Earth  ID: 4691

A possible second large subglacial impact crater in northwest Greenland

It is increasingly rare to find new large impact craters on Earth, let alone such craters buried beneath ice. This study by MacGregor et al. describes a possible impact crater buried beneath two kilometers of ice in northwest Greenland. The circular structure is more than 36 kilometers wide, and both its shape and other geophysical properties are consistent with an impact origin. If eventually confirmed as an impact crater, it would be only the second found beneath either of Earth’s ice sheets. The first was the Hiawatha impact crater, which is also in northwest Greenland and only 183 kilometers away from this new structure, so this team also evaluated whether these two craters could be related. They are similarly sized, but the candidate second crater appears more eroded and ice above it is much less disturbed than above the Hiawatha impact crater. Statistical analysis of the frequency of two unrelated but nearby large impacts indicates that it is improbable but not impossible that this pair is unrelated. This study expands knowledge of the impact history of the Earth and raises the question as to how many other impact craters buried beneath ice have yet to be found.
 

Related


Visualization Credits

Lead Visualizer:
Cindy Starr (GST)

Project Support:
Joycelyn Thomson Jones (NASA/GSFC)
Leann Johnson (GST)
Eric Sokolowsky (GST)

Technical Support:
Laurence Schuler (ADNET)
Ian Jones (ADNET)

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).

Science Paper:
MacGregor, J. A., Bottke, W. F., Jr, Fahnestock, M. A., Harbeck, J. P., Kjær, K. H., Paden, J. D., Stillman, D. E., & Studinger, M. (2018). A possible second large subglacial impact crater in northwest Greenland. Geophysical Research Letters, 45. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GL078126

Short URL to share this page:
https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4691

Data Used:
SHIZUKU (GCOM-W1)/AMSR2/10 km Daily 89 GHz Brightness Temperature
Observed Data - Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency - 09/15/2015 - 10/15/2015
Credit:
AMSR2 data courtesy of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
SHIZUKU (GCOM-W1)/AMSR2/10 km Daily Sea Ice Concentration
Observed Data - Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency - 09/15/2015 - 10/15/2015
Credit:
AMSR2 data courtesy of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
Terra and Aqua/MODIS/Blue Marble: Next Generation also referred to as: BMNG
2004
Credit:
The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).
TERRA/MODIS/MODIS Mosaic of Greenland (MOG) Image Map
Mosaic
BedMachine V3: Bed Topography and Ocean Bathymetry of Greenland also referred to as: BedMachine V3: Bed Topography and Ocean Bathymetry of Greenland
Data Compilation - 2017
A new compilation of Greenland bed topography that assimilates seafloor bathymetry and ice thickness data through a mass conservation approach.
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

Keywords:
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Cryosphere >> Glaciers/Ice Sheets
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Hydrosphere >> Glaciers/Ice Sheets
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Cryosphere >> Glaciers/Ice Sheets >> Glaciers
GCMD >> Location >> Greenland
SVS >> Hyperwall
SVS >> Craters
NASA Science >> Earth
NASA Earth Science Focus Areas >> Earth Surface and Interior

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0