because such conjectures were made more than once by researchers in different years. Thus, in the middle of the 80s A.A. Rastegin, geologist from Novosibirsk, pointed out that the epicentre of the explosion was indeed located above a major gas accumulation.