10 Biggest Impact Craters on Earth
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10 Biggest Impact Craters on Earth

10 Biggest Impact Craters on Earth

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                   There are around 42 recorded impact sites on the surface of planet Earth from the biggest to the smallest not measuring smaller than 20 kilometers. There could have been a lot more bigger impact craters hidden by the deeper parts of the oceans or buried under ice, we never know as millions of years have caused erosion causing those locations to be altered. One thing is sure that there are more truths behind shooting stars to make a wish and perhaps the best wish we could make  is to keep praying that no shooting star appears on the evening sky so big that we are bound to be lost with our world seconds after a glimpse of it.

                                                                                                                                          

Vredefort Crater – Free State, South Africa

Coordinates: 27°0’ S 27° 30’ E

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               Estimated to have been caused by the largest ever asteroid to strike Earth some 2020 million years ago, it measures at 300 km diameter and was in the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites for its geological significance.

Sudbury Basin Crater – Ontario, Canada

Coordinates: 46°36’N 81°11’W

Image Credit

                 Located on the Canadian Shield in the city of Greater Sudbury, Ontario this crater is called Sudbury Structure or Sudbury Nickel Irruptive and considered a major geologic structure in Canada. It is the second largest impact crater on the planet and the oldest. Measuring 250 km in diameter, this impact crater was estimated to have been caused some 1,850 million years ago.

Chicxulub Crater – Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Coordinates: 21°20’ N 89° 30’W

From Google Maps images

            An ancient crater buried beneath the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, its center was pinpointed near the town of Chicxulub hence it was named after it. Measuring at more than 180 km in diameter, it was considered one of the largest confirmed impact sites on the planet.

Manicouagan Crater – Quebec, Canada

Coordinates: 51°23’ N 68° 42’W

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            This crater was thought to have been caused by the impact of a 5 km diameter asteroid some 215.5 million years ago. The crater is a multiple ring structure measured at 100 km with an inner ring of 70 km containing a lake, the Manicouagan Reservoir.

Popigai Crater – Siberia, Russia

Coordinates: 71°39’ N 111° 11’E

Image Credit

         A 100 km crater caused by another bolide some 35.7 ± 0.2 million years ago. Considered the 4th largest verified impact crater on the planet, it is situated north of the Siberian city of Norilsk. UNESCO designated it as a Geopark a term which refers to a place of special geological heritage.

Chesapeake Bay Crater – Virginia, United States

Coordinates: 37°17’ N 76° 1’ W

Image Credit

          Estimated to have been caused by a bolide some 35 million years ago, it is one of the best preserved marine impact craters and the largest impact crater in the US. A bolide is a form of fireball which is usually brighter than an ordinary meteor.

Acraman Crater – Gawler Ranges, Southern Australia

Coordinates: 32°1’ S 135° 27’ E

Image Credit

          Estimated to have marred the surface some 580 million years ago, the Acraman Crater was situated in a lake about 20 km in diameter. Like other meteor craters it was deeply eroded which means the original size was actually bigger where some estimate it to be about 85-90km.

Puchezh-Katunki Crater – Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Russia

Coordinates: 56°58’ N 43° 43’ E

From Google Maps images

             A meteor crater about 80 km in diameter and estimated at 167 ± 3 million years old, the Puchezh-Katunki can be found in Chkalovsky District of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Russia.

Morokweng Crater – Kalahari Desert, South Africa

Coordinates: 26° 28’ S 23° 32’ E

From Google Maps images

         This impact crater was actually buried beneath the Kalahari Desert near the town of Morokweng at the Northwest Province of South Africa close to the border of Botswana. Caused by an asteroid about 5-10 km (3-6 miles) in diameter it is about 160 km (100 miles) in diameter and estimated to be 145.0 ± 0.8 million years old.

Kara Crater – Nenetsia, Russia

Coordinates: 69° 6’ N 64° 9’ E

Image Credit

Found in the Yugorsky Peninsula , Nenetsia, Russia this meteor crater was estimated to have been marked by a meteorite which impacted earth some 70.3 ± 2.2 million years ago. The impact crater measures 65 km in diameter but judging from the erosion, which greatly affected the original structure of the cavity, it was estimated to measure about 120 km.

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_impact_craters_on_Earth

http://www.unb.ca/passc/ImpactDatabase/africa.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acraman_crater

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chesapeake_Bay_impact_crater

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manicouagan_crater

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicxulub_Crater

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudbury_Basin

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Comments (11)

Wow ! makes you think does'nt it? Makes you realise we are definately not alone.

I'm familiar with the impact crater in Canada, but didn't know of the others. Significant discoveries, for sure. Pretty important article to all considering these occurrences are bound to repeat. And who knows where the next will hit? Cool article Will with a great presentation of facts and pics. Fine post!

Will this was so interesting, although slightly unnerving . Something as large as some of those astroids hitting has earth is worrying! I suppose if they hit you, you are dead!

Another powerful impact write Will, absorbing the endless miles of mind. Powerful write! Thumbs up!

Some amazing information here Will! A lot of effort and research into this article my friend. Excellent write! It really makes me think about what will happen when something else will hit the earth because it will eventually that is inevitable, history always repeats itself when it comes to nature. As you stated just pray it doesn't happen in anywhere in the near future! You have my vote and buzz as always!

Wow. They do look impressive but terrifying! I agree with Lisa- it is unnerving.

buzzed up, my friend:)

I'm certainly hoping to never be in the same area if another one is made. YIKES!

Facebooked this one, Will. A good list. How I wish I get to see some of these someday. That experience would be awesome.

Ranked #7 in Astronomy

ooh, nice craters. I wonder when the next asteroid would cause planetary extinction. i gotta tweet this :-)

bruce

I was hunting and walked pass i think was an impact crater it was 30 to 40 feet across and 15 to 20 feet deep perfect circle but no raised edge it was in soft soil and in a pocket of trees but all of the trees were gone for a distance of about 10 feet around the rim is it possible this could be a impact crater it was a perfect funnel shape and very steep any input on this would be great I know nothing about this stuff other than I cant stop thinking about this thank you for any imput

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