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Science & Technology

Scientists to drill in to 'dinosaur crater'

April 7, 2016 | Comment icon 6 comments



The crater brought about the extinction of the dinosaurs. Image Credit: NASA / Donald E. Davis
A new expedition is aiming to drill in to the crater left by the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs.
66 million years ago a huge chunk of rock slammed in to the surface of the Earth - an event so utterly cataclysmic that it would serve to bring about an end to the age of the dinosaurs.

These days most of the 100km-wide impact site, which is known as the Chicxulub Crater, is situated off the coast of Mexico and lies beneath 600m of mud and sediment at the bottom of the sea.

Now in a renewed effort to learn more about the impact, an international team of scientists has taken a special drilling platform out in to the Gulf of Mexico to try and reach the crater directly.
Of particular interest to the team will be the 'peak ring' - a region at the center of the crater which was formed when it rebounded and collapsed.

"We want to know where the rocks that make up this peak ring come from," said Professor Joanna Morgan from Imperial College London. "Are they from the lower, mid or upper crust ?"

"Knowing that will help us understand how large craters are formed, and that's important for us to be able to say what was the total impact energy, and what was the total volume of rock that was excavated and put into the Earth's stratosphere to cause the environmental damage."

The drilling project, which is now underway, is expected to take around two months to complete.

Source: BBC News | Comments (6)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by paperdyer 6 years ago
If the site has been under sea water for so long, I wonder if the data obtained will be of any real value by this time. I guess one could hope. If it is, maybe the find will be earth shattering. (No pun intened.)
Comment icon #2 Posted by BeastieRunner 6 years ago
If the site has been under sea water for so long, I wonder if the data obtained will be of any real value by this time. I guess one could hope. If it is, maybe the find will be earth shattering. (No pun intened.) Unless they are in an oil pocket, they should be okay.
Comment icon #3 Posted by shadowsot 6 years ago
If the site has been under sea water for so long, I wonder if the data obtained will be of any real value by this time. I guess one could hope. If it is, maybe the find will be earth shattering. (No pun intened.) At that depth, once you get past sedimentation it should be pretty well preserved.
Comment icon #4 Posted by jarjarbinks 6 years ago
They'll probably find some kind of primeval starship
Comment icon #5 Posted by Fizzpop 6 years ago
More like they will release an ancient space bacteria and starts a pandemic that wipes out us humans , then brings the rise of the fish people
Comment icon #6 Posted by Doug1029 6 years ago
Unless they are in an oil pocket, they should be okay. That impact site was discovered during oil exploration. Doug


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