The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs produced a global tsunami

The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs produced a global tsunami

The impact of the Chicxulub asteroid, which wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago, produced a tsunami that spread to the whole world, according to the first global simulation of this event.

Scientists led by Molly Range of the University of Michigan Ann Arbor used two models for your simulation. One for the initial impact of an asteroid 14 kilometers in diameter in shallow water and another focused on the consequent spread of water displaced throughout the ancient ocean.

According to the resulting simulation, the first effect of the impact of the asteroids would have been a tsunami wave of approximately 1,500 meters high. The study was presented at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

The impact of the tsunami spread rapidly from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic and through the sea lanes of Central America to the Pacific in the first 24 hours. The reflection and refraction of the waves create a more complex tsunami propagation pattern 48 hours after the impact, with heights of 14 meters. The flow rates exceeded the 20 centimeters per second along the coasts of the whole world and they could have altered the sediments to more than 6,000 kilometers from the origin of the impact.

Compared to the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 26, 2004, one of the largest tsunamis in the modern record, The impact tsunami was approximately 2,600 times more energetic.

This model suggests that the impact of the asteroid not only had significant effects on the global atmosphere and biosphere, but also created a tsunami of such magnitude that its effect was felt in much of the global ocean.


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