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Wolfe Creek Crater Younger than Previously Thought

27 Nov 2019, 17:04 UTC
Wolfe Creek Crater Younger than Previously Thought
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Wolfe Creek Crater, one of the world's largest meteorite craters, is much younger than previously thought. Wolfe Creek Crater is situated on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert in northern Western Australia. It is the second largest crater on Earth from which meteorite fragments have been recovered (the largest is Meteor Crater in Arizona).It was likely formed by a meteor about 15 meters in diameter, weighing around 14,000 tonnes.The age of the impact is poorly understood and unpublished data suggests the impact could have occurred around 300,000 years ago.However, according to a new study led by Dr Tim Barrows from the University of Portsmouth, the most likely age for the impact is 120,000 years ago.In the study, published in the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science, researchers from the University of Portsmouth, Australia and the USA calculated the new age of Wolfe Creek Crater using two geochronological dating techniques.First, the researchers collected samples from around the crater rim and applied exposure dating, which estimates the length of time that a rock has been exposed at the Earth's surface to cosmic radiation.They were also able to determine the age through optically stimulated luminescence, (a dating technique used to measure how long ...

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