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Study: Prehistoric Asteroid Impacts Boiled Away Massive Amounts of Ocean Water

posted: 05/26/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
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A series of prehistoric asteroid impacts may have resulted in a mass evaporation of ocean water, according to a new study from Stanford University.

By studying rocks in South Africa, researchers identified evidence of eight different impact events from asteroids between 10 and 60 miles in diameter -- notably larger than the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs.

Researchers believe that the immense heat generated by at least two of the larger asteroid impacts caused massive amounts of ocean water to boil away, leaving the sea floor exposed. Global temperatures could have surpassed 900 degrees Fahrenheit (500 Celsius) following the impact, and stayed above 200 degrees Fahrenheit (100 Celsius) for a year thereafter.

Click here for the full article from Ars Technica.

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