Meteorite hits on Earth: There may be a recount

November 25, 2008

Meteorite craters might not be as rare as we think. A University of Alberta researcher has found a tool that could reveal possibly hundreds of undiscovered craters across Canada and around the world.

The discovery of a meteorite crater near Whitecourt, 200 kilometers west of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada prompted Chris Herd to examine the site from the air using existing aerial surveys. A computer program, applied to aerial images taken by a forestry company, stripped away the images of trees to expose the landscape, revealing the meteorite crater.

Herd, an assistant professor in the U of A's department of earth and atmospheric sciences, says this technology can be used to potentially reveal hundreds of meteorite craters around the world that are hidden by trees but unknowingly captured on aerial forest surveys.

Herd believes that as more craters are found and analyzed existing theories on how many meteorites have hit Earth in the past and the frequency of future impacts will change.

Herd's research will be published in the journal, Geology, on Nov. 25.

Source: University of Alberta

Explore further: Did a house-sized meteorite create this mysterious circle in Antarctica?

Related Stories

Explosive volcanoes light up Mercury's deep past

January 31, 2014

Mercury has long been a mystery to scientists. Until recently, knowledge of the planet was limited to the grey, patchy landscape revealed by the Mariner 10 probe, NASA's first mission to Mercury in the mid-1970s.

Iowa meteorite crater confirmed

March 5, 2013

(Phys.org) —Recent airborne geophysical surveys near Decorah, Iowa are providing an unprecedented look at a 470- million-year-old meteorite crater concealed beneath bedrock and sediments.

Finding a meteorite's final resting place

November 27, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- University of Alberta researcher Chris Herd doesn't want people craning their necks, worrying about giant rocks falling from space. But he's unleashed new technology that could prove meteorite impacts with ...

Recommended for you

New study sheds light on end of Snowball Earth period

August 24, 2015

The second ice age during the Cryogenian period was not followed by the sudden and chaotic melting-back of the ice as previously thought, but ended with regular advances and retreats of the ice, according to research published ...

Earth's mineralogy unique in the cosmos

August 26, 2015

New research from a team led by Carnegie's Robert Hazen predicts that Earth has more than 1,500 undiscovered minerals and that the exact mineral diversity of our planet is unique and could not be duplicated anywhere in the ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.