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Amguid crater

Main characteristics

Coordinates: 26.0876 N 4.3950 E
No:384        (list of all attractions)
Categories:Impact craters
Values:Geology
Rank:3
Address:Africa, Algeria, Tamanghasset province, 236 km north-east from Tamanrasset
Diameter:500 - 530 m (most sources give 450 m)
Depth:˜ 65 m
Age:less than 100 000 years
Amguid crater, Algeria
Amguid crater / Bertrand Devouard and Florence Devouard, / CC BY-SA 3.0

One of the best preserved impact craters on Earth - Amguid crater in Algeria - is also one of hardest to access. Some travellers report that this crater has been visited much less than the summit of Everest, at least in the modern times.

Amguid crater has formed in Lower Devonian sandstone in remote part of Sahara, more than one hundred kilometres from the nearest inhabited place. One can not reach this place with a car. Travellers should walk towards the crater along guelta - deep river valley with occasional pools of water. This area is pristine - with a wealth of prehistoric (unexplored!) landmarks and undisturbed wildlife.

Amguid crater was mentioned in the scientific literatur in 1953 (1) by French explorer Roman Karpoff - he noted that he has noticed a possible impact crater from a plane in 1948. French geologist Jean-Phillippe Lefranc reached the crater in the late 1960s.

Amguid crater from the space, Algeria
Amguid crater from the space / NASA, / public domain

As the crater looks little eroded and "fresh", scientists consider that it is younger than 100 thousand years but older than 10 thousand years. There is no research yet which would provide more exact data.

Nevertheless the structure of the crater clearly shows that this is impact crater. Crater is almost perfectly circular, with steep walls. Amguid crater has rised rims, which are covered with sandstone blocks, often several metres in diameter. Research from the space hints that ejecta fell mainly to the north - nort-east, thus it is probable that meteorite was falling from south - south-west.

Diameter of the crater (as measured in Google Earth) is 500 - 530 m, the approximate depth between the bottom of the crater and its rims is 65 m.

Crater has been partly filled with a wind blown sand - thus far we do not know the real depth of the crater below the layer of this sand. Central part of Amguid crater is flat, covered with aeolian silts. These silts refract the light - due to this from the space it looks as if the crater has white area in the centre.

There are no reports of parts of meteorite from this crater but among the collectors in very small amounts is sold the exotic Amguid Crater Glass or Golden Moldavite - a melted glass in rare golden color.

Map

See Amguid crater on the map of Algeria!

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