Lonar Lake, India: An Impact Crater in Basalt

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Science  25 May 1973:
Vol. 180, Issue 4088, pp. 862-864
DOI: 10.1126/science.180.4088.862


Discovery of shock-metamorphosed material establishes the impact origin of Lonar Crater. Coarse breccia with shatter coning and microbreccia with moderately shocked fragments containing maskelynite were found in drill holes through the crater floor. Trenches on the rim yield strongly shocked fragments in which plagioclase has melted and vesiculated, and bombs and spherules of homogeneous rock melt. As the only known terrestrial impact crater in basalt, Lonar Crater provides unique opportunities for comparison with lunar craters. In particular, microbreccias and glass spherules from Lonar Crater have close analogs among the Apollo specimens.