Abstract

The Odessa meteorite craters (Texas, United States) include a main crater (∼160 m diameter, ∼30 m deep) plus four smaller meteorite craters. The main crater was sampled by coring (to 22 m depth) to better understand its origin and history. Dating by optically stimulated luminescence indicates that it was produced immediately prior to ca. 63.5 ± 4.5 ka. Sediment filling the crater includes impact breccias produced at the time of impact; wind-dominated silts with minor amounts of pond sediments deposited ca. 63.5 ka, probably just after the impact, and ca. 53 ± 2 ka; wind-dominated silt ca. 38 ± 1.7 ka; and playa muds with a wind-blown silt component younger than 36 ka. The environment was arid or semiarid at the time of impact based on characteristics of soils on the surrounding landscape. The impact caused severe damage within 2 km and produced >1000 km/hr winds and thermal pulse. Animals within a 1–1.5-km-diameter area were probably killed. This is only the second well-dated Pleistocene hypervelocity impact crater in North America.

You do not currently have access to this article.