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Thread: 'Crater' spied under California

  1. #1
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    Mar 2004
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    'Crater' spied under California

    BBC: 'Crater' spied under California

    Oil exploration work in California's Central Valley region has uncovered a possible space impact crater.

    The 5.5km-wide bowl is buried under shale sediments west of Stockton, in San Joaquin County, and is thought to be between 37 and 49 million years old.
    Google Map: Victoria Island structure (which just shows farmland in the San Joaquin Delta; the circular structure itself is more than a kilometer deep)
    0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 ...
    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

  2. #2
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    Title: 3D Seismic and the Discovery of California's First Meteorite Impact Crater, Sacramento Valley
    Authors: S. C. Spevack, J. R. Morrow, and B. Z. Spevack,

    Analyses of a 3-D seismic survey and well logs in the southwestern Sacramento basin, San Joaquin County, California, have revealed a subsurface, circular, ~5.5-km-diameter anomaly that may represent a previously unrecognised complex impact crater (Figs. 1–3). This unique anomaly, buried 1,490–1,600 m below sea level under the southwestern part of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, is provisionally named the Victoria Island structure for an overlying surface geographic feature.

    Read more (730kb, PDF)

  3. #3
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    Victoria Island

    Latitude: 37.88946°, North. Longitude: -121.53402 °, West
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
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    One of the things I have noticed--now that the lower 48 overlays that cloud pictures are chomakeyed over are using real surface textures (that have been exxaggerated for visibility)--are circular areas all over. A great circle over the Southeastern US for example.

  5. #5
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    Do they use iridium decay to calculate the age?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinemarten View Post
    Do they use iridium decay to calculate the age?
    Unlikely, since the longest radioactive iridium half life is only 241 years. http://education.jlab.org/itselemental/iso077.html

    More likely the date is estimated from the geologic strata at the presumed impact layer.

    Cool image from the OP!

  7. #7
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    "Preliminary estimates for the age of the crater suggest it is just too early for an episode of multiple impacts on Earth known as the late Eocene bombardment, which occurred about 35 million years ago..." - BBC

    35 million is long after the Dinosaur age and well into the time of us mammals.

  8. #8
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    This is so cool.

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