Wonder

Temimichât-Ghallaman crater (Temimichat-Ghallaman crater)

WorldBlue  In short

Temimichât-Ghallaman crater is a very remote, large crater of unclear origin. Most likely it has been created by large meteorite but this has not been proved yet.

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GPS coordinates
24.2485 N 9.6496 W
Location, address
Africa, Mauritania, Tiris Zemmour, in the vast deserts in the north of the country
Alternate names
Temimichat Ghallaman, Timmimichat
Diameter
640 – 730 m
Depth
Rim rises 35 m above surroundings and the the crater floor
Age
Unknown, should be quite old

Map of the site

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WorldYellow In detail

Temimichat-Ghallaman crater was known to locals and was described by French explorer Théodore Andre Monod already in the 1950s. Nevertheless few scientists have visited this remote site in the inhospitable, almost lifeless plains of northern Mauritania.

This crater is well visible on satellite images or in nature, but it is more eroded than the other great Mauritanian craters – Tenoumer and Aouelloul craters – thus it might be rather old.

Crater is formed in crystalline bedrock – 3.5 billion years old Precambrian gneisses and gabbro of Reguibat shield.

Rims of the crater are partly eroded, their height fluctuates from some meters to 35 m. The original circular form has been lost and now the crater looks rather hexagonal. The crater is filled with sediments – aeolian sand and silt.

The origin of this crater is unclear. Meteorite impact is just one of the possible explanations, although some aspects of the disturbed rocks show a possible impact event – re-melted granitic clasts, deformation effects, on the edges of crater are some blocks that seem to have a glassy cover.

References

  1. Rossi, A. P.; Baliva, A.; Piluso, E., New Indications for an impact origin of Temimichat crater, Mauritania. EGS – AGU – EUG Joint Assembly, Abstracts from the meeting held in Nice, France, 6 – 11 April 2003, abstract #7403. Accessed on December 26, 2012.
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