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RE: Whitecourt crater
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The crater is 36 metres wide and six metres deep, which is small as far as most craters go, Herd said. At an estimated 1,000 years old, it is also one of the youngest craters in the world. The second-youngest crater in Canada, located in Quebec, is 1.2 million years old.

The meteor, which was made primarily of iron, was probably formed very early in the life of the solar system by the same process that formed the earths core. The meteor probably came from the asteroid belt and measured one metre across. However, researchers have so far found 74 different pieces of the original meteor which is called a meteorite once it hits the ground scattered around the crater, some up to 70 metres away.

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The crater fill is represented by a pebble-diamict to a depth of ~2.9 m.  Below this depth is a sharp transition to a well-sorted medium sand which continues, uninterrupted, to a depth of at least 5.4 m. Rare glassy fragments have been found within the diamict in the crater centre; the amorphous nature of this material has been confirmed by XRD and polarising light microscopy. The glass fragments have an amber colour in transmitted light and range from <0.1 to 0.5 cm diameter. Glass has not been observed at a depth greater than ~3.1 m. We interpret the ~2.9 m transition, represented by a change in sediment from diamict to sand, to be near to the base of the transient crater.  The presence of glass to a depth of 3.1 m is consistent with this interpretation. Two radiocarbon ages of 1130 ± 25 and 1080 ± 25 14C yr BP (UCIAMS 40058 and 40059, respectively) were obtained on charcoal from the A-horizon of a paleosol buried by impact ejecta.  These data provide a concordant maximum age for the overlying ejecta of ca. 880-990 AD, indicating the impact event likely occurred within the last thousand years.

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Whitecourtb.jpg
Expand (230kb, 905 x 583)

Latitude: 54° 0'2.86"N, Longitude: 115°36'23.81"W (Unconfirmed location)



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Title: A GEOLOGIC OVERVIEW OF THE LATE HOLOCENE WHITECOURT METEORITE IMPACT CRATER
Authors: R. S. Kofman, C. D. K. Herd, E. L. Walton, D. G. Froese, E. P. K. Herd

Small impact events resulting in simple impact structures <100 m in diameter are common features recorded on the solid surfaces in our Solar System. Such structures are rare in Earths impact cratering record; most are typically heavily modified by subsequent erosion or are often found in remote locations. The recently discovered Whitecourt Meteorite Impact Crater (WMIC) provides significant contrast in that it is both well preserved and easily accessible. The level of preservation, age (<1.13 ka) and associated meteorite fragments suggest that this site will provide considerable data for the improvement of current models for similar structures.

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Stakeholders push to protect meteorite crash site
The mayor of a sprawling Alberta community is pushing to have a 1,000-year-old crater, confirmed as the site of a rare meteorite impact, turned into a protected zone.

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 What local hunters in Whitecourt thought for years was a sinkhole is actually the crater left behind by a meteor that fell to earth 1,000 years ago and is now attracting international attention from researchers.
The crater is 36 metres wide and six metres deep, which is small as far as most craters go, Herd said. At an estimated 1,000 years old, it is also one of the youngest craters in the world. The second-youngest crater in Canada, located in Quebec, is 1.2 million years old.

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