The demise of the dinosaurs was brought about by a city-sized asteroid striking our planet directly, according to what we learned in elementary science lessons.
After the massive space rock, about 8.7 miles or 14 kilometers wide, slammed the area near the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico 66 million years ago, more than 75% of all animal and plant life on earth became extinct.
Recent research, however, contends that the asteroid damaged the region it impacted and brought about a global tsunami.
The effects of the collision were enough to create the preconditions for the extinction of countless species. Wildfires damaged habitats and flora, global temperatures went crazy, and aerosol, soot, and dust were in the air.
With a scale that eclipses all tsunamis recorded in human history, the global tsunami reached the furthest locations within just 48 hours of its impact. In addition, scientists contend that the tsunami’s intensity was 1,000 times greater than that of current tsunamis brought on by earthquakes.
The American Geophysical Union Advances built a model to trace the tsunami’s route by analyzing sediment cores to determine the degree of the damage and reach of the tsunami.
The study group released the journal on Tuesday. This is the first simulation of the subject that was peer-reviewed and published by the journal.
The study also stated that the impact produced a mile-high tsunami that traveled thousands of miles from the point of impact. The mega-tsunami, therefore, completely erased the sediment record that existed before and during the event.
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The lead author of the study, Molly Range, said, “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.”
Researchers examined the energy produced by the tsunami that struck the Indian Ocean in December 2004 to put the incident on an imaginable scale. Over 230,000 people lost their lives in what is regarded as the deadliest tsunami in history.
However, 30,000 times more energy than the Indian Ocean tsunami was contained in the tsunami caused by the asteroid. Additionally, it had an energy that was 100,000 times greater than the volcanic eruption in Tonga.
How to determine the path
Brandon Johnson, a co-author of the paper, modeled the events during the first 10 minutes following impact using a tool called hydrocode. Johnson estimated the asteroid’s speed to be 26,843 miles per hour, or about 43,200 kilometers per hour, as it approached the Yucatan Peninsula’s oceans. Its weight and force when it reached the ocean were sufficient to cause a tsunami that was 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) tall.
Following the primary asteroid, additional debris generated increasingly large waves that traveled hundreds of miles from the impact site.
A ring-shaped tsunami that was about a mile high and traveling across the ocean at a distance of 137 miles (or 220 kilometers) from the impact location followed the first 10 minutes, causing devastation to all property and individuals.
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The North Atlantic Ocean, South Pacific Ocean, and the Central American Seaway had the greatest underwater currents, according to all information gathered from sediments discovered in the world’s seas. It’s the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, South Atlantic, and North Pacific experienced weaker currents.
“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