Oblique Impacts In Nevada

In the early Holocene sediments of southwest Montana’s Red Rock River Valley, there are numerous oval craters which are oriented southwest to northeast at about 24 degrees. If we look back to the southwest, in the direction they came from, we can find similar craters, and airburst morphology, in a dry lake bed in Nevada at 39.739717, –115.388916. And the ones in Nevada have exactly the same  trajectory, as those in Montana.

From 51 miles up you don’t see much detail.NV1

But when you zoom in closer you begin to make out the ejecta splashes of oblique impacts into the sediments of the lake bed .NV2 Some of these in Nevada are much bigger than the ones in Southwest Montana. This one’s almost a mile long.NV3

NV4 And, on the northeast end of the lake bed, we find the lowest, and youngest, beach lines are lying across an ejecta splash.  The beach lines over-lapping the ejecta splashes that way should provide an excellent stratigraphic horizon. That’s where we get our date from.NV6The early Holocene age of those beach lines, and the trajectory of the impacts, imply that these oblique craters were produced sometime around the end of the last ice age. And in exactly the same fall as those in southwest Montana.

That dry lake bed, and others like it, just might be a meteorite hunter’s paradise.

Published in: Uncategorized on December 9, 2010 at 8:34 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Nice find! This is near where I found a 2 pound meteorite on a different dry lake bed. Had I known about this one, I would have made the trip.

  2. Abe’s post confirms your suggestion!

    It seems that you are conducting science!
    Your observations gave rise to an hypothesis and one confirmation has already arrived!


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