Chesapeake Bay impact structure: Morphology, crater fill, and relevance for impact structures on Mars
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CitationHorton, J. W., Ormö, J., Powars, D. S., & Gohn, G. S. (2006). Chesapeake Bay impact structure: Morphology, crater fill, and relevance for impact structures on Mars. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 41(10), 1613-1624.
PublisherThe Meteoritical Society
JournalMeteoritics & Planetary Science
DescriptionFrom the proceedings of the Workshop on the Role of Volatiles and Atmospheres on Martian Impact Craters held on July 11-14, 2005, at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.
AbstractThe late Eocene Chesapeake Bay impact structure (CBIS) on the Atlantic margin of Virginia is one of the largest and best-preserved "wet-target" craters on Earth. It provides an accessible analog for studying impact processes in layered and wet targets on volatile-rich planets. The CBIS formed in a layered target of water, weak clastic sediments, and hard crystalline rock. The buried structure consists of a deep, filled central crater, 38 km in width, surrounded by a shallower brim known as the annular trough. The annular trough formed partly by collapse of weak sediments, which expanded the structure to ~85 km in diameter. Such extensive collapse, in addition to excavation processes, can explain the "inverted sombrero" morphology observed at some craters in layered targets.The distribution of crater-fill materials in the CBIS is related to the morphology. Suevitic breccia, including pre-resurge fallback deposits, is found in the central crater. Impact-modified sediments, formed by fluidization and collapse of water-saturated sand and silt-clay, occur in the annular trough. Allogenic sediment-clast breccia, interpreted as ocean-resurge deposits, overlies the other impactites and covers the entire crater beneath a blanket of postimpact sediments.The formation of chaotic terrains on Mars is attributed to collapse due to the release of volatiles from thick layered deposits. Some flat-floored rimless depressions with chaotic infill in these terrains are impact craters that expanded by collapse farther than expected for similar-sized complex craters in solid targets. Studies of crater materials in the CBIS provide insights into processes of crater expansion on Mars and their links to volatiles.
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New impact-melt rock from the Roter Kamm impact structure, Namibia: Further constraints on impact age, melt rock chemistry, and projectile compositionHecht, L.; Reimold, W. U.; Sherlock, S.; Tagle, R.; Koeberl, C.; Schmitt, R.-T. (The Meteoritical Society, 2008-01-01)A new locality of in situ massive impact-melt rock was discovered on the southsouthwestern rim of the Roter Kamm impact structure. While the sub-samples from this new locality are relatively homogeneous at the hand specimen scale, and despite being from a nearby location, they do not have the same composition of the only previously analyzed impact-melt rock sample from Roter Kamm. Both Roter Kamm impact-melt rock samples analyzed to date, as well as several suevite samples, exhibit a granitic-granodioritic precursor composition. Micro-chemical analyses of glassy matrix and Al-rich orthopyroxene microphenocrysts demonstrate rapid cooling and chemical disequilibrium at small scales. Platinum-group element abundances and ratios indicate an ordinary chondritic composition for the Roter Kamm impactor. Laser argon dating of two sub-samples did not reproduce the previously obtained age of 3.7 +/- 0.3 (1-sigma) for this impact event, based on 40Ar/39Ar dating of a single vesicular impact-melt rock. Instead, we obtained ages between 3.9 and 6.3 Ma, with an inverse isochron age of 4.7 +/- 0.3 Ma for one analyzed sub-sample and 5.1 +/- 0.4 Ma for the other. Clearly a post-5 Ma impact at Roter Kamm remains indicated, but further analytical work is required to better constrain the currently best estimate of 4-5 Ma. Both impactor and age constraints are clearly obstructed by the inherent microscopic heterogeneity and disequilibrium melting and cooling processes demonstrated in the present study.
Facies distribution of post-impact sediments in the Ordovician Lockne and Tvaren impact craters: Indications for unique impact-generated environmentsFrisk, Å. M.; Ormö, J. (The Meteoritical Society, 2007-01-01)The Lockne and Tvären craters formed in the Late Ordovician Baltoscandian epicontinental sea. Both craters demonstrate similarities concerning near-synchronous age, target seabed, and succeeding resurge deposits; however, the water depths at the impact sites and the sizes of the craters were not alike. The post-impact sedimentary succession of carbonates, i.e., the Dalby Limestone, deposited on top of the resurge sediments in the two craters, is nevertheless similar. At least three main facies of the Dalby Limestone were established in the Lockne crater, depending on sea-floor topography, location with respect to the crater, and local water currents. The dominating nodular argillaceous facies, showing low values of inorganic carbon (IC), was distributed foremost in the deeper and quiet areas of the crater floor and depressions. At the crater rim, consisting of crushed crystalline basement ejecta, a rim facies with a reef-like fauna was established, most certainly due to topographical highs and substrate-derived nutrients. Between these facies are occurrences of a relatively thick-bedded calcilutite rich in cephalopods (cephalopod facies). In Tvären, the lower part of the succession consists of an analogous argillaceous facies, also showing similar low IC values as in Lockne, followed by calcareous mudstones with an increase of IC. Occasionally biocalcarenites with a distinctive fauna occur in the Tvären succession, probably originating as detritus from a facies developed on the rim. They are evident as peaks in IC and lows in organic carbon (Corg). The fauna in these biocalcarenites corresponds very well with those of erratic boulders derived from Tvären; moreover, they correspond to the rim facies of Lockne except for the inclusion of photosynthesizing algae, indicating shallower water at Tvären than Lockne. Consequently, we suggest equivalent distribution patterns for the carbonates of the Dalby Limestone in Lockne and Tvären.
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