[meteorite-list] Scientists Return to Ancient Impact Crater at Chesapeake Bay

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:44:41 2004
Message-ID: <200103210322.TAA26506_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


 News Release Address
                                             Office of Outreach
 U.S. Department of the Interior 953 National Center
 U.S. Geological Survey Reston, VA 20192
 Release Contact Phone Fax
 March 15, 2001 Diane Noserale 703-648-4333 703-648-6859

Scientists Return to Ancient Impact Crater

March will mark the beginning of a new field season for scientists from the
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and its cooperators who will begin drilling a
second core hole into an impact structure created 35 million years ago when
an asteroid or comet slammed into the ocean near the present-day mouth of
the Chesapeake Bay. The scientists are studying the effect of this ancient
event on the modern day regional ground-water system and the quality of
drinking water in southeastern Virginia.

"The asteroid or comet probably measured about 1 to 2 miles in diameter and
was traveling at tens of miles per second," said Greg Gohn, USGS Chief of
the Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater Project. "It gouged a crater 53 miles wide
and fractured bedrock to a depth of well over a mile. Today, those disrupted
rock units greatly affect the pattern of ground-water flow throughout
southeastern Virginia. Because we believe that this ancient impact might
have rendered the ground water in large areas of the crater unfavorable for
development as a water source, the information we are gathering is relevant
to managing ground-water resources in southeastern Virginia," said Gohn.

Gohn expects to begin drilling at two sites in the Middle Neck of Virginia.
Drilling of a core hole 1,500 feet deep at a site in Mathews County,
Virginia near the village of North will likely begin on March 20. This
location is a short distance inside the outer rim of the crater as it is
presently mapped on the Middle Neck. Work at a second drill site in Mathews
County near Shadow, Virginia is planned to begin in June. This site is
located well within the ring-shaped trough of the impact crater; scientists
expect to penetrate the bottom of the crater at a depth between 2,000 to
2,500 feet. Last summer, the scientists drilled more than 2,000 feet into
the crater's rim at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

Science support and funding have been provided in part by the Hampton Roads
Planning District Commission and the Virginia Department of Environmental

As the nation's largest water, earth and biological science and civilian
mapping agency, the USGS works in cooperation with more than 2000
organizations across the country to provide reliable, impartial scientific
information to resource managers, planners and other customers. This
information is gathered in every state by USGS scientists to minimize the
loss of life and property from natural disasters, contribute to the sound
conservation, economic and physical development of the nation's natural
resources, and enhance the quality of life by monitoring water, biological,
energy, and mineral resources.
Received on Tue 20 Mar 2001 10:22:27 PM PST

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