An international research team claims to have discovered a large-scale impact crater hidden beneath more than half a mile of ice in Greenland.
With a width of more than 1
9 miles and a depth of about 300 meters, the huge, bowl-shaped depression is larger than Washington, DC, and one of the 25 largest craters ever discovered on Earth. It is also the first crater discovered under a continental ice sheet.
The crater arose when a meteorite that is more than half a mile wide shattered into an area now covered by the Hiawatha Glacier in northwest Greenland, the researchers say a work describing their discovery.
Researchers can not determine the age of the crater. However, its well-preserved condition suggests that it has formed "after ice greenland, which is less than three million years old and possibly 12,000 years old." Kurt Kjaer, a professor at the Center for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen and the leader of the team, said in a written statement.