Feb 20, 2019 | Updated: 10:02 AM EST

Asteroid Impact That Caused Dinosaur Extinction Results To Colorado Tectonic Faults

Apr 14, 2017 06:03 PM EDT


Another evidence that supports the theory of an asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs was found in the Colorado region. Scientists suggest that the asteroid impact was so massive when it hit the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. In fact, it resulted in fault displacement in places as far as Colorado.

Seismic waves after the asteroid impact generated earthquakes and reached Colorado. According to Norm Sleep of the Stanford University, there is evidence of fault displacement in places where they did not exist before the Cretaceous period. These faults manifested in the center of a previously crack-less tectonic plate, suggesting an asteroid impact. The timeline coincides with that of the dinosaur extinction.

Sleep and his team also observed that the rocks in two areas of Trinidad Lakes State Park yielded clues to the line that separates the Cretaceous and Tertiary period. According to PhysOrg, Sleep found traces of iridium, which is the main feature of an asteroid impact. It happened some 65 million years ago and marks the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Sleep stressed that even untrained eyes can clearly discern the anomaly in the Long Canyon and the Madrid Canyon. The clue to seismic activity that results from an asteroid impact is a fault that slipped about a meter. Sleep said that this happened during the asteroid impact in Mexico. The dinosaur extinction happened as an aftermath.

The study also pictured how intense the earthquake had been after the asteroid impact. The ground shook in almost all directions similar to that of a ship during a storm. Apart from fault due to a tectonic plate that cracked, the asteroid impact has also led the streams to re-channel back then, the Space Daily reported. Before the dinosaur extinction millions of years ago, scientists believe that Colorado has been a swampy area with several streams.

Meanwhile, Sleep and his team plan to present their study at the upcoming 2017 meeting of the Seismological Society of America. The team aims to solidify the theory that an asteroid impact accelerated the dinosaur extinction during the Cretaceous.

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