An Archean Impact Layer from the Pilbara and Kaapvaal Cratons

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Science  23 Aug 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5585, pp. 1325-1327
DOI: 10.1126/science.1073934

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The Barberton greenstone belt of South Africa and the eastern Pilbara block of Western Australia provide information about Earth's surface environments between 3.2 and 3.5 billion years ago, including evidence for four large bolide impacts that likely created large craters, deformed the target rocks, and altered the environment. We have obtained identical single-zircon uranium-lead ages of 3470 ± 2 million years ago for the oldest impact events from each craton. These deposits represent a single global fallout layer that is associated with sedimentation by an impact-generated tsunami and in Western Australia is represented by a major erosional unconformity.

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