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The Role of Explosive Phenomena in Cosmogonic Processes

sciences, earth, geological, planets and science

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THE ROLE OF EXPLOSIVE PHENOMENA IN COSMOGONIC PROCESSES In ancient times the science of the Earth was simply a description of the geometry of the flat surface of the planet. Now, however, the Earth sciences include a series of geological and geographical sciences which study the shape and size of the Earth, the regularities in the development of surface and underground processes, the formation of rocks and minerals, the distribution of rocks and minerals, and methods of pros pecting for various rocks and mineral products. Boundary sciences like geophysics and geochemistry have now become independent sciences. Similarly, the science of the universe, astronomy, is being transformed from a purely descriptive science into a theoretical science, and (with the conquest of outer space) into an applied science as well.

So far, geology and astronomy have developed almost independently of one another, although some scientists (for example, Vernadskii and Lichkov /7/) have made studies of the relation between the two sciences. Recently, however, a rapprochement between geology and astronomy has been noted, and this was recognized in a resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Council of Ministers of the USSR on 3 April 1961. The sciences of the Earth and the universe were discussed especially in this resolution. The Earth sciences were called upon to ascertain the regularities in the natural processes involving the world as a whole /19/. This interpretation of the role of these sciences creates conditions favorable for solution of the problems common to geology and astronomy; such problems come up both during research studies and during the solution of applied problems.

When studying the origin and development of the Earth as a planet, together with its development as an object of geological research, we are led to ask what factors modify the geological situation during different epochs. One of the reasons why we have written the present article is to try to ascertain the causes behind these modifying factors.

Let us start by considering some hypotheses concerning the origin of the solar system. We shall stress the aspects of these hypotheses which are not contradicted by geological, geophysical, and astrophysical research and which thus will be useful for working out a new theory.

Kant stated that in a rotating nebula "the central condensations form a Sun and the smaller masses become planets." Essentially this same theory was held by Faye and du Ligondes, and then, on the basis of his observations of nebulae, by Herschel as well /2, 11/. Subsequently, however, it was discovered that the spiral nebulae are incommensurably larger than the solar system. Shmidt /18/ suggested, and along with his successors developed, the hypothesis that the planets of the solar system were formed from a cold swarm of meteoritic dust which was captured by the Sun from outside. The gist of this theory (the formation of the planets from a cold swarm of dust) is now accepted by most scientists. However, the assumption that the Sun captured a dust swarm involves a number of theoretical difficulties. Consequently, V.A. Krat /2/ assumes that the Sun and the planets were formed out of a single interstellar cloud, and Fesenkov /16/ also adheres to the point of view that the Sun and planets were created simultaneously.

The above hypotheses do not consider the subsequent development of the solar system or the effect of this development on the evolution of individual planets (including the Earth); therefore, they do not take into account geological processes. Moreover, there are many facts which indicate that the physical conditions related to the Earth were different during different geological epochs. Some of these facts are: a) different sediment-accumulation conditions at different times /13/; b) tectonic movements of the Earth's crust /3/, causing deformations of the crust strata in geosynclinal regions and on platforms, the orientations of the directions of the deformation zones being different during different periods /17/; c) the presence of faults in the Earth's crust /9/ and mutual shifting of the rocks in the fault zones (thrusts, upthrusts, over thrusts, etc. ); d) different orientations of the geophysical fields (for example, the geomagnetic field /6/) during different geological epochs; and e) continental drift (of the Wegener type), whose existence is now being demonstrated more and more convincingly.

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