Abstract

The Carolina Bays have a known distribution along the Atlantic Coastal Plain from northeast Florida to southeast New Jersey. Estimates based on actual counts in limited regions indicate a conservative figure of half a million bays in the entire area. Local areas show over 50 per cent coverage by bays.

Statistical studies of orientation show a greater divergence of smaller bays from the mean than of larger bays. Smaller bays also show greater variation in ellipticity than do larger bays. Both facts are most satisfactorily explained by the meteoritic theory of origin. Multiple and “heart-shaped” bays overlap in patterns explained most logically by the impact of tandem meteorites, some likely explosive in nature. The probable mechanics of such phenomena is illustrated. Study of near-coast bays indicate that the bays are younger than the youngest Pleistocene terrace and some of the Coastal Plain drainage and older than at least one of the more recent marine transgressions.

Magnetometer studies of 26 different bays all indicate associated spot highs, with no definite highs observed that are not readily associated with some bay.

Laboratory experiments with projectiles involving simulated Coastal Plain conditions duplicate remarkably the cross-section and rim characteristics of the Carolina Bays and strengthen the meteoritic theory.

Although the meteoritic theory in general is indicated by all critical analyses of the bays, a modified meteoritic theory (air-shock wave) is offered to better explain additional data.

First Page Preview

First page PDF preview
You do not currently have access to this article.