Author: Heinz-Juergen Brink
Recent observations of young volcanism on the near-Earth terrestrial planets require a new understanding. Magmatic/volcanic episodes on Venus, Mars and Mercury, as well as on Earth’s Moon, are apparently contemporaneous thermal events that accompanied increased magmatic/volcanic activity on Earth, following a 300-Myr cycle. A collateral galactic thermal source in the Milky Way appears to be needed that would predominantly affect the interior of the planets and, perhaps indirectly, Earth’s biosphere, compared to other galactic sources, such as intense cosmic rays or large, rocky bolides. The search for such a source leads to near-Earth supernovae, with their neutrino output, and to the question of whether those neutrinos could act as energy transmitters to heat up the body of Earth, and also enhance its short-term magmatic processes; for example, Cenozoic anorogenic volcanism. This observation challenges present assumptions and paradigms about Earth’s history, and requires the following reconsiderations: 1) the real origin of the end-Cretaceous mass extinction; 2) the general radioactive age determinations of rocks; and 3) geodynamic modelling using additional, external heat sources.
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