Updated: Aug 3
The collision of a comet or an asteroid with a planet, or its moon, causes the formation of impact craters. Throughout their lifetimes, all of the inner bodies in our solar system have been subjected to persistent bombardment by asteroids. This bombardment may be seen in plain view on the surfaces of planetary bodies such as Mars, the Moon, and Mercury, for example. On Earth, however, impact craters are constantly erased by erosion and tectonic transformation as time passes.
Despite this, around 170 impact craters caused by terrestrial impacts have been discovered on our planet. These may be as small as a few tens of meters or as large as around 300 kilometers (186 miles) in diameter, & their ages can vary anywhere from recent times to even more than 2 billion years.
Here’s a list of 10 Earthly craters are relatively new, fascinating and attract dozens of thousands of visitors a year.
1. Wolfe Creek Crater
Wolfe Creek Crater in Australia was created 300,000 years ago when a meteorite slammed onto the planet. The crater was around 875 meters (2870 feet) in diameter, and the 50,000 weighed about 50,000 tons.
Wolfe Creek Crater is over 300,000 years old.
There was possibly a depth of about 120 meters in the crater that was left. It took the wind another 300,000 years to fill it with sand, & now the floor lies 60 meters (200 feet) below the rim, 25 meters (82 feet) just above the surrounding flat desert ground. Iron meteorites have been discovered nearby in relatively low quantities. Aboriginal people had known about the crater for thousands of years before its 1947 discovery during an aerial survey.
2. Barringer Crater
One of the most well-known and well-preserved impact craters on Earth is known as Barringer Crater. Barringer Crater was named after Daniel Barringer, who proposed the meteorite impact theory. His family still owns the land, which goes by the names Meteor Crater & Arizona Crater.
Barringer Crater is 1.186 km in diameter.
The crater is located in Flagstaff, Arizona, and is roughly 1,200 meters (4,000 feet) in diameter, 170 meters (570 feet) deep, and 45 meters (about 150 feet) higher than the surrounding plain on average. Approximately 40,000 years ago, a large iron meteorite measuring about 50 meters (54 yards) in diameter and weighing several hundred thousand tons crashed onto Earth, leaving behind the Barringer Crater. According to new studies, the meteor slammed into the Earth at a speed of 12.8 kilometers per second (28,600 mph).
3. Pingualuit Crater
About 1.4 million years ago, the meteorite impact with the power of 8500 Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs produced the Pingualuit Crater. The tundra is elevated 160 meters (520 feet) above the bottom of the 400-meter (1,300-foot) crater, which has a diameter of 3.44 kilometers (2.14 miles).
Pingualuit Crater located in Canada.
This 270-meter (890-foot) deep crater lake is home to some of the cleanest water on the planet. Because no rivers flow into or out of the lake, the water can only enter by precipitation and leave via evaporation. In 1943, a US Air Force aircraft doing meteorological research saw the crater. Local inuits use the phrase "where the land rises" to describe Pingualuit.
4. Amguid Crater
The Amguid Crater is the consequence of a meteor impact around 100,000 years ago, making it a young crater. It's in the middle of nothing in southwest Algeria. It is 30 meters (100 feet) deep and 450 meters (1476 feet) in circumference; a meteorite impact created it.
Amguid crater is located in Algeria.
Massive sandstone slabs, each several measuring meters in diameter, cover the top of the rim. The eolian silts that fill the crater's core have been compressed, creating a level area.
5. Gosses Bluff Crater
The Gosses Bluff crater in the middle of Australia is believed to have been created by a comet or asteroid collision some 142 million years ago. The crater's diameter has shrunk to 6 kilometers (4 miles) due to erosion, although it was once around 22 kilometers (14 miles) broad. Tnorala is a holy spot for the Western Arrernte Aboriginal people.
6. Tswaing Crater
About 220,000 years ago, a chondrite, a stony meteorite 30-50 meters in diameter, crashed into Earth, leaving behind the crater known as Tswaing. A tiny lake fed by a spring and rainfall sits in the crater's middle.
Tswaing is an impact crater in South Africa.
In the Stone Age, humans came here to hunt and harvest salt, and they left behind stone implements that attest to their frequent visits to the crater. The native Tswana tribes nicknamed the area Tswaing, which translates to "Place of Salt," whereas European immigrants dubbed it Zoutpan (Salt Pan).
7. Lonar Crater Lake
About 50,000 years ago, a meteorite crashed on Earth, creating Lonar Lake in Maharashtra. The resultant saltwater lake inside the basaltic rock formation lies roughly 137 meters (449 feet) below the crater lip and has a mean diameter of 1.2 kilometers (3,900 feet).
Lonar Lake, also known as Lonar crater, is a notified National Geo-heritage Monument.
The lake is surrounded by several temples, most of which are in ruins, save for the Daityasudan temple in the middle of Lonar town, which was constructed to celebrate Vishnu's triumph over the gigantic Lonasur. Birdwatchers will enjoy exploring the crater, while hikers will enjoy the surrounding foliage.
8. Monturaqui Crater
Chile's Monturaqui Crater may be found south of the Salar de Atacama. The crater's current diameter is around 460 meters (1,509 feet), and its depth is about 34 meters (100 feet). About a million years ago, the collision most likely took place.
Monturaqui is an impact crater in Chile.
The crater may still be seen because of the area's severe dryness. Size- and shape-wise, Monturaqui resembles the Martian Bonneville crater that the Spirit rover visited in 2004. Both craters developed in a volcanic setting and are shallow, with similarly sized rocks thrown close to the crater rim.
9. Roter Kamm Crater
The Namib Desert in Namibia is home to the 2.5 km (1.6 mi) wide and 130 m (400 ft) deep Roter Kamm crater. Roughly 3.7 million years ago, a meteor the size of a big truck smashed into the area, causing it to form. Sand layers at least 100 meters (300 feet) deep cover the crater's bottom, yet the crater itself is still easily discernible. The Namib Desert's orange hue and the crater create the sense that we're not on Earth but on Mars.
Roter Kamm crater is 2.5 kilometres in diameter and is 130 metres deep.
10. Tenoumer Crater
The Tenoumer Crater is almost a complete circle, measuring 1.9 kilometers (1.2 miles) in diameter with a rim 100 meters (330 feet) in height. This crater may be found in western Mauritania, in the Sahara Desert. For a long time, volcanoes were both ruled out and considered as possible causes for this crater by modern geologists.
Tenoumer Crater located in the Mauritanian Saharan Desert.
When researchers examined the crater more closely, they realized that the solidified "lava" was melted rock. Sometime between around 10.000 and 30,000 years ago, this collision took place.