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.
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 possible explanations, although some aspects of the disturbed rocks show possible impact event – re-melted granitic clasts, deformation effects, on the edges of crater are some blocks which seem to have glassy cover.
- 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.
Temimichât-Ghallaman crater on the map
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|Location, GPS coordinates:||24.2485 N 9.6496 W|
|Where is located?||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, rather old|
Almost all of Mauritania today is desert – somewhere desolate, somewhere – with some plants, lakes and animals.
In earlier times the nature here was less harsh, great cultures developed. People from those times have left countless cliff paintings and etchings, megaliths and abandoned towns.
Nature of Mauritania also provides surprises – giant, smooth and very dark granite monoliths, rising hundreds of meters above the desert, and even wealth of life – millions of birds at the ocean and even unusual dwarf crocodiles in the desert plateau of Tagant.
This category includes outstanding impact craters – detectable scars on the surface of Earth left by a body coming from outer space. The category includes also meteorites – natural objects from the outer space.