The asteroid that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs triggered tsunamis, set off wildfires, and blasted large amounts of sulfur into the atmosphere, which blocked the sun and eventually caused global cooling.
Powerful Asteroid Impact
A new study now provides another evidence that backs up earlier theories on the force of the impact.
Researchers retrieved core samples 4,265 feet below the Chicxulub impact crater, which represent the first 24 hours of the impact, revealing that the explosion had the force of 10 billion atomic bombs the size of those used during World War II.
The impact ignited trees and planets from thousands of miles away and triggered a massive tsunami.
Most of the materials that filled the crater hours after the asteroid crash was either produced at the impact site or was brought by resurging seawater from the surrounding Gulf of Mexico.
Charcoal and a chemical biomarker associated soil fungi suggest that remains of the charred landscape was pulled into the craters with the receding waters of tsunami.
The impact crater was also surrounded by sulfur-rich rocks but there was no sulfur in the core. This finding supports that theory that the impact vaporized sulfur-bearing minerals at the impact site and were released into the atmosphere. The particles reflected sunlight away causing a global cooling.
Record Of The Chicxulub Impact That Wiped Out 75 Percent Of Life On Earth
Within a day, about 425 feet of materials were deposited in the crater, one of the highest accumulation rate ever found in the geologic record.
The rocks essentially recorded what was happening within and around the crater within minutes and hours after impact, and offer clues about the longer lasting effects of the event that killed off 75 percent of life on the planet.
"It's an expanded record of events that we were able to recover from within ground zero," said study researcher Sean Gulick, from the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) at the Jackson School of Geosciences. "It tells us about impact processes from an eyewitness location."