Hiawatha CraterOther Ancient Impacts

Second suspected Greenland crater announced by NASA

Only at the Cosmic Tusk can you expect to see a major global announcement by NASA scooped by six weeks. Thanks to our blog’s most dedicated contributor, Steve Garcia: You heard it here first.

See other, non-prescient, contemporaneous coverage here:

NBC:  Immense crater may have been found deep under Greenland’s ice sheet

PhysOrg: NASA finds possible second impact crater under Greenland ice

Space.com NASA Spots a Second Massive Possible Impact Crater Buried Under Greenland Ice

Fox News: NASA eyes giant ‘meteorite’ crater beneath Greenland’s ice


It is increasingly rare to find new large impact craters on Earth, let alone such craters buried beneath ice. We describe a possible impact crater buried beneath 2 kilometers of ice in northwest Greenland. The circular structure is more than 36 kilometers wide, and both its shape and other geophysical properties are consistent with an impact origin. If eventually confirmed as an impact crater, it would be only the second found beneath either of Earth’s ice sheets. The first was the Hiawatha impact crater, which is also in northwest Greenland and only 183 kilometers away from this new structure, so we also evaluated whether these two craters could be related. They are similarly sized, but the candidate second crater appears more eroded and ice above it is much less disturbed than above the Hiawatha impact crater. Statistical analysis of the frequency of two unrelated but nearby large impacts indicates that it is improbable but not impossible that this pair is unrelated. Our study expands knowledge of the impact history of the Earth and raises the question as to how many other impact craters buried beneath ice have yet to be found.

Geophysical Research Letters: A Possible Second Large Subglacial Impact Crater in Northwest Greenland, February 11th, 2019

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