Canada's Giant Crater Formed by Ancient Meteorite, Researchers Claim

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | May 9, 2014 3:34 PM EST

According to researchers, the Bow City crater - the ancient ring-shaped structure situated in southern Alberta in Canada was likely to have been formed after a meteorite hit the Earth. Eventually it produced a crater which was 8-km-wide. The impact of the meteorite would apparently have produced so much energy that a region as large as New York City could be destroyed.

Even though scientists cannot be quite sure that it was the impact of the meteorite that formed the Bow City crater. However, there are geological and seismic evidence that strongly support the notion. Glaciers and time have managed to erode most of the signs of the meteorite strike that occurred ages back.

Rock Physics expert Doug Schmitt said that an impact of such magnitude would kill everything for quite a distance. If the meteorite strike happened at present, the city of Calgary - around 125 miles to the northwest - would have been "completely fried," he said. On the other hand, such an attack today would be blown out every window in Edmonton - around 300 miles northwest, Live Science reported.

According to researchers, the meteorite strike took place around 70 million years ago. Since then, a layer of sediment (around 1.5 km deep) has eroded. That is why it has become so much difficult to determine the exact date when the crater was created. It is only the "roots" that are left in the crater which probably was around 2.4 km deep. The impact was apparently strong enough to devastate life in the region. Researchers said that the debris sprayed out by the meteorite could have possibly caused global damages for decades.

The site was discovered by geologist Paul Glombick in 2009 when the Alberta Geological Survey was geologically mapping the region. Mr Glombick noticed the odd structure in the geophysical log data from the oil and gas industry. When Mr Schmidt was contacted by the Alberta Geological Survey, he confirmed the structure with the help of seismic data.

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