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Dinosaur-killing asteroid produced 2.8-mile-high global tsunami: ScienceAlert

AsteroidCollidingWithEarth

 

A new study has found that the dinosaur-killing asteroid, which struck Earth 66 million years ago, also triggered a jumbo-sized tsunami with mile-high ripples in the Gulf of Mexico, whose waters hit the world. It was half full.

Researchers discovered evidence of this massive tsunami after analyzing cores and creating digital models of monstrous waves from more than 100 sites around the world following an asteroid impact in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

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“This tsunami appears to disturb and destroy sediment in ocean basins halfway around the world,” said study lead author Molly Range, who conducted the modeling study for a master’s thesis in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan. It was strong enough.” in a statement.

Research on the mile-high tsunami, first presented at the 2019 American Geophysical Union annual meeting, was published online Tuesday (Oct. 4) in the journal Science. AGU Advance.

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The range dove in the journey of the tsunami shortly after the asteroid’s collision. Based on earlier findings, his team modeled an asteroid that measured 8.7 miles (14 kilometers) and would hit Earth at 27,000 mph (43,500 km/h), or the speed of sound. was zooming 35 times.

After the asteroid hit, many lifeforms died out; The nonavian dinosaurs became extinct (the only birds, which are the living dinosaurs, alive today) and nearly three-quarters of all plant and animal species were wiped out.

Height (in metres) disturbance of the sea surface, a tsunami modeled four hours after the end of the Cretaceous asteroid impact. (Range et al. in AGU Advances, 2022)

Researchers are aware of the asteroid’s many damaging effects, such as sparking fires that cook animals alive and pulverizing sulfur-rich rocks that lead to deadly acid rain and increased global cooling.

To learn more about the resulting tsunami, Range and his colleagues analyzed Earth’s geology, successfully analyzing 120 “limit sections,” or marine sediments just before or after a mass extinction event. which marked the end of the Cretaceous period.

Range said these boundary segments matched the predictions of his model of wave height and travel.

Researchers found that the initial energy from the impact tsunami was 30,000 times greater than the energy released by the December 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people.

Once the asteroid struck Earth, it created a 62-mile-wide (100 km) crater and slammed a thick cloud of dust and soot into the atmosphere.

Just 2.5 minutes after the strike, a curtain of ejected material pushed a wall of water outward, briefly creating a 2.8-mile-high (4.5 km) wave, which according to simulations ejected back to Earth. Crashed due to fall.

At the 10-minute mark, a 0.93-mile-high (1.5 km) tsunami wave swept through the bay in all directions, about 137 miles (220 km) from the impact site. An hour after impact, the tsunami had moved from the Gulf of Mexico into the North Atlantic.

Four hours after impact, the tsunami passed through the Central American Sea Route—a route separating North from South America at the time—and into the Pacific.

A full day after the asteroid collision, the waves had passed through much of the Pacific and Atlantic, entering the Indian Ocean on both sides, and touching most of the world’s coastlines 48 hours after the strike.

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Modeled tsunami disturbances in sea surface elevation
Height (in metres) disturbance of the sea surface, a tsunami modeled 24 hours after the dinosaur-killing asteroid struck Earth. (Range et al. in AGU Advances, 2022)

power of tsunami

After impact, the tsunami spread mostly east and northeast, flowing into the North Atlantic Ocean as well as southwest through the Central American Sea Route into the South Pacific Ocean.

The water in these areas travels so fast that it can exceed 0.4 mph (0.6 km/h), a velocity that can erode microscopic sediments of the sea floor.

According to the team’s model, other regions largely escaped the force of the tsunami, including the South Atlantic, the North Pacific, the Indian Ocean and now the Mediterranean Sea.

Their simulations showed that the speed of water in these areas was less than 0.4 mph.

Graph showing tsunami wave amplitude
Maximum tsunami wave amplitude (in centimeters) after the asteroid impact that hit Earth 66 million years ago. (Range et al. in AGU Advances, 2022)

The team also found outcrops – or exposed rock deposits – from the impact event on the northern and southern islands of eastern New Zealand, more than 7,500 miles (12,000 km) from Chicxulub Crater in Mexico.

Originally, scientists thought that these outflows were from local tectonic activity. But because of their age and location in the model path of tsunamis, the study’s researchers pin it to the asteroid’s giant waves.

“We think that these deposit impacts are recording the impact of the tsunami, and this is probably the most confirmation of the global importance of this event,” Range said.

While the models did not estimate coastal flooding, they did reveal that open ocean waves in the Gulf of Mexico may have exceeded 328 feet (100 m), and waves reached heights of more than 32.8 feet (10 m). Will be According to the statement, the tsunami has reached coastal areas of the North Atlantic and parts of the Pacific coast of South America.

As the water became shallower near the shore, the height of the waves would increase dramatically.

“Depending on the geometry of the coast and the waves moving forward, most of the coastal area will be submerged and to some extent eroded,” the authors write in the study. “Any historically documented tsunami pales in comparison to such a global impact.”

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This article was originally published by Live Science. Read the original article here.

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