Largest impact crater younger than 100,000 years discovered in China

(ORDO NEWS) — An almost two-kilometer crater in the northeast of China was formed by a meteorite fall about 50,000 years ago, when people already lived there.

Scientists have confirmed a discovery made back in 2019 – a large impact crater located in Yilan County, Heilongjiang Province in the northeast of China.

Dated to be about 50,000 years old, it reaches 1.85 kilometers in diameter, making it the largest crater on Earth that has appeared in the last hundred thousand years.

According to NASA, this detail of the landscape has been known to local residents for a long time, they call it “round mountains”. Indeed, the rampart surrounding the funnel has survived almost entirely, giving the crater a crescent shape with horns oriented southwest.

Scientists drew attention to the object in 2019 and, using the radiocarbon method, dated its appearance to a period between 46,000 and 53,000 years ago.

The height of the shaft reaches 150 meters, and it is clearly distinguishable in the images of the American satellite Landsat 8, which were analyzed by scientists. In addition, they drilled through the center of the crater, obtaining samples from a level below the 100-meter layer of sedimentary rocks.

In these cores, geological traces of a meteorite impact were found: melted quartz, glass and other products of a brief exposure to extremely high temperatures and pressures.

There are many and much larger craters on Earth, including the South African Vredefort with a diameter of up to 300 kilometers. But Ilansky turned out to be the largest of those younger than 100 thousand years, having displaced the crater in Arizona from this position (50 thousand years and 1.2 kilometers).

Theoretically, the fall of an asteroid in Yilani could be observed by ancient people and their neighbors, who by that time had long settled the territory of modern China.


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