October 19, 2009
Written by: Jessica Behnham
A mysterious basin off the coast of India could be the largest, multi-ringed impact crater the world has ever seen. And if a new study is right, it may have been responsible for killing the dinosaurs off 65 million years ago. Sankar Chatterjee of Texas Tech University and a team of researchers took a close look at the massive Shiva basin, a submerged depression west of India that is intensely mined for its oil and gas resources. Some complex craters are among the most productive hydrocarbon sites on the planet. Chatterjee will present his research at this month's Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America in Portland, Oregon.
"If we are right, this is the largest crater known on our planet," Chatterjee said. "A bolide of this size, perhaps 40 kilometers (25 miles) in diameter creates its own tectonics."