Home / Science / News /  Asteroid that wiped off dinosaurs triggered planet-wide Tsunami 66 million years ago

Asteroids have only always caused ‘earth-shattering’ changes if they landed on the planet. They remain one of the biggest threat to existence, humans and dinosaurs alike.

66 million years ago an asteroid that fell on Earth wiped off the entire dinosaur population from the face of the planet. However, recent studies have pointed out that t not only created a fireball and the Chicxulub crater underneath the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, the asteroid's collision when it fell on Earth also triggered a mega-Tsunami.

The Chicxulub crater is an impact crater buried underneath the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. Its center is offshore near the community of Chicxulub, after which it is named. It was formed slightly over 66 million years ago when a large asteroid, about ten kilometers (six miles) in diameter, struck Earth. The crater is estimated to be 180 kilometers (110 miles) in diameter and 20 kilometers (12 miles) in depth.

Studies have shown that the planet-wide mega-Tsunami killed roughly three-quarters of the planet’s plant and animal species. The mega-tsunami was 30,000 times bigger than any recorded events in our past and any other tsunami pale in comparison.

Researchers at the US-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) combined numerical modeling and analysis of geological records to recreate the global impact of the tsunami generated by the asteroid.

"Numerical analysis of the event used three different models to reproduce tsunami generation and propagation. A large computer program that models details of complex fluid flows, called a hydrocode, simulated the first 10 minutes of the tsunami generation, and two NOAA-developed models were then used to simulate the tsunami propagation around the global ocean," researchers said in a statement.

(Screen grab from the video shared)
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(Screen grab from the video shared)

The NOAA in their statement said that recent historical tsunamis seem pale in comparison with this globally catastrophic event, wherein the 6+ miles wide asteroid triggered mile-high waves, thought to be 30,000 times bigger than any recorded events.

The black continents in the video depict the land masses at the time of the impact, around 66 million years ago. Researchers said that the white country borders show where the land masses are today - moving at approximately 2.5 cm per year.

The colours are associated with both positive (red) and negative (blue) wave amplitudes, highlighting how the ocean ripples with both higher and lower water levels in the ocean basins during a catastrophic tsunami.

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