Oct 20, 2018 | Updated: 04:34 PM EDT

Ancient Meteorite Triggered Cataclysmic Volcanic Eruptions on Earth

May 04, 2017 03:48 PM EDT

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The meteorite that hit the earth more than a billion years ago triggered long-lived volcanic eruptions on Earth. An international team of scientists found that the ancient meteorite impact had changed the climate and surface of the Earth.

Geochemist from the Trinity College Dublin, Balz Kamber led the scientists to study the preserved ancient meteorite impact structure on Earth in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. The structure is one of the largest remnants of the meteorite impact on Earth. Following the great impact that happened 1.85 billion years ago, a deep basin was excavated and filled with melted target rocks.

According to the press release from the Trinity College Dublin, the ancient meteorite impact left a very distinctive shape in a 1.5 km (0.9 miles) deep basin. The unique shape was formed because of the gas bubble that expanded in the melted rock then blew up in a catastrophic explosion. Another example of such explosion can be found under glaciers in Iceland, where the cataclysmic explosion erupting water and occurred for a very long period after the impact.

Professor Kamber and his team found the ancient meteorite impact triggered the very intense volcanic activity. He said that the finding is very important, as it showed that the meteorite impact penetrated deeper into the earth, as the volcanic activity also involved the magma from inside the Earth.

"This is an important finding," Kamber, the Professor of Geology and Mineralogy at the Trinity College Dublin said regarding the ancient meteorite impact. "The effect of large impacts on the early Earth could be more serious than previously considered.”

The key and the most important finding in their research is the change of composition in the volcanic fragment erupted during the long volcanic activities following the ancient meteorite impact. The team has published their finding in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. Watch the simulation of the large meteorite impact below:

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