STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Scientists confirm massive impact crater beneath Greenland's ice

A team of international researchers has verified the discovery of the first meteorite impact crater ever fou...

Posted: Nov 16, 2018 9:44 AM
Updated: Nov 16, 2018 9:44 AM

A team of international researchers has verified the discovery of the first meteorite impact crater ever found deep beneath the Greenland ice sheet.

Found under the Hiawatha Glacier, the crater is about 1,000 feet (300 meters) deep and 19 miles (31 kilometers) wide, according to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

Continents and regions

Greenland

Meteors and meteorites

North America

Science

Space and astronomy

The Americas

Environment and natural resources

Glaciers and icebergs

Government organizations - US

Landforms and ecosystems

NASA

US federal departments and agencies

US government independent agencies

It was likely formed when a half a mile (800 meter) wide iron meteorite struck northwest Greenland less than three million years ago. It was then covered in ice, hiding it from view, NASA said.

A team of researchers from the University of Copenhagen's Centre for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark first spotted the crater in July 2015.

The researchers were inspecting a new map of the topography beneath Greenland's ice sheet created by ice-penetrating radar data when they noticed a circular depression under the Hiawatha Glacier.

They suspected it was a crater and have spent the last three years examining NASA data and working with colleagues in the United States to verify their findings, which were published in the journal Science Advances Wednesday.

"The crater is exceptionally well-preserved and that is surprising because glacier ice is an incredibly efficient erosive agent that would have quickly removed traces of the impact," said Kurt Kjær, a professor at the Center for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark and lead author of the study.

Kjær said the impact might have occurred at the end of the last ice age, which would make it among the youngest on the planet.

The research team plans to continue investigating how the meteor's impact affected the planet as a whole, NASA said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32437

Reported Deaths: 2030
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9371546
Lake3347170
Cass15867
Allen135366
St. Joseph121834
Hendricks113567
Hamilton112391
Johnson1092104
Elkhart107028
Madison58259
Porter49521
Bartholomew48634
Clark47141
LaPorte41523
Tippecanoe3803
Howard37620
Jackson3681
Delaware35936
Hancock32327
Shelby32121
Floyd31539
Boone29335
Morgan27024
Vanderburgh2532
Montgomery23317
White2288
Decatur22431
Clinton2221
Grant19521
Noble19221
Harrison18821
Dubois1852
Henry1709
Greene16824
Warrick16528
Dearborn16421
Monroe16211
Vigo1507
Lawrence14623
Miami1391
Putnam1347
Jennings1284
Orange12422
Scott1183
Ripley1136
Franklin1068
Kosciusko971
Carroll932
Daviess8416
Marshall801
Steuben802
Wayne755
Newton7410
Wabash732
Fayette714
Jasper621
LaGrange622
Washington521
Fulton471
Jay460
Randolph453
Rush452
Jefferson421
Whitley412
Clay411
Pulaski400
Owen341
Sullivan331
DeKalb331
Brown331
Starke313
Perry260
Wells260
Huntington262
Knox250
Benton250
Tipton241
Crawford230
Blackford202
Switzerland190
Fountain182
Parke180
Spencer171
Posey160
Gibson142
Ohio130
Warren121
Adams121
Vermillion100
Martin90
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0159
West Lafayette
Scattered Clouds
83° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 84°
Kokomo
Scattered Clouds
78° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 80°
Rensselaer
Broken Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 81°
Fowler
Broken Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 81°
Williamsport
Broken Clouds
80° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 82°
Crawfordsville
Scattered Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 80°
Frankfort
Overcast
80° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 82°
Delphi
Scattered Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 78°
Monticello
Scattered Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 78°
Logansport
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 80°
Cooler, less humid weather ahead by the weekend.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events