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Book Chapter

A model for the formation of the Chesapeake Bay impact crater as revealed by drilling and numerical simulation

By
T. Kenkmann
T. Kenkmann
Museum für Naturkunde–Leibniz Institute at Humboldt University Berlin, Invalidenstrasse 43, 10115 Berlin, Germany
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G.S. Collins
G.S. Collins
Impact and Astromaterials Research Centre, Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London, London, SW7 2AZ, UK
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A. Wittmann
A. Wittmann
Lunar and Planetary Institute, 3600 Bay Area Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77058, USA
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K. Wünnemann
K. Wünnemann
Museum für Naturkunde–Leibniz Institute at Humboldt University Berlin, Invalidenstrasse 43, 10115 Berlin, Germany
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W.U. Reimold
W.U. Reimold
Museum für Naturkunde–Leibniz Institute at Humboldt University Berlin, Invalidenstrasse 43, 10115 Berlin, Germany
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H.J. Melosh
H.J. Melosh
Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA
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Published:
January 2009

The combination of petrographic analysis of drill core from the recent International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP)–U.S Geological Survey (USGS) drilling project and results from numerical simulations provides new constraints for reconstructing the kinematic history and duration of different stages of the Chesa-peake Bay impact event. The numerical model, in good qualitative agreement with previous seismic data across the crater, is also roughly consistent with the stratigraphy of the new borehole. From drill core observations and modeling, the following conclusions can be drawn: (1) The lack of a shock metamorphic overprint of cored basement lithologies suggests that the drill core might not have reached the parautochthonous shocked crater floor but merely cored basement blocks that slumped off the rim of the original cavity into the crater during crater modification. (2) The sequence of polymict lithic breccia, suevite, and impact melt rock (1397–1551 m) must have been deposited prior to the arrival of the 950-m-thick resurge and avalanche-delivered beds and blocks within 5–7 min after impact. (3) This short period for transportation and deposition of impactites may suggest that the majority of the impactites of the Eyreville core never left the transient crater and was emplaced by ground surge. This is in accordance with observations of impact breccia fabrics. However, the uppermost part of the suevite section contains a pronounced component of airborne material. (4) Limited amounts of shock-deformed debris and melt fragments also occur throughout the Exmore beds. Shard-enriched intervals in the upper Exmore beds indicate that some material interpreted to be part of the hot ejecta plume was incorporated and dispersed into the upper resurge deposits. This suggests that collapse of the ejecta plume was contemporaneous with the major resurge event(s). Modeling indicates that the resurge flow should have been concluded some 20 min after impact; hence, this also likely marked the end of the major episode of deposition from the ejecta plume.

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Contents

GSA Special Papers

The ICDP-USGS Deep Drilling Project in the Chesapeake Bay impact structure: Results from the Eyreville Core Holes

Edited by
Gregory S. Gohn
Gregory S. Gohn
U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, USA
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Christian Koeberl
Christian Koeberl
Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University, USA
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Kenneth G. Miller
Kenneth G. Miller
Museum für Naturkunde–Leibniz Institute at Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
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Wolf Uwe Reimold
Wolf Uwe Reimold
Museum für Naturkunde–Leibniz Institute at Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
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Geological Society of America
Volume
458
ISBN print:
9780813724584
Publication date:
2009

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