New seismic reflection data from Chesapeake Bay reveal a buried, 85-km-wide, 1.5-2.0-km-deep, peak-ring impact crater, carved through upper Eocene to Lower Cretaceous sedimentary strata and into underlying pre-Mesozoic crystalline basement rocks. A polymictic, late Eocene impact breccia, composed mainly of locally derived sedimentary debris (determined from four continuous cores), surrounds and partly fills the crater. Structural and sedimentary characteristics of the Chesapeake Bay crater closely resemble those of the Miocene Ries peakring crater in southern Germany. We speculate that the Chesapeake Bay crater is the source of the North American tektite strewn field.

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