(ORDO NEWS) — When a city-sized asteroid crashed into Earth 66 million years ago, it wiped out the dinosaurs and set off a monstrous tsunami that swept the planet, according to a new study.
An asteroid about 14 kilometers wide left an impact crater 100 kilometers in diameter near the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.
In addition to ending the dominance of dinosaurs, a direct hit provoked a mass extinction of 75% of animals and plants on the planet.
When the asteroid fell, it caused a series of cataclysms.
Global temperatures have fluctuated; plumes of aerosols, soot and dust filled the air; and wildfires started when the burning chunks of material exploded by the impact re-entered the atmosphere and rained down.
Within 48 hours, a tsunami circled the globe – and it was thousands of times more powerful than modern tsunamis caused by earthquakes.
The researchers set out to better understand the tsunami and its magnitude through simulations.
They found evidence supporting their findings about the path and strength of the tsunami by examining 120 ocean sediment cores from around the world.
According to the authors, this is the first global simulation of the Chicxulub tsunami to be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
According to the study, the tsunami was powerful enough to create high waves over a mile high. It erased all sedimentary rocks from the bottom in many parts of the ocean.
“This tsunami was strong enough to disturb and destroy sediments in ocean basins halfway around the globe, leaving either a gap in the sedimentary record or a mess of older sediments,” said lead author Molly Range, who began working on the study as a student.
Student and completed it for her master’s thesis at the University of Michigan.
The researchers estimate that the tsunami was 30,000 times more powerful than the December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, one of the largest on record, killing more than 230,000 people.
The energy of the asteroid impact was at least 100,000 times greater than the eruption of the Tonga volcano earlier this year.
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