The distinct alignment of the Steinheim Basin and the Nördlinger Ries impact structures in SW Germany and the Central European tektite strewn field suggest ENE-directed trajectories of the Ries and Steinheim impacting bodies. From impact experiments, the asymmetry of the Steinheim crater and the arrangement of structural features therein are in good agreement with features produced during an oblique impact at 30° from the horizontal. The restriction of shatter cones to the eastern segment of the Steinheim Basin crater also suggests a west–east-directed trend of the impact direction, and supports previous models that favoured such impactor trajectory.

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