Worldâ€™s Oldest and Biggest Crater is in Greenland
The world's oldest and biggest crater in the world is 100 km wide and has been traced in Greenland. Ateam of scientists from the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) in Copenhagen, Cardiff University in Wales, Lund University in Sweden and the Institute of Planetary Science in Moscow discovered the crater believed to be some 3 billion years old.
Located in Mantiitsoq region of West Greenland this crater is a result of a gigantic asteroid colliding with the Earth about a billion years before any known collision.
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Dr Iain McDonald of Cardiff University's School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, who was part of the team said, "'This single discovery means that we can study the effects of cratering on the Earth nearly a billion years further back in time than was possible before."
The researchers reported that the craters remain undiscovered because over time the land becomes eroded or is covered by newer, younger rocks. Only the deepest parts of the crater can survive. All external parts of the impact structure have been removed, but the effects of the intense impact shock wave penetrated deep into the crust - far deeper than at any other known crater - and these remain visible.
On the whole till date only 180 impact craters have been discovered on Earth in which only 30% of them contained important natural resources of minerals or oil and gas. Till date the largest and oldest known crater was Vredefort crater in South Africa. It is 2 billion years old and heavily eroded.
Dr McDonald concluded saying, "It has taken us nearly three years to convince our peers in the scientific community of this but the mining industry was far more receptive. A Canadian exploration company has been using the impact model to explore for deposits of nickel and platinum metals at Maniitsoq since the autumn of 2011."