Greenland meteorite crater ‘oldest in the world’

Scientists have discovered what they believe to be the world’s oldest and largest crater in Greenland.  The 100km-wide dent was caused when a meteorite hit earth three billion years ago, geologists believe.

Dr Iain McDonald who led the project in his role as a senior lecturer at Cardiff University’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, said all life would be wiped out if such a large meteorite hit earth today.

“The end of life as we know it would probably be the consequence if an asteroid of that size struck today,” he said in a report by Wales Online. “You would probably be looking at the surface of the planet being cooked.

Anything that could not dig underground or hide away from the fireball or the molten rain would be killed,” Dr McDonald continued, adding that the incident would have been similar to when an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

“It would have thrown an enormous amount of rock into the air and it would have rained back down on the earth, Dr McDonald said. “The atmospheric and environmental consequences would have been horrendous.”

The international team, made up of scientists from GEUS (the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland), named the crater Maniitsoq after the  nearest settlement 40kms away. It can only be reached by helicopter due to its remote location.