Ham Lake fire reveals extraterrestrial visitor

According to scientists, 1.85 billion years ago a meteorite with a 5 mile diameter slammed into the Earth at Sudbury, Ontario. It spread a blanket of ash and debris over one million sq. miles. Tsunamite is what scientists infer to be broken rock, now cemented together, that resulted from a tsunami generated by the tremendous impact of the meteorite.
Photo by Mark Jirsa

This weekend, teams of volunteers will plant trees to help rejuvenate forest areas along the Gunflint Trail. Those areas were burned in the Ham Lake Fire.

Many northern Minnesota resort owners and outfitters want those burned areas to look green as soon as possible. But, some think the newly barren ground holds its own different kind of attraction.

Geologist Mark Jirsa was recently hiking around some of the charred landscape when he made a discovery of a nearly 2-billion-year-old event.

Mark Jirsa is a senior scientist with the Minnesota Geological Survey. He told MPR's Tom Crann more about his find.

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