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TitlePopigai, Siberia - well preserved giant impact structure, national treasury, and world's geological heritage
AuthorDeutsch, A; Masaitis, V L; Langenhorst, F; Grieve, R A F
SourceEpisodes vol. 23, no. 1, 2000 p. 3-11
LinksOnline - En ligne
Alt SeriesGeological Survey of Canada, Contribution Series 2000071
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
AreaPopigai; Siberia; Russian Federation
Lat/Long WENS 111.0000 111.5000 71.7500 71.5000
Subjectsextraterrestrial geology; structural geology; regional geology; meteorite craters; meteorites; Eocene; mineral exploration
Illustrationslocation maps; geological sketch maps; aerial photographs; tables; photographs; graphs
ProgramIPEX 97
Released2000 01 01
AbstractThe about 35-Ma old Popigai impact structure is located on the northern edge of the Anbar shield in subpolar Siberia. Among the terrestrial “impact ring basins”, the 100 km diameter Popigai represents the best preserved example with excellent outcrops. In addition, a large number of drill holes and geophysical surveys helped to constrain the sub-surface nature of the crater, making Popigai a three-dimensional model for similar impact structures on other terrestrial planetary bodies. Moreover, this crater is the type locality for impact diamonds surpassing there in their total mass that at all other known diamond deposits together; alone this fact makes Popigai a national treasury. The structure which is most probably linked to ejecta horizons occurring in marine sequences of Late Eocene age, has been designated by UNESCO authorities as part of the world's geological heritage. Due to economic reasons, exploration work in this quite remotely area has ceased more than a decade ago, making new field studies in this crater virtually impossible. We outline the basic characteristics of this world-class site for impact research, the history of discovery and mineral exploration, and report on IPEX 1997, the first International scientific Popigai Expedition.

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