A new discovery was made this weak! A 31 kilometers long crater filled with ice was found under Hiawatha Glacier in northwestern Greenland.
Researchers are using the airborne radar surveys to examine the Greenland Ice Sheet. By monitoring closely the ice surface and receiving high quality images of it, the team of researchers was able to see a part of the internal layer of the ice and the bedrock.
The team led by the University of Copenhagen’s Kurt Kjær digged more investigating the odd shape and they found out that it is a 320 meters deep hole. This hole was formed in the bedrock and has a little rim raised and a central peak. However, researcher had to go out there for the confirmation that the shape is a crater.
The crater is under 900 meters of ice so it was harder to find and investigate it but researchers were able to collect sediments from the base from the glacier’s edge. These sediments were small pieces of quartz, bits of glass and molten rock and they had iron, nickel, and other iron meteorites.
With all this data, the team of researchers assumed that the impactor that created the crater was an iron meteorite with a diameter of about 1.5 kilometers had a velocity of 20 kilometers per second.
The age of the crater is still unknown but there are two channels that give at least the clue that they pre-date the impact. But the idea that the channels are younger in age that the crater still does not help. Other channels found under the ice in that area are believed to be around 2.6 million years old. By studying the shape of the crater, researchers estimated the age between 5,000 years and 50 million years.
However, by analyzing the glacial layer, the team reported that its age is around 12,000 years.
The radar also found a dark layer which consists of ice full of rocks and sediments that were formed somewhere around 11,700 and 12,800 years ago. Knowing that this happened in the Younger Dryas period, researchers estimated that the event happened between 2.6 million years ago and 12,000 years ago.
There are many hypotheses about the climate event from the Younger Dryas period. Most researchers believe that it happened because of the heat that came over the Atlantic Ocean and freshwater circulated in the North Atlantic. This event accumulated a bunch of glacial meltwater from Canada.
Others researchers believe in the impact theory that an unknown material fell in North America. But of course none of them has strong evidences.
Further investigations needs to be done in order to calculate the age of the crater or the event that gave it birth but until the team reports more details, the crater has been added on the map along with the 25 largest craters in the world.
Laura grew up in a small town in northern Quebec. She studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married her husband one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their five young children. Laura is an advocate for people with disabilities.