February 27, 2024
A study found that the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs may have caused a tsunami with waves of 4.5 kilometers

A study found that the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs may have caused a tsunami with waves of 4.5 kilometers

Continue after advertisement

It is already known that a file dinosaurswho ruled the earth before humans, was decimated by a asteroid that struck our planet about 66 million years ago and opened the crater now known as Chicxulub. And not only them, but many species that lived here also became extinct. However, something worse could have happened after the impact: a massive tsunami.

studies Published in the scientific journal ancestor AGU It indicates that, with the shock, waves up to 4.5 kilometers in length were formed, with an initial energy of about 30 thousand times greater than that of the tidal wave that struck Asia in 2004.

NASA image of Chicxulub Crater, top left, the place that became known as "targeting" Asteroid killing dinosaurs.
NASA image of Chicxulub Crater, top left, has come to be known as the “target” of a dinosaur-killing asteroid. take photo: NASA/JPL via The New York Times

The researchers, from the University of Michigan, came to these conclusions through analyzes of more than 100 nuclei scattered around the world and computer simulations of what would happen if a space object of the size suggested for an asteroid today collides with us.

According to observations, made with the idea of ​​\u200b\u200bthe perpendicular impact – even if the event was believed to be tilted – due to the limitations of the blade used by scientists, the 14-kilometer-diameter celestial body hit Chicchulub at an altitude of 43,500 kilometers. / h, about 35 times the speed of sound, causing a crater of 100 km and raising a cloud of dust.

The target in the form of a granite beach, covered with a layer of sediment 4 km thick and 1 to 3 km deep in the ocean, laid a curtain of material that spews water outward, creating the waves.

It first reached 4.5 kilometers in height, and after five minutes of thrust and the initial peak, a 1.5 kilometer mass pushed the sea in all directions with an energy similar to that generated by large earthquakes. All this happened in just the first ten minutes of the horrific event.

Continue after advertisement

To get an idea of ​​the strength of a tsunami, bulges “thrown” by waves were found on New Zealand, more than 12,000 km from the original impact site, which is located on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.

The method the scientists used to arrive at the conclusion was to analyze marine sediments that were affected before or shortly after the asteroid impact, compared to pairs from other studies. “The distribution of erosion and gaps that we observed in the marine sediments of (a periodMolly Ring, lead author of the research, said in a statement: The Upper Cretaceous is consistent with our model results, giving us more confidence in the predictions.

Some regions escaped the consequences of the impact: the South Atlantic, the North Pacific, the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean. In coastal areas, waves can exceed 100 metres, which may exceed all tidal waves ever documented, according to the scientist.