7 Amazing Impact Craters on Earth

Impact craters are created when a meteoroid, asteroid, or comet collides with the surface of a planet or the moon. All of the inner bodies of our solar system have been subjected to a significant amount of meteoroid bombardment throughout their histories. The effects of this bombardment may be seen vividly on the surfaces of the Moon, Mars, and Mercury, among other planets. Impact craters, on the other hand, are constantly being wiped by erosion or altered by tectonic forces on the Earth’s surface throughout time.

Despite this, around 170 terrestrial impact craters have been discovered on our planet so far. These vary in size from a few tens of meters in diameter to around 300 km (186 miles) in diameter, and they range in age from recent times to more than two billion years. This list includes only impact craters that have been discovered recently and are tiny in size, making them simpler to see. The Chicxulub crater, which has a diameter of 180 kilometers and is one of the largest and oldest impact craters on the planet, is an example of this (110 miles). It is believed that the impact that caused this iconic crater was responsible for the demise of the dinosaurs around 65 million years ago.

Kaali Crater

An impact from a meteorite that struck the earth between the 4th and 8th centuries BC caused the Kaali Crater to form. After breaking into pieces at a height of around 5-10 kilometers, the meteorite descended to the Earth in fragments. The greatest crater is around 110 meters in width and 22 meters in depth. There are eight lesser craters within a one-kilometer radius of the main crater, all of which were formed as a result of the bombardment. As a consequence of the earthquake, it is possible that the whole forest on the Estonian island of Saaremaa was destroyed. The crater is mentioned in a number of Estonian mythology and folk tales. The fabled Thule island may have been Saaremaa, and the name “Thule” may have been derived from the Finnish term tule, which means “of fire.”

Lonar Crater Lake

Approximately 50,000 years ago, a meteorite struck the surface of the Lonar Lake in Maharashtra, forming the lake. With a mean diameter of 1.2 kilometers (3,900 feet) and a depth of around 137 meters (449 feet), the saltwater lake that formed in the subsequent basaltic rock formation is the largest known on the planet. Numerous temples surround the lake, the most of them are in ruins, with the exception of a temple dedicated to Daityasudan, which is located in the heart of Lonar town and was erected in commemoration of Vishnu’s triumph over the monster Lonasur and is still in use today. The crater itself is a pleasant climb, and the surrounding greenery is a haven for birdwatchers due to the abundance of birdlife.

Tswaing Crater

The Tswaing Crater was formed by a chondrite or stony meteorite, measuring around 30 to 50 meters in diameter, which struck the earth approximately 220,000 years ago and left a crater. A tiny lake in the heart of the crater is fed by a spring and precipitation, and it serves as a recreational area. Stone artifacts from the Stone Age demonstrate that the crater was visited on a regular basis by humans who came to hunt and gather salt. The location was dubbed Zoutpan (Salt Pan) by European immigrants, although the native Tswana tribes refer to it as Tswaing (Place of Salt), which means “Place of Salt.”

Barringer Crater

Barringer Crater is the best-known and best-preserved impact crater on the planet, and it is also the most beautiful. The crater is named for Daniel Barringer, who was the first person to claim that it was caused by a meteorite impact in the 18th century. The crater, which is still privately held by his family, is alternatively known as Meteor Crater or Arizona Crater, depending on who you ask. The crater, which is around 1,200 meters (4,000 feet) in diameter and 170 meters (570 feet) deep and has a rim that is on average 45 meters higher than the surrounding plain, is located near Flagstaff, Arizona. When an iron meteorite struck the earth around 40,000 years ago, it created the Barringer Crater, which was approximately 50 meters (54 yards) broad and weighed several hundred thousand tons. Research reveals that the meteor impacted at a speed of 12.8 kilometers per second, according to recent findings (28,600 mph).

Amguid Crater

The Amguid Crater is a relatively youthful crater, having formed as a consequence of a meteor strike around 100,000 years ago. It is situated in a rural location in southern Algeria, which makes it difficult to reach. 450 meters (1476 feet) in diameter and 30 meters (100 feet) deep, the completely circular meteorite impact crater is the largest in the world. Several meters in diameter sandstone chunks cover the top of the rim, forming a protective barrier around it. The crater’s core is flat, and it is filled with compacted eolian silts, which give the crater its name.

Monturaqui Crater

It is situated in Chile, south of the Salar de Atacama, and is the world’s largest crater. According to current measurements, the crater is roughly 460 meters (1,509 feet) in diameter and 34 meters (100 feet) in depth. The impact occurred approximately a million years ago, according to current estimates. Because to the great aridity of the region, the crater is still vividly visible from the surrounding area. The size and form of the Monturaqui crater are strikingly comparable to those of the Bonneville crater on Mars, which was visited by the Spirit rover in 2004 and studied extensively. Both craters are shallow, the size of the rocks ejected near the crater rims is comparable, and both were generated in a volcanic setting, according to the researchers.

Tenoumer Crater

The Tenoumer Crater is 1.9 kilometers (1.2 miles) broad and has a rim that is 100 meters (330 feet) high. It is almost a complete circular in shape. The crater is situated in Mauritania’s western Sahara Desert, and it is the world’s largest crater. Modern geologists have long contested the origin of this crater, with some believing it was produced by a volcano. However, upon closer inspection of the structure, it was discovered that the solidified “lava” in the crater was really rock that had melted as a result of a meteorite impact. Between 10,000 and 30,000 years ago, this event had a significant influence on the environment.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button