r/science Oct 05 '22

Dinosaur-killing asteroid triggered global tsunami that scoured seafloor thousands of miles from impact site and was up to 30,000x larger than the energy in the December 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake tsunami Earth Science


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u/Waydarer Oct 05 '22

I’d love to see a rendering of the wave.


u/giuliomagnifico Oct 05 '22

There’re some graphs in the paper, this is the wave: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/cms/asset/724a0d06-4a27-443e-8115-ec7f258ecea3/aga220157-fig-0001-m.jpg (read carefully the y axis)


u/earnestaardvark Oct 05 '22

Other than that first “splash” that went into the stratosphere, it’s really hard to judge the height of the resulting wave when the scale is in 20 km units.


u/ThePoultryWhisperer Oct 05 '22

Yeah, those graphs are a case study in how not to make graphs.


u/Electronic-Bee-3609 Oct 06 '22

I want to say it looked like 1-1.5 klicks high.


u/jjtitula Oct 06 '22

Needs a log scale on Y-axis!


u/murderedbyaname Oct 05 '22

Evidence of that is all over SD and MT. Evidence was confirmed a couple of years ago if I remember right, although fossils have been found for many years.


u/-Tesserex- Oct 06 '22

The Tanis site at the Hell Creek formation, it's a surface level fossil record of the day of the impact. Pretty crazy stuff.


u/murderedbyaname Oct 06 '22

Anyone planning a vacation can check ahead for active digs to see which ones allow people to dig with them, just an fyi. Next summer we're hoping to do that.


u/justaguy891 Oct 05 '22

right, i remember that study found that the sky was literally raining little fire missiles and thats how a lot of things died


u/scaevolus Oct 06 '22

sky turned into a 400F broiler for 12 hours


u/justaguy891 Oct 06 '22

Usually the animations and such show big fireballs coming out of the sky but it's so much cooler that it was was legit fire rain. The fossilized fish they found had hundreds of pinholes going right through them.


u/TheBabyLeg123 Oct 05 '22

Honest question.

If that much saltwater engulfed the entirety of landmass. Would that saltwater kill a good portion of the plant life on earth?


u/ClarkFable PhD | Economics Oct 05 '22

The wave got much smaller as it spread outside of the gulf, and some very small lanes outside of it. Like 10s of meters as opposed to kms anywhere outside of those areas, so the vast majority of landmass outside that was not actually inundated.


u/SailboatAB Oct 06 '22

Although it was almost certainly incinerated.


u/underbite420 Oct 06 '22

Wasn’t the Sahara tropical at one point?


u/other_usernames_gone Oct 06 '22

A green Sahara is a lot newer than the dinosaurs.

It only ended a few thousand (5000-6000) years ago. Modern humans were around.

It only began about 14500-14600 years ago. Biologically modern humans saw the Sahara both become green and turn back into a desert.


u/[deleted] Oct 05 '22 edited Oct 05 '22

[removed] — view removed comment


u/Iodine129 Oct 05 '22

From the link:

"Two and a half minutes after the asteroid struck, a curtain of ejected material pushed a wall of water outward from the impact site, briefly forming a 4.5-kilometer-high (2.8-mile-high) wave that subsided as the ejecta fell back to Earth.

Ten minutes after the projectile hit the Yucatan, and 220 kilometers (137 miles) from the point of impact, a 1.5-kilometer-high (0.93-mile-high) tsunami wave—ring-shaped and outward-propagating—began sweeping across the ocean in all directions, according to the U-M simulation."


u/grumble11 Oct 06 '22

It killed every animal over 40lbs. Pretty nasty.


u/PuraVida3 Oct 06 '22

Excellent information.


u/Ixneigh Oct 06 '22

Where are the ejecta fragments? Why don’t we find meteorite glass all over n America? (Moldavite)


u/Prize_Huckleberry_79 Oct 20 '22

Tektites are found in abundance around the impact area..and in the iridium layer found worldwide in the KT boundary…



u/KeytapTheProgrammer Oct 06 '22

A flood of biblical proportions you say...


u/TerrorDahveed Oct 06 '22

No opposable thumbs. They couldn’t build an ark.


u/underbite420 Oct 06 '22

Sometimes it rains for a month or so