Newsweek] Scientists have discovered what they believe is one of the biggest impact craters in the world near the Falklands Islands. They say the crater appears to date to between 270 and 250 million years ago, which, if confirmed, would link it to the world’s biggest mass extinction event, where 96 percent of life on Earth was wiped out.
presence of a massive crater in the Falklands was first proposed by
Michael Rampino, a professor in New York University, in 1992 after he
noticed similarities with the Chicxulub crater in Mexico—the asteroid
that created this crater is thought to have played a major role in the
extinction of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.
But after a
brief report at the Falklands site, very little research was carried
out. Now, a team of scientists—including Rampino—have returned to the
area to perform an “exhaustive search for additional new geophysical
information” that would indicate the presence of an impact crater.
Their findings, published in the journal Terra Nova,
suggest the huge circular depression just northwest of the islands is
indeed the result of the massive impact of an asteroid or meteorite. The
basin, which is now buried under sediments, measures over 150 miles in
To analyze the site, the team, from the U.S., Argentina
and Paraguay, looked at various aspects of the crater, including gravity
anomalies and seismic reflection, which allows them to estimate
sub-surface properties, along with differences in the chemistry of the
Their findings were consistent with other impact craters,
with certain features being “very similar to that of the Chicxulub
multi-ring impact structure.” They found there was a large magnetic
anomaly, suggesting significant variation in rocks at the site, as well
as gravitational variations “typical of very large impact structures.” Read More