An asteroid that hit Earth 66 million years ago and wiped out dinosaurs had also triggered a massive tsunami, with its waves reaching miles-high, a study has found.
It said that the tsunami was so large that it started from the Gulf of Mexico and covered half of the Earth till New Zealand. The asteroid’s direct hit spurred a mass extinction of 75 per cent of animal and plant life on the planet.
The scientists from the University of Michigan came to the conclusion after analysing cores from over 100 sites globally and creating digital models of the monstrous waves after the impact of the asteroid— named the Chicxulub impactor — in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, reports ScienceAlert.
The digital simulation run by the scientists modelled the asteroid as a 14-kilometres-wide (8.7 miles) body travelling at 43,000 kph (27,000 mph).
The energy of the asteroid impact was found to be at least 100,000 times larger than the Tonga volcanic eruption earlier this year.
And the tsunami impact was estimated up to 30,000 times more intense than the December 26, 2004, Indian Ocean tsunami, one of the largest on record, that killed more than 230,000 people.
“This tsunami was strong enough to disturb and erode sediments in ocean basins halfway around the globe,” study lead author Molly Range, who conducted the modelling study for a master’s thesis in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan, said in a statement.
The research, which was previously presented at the 2019 American Geophysical Union’s annual meeting, was published online on Tuesday in the AGU Advances journal.(WION)