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There are 26 meteorite impact sites in the U.S., one of them being right here in Southwest Missouri. A professor at Missouri State University, Dr. Kevin Evans, discovered the Weableau-Osceola impact site. As a part of a series on innovative scientific research in the local community, KSMU is profiling Missouri State University Science Professors and their research. The last of this series is about Dr. Evans and his work on a local meteorite impact site. KSMU's Jana Greer reports.
Sitting at his computer Dr. Kevin Evans describes his discovery...the Weaubleau-Osceola meteorite impact site.
His office shelves are covered with rocks that are different sizes and colors. He is dressed in a jersey and shorts and his hair is pulled back into a ponytail. He received his bachelor's degree at Missouri State and came back six years ago to teach geology.
Scientists knew there was some disturbance at the site, but it had never been proven as a meteorite site until Evans came along. He stitched together several maps to get the bigger picture of the area, but still couldn't see the site. He saved the picture as a small icon on his computer, and then, there it was.
The impact is one of the five largest in the US and among 50 largest known impact sites in the world. The impact took place 340 million years ago, before dinosaurs walked the earth. Evans describes the type of impact this meteorite made millions of years ago.
But Evans says unless you know what you're looking for; you wouldn't know it was an impact site.
Evans says it's important to study the impact of meteorites because it's not a matter of if another one will hit the earth; it's a matter of when.
Evans recently finished mapping the impact site. In the future, he says he would like to start seismic studies and begin to drill deeper. He says he plans to be studying the site for many more years to come.