The Shiva crater is a geologic structure, which is hypothesized by Dr. Sankar Chatterjee and colleagues to be a 500 km in diameter impact structure. This geologic structure consists of the Bombay High and Surat Depression. They lie beneath the Indian continental shelf and the Indian Ocean west of Mumbai, India. Chatterjee named this structure after Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction and renewal.
Dr Chatterjee presented his latest findings on Shiva to the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Portland, Oregon, on October 18th. He makes a compelling case, identifying an underwater mountain called Bombay High, off the coast of Mumbai, that formed right at the time of the dinosaur extinction. This mountain measures five kilometers from sea bed to peak, and is surrounded by Shiva’s crater rim. Dr Chatterjee’s analysis shows that it formed from a sudden upwelling of magma that destroyed the Earth’s crust in the area and pushed the mountain upwards in a hurry. He argues that no force other than the rebound from an impact could have produced this kind of vertical uplift so quickly. And the blow that caused it would surely have been powerful enough to smash ecosystems around the world.
Shiva and mass extinction
The proposed Shiva crater and other possible impact craters along with the Chicxulub has led to the hypothesis that multiple impacts caused the massive extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous period. Chatterjee is confident that Shiva was one of many impacts, stating that “the K-T extinction was definitely a multiple-impact scenario.However, other scientists remain unconvinced that the extinction event was caused by multiple impacts, or that the Shiva feature is even in fact a crater.Other theories have argued that since the Chicxulub impact is believed by some researchers to have occurred earlier than the extinction of the dinosaurs, Shiva’s impact was enough to cause the mass extinction.