Muscat: Sultan Qaboos University announced the discovery of a huge meteorite crater with a diametre of one kilometre in the Wilayat of Mahut, which is likely to be 60 million years old.
Prof Dr Sobhi Jaber Nasr, a professor at the Department of Earth Sciences at the College of Science, believes that it is 60 million years old and that the diametre of the meteorite that caused the appearance of this crater ranges between 50 and 60 metres, making it one of the largest impact craters in the Middle East.
This unique discovery provides a rare scientific site to study the effects of impacts on the ground that was not possible before, which makes the Sultanate of Oman present a second site for its distinction and geological heritage, where the ophiolite rocks are the first and unique example of revealing the surrounding crust rocks on its surface, as is the role of these rocks In absorbing an estimated 100 thousand tons of carbon dioxide annually, these rocks help to combat global warming naturally, and the rock fragments at the site of the discovered crater show signs of melting and recrystallisation during the collision, as the sandstone quickly heats up to more than 1200 degrees, It is then cooled in situ, consistent with impact.
Rock analyses of unmelted rock masses show the presence of impact minerals such as quartz crystals with a distinctive pattern of parallel, flat cracks, as a result of shock waves travelling through the bedrock, and the presence of the kocite mineral, in addition to that, indicates the major collision with the asteroid that hit the region.
On the other hand, the results of the analysis showed teardrop-shaped glass fragments, and pieces of glass perforated with small holes resulting from gas bubbles.
These two features also indicate the occurrence of a high-intensity collision there, and geophysical surveys indicated the distinctive vascular layered shape of the impact craters.
The site is expected to contain some economic minerals and will be an important site for domestic tourism, international science and national heritage.