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, 390 (6658), 357-63

Geological Record and Reconstruction of the Late Pliocene Impact of the Eltanin Asteroid in the Southern Ocean

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Geological Record and Reconstruction of the Late Pliocene Impact of the Eltanin Asteroid in the Southern Ocean

R Gersonde et al. Nature.

Abstract

In 1995, an expedition on board the research vessel FS Polarstern explored the impact site of the Eltanin asteroid in the Southern Ocean, the only known asteroid impact into a deep ocean basin. Analyses of the geological record of the impact region place the event in the late Pliocene (approximately 2.15 Myr) and constrain the size of the asteroid to be >1 km. The explosive force inferred for this event places it at the threshold of impacts believed to have global consequences, and its study should therefore provide a baseline for the reconstruction and modelling of similar events, which are common on geological timescales.

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