The Asteroid That Brought an End to The Dinosaurs Unleashed a Global Tsunami

"It must have been one of the biggest Tsunami's ever..."

And it is believed that the Tsunami was one of the biggest ever on Earth.

The impact of the asteroid that left behind a massive scar on Earth, known as the Chicxulub impact crater, which caused the dinosaurs to go extinct some 66 million years ago, produced a massive, global tsunami that spread across the planet rapidly.

MasterTux / Pixabay

Scientists led by researcher Molly Range of the University of Michigan used two models for their computer simulation that revealed the post-impact tsunami scenario.

One scenario simulated the initial impact of an asteroid 14 kilometers in diameter into shallow water and one modeling the ensuing propagation of displaced water throughout the ancient ocean.

It was necessary to use the two models in tandem, explained Brian Arbic, a physical oceanographer at the University of Michigan who was involved in the study.

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“A typical ocean model just can’t handle an asteroid,” he noted.

The first simulation revealed that a wave roughly 1,500 meters in height would have been produced by the impact.

This wave represented the “initial blast of water away from the impact,” explained Range.

Furthermore, following the impact, computer models have shown that water began refilling the impact crater shortly after.

This intake of water is believed to have caused another set of tsunami waves.

Scientists argue that the strongest waves were most likely felt in the Gulf of Mexico, but the waves quickly traveled around the world.

66 million years ago, a seaway existed between North America and South America which allowed the massive, fast-traveling tsunami waves to rush freely into the Pacific Ocean.

According to Range and fellow researchers, the tsunami waves that struck the Pacific may have been as large as 14 meters.

As explained by EOS, as the waves approached land and slowed down, they probably got a lot bigger.

The video below (click here) shows how the waves most likely propagated around the world.

The devastating impact and the global tsunami are thought to have pushed water at the sea floor at a mind-bending rate of 20 centimeters per second.

The researchers explained that such powerful water flows are enough to scour sediments from the bottom of the ocean.

Source
EOS
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