posted on Nov, 16 2013 @ 08:39 PM
Seawater discovered near the Chesapeake Bay is up to 150 million years old
Not only is the Chesapeake Bay so enormous it can be seen from space, it essentially came from outer space.
An asteroid or huge chunk of ice slammed into Earth about 35 million years ago, splashing into the Early Cretaceous North Atlantic, sending tsunamis
as far as the Blue Ridge Mountains and leaving a 56-mile-wide hole at the mouth of what is now the bay.
But a newly published research paper written by U.S. Geological Survey scientists shows that wasn’t the end of it. While drilling holes in southern
Virginia to study the impact crater, the scientists discovered “the oldest large body of ancient seawater in the world,” a survivor of that
long-gone sea, resting about a half-mile underground near the bay, according to the USGS.
“What we essentially discovered was trapped water that’s twice the salinity of [modern] seawater,” said Ward Sanford, a USGS hydrologist. “In
our attempt to find out the origin, we found it was Early Cretaceous seawater. It’s really water that’s from the North Atlantic.”
The Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater was discovered in 1999 by a group of USGS and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality scientists.
Five years after the Chesapeake crater’s discovery, Sanford’s USGS team started drilling at Cape Charles, Va., to study how the earth’s crust
absorbed the blow.
What they were not looking for, but found, was ancient seawater.
Through tests and digging, the research established that the chemistry was consistent with the vast halite deposits created during the Jurassic and
Cretaceous periods in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Basins.
The findings showing that the water is probably between 100 million and 150 million years old were published Thursday in the journal Nature.
edit on 16-11-2013 by snarky412 because: add link
edit on 16-11-2013 by snarky412 because: spelling