We learned in elementary school that the extinction of the dinosaurs was caused by an asteroid the size of a city colliding with our planet.
More than 75% of all animal and plant life on Earth became extinct after a giant space rock, about 8.7 miles or 14 kilometers wide, swept the region near Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula 66 million years ago.
According to a new study, the asteroid not only defaced the area it hit, but it also spurred a global tsunami.
The occurrences that followed the impact were enough to lay the stage for the extinction of several species. The atmosphere was filled with aerosol, soot, and dust, and wildfires damaged habitat and flora.
The worldwide tsunami overshadowed all tsunamis recorded in human history and reached the furthest areas within 48 hours after impact. Furthermore, experts estimate the tsunami’s energy is a thousand times stronger than current earthquake-induced tsunamis.
The American Geophysical Union Advances devised a model to track the tsunami’s route by analyzing sediment cores to map out the tsunami’s impact and reach. The scientific group released the journal on Tuesday.
The scientific publication is the first simulation about the subject that was peer-reviewed and published by the journal.
According to the study, the collision generated a mile-high wave that traveled hundreds of miles distant from the point of impact. As a result, the mega-tsunami totally wiped out the sediment record prior to and during the event.
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“This tsunami was strong enough to disturb and erode sediments in ocean basins halfway around the globe, leaving either a gap in the sedimentary records or a jumble of older sediments,” stated Molly Range, the lead author of the study.
.Researchers examined the energy created by the Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004 to put the catastrophe into perspective. It is regarded as the greatest tsunami on record, killing about 230,000 people.
The asteroid-caused tsunami has 30,000 times the intensity of the Indian Ocean tsunami. Furthermore, it possessed 100,000 times the energy of the Tonga volcanic explosion.
The asteroid’s path
Brandon Johnson, the study’s co-author, utilized a tool called hydrocode to simulate what happened during the first 10 minutes after impact.
According to Johnson, the asteroid was nearing the Yucatan peninsula at 26,843 miles per hour or roughly 43,200 kilometers per hour. It had enough weight and strength to create a tsunami 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) tall when it reached the ocean.
The following debris from the primary asteroid created increasingly massive waves that spanned hundreds of kilometers from the crash site.
Following the first 10 minutes, a ring-shaped wave traveled across the ocean, about 137 miles or 220 kilometers from the impact location, causing destruction to all lives and lands.
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What are the results
The North Atlantic Ocean, South Pacific Ocean, and Central American Seaway had the greatest underwater currents, according to all data from sediments collected in the world’s seas. Lesser currents were found in the Indian Ocean, South Atlantic, North Pacific, and the Mediterranean Sea.
“We feel these deposits are recording the effects of the impact tsunami, and this is perhaps the most telling confirmation of the global significance of this event,” said Range.
Photo Credit: Todays Chronic
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