Impact craters may be source of life on Earth

Reseachers at UWA’s School of Earth and Environment have found that meteorite impact craters may have played a key role in the origin and evolution of early life on Earth.

In an article published this month, geologist Dr Martin Schmieder and his associates claim that as impact craters cooled, they worked like “hot, natural laboratories” that provided ideal conditions for the origin and evolution of life on early Earth. As a case study, impact-molten rock samples from the 76-million-year-old Lappajärvi crater in Finland were analysed.

The study results suggest that temperatures resulting from an impact can reach several thousand degrees Celsius, and that the heat generated by the impact can take more than several hundred thousand years to dissipate, a relatively longer cool-down period than the previously believed 10,000 years.

Read more at University of Western Australia