List of impact craters on Earth
This article appears to contradict itself on the sizes of craters.January 2018)(
To keep the lists manageable, only the largest craters within a time period are included. Alphabetical lists for different continents can be found under Craters by continent below.
Confirmed impact craters listed by size and age
These features were caused by the collision of meteors (consisting of large fragments of asteroids) or comets (consisting of ice, dust particles and rocky fragments) with the Earth. For eroded or buried craters, the stated diameter typically refers to the best available estimate of the original rim diameter, and may not correspond to present surface features. Time units are either in thousands (ka) or millions (Ma) of years.
10 ka or less
Less than ten thousand years old, and with a diameter of 100 m (330 ft) or more. The EID lists fewer than ten such craters, and the largest in the last 100,000 years (100 ka) is the 4.5 km (2.8 mi) Rio Cuarto crater in Argentina. However, there is some uncertainty regarding its origins and age, with some sources giving it as < 10 ka while the EID gives a broader < 100 ka.
The Kaali impacts (c. 2000 BC) during the Nordic Bronze Age may have influenced Estonian and Finnish mythology, the Campo del Cielo (c. 2000 BC) could be in the legends of some Native American tribes, while Henbury (c. 2200 BC) has figured in Australian Aboriginal oral traditions.
|Wabar||Rub' al Khali desert||Saudi Arabia||0.1||0.2||~1800 AD|
|Campo del Cielo||Chaco||Argentina||0.1||4.0||2000 BC|
|Henbury||Northern Territory||Australia||0.2||4.2||2200 BC|
|Boxhole||Northern Territory||Australia||0.2||5.4||3400 BC|
|Macha||Sakha Republic||Russia||0.3||7.3||5300 BC|
|Rio Cuarto (disputed)||Córdoba Province||Argentina||4.5||< 10 ?||<8000 BC|
|Ilumetsa||Põlva County||Estonia||0.08||6.6||<4600 BC|
For the Rio Cuarto craters, 2002 research suggests they may actually be aeolian structures. The EID gives a size of about 50 m (160 ft) for Campo del Cielo, but other sources quote 100 m (330 ft).
10 ka to 1 Ma
From between 10 thousand years to one million years ago, and with a diameter of less than one km (0.62 mi):
|Wolfe Creek||Northern Territory||Australia||0.9||< 120|
From between ten thousand years to one million years ago, and with a diameter of one km (0.62 mi) or more. The largest in the last one million years is the 14-kilometre (8.7 mi) Zhamanshin crater in Kazakhstan and has been described as being capable of producing a nuclear-like winter.
|Meteor Crater||Arizona||United States||1.2||49|
|Tswaing||Pretoria Saltpan||South Africa||1.1||220|
|Zhamanshin||Kazakhstan||Kazakhstan||14.0||900 ± 100|
1 Ma to 10 Ma
From between 1 and 10 million years ago, and with a diameter of 5 km or more. If uncertainties regarding its age are resolved, then the largest in the last 10 million years would be the 52-kilometre (32 mi) Karakul crater which is listed in EID with an age of less than 5 Ma, or the Pliocene. The large but apparently craterless Eltanin impact (2.5 Ma) into the Pacific Ocean has been suggested as contributing to the glaciations and cooling during the Pliocene.
|Elgygytgyn||Chukotka Autonomous Okrug||Russia||18||3.5|
|Karakul||Pamir Mountains||Tajikistan||52||< 5 ?|
10 Ma or more
Craters with diameter 20 km (12 mi) or more are all older than 10 Ma, except possibly Karakul, 52 km (32 mi), whose age is uncertain.
There are more than forty craters of such size. The largest two within the last hundred million years have been linked to two extinction events: Chicxulub for the Cretaceous–Paleogene and the Popigai impact for the Eocene–Oligocene extinction event.
Large unconfirmed craters
The largest unconfirmed craters 200 km (120 mi) or more are significant not only for their size, but also for the possible coeval events associated with them. For example, the Wilkes Land crater has been connected to the massive Permian–Triassic extinction event. The sortable table has been arranged by diameter.
|Name||Location||Country||Diameter (km)||Age (million years)||Coordinates|
|Mistassini-Otish impact crater||Quebec||Canada||600||2100|
|Australian impact structure||Northern Territory||Australia||600||545|
|Shiva crater||offshore of India||India||500||65|
|Wilkes Land crater||Wilkes Land||Antarctica||480–500||250–500|
|Czech Crater||Central Europe||Czech Republic||300–500||2000|
|Ishim impact structure||Akmola Region||Kazakhstan||300||460–430|
|Bedout||offshore of Western Australia||Australia||250||250|
|Falkland Plateau anomaly||offshore of South America||Falkland Islands||250||250 (uncertain, estimated to be Late Palaeozoic)|
|East Warburton Basin||Southern Australia||Australia||200+||300–360|
Craters by continent
As of 2017[update], the Earth Impact Database (EID) contains 190 confirmed craters. The table below is arranged by the continent's percentage of the Earth's land area, and where Asian and Russian craters are grouped together per EID convention. The global distribution of known impact structures apparently shows a surprising asymmetry, with the small but well-funded European continent having a large percentage of confirmed craters. It is suggested this situation is an artifact, highlighting the importance of intensifying research in less studied areas like Antarctica, South America and elsewhere.
Clicking on the links in the column "Continent" will give a list of craters for that continent.
of the 190
|Asia and Russia||30%||16%||31|
- List of impact craters in Asia and Russia
- List of impact craters in Africa
- List of impact craters in North America
- List of impact craters in South America
- List of impact craters in Antarctica
- List of impact craters in Europe
- List of impact craters in Australia
- Earth Impact Database
- Extinction event
- Impact events
- Impact Field Studies Group
- List of possible impact structures on Earth
- Traces of Catastrophe, 1998 book from Lunar and Planetary Institute – comprehensive reference on impact crater science
- Giant-impact hypothesis
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