Date:

Map of Earth’s Asteroid and Meteor Impact Craters

Impact craters are caused when the planet is struck by solid objects travelling at high velocity, producing shock waves and the compression of material to form a circular crater.

In impacts with large objects, material can be displaced and ejected to form a crater when significant volumes of excavated material from both the object and the body impacted is melted and vaporised.

- Advertisement -

Across the history of our planet, around 190 terrestrial impact craters have been identified that still survive the Earth’s geological processes, with the most recent event occurring in 1947 at the Sikhote-Alin Mountains of south-eastern Russia.

The largest of these events occurred at Vredefort in the present-day Free State province of South Africa, where an asteroid thought to have been approximately 10–15 km in diameter impacted the planet during the Paleoproterozoic Era around 2.023 billion years ago.

This left a crater roughly 300 km in diameter, and a geological feature known as the “Vredefort Dome”, consisting of a partial ring of hills 70 km in diameter as a remnant of the rebound of rock below the impact site after the collision.

Another large event known as the Sudbury Basin occurred in Ontario, Canada during the Paleoproterozoic era around 1.849 billion years ago. A bolide (an extremely bright meteor like the recent Chelyabinsk meteor in Russia) approximately 10–15 km in diameter collided with the Nuna supercontinent, creating a crater around 130 km in diameter.

- Advertisement -

One of the most familiar events was the Chicxulub impact, when a large asteroid or comet about 11 to 81 km in diameter struck the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico during the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary (commonly known as the “K–Pg boundary”), slightly more than 66 million years ago.

The impact left a crater around 150 km in diameter and is widely believed to have caused the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction, a mass extinction in which 75% of plant and animal species on Earth became extinct, including all non-avian dinosaurs.


Interactive Map of Earth’s Asteroid and Meteor Impact Craters – Zoom in on each event to view the impact crater.

View Full Screen Map – Click Here

Header Image Credit : muratart – Shutterstock

- Advertisement -
spot_img
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.
spot_img

Mobile Application

spot_img

Related Articles

Study confirms palace of King Ghezo was site of voodoo blood rituals

A study, published in the journal Proteomics, presents new evidence to suggest that voodoo blood rituals were performed at the palace of King Ghezo.

Archaeologists search for home of infamous Tower of London prisoner

A team of archaeologists are searching for the home of Sir Arthur Haselrig, a leader of the Parliamentary opposition to Charles I, and whose attempted arrest sparked the English Civil War.

Tartessian plaque depicting warrior scenes found near Guareña

Archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology of Mérida (IAM) and the CSIC have uncovered a slate plaque depicting warrior scenes at the Casas del Turuñuelo archaeological site.

Archaeologists find a necropolis of stillborn babies

Excavations by the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap) have unearthed a necropolis for stillborn and young children in the historic centre of Auxerre, France.

Researchers find historic wreck of the USS “Hit ‘em HARDER”

The Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) has confirmed the discovery of the USS Harder (SS 257), an historic US submarine from WWII.

Archaeologists uncover Roman traces of Vibo Valentia

Archaeologists from the Superintendent of Archaeology Fine Arts and Landscape have made several major discoveries during excavations of Roman Vibo Valentia at the Urban Archaeological Park.

Archaeologists uncover crypts of the Primates of Poland

Archaeologists have uncovered two crypts in the collegiate church in Łowicz containing the Primates of Poland.

Giant prehistoric rock engravings could be territorial markers

Giant rock engravings along the Upper and Middle Orinoco River in South America could be territorial markers according to a new study.