Domaine du Météore crater, France – Comment on the LPSC 2023 article

Comment on

Brenker, F.E., Junge, A.. (2023) Impact origin of the “Domaine du Meteore”-crater, France. Compelling mineralogical and geophysical evidence for an unrecognized destructive event in the heart of Europe. – 54th LPSC, #1910.

by Kord Ernstson, University of Würzburg, Germany

Abstract . – The claim that the vineyard crater is the fourth proven impact crater in Western and Central Europe after Rochechouart, Ries, and Steinheim is a fundamental scientific misstatement because the impacts and impact crater.strewn fields (Chiemgau, Saarland, Czech Republic) that have been researched and published for 15 years with all proven and scientifically accepted impact criteria is hushed up. The Canadian Earth Impact Database is basically denied the legitimacy to asssess and comment with pros and cons on scientific work and publications.

At this year’s Lunar & Planetary Science Conference there is the above quoted abstract contribution by the authors F.E. Brenker and A. Junge from the University of Frankfurt. The relatively small crater with a diameter of about 200 m has already been discussed as a meteorite crater for more than 70 years by different authors, but this has always been discarded. The present contribution from Frankfurt describes a new investigation, which establishes the meteoritic origin according to known impact criteria. The abstract article convincingly describes the impact origin with topographic, geophysical, and mineralogical findings and evidence, and arouses curiosity for a comprehensive conference poster and article that may be planned.

The article is commented on for a different reason. It begins by stating that the French crater is significant in that it joins the few three impact craters so far proven in Western and Central Europe, namely

Rochechouart in France and Ries and Steinheim in Germany, as determined by the Earth Impact Database at the University of New Brunswick in Canada. The importance of the Domaine du Meteore crater is also highlighted with the sentence “Although smaller impact.structures should be much more common, not a single confirmed small crater structure is reported”, and reference is made to recent work by authors Kenkmann (2021) and Osinski et a. (2022) from the so-called “impact community”.

Here, these statements should be described as an incomprehensible profound scientific falsification and dishonesty, which is uncritically adopted by the Frankfurt authors Brenker and Junge, although their thus documented alleged ignorance as impact researchers of a German university is anything but convincing. This is justified in the following.

If under Western and Central Europe, besides France and Germany, also the Czech Republic is understood by the authors, Osinski, Kenkmann, Brenker and Junge must not hush up the research and published literature of the last 15 years about

— the Chiemgau impact, the Saarland impact,and the extensive impact findings in the Czech Republic, which leads the assertions of the mentioned authors ad absurdum.

At the LPSC alone, where now Brenker and Junge present their apparently so important small crater, there are seven contributions to the Chiemau impact in the years 2012 – 2020. Moreover, three contributions at the Planetary Crater Consortium meetings, also three contributions at the Meteoritical Society Meetings and two contributions at the AGU Fall Meeting can be added.

Eleven mostly peer-reviewed articles on the Chiemgau impact have been printed in scientific journals from 2006 – 2023.

To date, the Chiemgau impact can be considered the most important Holocene impact with a 60 km x 30 km impact crater strewn field with well over 100 craters, including small ones with a few meters in diameter up to the largest Eglsee crater to date with a diameter of 1.3 km, a double crater at the bottom of Lake Chiemsee measuring 800 m x 450 m, and the longest investigated Tüttensee crater, which with its 600 m diameter is three times as large as the French vineyard crater.

For the Chiemgau impact is valid that all impact proofs, which are recognized and published in the impact research, exist by investigations of many years of the geology, geomorphology, geophysics, mineralogy-petrology and geochemistry. Besides shatter cones, all significant shock effects such as shock melt, PDF, PF, diaplectic glasses (feldspar, quartz), ballen structures in quartz and toasted quartz have been published. Furthermore, a new class of meteorites was established by the impact input of a worldwide unique iron silicide strewn field associated with the Chiemgau impact event.

The important Saarland Impact impact near the French border now includes two craters, the Nalbach crater with 250 m diameter (about the size of the vineyard crater), and the Saarlouis semi crater with 2.3 km diameter, furthermore an extended more than 10 km large strewn field with surface finds with all conceivable published impact evidence like strongly shocked impact melt rocks (polymict breccias with diaplectic glass, PDF, multiple sets of PF, ballen structures and toasted quartz), impact glasses and shatter cones.

Also this impressive impact event in Central Europe (!) has been published with five articles contributed to LPSC.

Similarly on LPSC, four articles about impacts in the Czech Republic with quite remarkable and unusual observations including all impact-relevant high-temperature/high-pressure features have been published in the last five years.

In summary, it can be read here that for the mentioned impacts from the Chiemgau, from the Saarland and in the Czech Republic (in Central Europe!) 24 contributions on internationally known and renowned meetings (LPSC, MetSoc Meeting, PCC and AGU Fall Meeting) as well as 11 articles in scientific journals and proceedings were published.

About this incomprehensible silencing of these scientifically partly highly significant new findings on impact research by an established and in this way expressed backwardness of a so-called impact community, many speculations, but also comprehensible explanations have already been put forward. Scientific envy not to be involved in these outstanding researches certainly plays a role, which is not alien to science in general.

In the case of the Canadian Earth Impact Database, where the published German and Czech impacts are ignored, the question arises once again, as in the past, where a few members of a university take the incredible liberty to decide and make public what is right or wrong in science. Certainly, it can be meritorious to collect data in such a database (that’s why it’s called that) and make it available to the general public. However, this does not justify any kind of scientific evaluation, which can basically be denied to the database. Unfortunately, this obviously small database group under the leader John Spray has caused immeasurable damage in the impact research. The negative main effect is that questionable up to wrong evaluations of this scientifically by nobody legitimized database are taken over world-wide with impact publications however as law into their work, and scientifically questionable statements are handed down by authors and article reviewers.

Short conclusion. – The LPSC contribution to the now newly manifested small vineyard impact crater in France is an interesting publication, but immediately loses the highlighted importance as the fourth impact in Western and Central Europe, because the scientifically quite important Chiemgau and Saarland impact crater fields, which have been investigated for 15 years and established by interdisciplinary comprehensive research and a lot of publications, as well as the Czech impact strewn fields with all evidential findings of the impact research are hushed up.

The excitement in the media and in the Internet is typical, but completely inappropriate.

Nice addition to LPSC 2023 with new impact structures in Germany and the Czech Republic: The 100 km-diameter Cloppenburg peak ring crater in northern Germany and the 20 km-diameter Kolešovice crater in the Czech Republic.