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Tsunami on South Atlantic Coast

Tsunami on South Atlantic Coast

Geological formations suggest that a wall of water, at least 100 feet high, swept into the interior of Georgia. It was at least 70 feet high in northeast Florida. The catastrophic wave could have been much higher.

Residents of the South Atlantic Coastal Plain are accustomed to seeing ridges, terraces and hills, composed of sand and fossilized marine life, deep within the interior of the region. The Trail Ridge is the best known of these sand formations. It runs parallel to and about 40 miles from the Atlantic Coast. The Sand Hills Region runs from near Columbus, GA several hundred miles northward to near Richmond, VA. It can be as far as 180 miles from the coast. Near the Atlantic Coast sandy dunes and terraces that are parallel to the coastline can be as closely spaced as a few hundred yards.

The satellite infrared image on the left is of a section of southeastern Georgia, 15 to 17 miles inland from the Atlantic Coast. A U-shaped, 85 feet high, sand ridge is denoted in purple, because its vegetation is different than the surrounding flat terrain. The sand ridge crosses over gentle terraces that were created during the last Ice Age by the receding Atlantic Ocean. The marine terraces run parallel to the coast line, while the pattern of the high ridges are identical to the debris ridge left by major tsunamis in Sumatra (2005) and Japan (20ll.) The highest ridges form the head of an ellipse, which suggests a massive asteroid impact to the southeast.

The satellite infrared image on the left is of a section of southeastern Georgia, 15 to 17 miles inland from the Atlantic Coast. A U-shaped, 85 feet high, sand ridge is denoted in purple, because its vegetation is different than the surrounding flat terrain. The sand ridge crosses over gentle terraces that were created during the last Ice Age by the receding Atlantic Ocean. The marine terraces run parallel to the coast line, while the pattern of the high ridges are identical to the debris ridge left by major tsunamis in Sumatra (2005) and Japan (20ll.) The highest ridges form the head of an ellipse, which suggests a massive asteroid impact to the southeast.

Geologists have traditionally explained these numerous sand formations as the remnants of ancient beaches and islands when ocean levels were much higher. Many actually look like islands within the flat landscape of the Coastal Plain.

Scarcely noticed in the past was a chain of much higher ridges and bluffs that do not run parallel to the coast line, but zigzag along a ellipsoid curve. They mark the impact of a massive asteroid or comet that would have killed all humans and wildlife along the South Atlantic Coast. The most likely candidate is a comet that struck the region in 539 AD.

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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history.Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.

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