A professor at the University of Saskatchewan has played an important part in the discovery of Canada’s thirtieth known impact crater and he say’s the discovery was a, “once in a life time kind-of-thing.”
Brian Pratt, a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences with a specialty in stratigraphy, along with researchers from the Geological Survey of Canada made the discovery two summers ago and has now submitted their research for publication.
“It was incredibly exciting, we flew to that area and we could see there was something really weird,” said Pratt, noting distinct patterns in surrounding sedimentary rocks were the team’s first clue.
“When we landed the helicopter, we literally just stepped out and right there we’re these things called shatter cones (a unique geological feature that can only be found in impact craters) so we knew what we had,” he said.
Alongside being an important geological discovery, the impact crater will also provide scientists with more information about the Earth’s crusts and what kind of impact it may of had on the extinction of animals in the geological past as these craters are very rare.
“The record of astroblemes or impact craters on earth is really sparse,” said Pratt. “We’re a planet that has oceans and plates, so the plates collide and the ocean crust is recycled … so we should have thousands of thousands of craters, but we don’t.”
Pratt said the meteorite community will be very interested with the discovery adding how other scientists could start doing more extensive research at the site.