Scientists have newly confirmed the Luizi impact structure, Democratic Republic of Congo– and provide insights into central uplift formation and post-impact erosion
Ludovic Ferriere of the Austria’s Natural History Museum and colleagues report on the large, ~17-km-diameter Luizi structure, located in the remote and politically tumultuous Democratic Republic of Congo.
Credit: 42nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conferenc
Based on their expedition, the first to this site in almost a century, they were able to find shatter cones and shocked quartz grains, which are rock features only found in impact structures, thus, allowing them to confirm the meteorite impact origin of the crater. Luizi is the first confirmed meteorite impact structure in Central Africa, and also the largest, best-preserved impact crater to be discovered in the past several years. This finding brings the number of known impact craters on Earth to 182.
Because of its preservation state and the shape of the structure, with an inner ring, the Luizi crater also provides insights into the formation of mid-sized impact craters on Earth. Ferriere and colleagues estimate that the crater was made by the collision of a kilometer-wide asteroid with a speed of about 72,000 km per hour.
However, based on their investigations, they can only say that the crater is younger than about 575 million years, the age of the rocks that have been excavated.
Contacts and sources:
Geological Society of America
Citation: Ludovic Ferriere et al., Natural History Museum, Burgring 7, A-1010 Vienna, Austria; doi: 10.1130/G31990.1.
THE LUIZI STRUCTURE (DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO) – FIRST CONFIRMED
METEORITE IMPACT CRATER IN CENTRAL AFRICA. L. Ferrière