[meteorite-list] Trace of Meteorite That Killed Dinosaurs Found in Colombia

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2016 16:54:32 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <201603212354.u2LNsXkO007704_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


First South American trace of meteorite that killed dinosaurs found in Colombia
Fox News Latino
March 16, 2016

Bogota,(EFE) - A team of scientists headed by geologist Herman Bermudez
working on the Colombian island of Gorgonilla, in the Pacific, has found
fragments of the meteorite that 66 million years ago caused the extinction
of the dinosaurs, sources close to the investigation said Tuesday.

"(We have) evidence of the impact of the meteorite, (they are very tiny)
particles that are the result when the meteorite hit," Bermudez told EFE.

Those remains, called spherulites, which are small, rounded bodies that
commonly occur in vitreous igneous rocks, are part of the continental
shelf material that is currently the Yucatan Peninsula and they were found
with fragments of the meteorite.

The spherulites are about 0.8 inches in diameter and look like marbles,
being made of glass.

Under the microscope, small crystals from the meteorite can be seen and
they show its composition.

When the meteorite hit Earth, it blasted out a crater 125 miles in diameter
known today as Chicxulub, which is on the Yucatan Peninsula.

The impact caused an environmental catastrophe, including gigantic tsunamis,
that led to the massive extinction of many species, including the dinosaurs.

Bermudez said that "the find is unique" because experts worldwide who
worked with him "know all the spots in the world where there is evidence
of the impact" and said that "they had never seen preservation like this."

It is still not known precisely why the fragments are in such good shape,
but scientists suspect that it is because Gorgonilla "was very deep under
the ocean" and only emerged from the waves millions of years later.

These are the first fragments that have been discovered in South America,
although fragments of the meteorite have been found in Central and North

Despite the lack of financing, Bermudez says he hopes to continue working
to show that when the meteorite hit there was a "mega-earthquake" measuring
13 on the Richter scale in the Western Hemisphere.
Received on Mon 21 Mar 2016 07:54:32 PM PDT

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