Impact Origin of the Chesapeake Bay Structure and the Source of the North American Tektites

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Science  01 Mar 1996:
Vol. 271, Issue 5253, pp. 1263-1266
DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5253.1263


Seismic profiles, drill core samples, and gravity data suggest that a complex impact crater ∼35.5 million years old and 90 kilometers in diameter is buried beneath the lower Chesapeake Bay. The breccia that fills the structure contains evidence of shock metamorphism, including impact melt breccias and multiple sets of planar deformation features (shock lamellae) in quartz and feldspar. The age of the crater and the composition of some breccia clasts are consistent with the Chesapeake Bay impact structure being the source of the North American tektites.