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adam soule examining rock

If rocks could talk

Geologist Adam Soule examines a rock sample from the Lonar Crater in India, one of roughly 150 meteorite impact sites on Earth, but one of the only impacts in basalt. About 50,000 years ago the Lonar Crater meteorite gouged a hole more than a mile wide and 790 feet deep in the Deccan Traps of India. This impact provided researchers with an excellent analogue to the types of impacts on the surface of Mars. It also exposed ancient lava layers that might provide clues how these voluminous lava flows were deposited. The samples will be sliced and examined under a microscope. By looking at variations in their textures, Soule hopes to determine if they erupted gradually, or more quickly and the role they may have played in the extinction of the dinosaurs65 million years ago.

(Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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