Megaripples of the asteroid tsunami: the asteroid that killed dinosaurs brought

Evidence of asteroids that erased dinosaur tracks from Earth is still hidden today. A new study found that due to these, the water reached a height of at least the fifth floor. Traces of these waves are still present in Louisiana. There are traces of at least 16 meters in height below 1500 meters of Lake Ayot which date back to the Cretaceous period, around 66 million years ago. This whole area was then under water.

The researchers say that given the size and direction of these waves, it appears they formed when the huge boulder now called the Chicxulub asteroid fell in the Yucatan Peninsula. The resulting tsunami waters spread and scars formed in the sea. These large waves had an average wavelength of 600 meters and an amplitude of 15 meters, making them the highest waves ever found. on earth.

Waves seen in a seismograph Photo: Kinsland, GL. et al. Letters of Earth and Planetary Sciences (2021); Kare Egedahl

How did these huge waves form?
Principal investigator of the study, Gary Kinsland, told Live Science that the discovery of this size indicates that something huge had an impact on the water column. There are other indications that the late Cretaceous was under the influence of Chicxulub.

This project was started when energy company Devon Energy carried out a 3D seismic survey of this lake. In this investigation is done using strong sound waves. By the return of these waves after hitting an object, we understand how the geology is underground and its map is prepared.

the direction of the water
Study co-researcher Kare Agdal created the seismic image using data from Devon Energy. Kinsland said that when Kare showed him the image, he was surprised because such images are not usually seen under the sea or rivers. Kinsland had previously studied the Chicxulub crater. Seeing it, he understood the direction of the water from which these waves were made. He was pointing to Chicxulub.

After that, scientists began to study that if this happened, what would be the effect of this event. According to estimates to date, this asteroid will approach so close to Earth on March 16, 2880 that the possibility of a collision will arise. Although its probability is much lower, but in history such a huge asteroid collided with the Earth, which also had catastrophic consequences. This is why scientists are studying it. At the same time, there can be a difference in the path of asteroids for many reasons. The energy released when they burn from the heat of the sun acts as a push that can change their course. Using the principles of orbital mechanics, it is possible for scientists to know when the asteroid will pass close to Earth. (Photo: NASA)

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