Did giant Indian Meteor kill the dinosaurs?

October 19, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Scientists believe they have discovered the world’s biggest crater believed created from a 25-mile wide meteor, off the coast of India which they think may be responsible for the extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

The mysterious Shiva basin, named after the Hindu God, has a diameter of 310.7 miles along the seafloor and has a central underwater peak of some 3 miles, as tall as Mount McKinley, the highest mountain in North America. Most of the crater lies submerged on India’s continental shelf, but where it does come ashore the land appears shattered and it is marked by tall cliffs, active faults and hot springs.

This dwarfs (four times larger) than the meteor that was thought to have killed off the dinosaurs which measured between five and six miles and lies in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.

Sankar Chatterjee of Texas Tech University, who led the research and presented his research at the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting in Portland, Oregon today said: “If we are right, this is the largest crater known on our planet. a bolide of this size, perhaps 40 km in diameter creates its own tectonics,” he said. “It may have been the one to kill the dinosaurs.”

Chatterjee’s team hopes to go India later this year to examine rocks drill from the center of the putative crater for clues that would prove the strange basin was formed by a gigantic impact.

“Rocks from the bottom of the crater will tell us the telltale sign of the impact event from shattered and melted target rocks. And we want to see if there are breccias, shocked quartz, and an iridium anomaly.”

Chatterjee believes the impact of an asteroid or comet of this size would have vaporized the Earth’s crust on collision, killing most life and leaving ultra-hot mantle material to well up in its place. The impact would have also broken the Seychelles islands off of the Indian tectonic plate, and sent them drifting toward Africa.

However, Chatterjee admitted “The idea of Shiva as an impact basin is still very speculative. But it tends to explain so many things.”

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Diagram Credit: Sankar Chaterjee


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2 Responses to “Did giant Indian Meteor kill the dinosaurs?”

  1. Did giant Indian Meteor kill the dinosaurs? | ChattahBox News Blog « iTag.in on October 20th, 2009 1:20 am

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