Research

A huge crater was found under the ice of Greenland: how many are there in total?

In November 2018 under the Greenland glacierHiawata was found a huge crater with a diameter of about 31 kilometers. Geologists were very surprised by the discovery, as they are already accustomed to thinking that a thick layer of ice completely aligns such depressions. They decided not to stop there and continued to search for other ice craters. The result was not long in coming - it turned out that there is another, larger crater with a diameter of 36.5 kilometers not far from it.

It is believed that both craters were formed inresult of the fall of meteorites. There are about 200 impact craters on the surface of the Earth, and the pair of Greenland craters are the only ones under a thick crust of ice. They were discovered by a group of NASA researchers led by Joseph MacGregor. To search for them, they used data from the IceBridge aircraft, which had previously helped to find a dangerous cavity beneath the Tueits glacier.

Initially, researchers assumed thatcraters were formed from the same meteorite impact. Perhaps, once upon a time, a double asteroid system fell to Earth, or perhaps one asteroid simply split into two parts during its entry into the atmosphere. However, geologists quickly abandoned this theory: the faces of the new and old craters are very different, that is, they could not form at the same time.

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Hiawatta crater is estimated at 100,000years, and the second crater was probably formed in more ancient times. This is evidenced by severe erosion - perhaps the crater was initially ten times deeper, and its depth was more than 800 meters. Researchers intend to carefully study the samples of its breeds, as they still have doubts about its origin.

The new crater has no official name yet,but the authors of the study want to give him a name in honor of the late glaciologist Stan Paterson, who restored climate data for the last 100,000 years, studying the ice cores of Greenland. The researchers are surprised and inspired by the fact that on the seemingly studied along and across the Earth you can find such huge craters.

What other secrets do you think the Earth harbors? Feel free to write your fantastic assumptions in the comments, and you can discuss the news in more detail in our Telegram chat!