Scientists Spot Giant Crater Hidden Under Greenland’s Ice

Giant Crater
Giant Crater
Credit-NASA/CINDY STARR

The enormous crater is among the twenty five largest known on Earth, and sure came from a meteorite impact among the past three million years.

Buried a half-mile deep under the icy plains of Greenland’s Hiawatha glacier, scientists have discovered an enormous crater. Nearly twenty miles wide, the crater is among the twenty five largest within the world; for scale, NASA says it’s a small amount larger than the Washington, DC Beltway area.

Danish scientists 1st noticed the crater once reviewing topographical information in 2015, however it took some time to substantiate, since it’s buried under three,000 feet of ice. after examining further satellite imagery and radar information collected throughout a fly-over of the area, the team was convinced of their discovery, that was revealed this week within the journal Science Advances.

Based on the form of the crater and the sediment found in near glacial runoff, the scientists believe that the crater was probably caused by a meteorite strike less than three million years ago, probably near the tail end of the Earth’s last ice age a mere thirteen,000 years ago. At its deepest point, the crater is around 1,000 feet below the surface of the bottom, which implies the meteorite may have been over 0.5 a mile wide.

That has some scientists excited. A meteorite large enough to form the Hiawatha crater would even have disrupted life on Earth for hundreds of years. Some researchers believe it can be the missing piece of a decade-long theory regarding why woolly mammoths, big sloths, and early humans of the Clovis culture died out. based on geologic analyses, scientists believe that a one,000-year-long cooling event known as the Younger Dryas began around 12,800 years ago, and in keeping with one theory revealed in a 2007 paper, the Younger Dryas was caused by “an extraterrestrial impact event.”

While the authors originally theorized the impact occurred somewhere in North America, nobody may find the crater in question, however it’s potential that this new Greenland discovery could be it. “I assume we’ve got the smoking gun,” geochemist Wendy Wolbach told Science Magazine.

But the paper’s lead author is reluctant to jump to conclusions, as exciting as they’ll be. we don’t discuss it within the paper, however i think it’s a chance,” geologist Kurt Kjær told National Geographic. “This might generate a lot of discussion, and that we need to resolve.

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