For the first time, scientists can trace a timeline of what happened after an asteroid collided with Earth and wiped out dinosaurs.
A giant meteorite has crashed into the Earth, the location of this collision is now Mexico. The collision occurred 66 million years ago and caused the extinction of dinosaurs along with 75% of life on the planet at the time.
By analyzing the stones deep in the crater, scientists simulated and rebuilt what happened after the collision.
The specimens revealed that shortly after the collision, it created a tsunami higher than 1.6 km, continuous fires broke out and released billions of tons of sulfur, covering and opening the sun. resulting in making the Earth cold.
Some species die within the impact range, others become extinct due to the change in temperature.
Chicxulub impact crater survey.
In order to understand what happened on a fateful day in planetary history, scientists have started a research campaign at the site of the collision – this crater is called Chicxulub. It creates a trough of approximately 20 km into the Gulf of Mexico area. Sean Gulick and his colleague Joanna Morgan have been collecting rock samples here since 2016 from the mouth of the pit. These stones and debris are the results of precipitation right after the collision.
The two scientists spent three years researching and analyzing this geological specimen to be able to re-establish the flow of events about what happened 66 million years ago.
Within a minute of the impact, the meteorite created a large and large 160km hole at the bottom of the sea, creating a super-melted rock pit and gas streams. Soaring temperatures and earthquakes create a geological column as high as a mountain.
After that, the geology was less stable and collapsed for a few minutes and began to harden into ripple peaks including lava and rock. These ripple peaks are then covered with falling rock, traces of fire and dust are also affected by the waves. It is these fires that they can confirm that a series of forest flows and explosions took place immediately after the collision. Several flames spread hundreds of kilometers from the impact area.
The author estimated that the collision corresponded to 10 billion of the atomic bombs used in World War II. The meteorite upon impact evaporated the surrounding land and made the seawater Move at the speed of a jet plane. This led to a tsunami hundreds of meters high, and the tsunami may have moved as far as present-day Illinois before it weakened and receded.
According to the study, Gulick said that the asteroid may have collided at a speed of 12 miles per second, which is about 69.5 thousand km per hour. At this rate, a dinosaur eating 1600km away would be affected by the impact temperature.
Billions of tons of sulfur are released into the atmosphere.
Dinosaurs are not the only creatures to be extinct at this event. In fact, about 75% of life on the planet at that time was wiped out. Of course, many animals die on impact, but the consequences of the subsequent meteorite are much greater. The sulfur-rich stones were burned by the impact temperature, which released a lot of this gas into the atmosphere, which masked the sunlight and made the climate colder.
In order to conclude, Gulick and his colleagues extracted many rock samples from the study area. They found that despite the abundance of sandstone, limestone, and granite, they lacked sulfur-rich rocks, although the rock in the impact areas should have been filled with it. An estimated 325 billion tons of sulfur gas has been released into the atmosphere.
For comparison, in 1883, the volcanic eruption of Krakatoa erupted about a quarter of the sulfur above, and this event cooled the Earth by 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit over five years. And of course, the scale of the volcano is much smaller than the impact of an asteroid. Global temperatures plummet as sulfur released into the atmosphere. According to estimates, it took about 2 decades for the atmosphere to return completely.
2 billion years ago almost 100% of Earth’s creatures were destroyed because … too much oxygen.
According to a new study, the Cretaceous extinction event (66 million years ago), when a meteorite hit the earth made the extinction of the dinosaurs turned out not to be the most terrible event in Earth’s history… Analysis of a barite mineral sample over 2 billion years old unearthed on the island of Belcher, Canada, Dr. Malcolm Hodgskiss and scientists at Stanford University have discovered an extinction event that nearly 100% gave birth to things on the earth at that time could no longer exist.
Scientists named this event the “Great Oxidation Event”. To put it briefly, like this, billions of years ago, there were only microorganisms that lived on earth. When they photosynthesize, the amount of oxygen created is too much, making the ecosystem no longer sustainable. The food source for microorganisms is exhausted and causes the earth’s atmospheric imbalance. And it is because of so much oxygen that life on earth begins to become extinct gradually. They estimated that, in this event, 80 to 99.5% of the creatures were exterminated. “Even the lowest estimate goes far beyond the number of extinct organisms at the event 66 million years ago,” said Dr. Hodgskiss.
The study of events before humans even appeared, is actually a very relevant step to the current situation, because the earth’s atmosphere can always be changed at any time. The ocean is warming, affecting the food chain, thereby affecting microorganisms that contribute to half of the oxygen in the Earth’s current atmosphere.
Source: BI, CNN