Scientists present geological map of India's Lonar crater

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Washington, December 4 (ANI): In a new study, a team of scientists has presented a topographic model and a geological map of Lonar crater in India, which is one of the youngest and best preserved impact structures on Earth.

Lonar crater is a 1.88-km diameter simple crater formed entirely within the Deccan traps (a large volcanic province consisting of many layers of basalt flows), making it a useful analogue for small craters on other terrestrial planets and the Moon.

In the new study, Adam C. Maloof and colleagues from the Princeton University, US, presented a topographic model and a geological map of Lonar crater and the surrounding area.

Using radio-carbon dating techniques, they attempted to constrain the maximum formation age of the crater.

At the crater rim, the upper lava flows have been turned up and folded over onto the surrounding terrain, however the hinge of this fold is preserved around only 10 to 15 percent of the crater.

The researchers found that large displacements along tear faults in the crater walls are not characteristic of small craters in basalt.

The continuous ejecta blanket deposited on the surrounding terrain is reasonably well preserved and in some regions is overlain by small, glassy impact spherules, with aerodynamic shapes resulting from traveling through the air while cooling.

By studying the preserved thickness distribution of the ejecta, the location and size of clasts of ejecta and underlying materials, and the boundary between the two, it can be inferred that the ejecta blanket was emplaced in a large debris-flow that traveled along the ground.

The ejecta profile resembles the ejecta structures observed on Mars, indicating similar processes may be active on both planets. (ANI)

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