(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists have discovered an ancient meteorite crater in the Atlantic Ocean, which fell around the time of the extinction of the dinosaurs. An article about this was published in Science Advances.
It is believed that the extinction of dinosaurs was initiated by a meteorite that formed the Chicxulub crater with a diameter of 180 kilometers. It hit the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula 66 million years ago, releasing 100 teratonnes of TNT.
Now scientists from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and their American colleagues have discovered another crater from that era off the coast of West Africa, about 8 kilometers wide.
The depth of the ocean in this area reaches almost a kilometer, and the crater itself is covered from above with bottom sediments up to 400 meters thick. He received the name Nadir.
A 400 meter object fell into the water and caused a series of powerful tsunamis and earthquakes.
“The impact would have triggered the flash evaporation of large amounts of water and sediment near the seafloor, releasing about 2×1019 joules of energy (approximately 5,000 megatons of TNT).
After the impact, a fireball with a radius of more than five kilometers would have formed, followed by an air explosion with a maximum wind speed of 470 kilometers per hour at a distance of 50 kilometers from the impact site, ”the authors write.
The fall occurred about 66 million years ago, but drilling and analysis of the rocks will be necessary to establish the exact date and characteristics.
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