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"A Journey Into the Chicxulub Impact Crater" --Death of an Epoch 66 Million Years Ago (WATCH Today's 'Galaxy' Stream)




When the Chicxulub asteroid slammed into Earth about 66 million years ago, it obliterated 80 percent of Earth's species, blasted out a crater 200 kilometers across, and signaled an abrupt end to the Cretaceous Period. The impact, its catastrophic effects, and its aftermath have engrossed scientists and the public alike since it was first discovered.





In spring 2016, the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) and International Continental Scientific Drilling (ICDP) drilled into the Chicxulub crater off the coast of Mexico. The expedition targeted Chicxulub crater's peak ring and overlying rock sequences. Peak rings, as seen on the moon, form when rocks rebound into a peak inside the crater. The peak then collapses, leaving a center ring of rock within the larger crater. The expedition is helping answer important questions about the Chicxulub impact event and peak-ring crater formation on planetary bodies.



Highlights of IODP-ICDP Expedition 364 are featured in the October 2017 issue of GSA Today, and on Tuesday, 24 October, an entire keynote session at the GSA Annual Meeting will be devoted to the expedition. In the session, geologists will take us back to the first moments and years following the impact.


In Wikipedia it is estimated that the impact released the energy equivalent of 10 billion Hiroshima bombs or 10^23 Joules of energy.

If all that energy went into heating up the surface of the oceans, "What is the depth of the water that would have been evaporated?"

I did the following calculation and found it would be 3.344 inches.

Energy to evaporate 1 pound of water as sea level = 970 BTU = 970x1055.06 = 1023408.2 Joules = 1.0234082x10^6 Joules

Pounds of water per cubic foot = 62.42718356
Energy to evaporate 1ft3 of water =62.42718356x1.0234082x10^6=6.38885x10^7 Joules/ft3
Surface area of sphere is 4π r2 = 4x3.14159x(4000x5280)^2 ft^2 =12.56636x(2.112)^2x10^14 ft^2 = 5.60528x10^15 ft^2

Surface area covered by oceans is 71% = 3.979x10^15 ft2
Depth of water evaporated on ocean surface = 10^23 J/(5.6x10^15 ft^2 x 6.39x10^7 J/ft^3) = 10^23 ft/3.58811x10^23 = 0.2787 ft or 3.344 inches


@Greg, something that happened 66 million years ago is well past being relevant today. Life prevailed.

Wow. Could we please do that again?

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