Asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs also triggered ‘mega earthquake’

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The asteroid that struck Earth and triggered the mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs also caused an earthquake that shook the planet for weeks or even months, according to new research.

About 66 million years ago, a space rock 6 miles (10 kilometers) wide now called the Chicxulub impactor slammed into Earth off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. The asteroid impact and its aftermath caused what has become known as the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction event, killing off three-quarters of species on Earth and leaving its signature scattered throughout the geological record. Now, new research suggests that the impact also triggered a “mega earthquake” that released energy equivalent to 10^23 joules — around 50,000 times more energy than was released by the magnitude 9.1 earthquake that hit Sumatra in 2004.




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Robert Lea

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