COSMIC SECRETS
The Enigmas on Earth
Impact Craters on Earth
Impact Craters
North America
Part One
.
Crater List
Mexico
Yucatan Peninsula
- Chicxulub Crater - Database
 

United States
Alaska
 - Avak 1 - Database

Virginia
 -  Chesapeake Bay - Database
 
 

 - 
 - 
 - 

 - Database
 - Database
 
 
 

 - Database
 - Info
 

Canada
Nunavut, NWT
 - Haughton Crater - Database - NASA

Northwest Territories
 - Nicholson Crater - Database
 - Pilot Crater and Lake - Database
 

Alberta
 - Steen River Crater - Database

Sasketchewan
 - Carswell Crater - Database
 - Deep Bay Crater - Database
 - Elbow Crater - Database
 - Gow Crater - Database
 - Viewfield Crater - Database

Manitoba
 - Saint Martin Crater - Database
 - West Hawk Crater - Database

Quebec
 - Charlevoix Crater - Database - Info
 - Clear Water Crater  - Database
 - Couture Crater - Database
 - Ile Rouleau Crater - Database - Info
 - La Moinerie - Database
 - Manicouagan Crater - Database - Info
 - New Quebec Crater - Database
 - Pingualuit Crater  - Database
 - Presqu'ile Crater - Database - Info

New Foundland/Labrador
 - Mistastin Crater - Database - Info

Nova Scotia
 - Montagnais Crater - Database

Ontario
 - Brent Crater - Database
 - Slate Island Crater - Database - Info
 - Sudbury Crater - Database - Info
 - Wanapitei Crater - Database - Info
 
 
 

 

Visit Also:
Earth Impact Database - The biggest collection of Earth Impact Craters
by the University of New Brunswick, Canada

Visit Also:
Basic Science Studies II: Impact Cratering
by The Remote Sensing Tutorial

North American Impact Craters 
Data from Observer's Handbook 2004, Royal Astronomical Society of Canada 


Avak 1 Crater
Alaska, USA
.
 Courtesy Energy Mines and Resources, Canada
Avak is an impact crater near Barrow, Alaska in the United States. It is 7 miles (12 km) in diameter and the age is estimated to be less than 95 million years, placing it in the Cretaceous period or later. The crater is partly on land and partly in the ocean; the land portion is not exposed to the surface, being covered by sediment from the Pleistocene and Pliocene epochs.

The crater was drilled in 1951 and 1952 to a depth of 4,019 feet (1,225 m), and the cores that were obtained confirmed an impact origin. The crater is believed to contain commercially viable deposits of hydrocarbons.- Source: Wikipedia

Canadian Impact Structures
.
 Courtesy Richard Grieve, Geological Survey of Canada
The map shows the locations of meteorite impact structures recognised in Canada. An updated list of Canadian impact sites is included in the annual Observer's Handbook of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. - Source

Haugton Crater
Devon Island, Nunavut,
Northwest Territories, Canada
.
NASA - The Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) is an international interdisciplinary field research project centered on the scientific study of the Haughton impact structure and surrounding terrain, Devon Island, High Arctic, viewed as a terrestrial analog for Mars. The rocky polar desert setting, geologic features and biological attributes of the site offer unique insights into the possible evolution of Mars - in particular the history of water and of past climates on Mars -, the effects of impacts on Earth and on other planets, and the possibilities and limits of life in extreme environments. In parallel with its Science program, the HMP supports an Exploration program aimed at developing new technologies, strategies, humans factors experience, and field-based operational know-how key to planning the future exploration of the Moon, Mars and other planets by robots and humans.
- Source NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP)

See Also
Haughton Crater, Devon Island as a Mars Analog Environment
 

For location map click here

See Also:
Mars on Earth
 

Image Courtesy of National Geographic
NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP)

Nicholson Crater and Lake
Northwest Territories, Canada
.

Nicholson is a meteor crater in the Northwest Territories, Canada. It is 12.5 km in diameter and the age is estimated to be less than 400 million years (Devonian or earlier). The crater is not exposed to the surface.


Pilot Crater and Lake
Northwest Territories, Canada.
.

Pilot crater is a meteor crater in the Northwest Territories, Canada, just north of the Alberta border and near Fort Smith. It is 6 kilometres in diameter and the age is estimated to be 445 ± 2 million years (Upper Ordovician).

The crater contains Pilot Lake, a pristine fresh-water lake that covers 43 square kilometres (16 mi²) and is 90 metres (300 ft) deep. Lake trout, northern pike, whitefish and pickerel are plentiful, supporting a summer market for recreational fishing. - Source: Wikipedia


Steen River Crater
Alberta, Canada

Steen River is an impact structure (astrobleme) in Alberta, Canada. It is 25 km in diameter and the age is estimated to be 91 ± 7 million years (Lower Cretaceous). The crater is not exposed to the surface. The crater was partially eroded prior to burial, and lies under 200 m of sediments.


Carswell Crater
Saskatchewan, Canada

Carswell is an impact crater in Saskatchewan, Canada. It is 39 km in diameter and the age is estimated to be 115 ± 10 million years (Lower Cretaceous). The crater is exposed to the surface.


Elbow Crater
Saskatchewan, Canada

Elbow is a meteor crater in Saskatchewan, Canada. It is 8 km in diameter with an age estimated to be 395 ± 25 million years (during the Devonian Period). The crater is not exposed to the surface.


Viewfield Crater
Saskatchewan, Canada

Viewfield is an impact crater in Saskatchewan, Canada. It is 2.5 km in diameter and the age is estimated to be 190 ± 20 million years (Late Triassic). The crater is not exposed to the surface.


Gow Crater and Lake
Saskatchewan, Canada
.

Gow is a meteor crater in Saskatchewan, Canada. It is 4 km (2.5 mi) in diameter and the age is estimated to be less than 250 million years (Triassic or later). The crater contains a classic crater lake with an island formed by the central uplift.


Deep Bay Crater
Saskatchewan, Canada
.

This crater consists of a near-circular bay, about 5 kilometers (3 miles) wide and 220 meters (720 feet) deep, in the otherwise shallow Reindeer Lake. Such deep circular lakes are unusual in this region, which is dominated by the shallow gouging of glacial erosion. The circular shoreline, at a diameter of 11 kilometers (6.8 miles), is partially surrounded by a ridge with heights to 100 meters (328 feet) above the lake surface. The diameter of this ridge, ~13 kilometers (8 miles), is likely the outer rim of the impact structure. The structure was formed in Precambrian metamorphic crystalline rocks with a conspicuous northwest trending fabric. Although not obvious from the surface, Deep Bay is a complex impact structure with a low, totally submerged central uplift. Samples obtained in the 1960's from drilling into the central structure revealed shocked and fractured metamorphic rocks flanked by deposits of allocthonous, mixed breccias. (Courtesy NASA/LPI) 
 

 Image Courtesy ESA

Saint Martin Crater
Manitoba, Canada

Saint Martin is an impact crater in Manitoba, Canada. It is 40 km in diameter and the age is estimated to be 220 ± 32 million years (Triassic). The crater is not exposed to the surface.


West Hawk Crater and Lake
Manitoba, Canada
.

West Hawk is a meteor crater in Manitoba, Canada. It is 2.44 km in diameter and the age is estimated to be 351 ± 20 million years (Mississippian). The crater is not exposed to the surface. The crater forms the main central portion of West Hawk Lake.


Pingualuit Crater 
(Nouveau / New Quebec, Chubb)
Quebec, Canada
.
 Courtesy Energy Mines and Resources, Canada
The Pingualuit crater (also known as the Nouveau / New Quebec or Chubb crater) lies near the northern tip of the Ungava peninsula, Quebec, Canada (Lat 61° 17' N, Long 75° 40' W). It is a classic example of a simple relatively small crater. It is about 3.4 km in diameter and almost perfectly circular with a raised rim up to 163 metres above the lake surface in the central flooded depression. The lake is 252 metres deep, the deepest in Quebec. The crater, which occurs in crystalline shield rocks, was first recognised as an impact structure in 1950. The impact that produced this crater occurred about 1.4 million years ago, that is just before the glaciers covered this area  (Courtesy Geological Survey of Canada) - Source
The New Quebec Crater, or Pingualuit Crater, is a young meteor crater, by geological standards, located in the Ungava Peninsula of Quebec, Canada. It is 3.44 km in diameter and the age is estimated to be 1.4 ± 0.1 million years (Pliocene). The crater is exposed to the surface, and a 250 meter deep lake fills the depression. The New Quebec crater is located at latitude 61°16'36" North, longitude 73°40'41" West. 61°16'36"N, 73°40'41"W

Couture Crater and Lake
Quebec, Canada
.

Couture is a lake in Northern Quebec, Canada. Most of the lake covers an 8 km in diameter impact crater. The crater is estimated to be 430 ± 25 million years old (Silurian).


La Moinerie Crater and Lake
Quebec, Canada
.

La Moinerie is a meteor crater in Quebec, Canada. It is 8 km in diameter and the age is estimated to be 400 ± 50 million years (Silurian or Devonian). The crater is exposed to the surface and filled with water, forming Lac La Moinerie. Glaciers have eroded many of La Moinerie crater's original physical features, including much of the central uplift. 
Location 57°26'N 66°37'W
 

  Image Courtesy NASA
La Moinerie crater, Quebec, Canada, 57°26'N, 66°37' W.
Source: NASA Shuttle photograph STS099-723-43
Just to the northwest is the La Moinerie Crater, another terrestrial blemish from the distant past. They stand out very distinctly in the north, above the tree line. Click on Image for full story...

Clear Water Lakes
Quebec, Canada
.
Name Clearwater Lake West
Location 56°13'N, 74°30'W
Rim diameter 32 kilometers (20 miles)
Age 290 +- 20 million years
Name Clearwater Lake East
Location 56°05'N, 74°07'W
Rim diameter 22 kilometers (13.7 miles)
Age 290 +- 20 million years
These twin circular lakes (large dark features) were formed simultaneously by the impact of an asteroidal pair which slammed into the planet approximately 290 million years ago. The lakes are located near the eastern shore of Hudson Bay within the Canadian Shield in a region of generally low relief in northern Quebec province. Notice that the larger western structure contains a ring of islands with a diameter of about 10 kilometers that surrounds the center of the impact zone. They constitute a central uplifted area and are covered with impact melts. The central peak of the smaller Clearwater Lake East is submerged. The lakes are named after their exceedingly clear water. Also notice that the surrounding terrain shows widespread scarring from glaciation. The multitude of linear and irregular shaped lakes (dark features) are the result of gouging or scouring action caused by the continental ice sheets that once moved across this area.  - Source
 
Courtesy: NASA - Landsat
The Clearwater Lakes (officially known by their French name, Lac à l'Eau Claire ) are a pair of circular lakes on the Canadian Shield in Quebec, Canada, near Hudson Bay.

The lakes fill depressions that are interpreted as paired impact craters (astroblemes). The eastern and western craters are 26 km and 36 km in diameter, respectively. Each crater has same age, 290 ± 20 million years (Permian), and it is believed that they formed simultaneously. The impactors may have been gravitationally bound as a binary asteroid. This suggestion was first made by Thomas William Hamilton in a letter to Sky & Telescope magazine in support the then-controversial theory that asteroids may possess moons.

The lakes are actually a single body of water with a sprinkling of islands forming a "dotted line" between the eastern and western parts. The name is due to the clear water it holds. There are actually 25 lakes of that name in the province (26 if you count the "Petit lac à l'Eau Claire" —the "Small Clearwater Lake"). These are the largest and northernmost.
- Source: Wikipedia


Ile Rouleau Crater
Quebec, Canada
.

Île Rouleau is a meteor crater in Quebec, Canada. It is 4 km in diameter and the age is estimated to be less than 300 million years (Permian or earlier). The crater is exposed to the surface.


Presqu'ile Meteorite Crater
Quebec, Canada
.
Poorly exposed segments of shatter cones are exposed at three points on Lac de la Presqu’ile in Obatogamau basalts or basalt xenoliths in tonalite. The “X” indicators mark the areas where shatter cones were recovered from within the lake area. - Source and more data...

Charlevoix Crater
Quebec, Canada
.

Charlevoix is an impact crater in Quebec, Canada. It is 54 km in diameter and the age is estimated to be 342 ± 15 million years (Mississippian). The crater is exposed to the surface. It is filled with shatter cones, PDF in quartz and feldspar grains. It is a multi-ringed basin with a central uplift. Part of the crater is covered by the St. Lawrence River. It was discovered to be a meteor crater in 1965 after the discovery of many shatter cones in the area. Only a semi-circle of the crater is left due to the other half being flooded.
 

The Charlevoix Meteorite Crater, a multi ringed basin with a central uplift (Note 2), is located in southern Quebec on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, 105 km NE of Quebec City. The structure was identified as a meteorite crater in 1965 with the discovery of shattercones in the area. The initial dimensions of the crater were estimated to have been 28 km in diameter (the inner circle in the landsat image) and 10 km in depth immediately after the impact. The subsequent post impact crater collapse created the central peak and peripheral modification resulting in a final crater structure of 54 km in diameter (outer circle in the landsat image). Erosion has removed the original crater rim, some of the central uplift and the crater-fill products but the crater floor has been preserved. Thrusting along the St. Lawrence River fault lines during either the Taconian or Acadian Orogenies, or both, obliterated the south-eastern portion of the crater. An unknown thickness of early (pre-Charlevoix impact) Palaeozoic sedimentary rock was then transported over the obliterated portion of the crater. Finally the St. Lawrence River flooded the area leaving the semi-circular crater remnant. The deepest parts of the St. Lawrence in this area are along its interface with the crater. The missing part of the crater has not been detected under the St. Lawrence River. The rocks of Isle aux Coudres, immediately to the south of the crater in the St. Lawrence River, are Palaeozoic sedimentary rocks that have been transported to this position from the southeast after the impact - Source and more data...

Mistastin Crater and Lake
Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
.
This shuttle image shows a winter view of the Mistastin Crater, a heavily eroded complex structure. Eastward moving glaciers have drastically reduced the surface expression of this structure, removing most of the impact melt sheet and breccias and exposing the crater floor. Glacial erosion has also imparted an eastward elongation to the crater that is particularly evident in the shape of the lake that occupies the central 10 kilometers (6 miles) of the structure. Horseshoe Island, in the center of the lake, is part of the central uplift and contains shocked Precambrian crystalline target rocks. Just beyond the margins of the lake are vestiges of the impact melt sheet that contains evidence of meteoritic features in quartz, feldspar and diaplectic glasses. (Courtesy NASA/LPI) 

Mistastin crater is a meteor crater in Labrador, Canada which contains the roughly circular Mistastin Lake. The lake's arcuate central island is interpreted to be the central uplift of the complex crater structure. The target rocks were part of a batholith composed of adamellite, mangerite and lenses of anorthosite. There are abundant shock metamorphic features exhibited in the rocks of the island. PDFs, diaplectic glass, melt rocks, and shatter cones have been identified. The lake is approximately 16 km in diameter, while the estimated diameter of the original crater is 28 km. The age of the crater is estimated to be 36.4 ± 4 million years (Eocene). - Source: Wikipedia


Montagnais Crater
Nova Scotia, Canada

Montagnais is a meteor crater located on the continental shelf south of Nova Scotia, Canada. The centre is estimated to be located at 42°53'N, 64°13'W. Measuring 45 km in diameter, the crater's age is estimated to be 50.50 ± 0.76 million years (Paleocene). The crater is underwater and not exposed to the surface.


Slate Islands Crater
Ontario, Canada
.
 Image Courtesy NASA/STS106-716-79
(Courtesy NASA) The ~7-km-wide Slate Islands group represents the heavily eroded central peak of a ~32 km diameter (from bathymetric data) complex impact crater. The Slate Islands meteorite crater is located in northern Lake Superior ~10 km south of Terrace Bay and ~150 km east of Thunder Bay, Ontario. The crater is indicated in this eastward looking Shuttle image by a circle representing the approximate crater rim. Lake Huron (containing the Can-Am impact crater) and Lake Erie are also visible in the background of the shuttle image.
- Source and more data...

Sudbury Crater
Ontario, Canada
.
The Sudbury Basin, also known as Sudbury Structure, is the second largest known impact crater or astrobleme on Earth, and a major geologic structure in Ontario, Canada.

The basin is located on the Canadian Shield in the city of Greater Sudbury, Ontario. The former municipalities of Rayside-Balfour and Valley East lie within the Sudbury Basin, which is referred to locally as "The Valley". The urban core of the former city of Sudbury lies on the southern outskirts of the Basin.

Formation and structure

The Sudbury Basin is 60 km long, 30 km wide and 15 km deep. It was created as the result of a 10 km cometary impact that occurred 1.85 billion years ago in the Paleoproterozoic era. Its present size is believed to be a smaller portion of a 250 km round crater that the bolide originally created. Subsequent geological processes have deformed the crater into the current smaller oval shape. Sudbury Basin would then be the second largest crater on earth, after the 300 km Vredefort crater in South Africa, and larger than the 170 km Chicxulub crater in Yucatán, Mexico which is linked to the extinction of the dinosaurs.

The deformation of the Sudbury structure occurred in four main deformation events (by age):

   1. the Penokean Orogeny (1900 Ma)
   2. intrusion of the Sudbury Igneous Complex (1844 Ma)
   3. the Grenvillian Orogeny (1400 - 1000 Ma)
   4. the Lake Wanapitei impact (37 Ma)

Throughout the 20th century the origin of the Sudbury Basin was widely disputed

Modern uses

The large impact crater filled with magma containing nickel, copper, platinum, palladium, gold and other metals. As a result of these metal deposits, the Greater Sudbury area is one of the world's major mining communities. The region is one of the world's largest supplier of nickel and copper ores. Most of these mineral deposits are found on the outer rim of the Basin. Due to the high mineral content of its soil, the floor of the Basin is among the best agricultural land in Northern Ontario, with numerous vegetable, berry and dairy farms located in the Valley. However, due to its northern latitude, it is not as fertile as agricultural lands in the southern portion of the province. Accordingly the region primarily supplies products for consumption within Northern Ontario, and is not a major food exporter.

Source: Wikipedia
 


Wanapitei Crater
Ontario, Canada
.
The Wanapitei impact structure lies entirely within the central portion of the 9 km diameter Wanapitei Lake, visible at the top center of this landsat image (Note 5, 6). The structure was identified as a possible meteorite crater in 1972. It is classified as a simple crater because of its estimated diameter of 3 km (E. L’Heureux et al, 2003) to ~7-8 km (Dence and Polelar, 1972) and because there is no evidence of a central uplift in the submerged crater (Dence and Popelar, 1972). New geological studies (2003) thus far indicate that if the observed circular structure is due to a meteorite impact, it is at most a 3 to 4 km diameter simple crater (indicated by the circle in the landsat image). The new diameter of 3 km has not been widely accepted as yet (E. L’Heureux, 2003) (Note 2).
- Source and more data...
 
Lake Wanapitei is a meteor crater lake in Greater Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. It is located near the large Sudbury meteor crater but not related to it.

It is 7.5 km in diameter and the age is estimated to be 37.2 ± 1.2 million years, placing it in the Eocene.

It was evident by the mid-1970s that Wanapitei Lake was an impact crater. Remarkably, it lies on the eastern edge of the much older, larger Sudbury structure. Crumbly impact breccia cobbles containing bits of dark glass called suevite are found surrounding the lake,some with Coesite, one of the markers of an impact structure. The suevite is very close in appearance and composition to some of that described from the Ries impact site that formed simultaneously with the smaller Steinheim Crater.

It is a popular recreational and residential area in Sudbury, and the lake is the largest in the world completely contained within the boundaries of a single city. The Wanapitei River flows through the lake. There is a provincial park located on the north shore of Lake Wanapitei; this is a non-operating park so there are no facilities. The lake has a number of small islands within it. Named islands include Blueberry, Howie, Wanapitei, MacLennan and Bonanza.

The small Wanapitei Ojibwe reserve is also located on the lake's northwestern shore.

The lake's name comes from the Ojibwa word waanabidebiing, or "concave-tooth [shaped] water", which describes its shape. A nearby community which takes its name from the river is spelled Wahnapitae. However, the Wanapitei spelling is correct for both the lake and the river. - Source: Wikipedia


Brent Crater
Ontario, Canada
.
The Brent crater is an impact crater located north of Cedar Lake in Algonquin Provincial Park in the Nipissing District of Ontario, Canada. It is 3.8 km in diameter and the age is estimated to be 396 ± 20 million years (Middle Devonian).

A sign, erected at the site by the Archeological and Historic Sites Board, Archives of Ontario, reads:

    The Brent Crater: First recognized in 1951 from aerial photographs, the crater is a circular depression about two miles in diameter formed in Precambrian crystalline rocks. Geophysical and diamond drilling investigations show that the crater has a present depth of about 1,400 feet but is partly filled with sedimentary rocks with a thickness of 900 feet. The rocks beneath the crater floor are thoroughly fragmented over a depth of 2,000 feet. Like the similar New Quebec (Chubb) crater, the Brent crater is attributed to the high speed impact of a giant meteorite. It is calculated that the impact released energy equaling 250 megatons of TNT and occurred about 450 million years ago when this area was probably covered by a shallow sea.

There is an observation tower on the rim of the crater and a hiking trail leading to the crater floor. There are two small lakes, Gilmour and Tecumseh, located in the crater. Unlike most Algonquin Park lakes, which are usually acidic, the water in these lakes contains bicarbonate; this is thought to be a result of some sedimentary deposits of limestone escaping removal by glaciers in the lower parts of the crater.

The crater was named after the nearby village of Brent.
- Source: Wikipedia
 


Chicxulub Crater
Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
.

This is the one that got the Dinosaurs

The Chicxulub crater in the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico, is not visible at the surface of the seafloor. Scientists rely on geophysical images for information about its size and shape. This image shows the variations in the gravity field near the buried impact crater. The image shows ring-like structures that extend to about 280 kilometers (175 miles) from the center.

This crater is believed to have formed when an asteroid struck Earth 65 million years ago. This impact is thought to have triggered fires and tsunamis and created a cloud of dust and water vapor that enveloped the globe in a matter of days, resulting in fluctuating global climate changes. The extreme environmental shifts caused a mass extinction of 75% of Earth's species, including the dinosaurs.

The Chicxulub crater in the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico, is not visible at the surface of the seafloor. Scientists rely on geophysical images for information about its size and shape. This image shows the variations in the gravity field near the buried impact crater. The image shows ring-like structures that extend to about 280 kilometers (175 miles) from the center.

This crater is believed to have formed when an asteroid struck Earth 65 million years ago. This impact is thought to have triggered fires and tsunamis and created a cloud of dust and water vapor that enveloped the globe in a matter of days, resulting in fluctuating global climate changes. The extreme environmental shifts caused a mass extinction of 75% of Earth's species, including the dinosaurs.

SOURCE: Lunar and Planetary Institute

More Detailed Information: NASA Planetary Journal
PIA03379: Shaded Relief with Height as Color, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

More Information: NASA Near Earth Object Program
Radar image of the southwest portion of the buried Chicxulub impact crater in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

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