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Impact of large asteroid impact on life on earth

  • Start date03/25/2013
  • Time15.45
  • LocationAula
  • TitleGeology and emplacement mechanism of Chicxulub crater deposit: an analogue for Mars ejecta
  • SpeakerA.C. Ocampo
  • PhD supervisorprof.dr. J. Smit prof. P. Claeys
  • UnitFaculty of Earth and Life Sciences
  • Academic fieldEarth and Life Sciences
  • Event typePhD conferral

Adriana Ocampo examined the effects of the impact of a large asteroid on earth. It shows that the composition of the substrate by the asteroid hit a key role in any changes in the biosphere, including the extinction of the dinosaurs. Because large amounts of sulfur as sulfate and evaporated rich particles in the atmosphere came, the climate is influenced so that the earth's atmosphere briefly, about ten years, much has cooled. The earth seemed short period of time on Venus with an atmosphere full of carbon dioxide, and sulfuric acid clouds  which is influenced in the food chain in such a way that a mass extiction occurred.

Ocampo studied how the asteroid impact on the biosphere, and whether this impact is the cause of the cool and then warm up the atmosphere was leading to the extinction of the dinosaurs came. They examined the impact materials in the immediate vicinity of the crater in Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico  and Belize on their properties and compared it with such products impact on the planet Mars, to better understand and future Mars expeditions to better prepare. They also examined the role that water plays in the background.

Through the study of Ocampo, the implications of such impact on the earth has had or could have a better understanding. Although 99% of the large asteroids have been discovered and studied the earth and the next hundred years will be affected by such asteroids, the possibility of a large impact can not be excluded. This research can help us better understands the consecuences and mitigation options. The recent Chelyabinsk asteroid atmospheric impact in Russia wherethe main body of the asteroid exploded at 18km from the  Earth ’s surface causing substancial damage,  it underlines the importance of accurate research into the impact effects. There is potentially 500,000 smal asteroids like the one that impacted in Chelyabinsk and only 1% of them are known. The Chelyabinsk asteroid came form the directionof the Sun making more difficult to discover before hand.

Ocampo studied satellite observations leading to the discovery of the crater have led. These satellite observations they then tested geophysical observations of the earth's surface and they examined the impact materials in Yucatan and Belize.

More information about the thesis in VU-DARE

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