The drilling expedition of the massive Chicxulub crater off of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico has confirmed scientists' dynamic collapse theory of formation, according to Science magazine.
The crater, caused by an asteroid believed to have wiped out dinosaurs about 66 million years ago, provided evidence of "shocked, granite rocks from deep in the crust placed 'out of order' on top of sedimentary rock," which caused a "peak ring."
"Chicxulub is the only well-preserved crater on Earth with a peak ring," according to the report, "but it is buried and only accessible through drilling."
"The validity of this model has implications for far-ranging subjects, from how giant impacts alter the climate on Earth to the morphology of crater-dominated planetary surfaces," according to the study's abstract.
Imperial College London professor Joanna Morgan is also studying how the large impact deformed the rocks to make them porous and aid in creating habits for early life.
"It is hard to believe that the same forces that destroyed the dinosaurs may have also played a part, much earlier on in Earth's history, in providing the first refuges for early life on the planet," she said in a statement.
"We are hoping that further analyses of the core samples will provide more insights into how life can exist in these subterranean environments."
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