An 800,000-year-old crater discovered by scientists

Scientists have been able to discover the location of the 800,000-year-old crater. The study has taken decades to be able to pinpoint the location of this impact area.

Scientists knew that over 790,000 years ago, a meteor slammed into the earth and the impact caused blanketing of about 10 percent of the planet with shiny black lumps of rocky debris called tektites. The tektites spread from Indochina to Antarctica and from the western Pacific to the Indian ocean.

However, they could not pinpoint the exact area where the meteorite hit and caused the crater. This was until recently, where Geochemical analysis and local gravity readings pointed them southern Laos on the Bolaven Plateau. This was a 2,000 square miles area covered with volcanic lava, which had cooled over time.

Discovery of the 800,000-year-old crater

The study authors wrote they had been able to locate the area by using an abundance of tektites. They indicated that even if the crater had eroded and concealed, using the two methods helped them pinpoint the exact location of the point of impact.

The researchers spent decades searching for the area of impact unsuccessfully. This is because the tektites were very widespread, which made pinpointing the exact location of impact very difficult.

The new study involved examining eroded crater candidates in southern China, northern Cambodia, and central Laos. They quickly found out that these craters were much older with rocks dating to the Mesozoic era which was about 66 to 252 million years ago.

The researchers, however, were able to identify one area where they determined as the most likely point of impact, the Laos’ Bolaven Plateau. The challenge was on how to identify the exact point of impact on a large area.

The study authors, however, were able to take gravity readings at more than 400 locations. This enabled them to pinpoint one area which they had indicated was of particular interest. Their efforts paid off, and they were able to find the almost 800,000-year-old crater formed from impact from a meteor.


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