A Gigantic Impact Has Left Evidence on the Scottish Coast

Looking back 1.2 billion years ago, an asteroid with the size over 1 kilometer had smashed into Northwest Scotland. The first problem with after this impact was that scientists didn’t know for sure where this asteroid has struck because the traces are gone. Fortunately, new research from scientists, the impact zone is starting to be discovered. The study was led by the Department of Earth Sciences at Oxford University, by Kenneth Amor.

The Study

Kenneth Amor said that the measurements are between 1 and 2 kilometers and the object was smashed into Scotland’s Minch Basin 1.2 billion years ago. They have estimated the location of the ancient collision, which is the Highlands Coast. Of course, the crater formed after the impact is no longer visible on the seafloor. Through the years, the hole was buried by rocks, but scientists have found evidence in the reddish-colored rocks from the Stac Fada deposit.

Besides this, by using the rocks to analysis, Amor and his team have found the location of the crater. The data presented by Amor and his colleagues is published in the Journal of the Geological Society. They suggest that the crater’s size is around 13 to 14 kilometers wide and three kilometers deep. The first research of the hole began in 2008 without a precise location. After that, in 2015, the gravitational analysis suggested other information about the crater.

However, with this new study, the data is suggesting that the crater is only 12 kilometer and it’s located to the west of the outcrop. Even if the crater is invisible because of the rocks that collide into it, the analysis can provide essential data.

To sum up, Amor has analyzed the alignment of magnetic particles from the rocks, and they can give directional information about the asteroid. Of course, at that time, life was in its primordial stage, and no plants or animal were present there. Scientists will still have to determine the exact location of the crater to find out the dimensions.

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About the Author: Emmy Skylar

Emmy Skylar started working for Debate Report in 2017. Emmy grew up in a small town in northern Manitoba. But moved to Ontario for university. Before joining Debate Report, Emmy briefly worked as a freelance journalist for CBC News.  She covers politics and the economy.

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