Home Page Science Frontiers

No. 11: Summer 1980

Issue Contents

Other pages

Other Interesting Sites











More Huge Terrestrial Rings

In 1978, J.M. Saul reported the discovery of hundreds of large terrestrial ring structures, many of them tens of kilometers in diameter. Around the rims were concentrated metal ores. Saul surmised that episodes of meteor bombardment about 4 billion years ago created these nearly perfect circles. Unfortunately for this theory, little of the earth's surface is 4 billion years old!

Now, a new population of circular structures 8-20 km across have been recognized in New Zealand, where the surface is dated at 100-320 million years. How could 4-billion-year-old meteor craters make themselves felt through all the layes of sediment? One possibility is that the rings are not meteoric but diapiric; that is, expressions of upwelling magma from inside the earth itself.

(Hawkes, Donald D.; "More Strange Circles on Earth," Open Earth, no. 7, p. 19, February 1980.)

Comment. The orphans in the preceding item may have been forced up from the interior, too. Could the lunar craters have originated in this fashion?

Reference. To read more about these huge "mineral" rings, consult Section ETC2 in our Catalog: Carolina Bays, Mima Mounds, which is described here.

Large terrestrial ring structures in New Zealand

From Science Frontiers #11, Summer 1980. 1980-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987