Abstract

Gow Lake, in the Precambrian Shield of Saskatchewan, is circular, 4 km in diameter, and has a large central island. Granites and quartzofeldspathic gneisses are exposed around the perimeter of the lake, whereas the island is formed largely of brecciated equivalents. Most of the breccias are composed entirely of clastic material, but at one locality fine-grained felted matrices form a significant component of the breccias, and coronas of clear glass surround quartz grains. The latter breccias also contain microscopic features characteristic of shock metamorphism, among which multiple sets of planar deformation structures in quartz are particularly diagnostic. Similar shock metamorphic features have been widely reported from terrestrial meteorite craters; accordingly, Gow Lake is interpreted as a deeply eroded impact crater and the felted matrices as impact melts.A local negative gravity anomaly with an amplitude of 3 mGal centered on the lake is attributed mainly to highly fractured basement rocks underlying the lake, which model studies indicate may extend to a depth of 900 m. A provisional minimum age of 100 Ma is proposed for the crater.

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