Economic Mineral Deposits in Impact Structures: A Review

DOI: 10.1007/3-540-27548-7_20

ABSTRACT Many large meteorite impact structures throughout the world host mineral resources that are either currently mined or have
the potential to become important economic resources in the future. The giant Vredefort-Witwatersrand and Sudbury impact structures
underline this statement, because of their enormous resources in gold and uranium, and nickel, copper, and PGEs, respectively.
In relation to impact, three basic types of ore deposits in impact structure settings have been distinguished: (1) progenetic (i.e., pre-impact) deposits that already existed in the target regions prior to an impact event, but may have become accessible
as a direct result of the impact; (2) syngenetic (syn-impact) deposits that owe their existence directly to the impact process, and (3) epigenetic (immediately post-impact) deposits that result from impact-induced thermal/hydrothermal activity. In addition to metalliferous
ore deposits related to impact structures, impact structure-hosted epigenetic hydrocarbon deposits are reviewed and are shown
to make a major contribution to the North American economies. Non-metallic resources, such as minerals derived from crater-lake
deposits, dimension stone, and hydrological benefits, may also be derived from impact structures, and the educational and
recreational value of many meteorite impact craters can be substantial.

Undoubtedly, impact structures - at least those in excess of 5–10 km diameter - represent potential exploration targets for
ore resources of economic magnitude. This important conclusion must be communicated to exploration geologists and geophysicists.
On the other hand, impact workers ought to be familiar with already established fact concerning ore deposits in impact environments
and must strive towards further understanding of the ore generating processes and styles of emplacement in impact structures.

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    ABSTRACT: Abstract— The structural, topographic and other characteristics of the Vredefort, Sudbury, and Chicxulub impact structures are described. Assuming that the structures originally had the same morphology, the observations/interpretations for each structure are compared and extended to the other structures. This does not result in any major inconsistencies but requires that the observations be scaled spatially. In the case of Vredefort and Sudbury, this is accomplished by scaling the outer limit of particular shock metamorphic features. In the case of Chicxulub, scaling requires a reasoned assumption as to the formation mechanism of an interior peak ring. The observations/interpretations are then used to construct an integrated, empirical kinematic model for a terrestrial peak-ring basin. The major attributes of the model include: a set of outward-directed thrusts in the parautochthonous rocks of the outermost environs of the crater floor, some of which are pre-existing structures that have been reactivated during transient cavity formation; inward-directed motions along the same outermost structures and along a set of structures, at intermediate radial distances, during transient cavity collapse; structural uplift in the center followed by a final set of radially outward-directed thrusts at the outer edges of the structural uplift, during uplift collapse. The rock displacements on the intermediate, inward and innermost, outward sets of structures are consistent with the assumption that a peak ring will result from the convergence of the collapse of the transient cavity rim area and the collapse of the structural uplift.
    Meteoritics & Planetary Science. 01/2010; 43(5):855 - 882.
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    ABSTRACT: Europe has a rich heritage of meteorite impact structures of varied size, ranging from some metres to several tens of kilometres, and geologic age, from the Proterozoic to the Quaternary. The Ries-Steinheim event in Southern Germany is considered a prime example of a double impact system and has produced two of the best-preserved complex impact structures worldwide. This summary briefly reviews the proven impact structures in Germany, France, Eastern Europe including the Baltic countries, Finland, Sweden and Norway, as well as impact ejecta deposits in Scotland and elsewhere, and presents the recent developments in European impact crater research.
    Zeitschrift der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Geowissenschaften 01/2013; 164:387-415. · 0.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Jebel Hadid structure that formed in the Nubian Sandstone of the southern Al Kufrah Basin is a ∼4.7km circular feature with a set of multiple concentric annular ridges. The age of the structure is probably post-Early Cretaceous to pre-Pliocene. As the prevalent geological processes that usually account for the formation of circular structures (magmatism, diapirism, sand volcanism, karst dissolution, glacial erosion) can be widely excluded in this region, we suggest that the Jebel Hadid structure might represent an eroded, complex impact structure. In particular, the Jebel Hadid structure bears a strong morphological resemblance to the impact structure of Tin Bider in Algeria; general host rock properties may be compared to those at the Upheaval Dome impact structure, USA. Numerous terrestrial impact structures are hosts to hydrocarbon reservoirs. This investigation provides a first prospective approach based on remote sensing, discussing the economic potential of a circular structure of suspected impact origin. The still underexplored Al Kufrah Basin is considered as a high potential area for future hydrocarbon exploration. If we consider a possible impact origin of the Jebel Hadid structure, this feature might provide local secondary pathways and traps for hydrocarbon migration/accumulation in the Nubian Series and, thus, ought to be considered as a preferential site for oil and gas exploration.
    Marine and Petroleum Geology 01/2009; 26(3):310-318. · 2.11 Impact Factor

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