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Suspected Earth Impact Sites database

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Abstract

Current structure count Confirmed (Earth Impact Database): 174 (although I include Arkenu 1 and 2 in my class 3) Confirmed (SEIS): 4 Probable: 115 Possible: 449 Improbable 20 Rejected: 73 Purpose The aim for this database is to: -Provide ever-evolving list helping to steer research on suspected impact structures. -Provide basic data for each structure presented with a meaningful precision. -Provide brief and specific information about data sources and quality, incl. literature references, methods used to measure the data, clarification of conflicting information from various literature sources etc. -Sort out non-impact structures by consciously rejecting them instead of just forgetting them and allowing unreasonable proposals to keep coming back. Historical background The development of this database started in October 2004 for a brief reconnaissance project at Shell and was released for public development in June 2005. It was designed complementary to Earth Impact Database (EID, 2006), which has been widely regarded as a reference work for confirmed impact structures. Extensive list of proposed impact structures from Moilanen (2004) together with those structures that I independently compiled from literature formed the basis of the new database. Moilanen's database provided references and valuable additional information for some of the structures, but for most of the structures, references were not available, which prevented an assessment of the quality and vintage of the data.
Suspected Earth Impact Sites database
David Rajmon, Shell, Houston, TX, USA
drajmon@yahoo.com; http://david.rajmon.cz
Last update: see web
Historic updates: 1 September 2005, 11 January 2006, 3 March 2006, 10 July 2006, 2
October 2006, 11 January 2007, 13 Apr 2007
First published: 1 June 2005
Current structure count
Confirmed (Earth Impact Database): 174 (although I include Arkenu 1 and 2 in
my class 3)
Confirmed (SEIS): 4
Probable: 115
Possible: 449
Improbable 20
Rejected: 73
Purpose
The aim for this database is to:
- Provide ever-evolving list helping to steer research on suspected impact structures.
- Provide basic data for each structure presented with a meaningful precision.
- Provide brief and specific information about data sources and quality, incl. literature
references, methods used to measure the data, clarification of conflicting information
from various literature sources etc.
- Sort out non-impact structures by consciously rejecting them instead of just forgetting
them and allowing unreasonable proposals to keep coming back.
Historical background
The development of this database started in October 2004 for a brief
reconnaissance project at Shell and was released for public development in June 2005. It
was designed complementary to Earth Impact Database (EID, 2006), which has been
widely regarded as a reference work for confirmed impact structures. Extensive list of
proposed impact structures from Moilanen (2004) together with those structures that I
independently compiled from literature formed the basis of the new database. Moilanen’s
database provided references and valuable additional information for some of the
structures, but for most of the structures, references were not available, which prevented
an assessment of the quality and vintage of the data.
Current status and further development
Further data development continues along three lines:
1. Systematic scanning of literature and the internet for more structures.
2. Systematic literature compilation for individual structures.
3. Geologic screening study utilizing satellite data accessible on internet.
Relatively few structures bear detailed notes currently but about half of the
structures are now supported by a reference to original work. The structures printed in
CAPITALS have been merely grabbed from Moilanen’s database and I did not have a
chance to review them yet; all the notes for these structures come from Moilanen’s
database unless mentioned otherwise. Recently discovered paper by (Classen, 1977)
appears to be the source of many of Moilanen’s data. Classen’s data will therefore
provide original references for most of the other half of the structures.
How to contribute
Compilation of all necessary information is a huge task for one person but can be
achieved if the impact community joins forces and many people contribute a little. Any
information is appreciated, however, presentation in the database format is strongly
preferred as it saves me a lot of work. Please refer to the explanation of data attributes
below and to some more complete examples of the structures in the database (e.g.
Sirente, Ševětín, Silverpit, Alamo).
Ideally I would like you to submit:
- Data in Excel file
- electronic files of the referred literature
Please send your contributions to David Rajmon (drajmon@yahoo.com).
Many thanks to all who provided some feedback so far!
Names and Credits
The database follows a standard naming and referencing style common in scientific
literature. Names of the structures are derived from nearby geographic features. Personal
names will not be accepted.
Whoever contributes to data entry will be named in the database. I decide the
order of the names and who will be listed based on the amount of contribution.
Consequently, if the notes for a particular structure are completely rewritten the previous
contributors may be dropped of the list.
The notes contain standard references to published literature and personal
communication. References to peer-reviewed work are strongly preferred over personal
communication and other non-peer-reviewed sources and will replace them eventually.
Sources systematically searched for new proposed impacts:
Databases, compilations
(von Engelhardt, 1972; Grieve et al., 1988; Henkel and Pesonen, 1992; Hodge, 1994;
Koeberl, 1994; Glikson, 1996; Koeberl and Anderson, 1996; Fortes, 2000; Master and
Reimold, 2000; Abels et al., 2002; Glikson and Haines, 2004; Moilanen, 2004; Sharpton,
2004 November; Evans et al., 2005; Glikson and Haines, 2005; EID, 2006)
Abstracts
(Herrick and Pierrazzo, 2003)
(Evans et al., 2005)
(Ormö and Bergman, 2006)
LPSC 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007
METSOC 2004, 2005, 2006
GSA 2006
ESLAB 2006
Microsymposium 38
Journals
Meteoritics vol. 2-6 (excluding meeting abstracts)
MAPS 2002-2006 (excluding meeting abstracts)
Other
(Johnson and Campbell, 1997; Dressler and Sharpton, 1999; Dypvik et al., 2004)
Explanation of data attributes:
Classification
1. Confirmed – impact site with documented shock features and/or meteoritic
material and/or observed fall but not included in the Earth Impact Database (EID)
because the structure does not pass the EID size restriction or lacks a typical
structure due to the nature of the particular impact event (airblast, deep water…).
2. Probable – structural, geological and geophysical studies established reasonable
evidence, possibly with unconfirmed reports of shock features in abstracts, but the
definite shock features and/or meteoritic material is not well documented yet.
Includes Moilanen’s “probable” structures and also some of the Moilanen’s
“nearly proven structures” if I or person who I trust did not review the evidence.
More than 50% of these structures are expected to be of impact origin.
3. Proposed/Possible – some structural, geological and/or geophysical evidence
exists but the impact origin is still highly uncertain for the lack of data. Any
structures supported by work that has not been published. This includes some
poorly supported proposals until they get reviewed and reclassified. Less than
50% of these structures are expected to be of impact origin.
4. Improbable – observations of the structure and/or geological context suggest
non-impact origin but alternative interpretation has not been well established.
5. Rejected – non-impact origin has been well documented
Structure name
The most common name. Other used names appear in the notes. For structures in
countries using Latin alphabet, spelling in respective language is adopted. Diacritics (a
mark added to a letter to indicate a special pronunciation) can be destroyed when saving
as .txt file - WATCH OUT.
Crater field
Indication of whether the structure is a part of a crater field.
Region, Country
Mostly taken from the referenced literature source, but not always. This may also
be derived by the database contributor from Lat/Lon data as those are considered the
primary way of the structure location.
Latitude/Longitude
Shown in decimal degrees format, where N and E are positive, and S and W are
negative. Number of shown digits depends on precision of available data and
circumstances. For example, showing a center of a 1-km structure with 1-minute
precision is inadequate as the location may end up outside of the structure. Precision of 1
second for an 80-km structure is clearly irrelevant. Beware that underlying number may
show many more digits; this is a result of a deg/min/sec conversion to decimal degrees
and does not reflect actual precision. When saving in different format or copying and
pasting the numbers the formatting may be lost, i.e. zeros at the end will be omitted
effectively decreasing precision and irrelevant digits will be shown increasing precision
unreasonably.
Diameter
Original rim-to-rim diameter is preferred. If not available, diameter of observed
feature is used. In any case, the diameter should be explained in “Notes”. Please refer to
Turtle et al. (2005).
Age
The age should be recorded in original format and with a range of uncertainty. The
stratigraphic names are translated in number in the columns “Minimum age”, “Best age”,
and “Maximum age” and the note should explain how the age was calibrated. For ages
indicated with a range, e.g. 100-300 Ma, the “Best age” should be left blank as it would
be meaningless. “Age uncertainty” is filled in only if explicitly indicated in original data.
“Age uncertainty type” shows whether the uncertainty represents 1σ, 2σ, 95% confidence
interval, MSWD, stratigraphic range, etc. For cases of approximate ages without an
indication of uncertainty an arbitrary 10% uncertainty has been chosen. Note that 2σ and
95% confidence intervals are not necessarily the same.
Representation of age data in several columns allows searching and ranking.
Initially, stratigraphic ages were converted to numerical ages for some structures and the
original format does not appear in the database. This practice has been later abandoned
with a realization that the numerical ages will change according to evolving stratigraphic
charts.
Overburden
The thickness of the rocks (in meters) covering the structure.
Present water depth
The thickness of water layer (in meters) covering the entire structure. Lakes filling
the structures do not count.
Drilled
This information can be provided with certainty if the answer is “yes”. As one
cannot be sure about the negative answer for drilling of many of the structures, “No”
should be entered with care.
Target
Indication of the target rocks assuming impact origin of the structures. Target
types: W – water, M – metamorphic, I – igneous, S – sedimentary with indexes s –
siliciclastic, c – carbonate, e – evaporite. The rock types tend to be presented in the order
decreasing volume in the target.
Target water depth
Indication of the target water depth presented assuming impact origin of the
structures.
Impactor
Indication of the projectile type presented assuming impact origin of the structures.
Really applies only to the (nearly) confirmed structures.
Notes
The notes should:
- Accurately capture literature sources for each individual data entry
- Describe the basis of impact origin proposal, particular attention should be
paid to reports of shock features and meteoritic material.
- Explain methods used to obtain the data (e.g., step-heating Ar/Ar on K-feldspar
separates) and uncertainties. Sometimes a brief discussion of other conflicting
data is useful (e.g., older ages with different methods).
- Describe competing hypotheses, at least by referring to who advocated what.
- Provide at least a list of other references not discussed any further.
- Pay attention to information about drilling (where, who, location of cores …)
The notes should be kept brief but clear and specific. Complete notes according to
these guidelines are presently not available for almost any structure but we should push
for making them as complete as possible.
Moilanen (2004) is the only reference for structures with names in CAPITALS.
These structures have not been reviewed and any notes present come from that source.
Compiled by
Recognition is given to those persons who contributed information to a particular
structure in “ready format”. Throwing an abstract at me does not count towards your
recognition.
References
Abels A., Plado J., Pesonen L. J. and Lehtinen M. (2002) The impact cratering record of
Fennoscandia - a close look at the database. In Impacts in Precambrian Shields,
edited by J. Plado and L. J. Pesonen. Impact studies Berlin, Germany: Springer.
pp. 1-58.
Classen J. (1977) Catalog of 230 certain, probable, possible and doubtful impact
structures. Meteoritics 12(1):61-78. http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-
bib_query?bibcode=1977Metic..12...61C&db_key=AST&data_type=H
TML&format=&high=44af2ef3b132654
Dressler B. O. and Sharpton V. L. (1999) Large Meteorite Impacts and Planetary
Evolution II. Geological Society of America Special Paper 339. Boulder,
Colorado, USA: Geological Society of America. 464 p.
Dypvik H., Burchell M. and Claeys P. (2004) Cratering in Marine Environments and on
Ice. Impact Studies Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag. 340 p.
Eid (2006) Earth Impact Database. 7 February 2006.
http://www.unb.ca/passc/ImpactDatabase
Evans K. R., Horton J. W., Jr., Thompson M. F. and Warme J. E. (2005) SEPM research
conference: The sedimentary record of meteorite impacts, Springfield, Missouri,
USA, 21-23 May, 2005 - abstracts with program. 35 p.
Fortes A. D. (2000) Terrestrial impact structures. 19 November 2004.
http://www.es.ucl.ac.uk/research/planet/crater.htm
Glikson A. Y. (1996) A compendium of Australian impact structures, possible impact
structures, and ejecta occurrences. AGSO Journal of Australian Geology and
Geophysics 16(4):373-375.
Glikson A. Y. and Haines P. W. (2004) A compendium of Australian impact structures,
possible impact structures, and ejecta occurrences. unpublished.
Glikson A. Y. and Haines P. W. (2005) Shoemaker Memorial Issue on the Australian
impact record: 1997 – 2005 update. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences 52(4-
5):475-476. http://journalsonline.tandf.co.uk/link.asp?id=v252567310658522
Grieve R. A. F., Wood C. A., Garvin J. B., Mclaughlin G. and Mchone J. F. (1988)
Possible impact craters. In Astronaut's guide to terrestrial impact craters, edited.
LPI Technical Report 88-03 Houston, TX, USA: Lunar and Planetary Institute.
pp. 75-82. http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-
bib_query?bibcode=1988agic.rept...75G&db_key=AST&high=418ab4008707867
Henkel H. and Pesonen L. J. (1992) Impact craters and craterform structures in
Fennoscandia. Tectonophysics 216(1-2):31-40.
Herrick R. R. and Pierrazzo E. (2003) Impact Cratering: Bridging the Gap Between
Modeling and Observations. Houston, Texas, USA: Lunar and Planetary
Institute.
Hodge P. (1994) Meteorite craters and impact structures of the Earth. Cambridge, UK:
Cambridge University Press. 124 p.
Johnson K. S. and Campbell J. A. (1997) Ames structure in northwest Oklahoma and
similar features: Origin and petroleum production (1995 symposium). Oklahoma
Geological Survey Circular 100. Norman, OK, United States: University of
Oklahoma. 396 p.
Koeberl C. (1994) African meteorite impact craters: characteristics and geological
importance. Journal of African Earth Sciences 18(4):263-295.
Koeberl C. and Anderson R. R. (1996) Manson and company: Impact structures in the
United States. In The Manson impact structure, Iowa: Anatomy of an impact
crater, edited by C. Koeberl and R. R. Anderson. Geological Society of America
Special Paper 302. Boulder, Colorado, USA: Geological Society of America. pp.
1-30.
Master S. and Reimold W. U. (2000) The impact cratering record of Africa: An updated
inventory of proven, probable, possible, and discredited impact structures on the
African continent (abstract). In Catastrophic events and mass extinctions: Impacts
and beyond, pp. #3099. Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX, USA,
Vienna, Austria. http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/impact2000/pdf/3099.pdf
Moilanen J. (2004) List of probable and possible impact structures of the World. 29
October 2004. http://www.somerikko.net/old/geo/imp/possible.htm
Ormö J. and Bergman H. (2006) Impact craters as indicators for planetary
environmental evolution and astrobiology - abstracts, June 8 - 14, 2006.
Östersund, Sweden. http://www.geo.su.se/index.php?group_ID=2204
Sharpton V. L. (2004 November) Global impact studies project.
http://www.gi.alaska.edu/remsense/gisp/index.html
Turtle E. P., Pierazzo E., Collins G. S., Osinski G. R., Melosh H. J., Morgan J. V. and
Reimold W. U. (2005) Impact structures: What does crater diameter mean? In
Large meteorite impacts III, edited by T. Kenkmann, F. Hörz and A. Deutsch.
Geological Society of America Special Paper 384. Boulder, Colorado, USA:
Geological Society of America. pp. 1-24.
Von Engelhardt W. (1972) Impact structures in Europe. In 24th International Geological
Congress, pp. 90-111, Montréal, Canada.
Chapter
Identification and mapping of hypervelocity impact crater (HIC) sites require significant effort on ground truthing data collection and local instrument‐driven research. The recent advancements in Earth observation (EO) technology and geographical information systems (GIS) have increased our ability to study HICs. With EO imagery and relevant spatial data now readily available online at no cost, GIS and remote sensing provide a very attractive option in investigating the Earth's surface. In this framework, our study addresses the use of GIS and EO techniques by looking at a possible impact crater in upstate New York, United States. The Panther Mountain crater is thought to have been created by a meteor impact over 300,000 years ago during the Devonian or Mississippian geologic periods. Using freely available data from previous research, this study aimed at mapping land cover and geologic data and analyzing their correlation at Panther Mountain and it surrounding area. Findings of the study have showed encouraging results. A correlation between Panther Mountain's bedrock geology and vegetation was reported to be higher than the coefficient of the surrounding area. Similarly, the correlation between Panther Mountain's surficial geology type and vegetation was significantly lower than that of the other region. The significant difference in correlations between the two regions supports the Panther Mountain impact site. All in all, the present study also produced encouraging results as regards to the use of GIS in identifying potential hypervelocity crater sites.
Chapter
Full-text available
Currently thirty meteorite impact structures are identified in Fennoscandia, which corresponds to ~19% of the known global record. Eleven of them have been discovered or confirmed during the last decade. This high number is due to intensive, determined research, including deep drilling, and high-resolution geophysical regional mapping. The ages and diameters of Fennoscandian impact structures vary considerably, but many are relatively small (<10 km) and mostly of early Paleozoic age. The latter is probably an effect of the regional geological evolution. The majority of craters were formed in complex targets composed of crystalline basement, a sedimentary cover and frequently a water pile on top. Only those that were excavated in the crystalline shield contain bodies of coherent impact melt rock or reveal indications of such, now eroded. Distal impact-related deposits of some structures have locally survived, especially those that formed in platform areas with virtually uninterrupted sedimentation after impact. These deposits are useful stratigraphic markers. Apart from the confirmed structures, there are presently some sixty additional structures for which an impact origin has been suggested.
Article
Impact cratering is a geological process that is still rather unappreciated by the geological community, despite the fact that on all other planets and satellites with a solid surface impact cratering is the most important surface-modifying process. About 150 impact structures have been recognized on Earth to date. To put the studies of the Manson crater in a proper framework, we review some fundamental principles of impacts and how to recognize impact craters. The formation conditions of impact craters lead to pressure and temperature conditions in the target rocks that are significantly different from those reached during any internal terrestrial processes. Among the most characteristic changes induced by the impact-generated shock waves are irreversible changes in the crystal structure of rock-forming minerals, such as quartz and feldspar. These shock metamorphic effects are characteristic of impact and do not occur in natural materials formed by any other process. For comparison with Manson, we give an overview of our current knowledge of impact structures in the United States of America, which include confirmed, probable, and possible structures and a few other features for which an impact origin has been suggested. Based on the discovery of remnants of meteoritic matter and/or shock metamorphic effects in the crater rocks (which we accept as criteria to confirm an impact origin), we classify 20 craters in the United States of America as confirmed impact structures. Unfortunately, we have to conclude that about half of these structures are not well studied, even though they are relatively accessible.
Article
Since the discovery of plate tectonics, impact cratering is arguably the most significant geologic process now recognized as an important process on Earth. Impacts into ice, another main topic covered in this book, may be important on other worlds. Large numbers of impact craters that formed in marine environments on Earth have only been discovered in the last 10 years. Twenty-five craters that formed in marine environments have been documented, according to the first chapter of this book, although none are known that excavated oceanic crust. The papers in Cratering in Marine Environments and on Ice will whet your appetite for the exciting and ambitious range of topics implied by the title, which stems from a conference in Svalbard, Norway, in September 2001. This book provides a flavor of the rapidly advancing and diverse field of impact cratering.
Ames structure in northwest Oklahoma and similar features: Origin and petroleum production (1995 symposium) Oklahoma Geological Survey Circular 100. Norman, OK, United States: University of Oklahoma African meteorite impact craters: characteristics and geological importance
  • K S Johnson
  • J A Campbell
Johnson K. S. and Campbell J. A. (1997) Ames structure in northwest Oklahoma and similar features: Origin and petroleum production (1995 symposium). Oklahoma Geological Survey Circular 100. Norman, OK, United States: University of Oklahoma. 396 p. rKoeberl C. (1994) African meteorite impact craters: characteristics and geological importance. Journal of African Earth Sciences 18(4):263-295
Impact structures in Europe
  • Von Engelhardt
Von Engelhardt W. (1972) Impact structures in Europe. In 24th International Geological Congress, pp. 90-111, Montréal, Canada.
Ames structure in northwest Oklahoma and similar features: Origin and petroleum production (1995 symposium) Oklahoma Geological Survey Circular 100 African meteorite impact craters: characteristics and geological importance
  • Johnson K S Campbell
Johnson K. S. and Campbell J. A. (1997) Ames structure in northwest Oklahoma and similar features: Origin and petroleum production (1995 symposium). Oklahoma Geological Survey Circular 100. Norman, OK, United States: University of Oklahoma. 396 p. Koeberl C. (1994) African meteorite impact craters: characteristics and geological importance. Journal of African Earth Sciences 18(4):263-295.
Global impact studies project. http://www.gi.alaska.edu/remsense/gisp/index Impact structures: What does crater diameter mean? In Large meteorite impacts III
  • Sweden Östersund
  • V L Sharpton
  • E P Turtle
  • E Pierazzo
  • G S Collins
  • G R Osinski
  • H J Melosh
  • J V Morgan
Östersund, Sweden. http://www.geo.su.se/index.php?group_ID=2204 Sharpton V. L. (2004 November) Global impact studies project. http://www.gi.alaska.edu/remsense/gisp/index.html Turtle E. P., Pierazzo E., Collins G. S., Osinski G. R., Melosh H. J., Morgan J. V. and Reimold W. U. (2005) Impact structures: What does crater diameter mean? In Large meteorite impacts III, edited by T. Kenkmann, F. Hörz and A. Deutsch. Geological Society of America Special Paper 384. Boulder, Colorado, USA: Geological Society of America. pp. 1-24.
Catalog of 230 certain, probable, possible and doubtful impact structurescgi-bin/nph-bib_query?bibcode=1977Metic..12...61C&amp;db_key=AST&amp;data_type=H TML&amp;format=&amp Large Meteorite Impacts and Planetary Evolution II Cratering in Marine Environments and on Ice
  • J Classen
  • B O Dressler
  • V L Sharpton
Classen J. (1977) Catalog of 230 certain, probable, possible and doubtful impact structures. Meteoritics 12(1):61-78. http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?bibcode=1977Metic..12...61C&amp;db_key=AST&amp;data_type=H TML&amp;format=&amp;high=44af2ef3b132654 Dressler B. O. and Sharpton V. L. (1999) Large Meteorite Impacts and Planetary Evolution II. Geological Society of America Special Paper 339. Boulder, Colorado, USA: Geological Society of America. 464 p. Dypvik H., Burchell M. and Claeys P. (2004) Cratering in Marine Environments and on Ice. Impact Studies Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag. 340 p.
Earth Impact Database SEPM research conference: The sedimentary record of meteorite impacts -abstracts with program Terrestrial impact structures A compendium of Australian impact structures, possible impact structures, and ejecta occurrences
  • K R Horton
  • J W Jr
  • M F Thompson
  • J E Warme
Eid (2006) Earth Impact Database. 7 February 2006. http://www.unb.ca/passc/ImpactDatabase Evans K. R., Horton J. W., Jr., Thompson M. F. and Warme J. E. (2005) SEPM research conference: The sedimentary record of meteorite impacts, Springfield, Missouri, USA, 21-23 May, 2005 -abstracts with program. 35 p. Fortes A. D. (2000) Terrestrial impact structures. 19 November 2004. http://www.es.ucl.ac.uk/research/planet/crater.htm Glikson A. Y. (1996) A compendium of Australian impact structures, possible impact structures, and ejecta occurrences. AGSO Journal of Australian Geology and Geophysics 16(4):373-375.