New Evidence on the Size and Possible Effects of a Late Pliocene Oceanic Asteroid Impact

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  01 Jul 1988:
Vol. 241, Issue 4861, pp. 63-65
DOI: 10.1126/science.241.4861.63


Debris from a late Pliocene asteroid impact is spread across at least 600 kilometers of the ocean floor in the southeast Pacific. On the basis of iridium concentrations in sediments from six deep-sea cores, the asteroid diameter was at least 0.5 kilometer; the impacting projectile may have been one of the largest in the last few million years. The stratigraphic age of this impact is the same as that inferred for the onset of Northern Hemisphere glaciation.