Massive meteorite crater lies beneath Decorah

I don’t cover many science topics here, but this story fascinated me. Scientists have recently confirmed that an "asteroid as big as a city block" created a crater more than three miles wide under what is now Decorah, Iowa. This anomaly would be only the 184th confirmed impact crater on earth, according to an excellent piece by Brian Vastag for the Washington Post.  Bevan French, an adjunct scientist at the National Museum of Natural History, announced the discovery last month. His research built on the work of geologists from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources began several years ago. Aerial surveys conducted this year provided more evidence of the meteor crater, Science Daily reported today.

Scientists estimate that the meteor smashed into what is now northeast Iowa approximately 470 million years ago, during the Ordovician geologic period. That’s way before the age of dinosaurs—in fact, before any amphibians, bony fish, or reptiles appeared on earth. Quite a few meteors hit earth around this time, probably asteroid fragments created by a “massive collision in the asteroid belt beyond Mars.”

Tags: Iowa DNR, Science
  • That's two then

    I read this WAPO story a couple weeks ago but apparently not carefully enough. I thought they were referring to the Manson Crater anomoly which I have known about for some time.

    I guess I’ll have to begin GOOGLING geology papers to learn about this Decorah one now.

  • Iowa landforms

    Out of a couple feet worth of books on geology of the upper midwest one of my favorites for just browsing is an older one:

    Landforms of Iowa by Jean C. Prior (1991, Paperback)

    Jean C. Prior | ISBN-10: 0877453470 | ISBN-13: 9780877453475

  • 470 million years ago

    The young-earth creationists will be in denial.

    • I was thinking the same thing

      How do they process this information about craters and geological shifts? I guess they think God planted a bunch of false evidence to test our faith.

      • An entire industry

        I have a friend who believes that way and I’ve learned to no longer attempt pointing out scientific fact. For every scientific fact he and they have perfectly logical, to them, explanations that dismiss th science and prove their biblical timescale.

        It is a whole industry devoted to just that.

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