Electric Scarring of the Earth's Surface

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Scientific Paper
Title Electric Scarring of the Earth\'s Surface
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Author(s) Paul E Anderson
Keywords {{{keywords}}}
Published 2012
Journal Proceedings of the NPA
Volume 9
No. of pages 8
Pages 4-11

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This paper explores the hypothesis that most canyons and riverbeds were initially formed by electrical events and not by fluvial erosion. The macroscale appearance of river beds, mountain ranges, and other geological features exhibit characteristics which are typical of electric scarring on a dielectric medium. An attempt was made to systematically quantify the differences in geologic structures by fractal dimensions measurements using the Box counting method. High altitude images of selected geological formations were analyzed. The geological features exhibited self-affinity, a characteristic of electrical discharges, but not a characteristic of unconfined fluvial systems. When the images were skeletonized, it was found that the fractal dimensions of the geologic structures (N = 15) were not dissimilar to the fractal dimensions of electric discharges on dielectric media (N = 9, p = 0.902, Tukey-Kramer HSD); in contrast the same geologic structures were dissimilar from known geological structures arising from fluvial events (N = 7, p < 0.0001), and the fluvial events were also dissimilar from electrical discharges (p < 0.0001). Supplementary Monte Carlo simulations augmented these findings. Other methodologies were explored in attempts to quantify the energies involved in such events. The electrical discharge energy required for rock removal to create the Grand Canyon was calculated using known explosive equivalencies. The energy was found to be equivalent to about 4-5 times the current level of solar output (~2 x 1013 watts), consistent with past literature on the subject. Other implications to the field of geology will be discussed as well.