Earth once had a tsunami thousands of meters high-Information Technology
When an asteroid collided with Earth more than 65 million years ago, dinosaurs became extinct. This impact spawned a tsunami nearly 2,000 meters high across the Gulf of Mexico causing chaos across the world’s oceans.
The asteroid Chicxulub collided with Earth causing a tsunami thousands of meters high, destroying dinosaurs and many animals on Earth.
A new study finds that this 14km-long asteroid, known as the Chicxulub asteroid, annihilated the dinosaurs in the Cretaceous.
Lead researcher Molly Range said: “The asteroid Chicxulub led to a massive global tsunami, tsunamis unprecedented in modern history.”
Range and her colleagues presented this study at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union on December 14 last year in Washington, DC.
The idea for this project arose when two of Range’s advisors – Ted Moore and Brian Arbic, in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan, USA – realized that there was a gaping hole in the study of asteroids. planet Chicxulub.
The researchers knew that the asteroid hit shallow water in the Gulf of Mexico. They had to ask Brandon Johnson, an assistant professor of cratering impact studies at Brown University in Rhode Island, to model the collision.
Johnson ran a detailed model of what happened 10 minutes after the impact, when the crater was 1.5 kilometers deep and the explosion was so powerful that there was still no water in the crater. At this point, water is moving back into the crater, then into the crater and back out, forming a tsunami.
“We found that this tsunami was moving across the ocean, in every ocean basin,” said Range. In the Gulf of Mexico, water moves as fast as 143 km/h. Within the first 24 hours, the effects of the tsunami’s impact spread beyond the Gulf of Mexico and into the Atlantic Ocean, as well as through the Central American sea lanes.
After the initial 1,500m high wave, other giant waves shook the world’s oceans. In the South Pacific and North Atlantic, waves reach a maximum height of 14 m. In the North Pacific, they grow up to 4 m tall. Meanwhile, the Gulf of Mexico saw waves as high as 20 meters in some spots and 100 meters in others.
Such a devastating tsunami is hard to imagine, so researchers compared it to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed at least 225,000 people. However, the Chicxulub tsunami was between 2,500 and 29,000 times more energetic than the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
This massive tsunami wasn’t the only event that caused the dinosaurs to become extinct. The asteroid Chicxulub also triggered a shock wave and sent large amounts of hot rock and dust into the atmosphere, which rubbed together, creating so much friction that it caused wildfires and incinerated animals.
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