It was a little tougher 214,000,000 years ago

manicouagan

Above is the best (or the widest) shot I could get of Lake Manicouagan, which is the largest visible impact crater on Earth. Only three (or maybe four) are larger and none are visible.

The Manicouagan impact event happened about 214 million years ago, give or take. That was 14 million years before the end of the Triassic, which was first of the three “dinosaur ages” of the Mesozoic, an era that came to an end with the Chicxulub impact. Coming that far in advance the Manicouagan event  may not have been to blame for a mass extinction, but it wouldn’t have been pleasant.

There are better photos in the series, but it was a hazy day and the one above does the best job of showing the crater’s edges.

I’ve been wanting to see (and shoot) Manicouagan for many years, but routes and weather had never obliged before. This time they did, which was cool.

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3 comments

  1. Cameron Reilly’s avatar

    That’s very cool, Doc, thanks for sharing it. I remember reading Bill Bryson’s excellent “A Short History Of Nearly Everything” years ago and it really sinking home to me for the first time what a small window of opportunity mammalian lives has had to prosper on this tiny blue planet. We popped up during a short interlude in the series of extreme events, such as large meteor impacts or mega-volcanic eruptions, that the earth has experienced. And another one could happen tomorrow.

  2. Chip’s avatar

    Nice !

    Rocked the Craton back then

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