Skip to main content

Dating impact craters: palaeogeographic versus isotopic and stratigraphic methods – a brief case study


Isotopic and stratigraphic ages of the ~ 80 km diameter Puchezh-Katunki (Russia; 220 ± 10 to 167 ± 3 Ma) and the ~ 20 km diameter Obolon (Ukraine; 215 ± 25 to 169 ± 7 Ma) impact structures are associated with significant age uncertainties. As a case study, reconstructions of the palaeogeography at the time of crater formation (Late Triassic to Middle Jurassic) based on recent palaeogeographic maps help further to constrain impact ages. Palaeogeographic studies suggest that Puchezh-Katunki is older than 170 Ma and that Obolon is younger than 185 Ma. This also rules out that Obolon formed during a ~ 214 Ma Late Triassic multiple impact event as recently discussed.

Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence:
Hide All
Buchner, E., Seyfried, H. & van den Bogaard, P. 2003. 40Ar/39Ar laser probe age determination confirms the Ries impact crater as the source of glass particles in Graupensand sediments (Grimmelfingen Formation, North Alpine Foreland Basin). International Journal of Earth Sciences 92, 16.
Dypvik, H., Burchell, M. & Claeys, P. 2004 (eds.) Cratering in Marine Environments and on Ice. Berlin: Springer, 340 pp.
Dypvik, H. & Jansa, L. F. 2005. Sedimentary signatures and processes during marine bolide impacts: a review. Sedimentary Geology 161, 309–37.
Firsov, L. 1973. Concerning the meteoritic origin of the Puchezh-Katunki crater. Meteoritics 8, 223–44.
Golonka, J. 2000. Cambrian–Neogene plate tectonic maps. Kraców: University of Kraców. Published Habilitation thesis, 125 pp.
Golonka, J. 2007. Late Triassic and Early Jurassic palaeogeography of the world. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 244, 297307.
Grieve, R. A. F. 1987. Terrestrial impact structures. Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Science 15, 245–70.
Grieve, R. A. F. 1991. Terrestrial impact: The record in the rocks. Meteoritics 26, 175–94.
Grieve, R. A. F. & Pesonen, L. J. 1992. Terrestrial impact craters: Their spatial and temporal distribution and impacting bodies. Earth, Moon, and Planets 71, 357–76.
Gurov, E. P. & Gurova, E. P. 1995. Impact melt composition of the Obolon crater: chlorine as a possible indicator of the submarine crater formation. Meteoritics 30, 515.
Hodych, J. P. & Dunning, G. R. 1992. Did the Manicouagan impact trigger end-of-Triassic mass extinction? Geology 20, 51–4.
Ivanov, B. A. 1992. Geomechanical Models of Impact Cratering: Puchezh-Katunki Structure. Lunar and Planetary Institute Contribution 790, 40–1.
Ivanov, B. A. 1994. Geomechanical models of impact cratering: Puchezh-Katunki structure. Geological Society of America Special Paper 293, 8191.
Jourdan, F., Renne, P. R. & Reimold, W. U. 2007. The problem of inherited 40Ar in dating impact glass by the 40Ar/39Ar method: Evidence from the Tswaing impact crater (South Africa). Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 71, 1214–31.
Jourdan, F., Renne, P. R. & Reimold, W. U. 2008. High-precision 40Ar/39Ar age of the Jänisjärvi impact structure (Russia). Earth and Planetary Science Letters 265, 438–49.
Kamo, S. L., Reimold, W. U., Krogh, T. E. & Colliston, W. P. 1996. A 2.023 Ga age for the Vredefort impact event and a first report of shock metamorphosed zircons in pseudotachylitic breccias and granophyre. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 144, 369–87.
Kelley, S. P. & Spray, J. G. 1997. A late Triassic age for the Rochechouart impact structure, France. Meteoritics and Planetary Science 32, 629–36.
King Jr, D. T., Neathery, T. L., Petruny, L. W., Koeberl, C. & Hames, W. E. 2002. Shallow-marine impact origin of the Wetumpka structure (Alabama, USA). Earth and Planetary Science Letters 202, 541–9.
Koeberl, C. & Reimold, W. U. 1995. The Newporte impact structure, North Dakota, USA. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 59, 4747–67.
Koeberl, C., Reimold, W. U. & Brandt, D. 1996. Red Wing Creek structure, North Dakota: Petrographical and geochemical studies, and confirmation of impact origin. Meteoritics and Planetary Science 31, 335–42.
Krymholts, G. Y. 1972. Stratigraphy of the USSR – Vol. 10: The Jurassic System (in Russian). Moscow: Gosgeoltechizdat, 524 pp.
Masaitis, V. L. 1999. Impact structures of northeastern Eurasia: the territories of Russia and adjacent countries. Meteoritics and Planetary Science 34, 691711.
Masaitis, V. L., Danilin, A. N., Mashchak, M. S., Raikhlin, A. I., Selivanovskaya, T. V. & Shadenkov, Y. M. 1980. Geology of Astroblemes (in Russian). Leningrad: Nedra, 231 pp.
Masaitis, V. L. & Mashchak, M. S. 1990. Puchezh-Katunki astrobleme: Structure of central uplift and transformation of composing rocks. Meteoritics 25, 383.
Masaitis, V. L. & Balmasov, E. L. 1996. Projectile matter in the impactites of Puchezh-Katunki crater: Preliminary data. Meteoritics and Planetary Science 31, A83.
Masaitis, V. L., Mashchak, M. S. & Naumov, M. V. 1996. The Puchezh-Katunki astrobleme: a structural model of a giant impact crater. Astronomicheskii vestnik 30, 513.
Masaitis, V. L. & Pevzner, L. A. 1999. Deep Drilling in the Puchezh-Katunki Impact Structure. St. Petersburg: VSEGEI, 392 pp.
Ormö, J. & Lindström, M. 2000. When a cosmic impact strikes the sea bed. Geological Magazine 137, 6780.
Pálfy, J. 2005. Did the Puchezh-Katunki impact trigger an extinction? In Cratering in Marine Environments and on Ice (eds Dypvik, H. & Burchell, M.), pp. 135–48. Berlin: Springer.
Poag, C. W., Koeberl, C. & Reimold, W. U. 2004 (eds) The Chesapeake Bay Crater – Geology and Geophysics of a Late Eocene Submarine Impact Structure. Berlin: Springer, 522 pp.
Reimold, W. U. 2007. The Impact Crater Bandwagon (some problems with the terrestrial impact cratering record). Meteoritics and Planetary Science 42, 1467–72.
Reimold, W. U., Barr, J. M., Grieve, R. A. F. & Durrheim, R. J. 1990. Geochemistry of the melt and country rocks of the Lake St. Martin impact structure, Manitoba, Canada. Geochemica et Cosmochimica Acta 54, 2093–111.
Reimold, W. U., Kelley, S. P., Sherlock, S. C., Henkel, H. & Koeberl, C. 2005. Laser Argon dating of melt breccias from the Siljan impact structure: Implications for possible relationship to Late Devonian extinction events. Meteoritics and Planetary Science 40, 591607.
Renne, P. R., Jourdan, F. & Reimold, W. U. 2007. Status of the impact crater age database. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 71, A833.
Schmieder, M., Moilanen, J. & Buchner, E. 2008. Impact melt rocks from the Paasselkä impact structure (SE Finland): petrography and geochemistry. Meteoritics and Planetary Science (in press).
Spray, J. G., Kelley, S. P. & Rowley, D. B. 1998. Evidence for a late Triassic multiple impact event on Earth. Nature 392, 171–3.
Sturkell, E. F. F. 1998. Resurge morphology of the marine Lockne impact crater, Jämtland, central Sweden. Geological Magazine 135, 121–7.
Swisher, C. C., Grajales-Nishimura, J. M., Montanari, A., Margolis, S. V., Claeys, P., Alvarez, W., Renne, P., Cedillo-Pardoa, E., Maurrasse, F. J.-M. R., Curtis, G. H., Smit, J. & McWilliams, M. O. 1992. Coeval 40Ar/39Ar ages of 65.0 million years ago from Chicxulub crater melt rock and Cretaceous–Tertiary boundary tektites. Science 257, 954–8.
Valter, A. A. 2002. Obolon astrobleme in Ukraine: Probable rare type of the crater structure and formation. 8th ESF–IMPACT Workshop ‘Impact Tectonism’, May 31–June 03, 2002, Mora, Sweden (abstract), 66.
Valter, A. A., Asimov, A. T., Voizizkji, E. J. & Sirchenko, W. W. 2000. The probably unique geological structure of the Obolon astrobleme: complicated crater form within the central hole. In Current problems with Comets, Asteroids, Meteors, Meteorites, Astroblemes, and Craters – Proceedings of the CAMMAC 99 Meeting, September 27–October 2, 1999 (ed. Churyumova, K. I.), pp. 343–66. Ukraine: Vinnitsa (in Russian).
Valter, A. A. & Ryabenko, V. A. 1977. Explosion craters on the Ukrainian Shield (in Russian). Kiev: Naukova Dumka, 154 pp.
Ziegler, A. M., Scotese, C. R. & Barrett, S. F. 1983. Tidal Friction and the Earth's Rotation II. In Proceedings of a Workshop held at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research of the University of Bielefeld, September 28–October 3, 1981 (eds P. Brosche & J. Sundermann), pp. 240–52. New York: Springer.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Geological Magazine
  • ISSN: 0016-7568
  • EISSN: 1469-5081
  • URL: /core/journals/geological-magazine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 1
Total number of PDF views: 21 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 178 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st July 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.