Meteorite hits on Earth: There may be a recount

Nov 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: On the right track for tropical clouds

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Explosive volcanoes light up Mercury's deep past

Jan 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

Mar 05, 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

Nov 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 ...

Recommended for you

On the right track for tropical clouds

14 hours ago

Think of a tropical storm about the size of Alaska. Large and lumbering, the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) affects weather patterns in every corner of the world. Unlike its well-known cousin El Niño, the ...

SMAP will track a tiny cog that keeps cycles spinning

16 hours ago

When you open the back of a fine watch, you see layer upon layer of spinning wheels linked by interlocking cogs, screws and wires. Some of the cogs are so tiny they're barely visible. Size doesn't matter—what's ...

User comments : 0

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.