Huge impact crater in the Sahara may have created glass

      Home » Science & Technology » Huge impact crater in the Sahara may have created glass

Huge impact crater in the Sahara may have created glass

There goes the ancient nuclear warfare theory popular on the net.

A huge crater in the Sahara desert, said to be the largest one ever found in the region, and dwarfing Arizona's "Meteor Crater", poses new questions for geologists.

Is the crater related to the origins of the mysterious "desert glass" in the region?

Scientists suggest that a meteorite impact millions of years ago is the cause of the giant crater imaged above. Recently discovered in satellite images of the area, the crater lies in Egypt's western desert.

It is some 19 miles (31kilometers) wide and is said to be the impact site of a meteoric intruder perhaps three-fourths of a mile (1.2 kilometers) in diameter. The crater itself is more than 25 times the size of Arizona's famous Meteor Crater. But over time, erosion by wind and water largely obscured the ancient scar.

One intriguing aspect of the discovery is its close association with a mysterious field of yellow-green glass, broken into large chunks, littering the dunes in the Great Sand Sea of southwestern Egypt.

The first report of the yellow-green “desert glass” came from Patrick Clayton in 1932, following his excursion through the Saad Plateau near the Kebira Crater site. At the time, the origin of the glass was unknown:

There was no evidence of geological forces that could have melted the silica sand into glass. With Kebira’s discovery, a hypothetical source for the glass is now available.

Geologists speculate that the glass originated as ejecta from the Kebira impact. It is thought that the meteor strike imparted so much energy to the surrounding silica sand that it was melted and then explosively hurled outward, solidifying and fracturing into shards.

Much more on the site here

kebira-crater.jpg - 78.39kb
By netchicken: posted on 19-4-2007








Huge impact crater in the Sahara may have created glass | [Login ]
Powered by XMB
Privacy Policy