Masse, W., Bryant, E., Gusiakov, V., Abbott, D., Rambolamana, G., Raza, H., Courty, M., Breger, D., Gerard-Little, P. and Burckle, L., 2006, December. Holocene Indian Ocean cosmic impacts: The megatsunami chevron evidence from Madagascar. In AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts (Vol. 1, p. 1244).


The 2.6 million year Quaternary period terrestrial physical record lacks definitive crater evidence for major regional catastrophic impacts by asteroids and comets other than the 10.5-km diameter Botsumtwi structure in Ghana and the 14.0-km diameter Zhamanshin structure in Kazakhstan [1] dating between about 900 and 1100 kya. Current cosmic impact rate models suggest that an average of between 3-6 globally catastrophic impacts should have occurred on the Earth during the Quaternary, along with several additional significant regional impacts in addition to Zhamanshin and Botsumtwi. These models and data indicate that the great majority of the "missing" major impact locations would likely have occurred in poorly studied oceanic settings. Only recently have Late Quaternary and Holocene period coastal paleo-megatsunami chevron deposits been defined in the Caribbean and along the western coasts of Australia, along with the suggestion that some may have been created by oceanic cosmic impacts in distinction to those caused by landslips, eruptions, and seismic events. We investigate the possibility that many or most megatsunami chevrons occurring along the southern coast of Madagascar were caused by two or more major Holocene Indian Ocean cosmic impacts. This hypothesis is based on an initial study of the worldwide archaeological and anthropological record, and the preliminary study of satellite images of the chevrons, selected Indian Ocean deep-sea cores, sea-floor bathymetry, and physical examination of the Madagascar deposits themselves. Candidate Indian Ocean impact structures are identified and correlated with the southern Madagascar megatsunami chevron deposits. [1] Masse, W.B. 2007 The Archaeology and Anthropology of Quaternary Period Cosmic Impact. In Bobrowsky, P.T. & Rickman, H. (eds.)Comets/Asteroid Impacts and Human Society. Springer, Berlin (in press).