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An Eocene age for the proposed Silverpit Impact Crater

Wall, Mostyn Leonard T., Cartwright, Joseph Albert and Davies, R. J. 2008. An Eocene age for the proposed Silverpit Impact Crater. Journal of the Geological Society 165 (4) , pp. 781-794. 10.1144/0016-76492007-138

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Three-dimensional seismic analysis is used to describe the detailed morphology of the Silverpit crater, a proposed marine impact crater located in the southern North Sea, UK. We examine and constrain for the first time the geometry, extent and age of the post-crater sediment units that define the crater fill. A circular bowl-shaped depression has been mapped and interpreted to represent the upper limit of impact deformation and the geometry of the crater at the end of cratering processes. Reflections exhibit a parallel onlap fill onto the bowl-shaped crater floor, indicating that accommodation space was created instantaneously without any contemporaneous sedimentation. Using regional lithostratigraphic markers constrained by microfossil and calcareous nannofossil analysis, we have dated the first onlapping sediments onto the crater. The age of the onlapping sediments allows us to constrain the crater formation to be Middle Eocene in age. This date is c. 10–15 Ma younger than the previous ascribed age for the crater formation and rules out the Silverpit crater as a K–T boundary impact. The age of crater formation considerably predates regional folding and accompanying salt flowage, effectively ruling out a salt withdrawal origin for the Silverpit crater.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Q Science > QE Geology
Publisher: Geological Society of London
ISSN: 0016-7649
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2019 02:14

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