EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — This may be a new term that you’ve never heard before – megatsunami – that’s what experts say was the result of what happened nearly 66 million years ago when a 6+ mile wide asteroid impacted Earth. The same asteroid that wiped out almost all of the dinosaurs, along with most other animal and plant species.
The impact created a megatsunami, with waves reaching as high as a mile in the sky, according to new research.
The international group of researchers that conducted the study were able to analyze geological records and use other scientific data to reproduce a simulation of the global impact from the megatsunami.
NOAA said the simulation gives a better understanding of the geology of that period in time.
“This tsunami was strong enough to disturb and erode sediments in ocean basins halfway around the globe, leaving either a gap in the sedimentary records or a jumble of older sediments,” lead author of the study, Molly Range, told NOAA.
Researchers from the study said the energy from this megatsunami was up to 30,000 times larger than the energy of the December 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake tsunami, one of the largest tsunamis in modern recorded history which claimed the lives of more than 225,000 people.
“Our study is the first estimate of the global impact of the tsunami generated by the Chicxulub asteroid,” Vasily Titov, co-author of the study, told NOAA. “The models estimate that virtually all world coastlines experienced catastrophic flooding from that tsunami.”
You can read more about the study from the University of Michigan.