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A detailed total intensity magnetic survey of a local negative magnetic anomaly located in the southern sector of the inner ring in the Ries impact structure was carried out in 2006–2007. As the suevite of the Ries crater is known to have an often strong reverse remanent magnetization causing negative magnetic anomalies, a suevite body lying below shallow lake sediments upon the crystalline basement rocks of the inner ring was suspected to be the cause of the anomaly. A drilling program conducted by the Geological Service of Bavaria offered the opportunity to drill a 100-m-deep core hole into this anomaly in 2006. The core stratigraphy involves from 0 to 4.5 m fluviatile Quaternary lake sediments, from 4.5 to 21 m Neogene clays of the Ries crater lake, and from 21 to 100 m suevite and impact melt rock. The suevite and the impact melt rock have a strong reverse remanent magnetization and very high Koenigsberger ratios. Thermomagnetic and coercivity analyses indicate that magnetite is the dominant carrier of the magnetization. The borehole unfortunately did not penetrate the crystalline basement rocks of the inner ring, but modeling of the magnetic source body indicates that the bottom of the hole could not be far from the contact. A macroscopic survey shows suevite from 21 to 87 m, highly diverse in terms of suevite types, and a gradational transition to massive impact melt rock constituting the lowermost 13 m of the drill core. A detailed macroscopic description and first results of microscopic observations reveal that suevite groundmass is substantially altered to secondary phyllosilicates (mostly smectite, minor chlorite) and locally extensive development of calcite. Crystalline basement–derived lithic clasts and minerals dominate the clast population, and only traces of clastic material derived from the upper sediment parts of the target could be recorded. Macroscopically and microscopically, melt fragments have mostly irregular shapes, which lead to the tentative conclusion that only part of the melt—and by implication suevite—mass is derived from fallout of the ejecta curtain. On the other hand, most melt fragments and larger lithic clasts are seemingly oriented subperpendicular to the core axis. This could be interpreted as being due alternatively to settling through air or lateral movement within the actual crater. The gradational zone between proper suevite and massive impact melt rock is characterized by increasing enrichment of melt component and concomitant reduction of suevitic groundmass, until in the uppermost impact melt rock, only millimeter-wide stringers of groundmass remain between densely packed centimeter- to decimeter-size melt fragments.

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