AQUEOUS DIFFERENTIATION OF KUIPER BELT OBJECTS (KBOs):
This article suggests an alternative extraterrestrial origin for metamorphic gneiss, along with its associated mantling rock of quartzite, carbonate rock and schist. Authigenic gneissic sediments are suggested to have been precipitated in the cores of Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) undergoing 'aqueous differentiation', with aqueous differentiation caused by orbital perturbation.
Our suggested former binary brown-dwarf Companion to the Sun perturbed binary KBOs to spiral in and merge during the Archean Eon, catastrophically forming authigenic sedimentary cores with a typically tonalite–trondhjemite–granodiorite (TTG) composition, characteristic of Archean cratons.
The tidal inflection point (associated with the former Sun-Companion solar system barycenter) is suggested to have initiated orbital perturbation of KBOs. The tidal inflection point spiraled out from the Sun at an exponential rate, passing through the cubewanos of the Kuiper belt from 4.1 to 3.9 Ga, causing the late heavy bombardment of the inner solar system. The growing Sun-Companion eccentricity around the solar system barycenter, which caused the tidal inflection point to spiral out from the Sun, was driven by the spiral in of the binary brown-dwarf components of binary-Companion.
Solitary KBOs, which did not undergo catastrophic binary spiral-in merger, may have experienced smaller, repeated instances of aqueous differentiation, forming multiple gneiss domes in KBO cores, compared to catastrophic binary spiral-in merger which formed TTG cores.
Finally, perturbation by binary-Companion came to an end when the binary brown-dwarf components ultimately merged at 542 Ma in an asymmetrical merger explosion that gave the Companion escape velocity from the Sun.
Neptune became the nemesis of the Kuiper belt in the new Phanerozoic Eon, with the loss of the perturbing and stabilizing influence of the Companion at 542 Ma, with Neptune causing orbital perturbation of KBOs in newly-unstable orbits. Neptune also caused smaller instances of aqueous differentiation, such as forming the Eocene gneiss domes which are scattered through the Middle East from Greece to Nepal. Neptune is responsible for injecting KBOs into the inner solar system in the Phanerozoic Eon, likely by the intermediate pathway of the minor-planet centaurs.
Sedimentary KBO cores lithify into TTG cores and gneiss domes, with subsequent metamorphism occurring as saltwater oceans freeze solid. The expansion of water ice in solidifying KBO oceans builds the tremendous pressure which causes high-pressure metamorphism in extraterrestrial metamorphic rock.
Perturbation of KBOs into the inner solar system by Neptune cause extinction event impacts on Earth, with highly-compressible KBO ices generally clamping the Earth-impact shock-wave pressure below the melting point of silicates, masking the impact origin of the continental tectonic plates.
Ptygmatic Folds in gneiss migmatite from Helsinki Finland
–used with permission of Sameli Kujalahttp://www.flickr.com/photos/sameli/2040126969/