Roter Kamm crater

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Roter Kamm crater
Roter Kamm Bird's Eye View.jpg
Roter Kamm, aerial view direction south (April 2017)
Impact crater/structure
Diameter2.5 km (1.6 mi)
Age4.81 ± 0.5 Ma
LocationSperrgebiet, Namib Desert
Coordinates27°46′0″S 16°17′20″E / 27.76667°S 16.28889°E / -27.76667; 16.28889Coordinates: 27°46′0″S 16°17′20″E / 27.76667°S 16.28889°E / -27.76667; 16.28889
Country Namibia
StateǁKaras Region
Roter Kamm crater is located in Namibia
Roter Kamm crater
Location of the crater in Namibia

Roter Kamm (German: Red Ridge) is a meteorite crater, located in the Sperrgebiet, within the Namibian section of the Namib Desert, approximately 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of Oranjemund and 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) southwest of Aurus Mountain in the ǁKaras Region. The crater is 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) in diameter and is 130 metres (430 ft) deep. The age is estimated at 4.81 ± 0.5 Ma, placing it in the Pliocene.[1] The crater is exposed at the surface, but its original floor is covered by sand deposits at least 100 metres (330 ft) thick.


The meteorite hit a layer of Precambrian granitic gneiss that is part of the Namaqua Metamorphic Complex, overlaid with some younger sedimentary rocks. No parts of the meteorite have been found, suggesting that it completely evaporated upon impact.[2] The meteor that hit it was approximately the size of an SUV.[3]

The Roter Kamm impact structure exposes a large volume of cataclastic/mylonitic and pseudotachylitic breccias in the basement granite and gneisses, which is unusual for small craters.[4] Anomalous quartz found at the rim of the crater, and the primary fluid inclusions in the quartz, seem to provide evidence for post-impact hydrothermal activity, generated by impact heat, at the Roter Kamm impact crater.[5] Eolian and alluvial processes each played a role in modifying the Roter Kamm impact crater since its formation. Much of the more recent history of crater modification relates to eolian processes. Active mobile sands largely bury the crater and effectively mask most of the signatures associated with prior activity by other processes. Ongoing eolian erosion is responsible for scouring of the exposed rim.[6]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hecht et al., 2008, p.1216
  2. ^ "Roter Kamm crater". Wondermondo.
  3. ^ "Roter Kamm". Earth Impact Database. University of New Brunswick. Retrieved 2009-08-16.
  4. ^ Reimold et al., 1994, p.2703
  5. ^ Koeberl et al., 1989, p.2118
  6. ^ Grant et al., 1997, p.16,334


Further reading[edit]

  • Bishop, J., Koeberl, C. and Reimold, W.U., Geochemistry of the Roter Kamm impact crater, SWA/Namibia (abstract). Meteoritics, v. 24, p. 252. 1989
  • Blumberg, D. G., McHone, J.F., Kuzmin, R. and Greeley, R., Radar imaging of impact craters by SIR-C/X-SAR (abstract). Lunar and Planetary Science XXVI, pp. 139-140. 1995
  • Brandt, D., Reimold, W.U., Franzsen, A.J., Koeberl, C., Wendorff, L., Geophysical profile of the Roter Kamm impact crater, Namibia, Meteoritics & Planetary Science 33, pp. 447-453. 1998
  • Brandt, D., Reimold, W.U., Wendof, L., Koeberl, C. and Grant, J., Geophysical signatures of the Roter Kamm impact crater, Namibia (abstract). Lunar and Planetary Science, v. XXVII, pp. 153-154. 1996
  • Degenhardt, Jr,J.J., Buchanan, P.C. and Reid, A.M., Impactite and pseudotachylite from Roter Kamm crater, Namibia (abstract). International Conference on Large Meteorite Impacts and Planetary Evolution, LPI Contribution No. 790, pp. 20-21. 1992
  • Degenhardt, Jr, J.J., Buchanan, P.C., Reid, A.M. and Miller, R. McG., Breccia veins and dykes associated with the Roter Kamm Crater, Namibia. Geological Society of America Special Paper 293, pp. 197-208. 1994
  • Degenhardt, Jr, J.J., Reid, A.M., Buchanan, P.C. and Miller, R. McG., Melt breccias from Roter Kamm impact crater, Namibia (abstract). Lunar and Planetary Science XXVI, pp. 323-324. 1995
  • Degenhardt, Jr, J.J., Reid, A.M., Miller, R. McG. and Reimold, W.U., Breccias resembling melt bombs from the Roter Kamm Crater. Meteorites & Planetary Science, v. 31, pp. 413-415. 1996
  • Dietz, R. S., Roter Kamm, southwest Africa: Probable meteorite crater. Meteoritics, v. 2, pp. 311-314. 1965
  • Fudali, R. F., Roter Kamm: Evidence for an impact origin. Meteoritics, v. 8, pp. 245-257. 1973
  • Grieve, R. A. F., Recent studies at the Roter Kamm impact crater. Meteoritics, v. 28, pp. 160. 1993
  • Hartung, J. B., Kunk, M.R., Reimold, W.U., Miller, R. McG. and Grieve, R.A.F., Roter Kamm crater age: 3.5 to 4.0 Ma (abstract). Meteoritics, v. 26, pp. 342-343. 1991.
  • Koeberl, C., African meteorite impact craters: Characteristics and geological importance. Journal of African Sciences, v. 18, pp. 263-295. 1994
  • Koeberl, C., Klein, J., Matsuda, J., Nagao, K., Reimold, W.U. and Storzer, D., Roter Kamm impact crater, Namibia: Age constraints from K-Ar, Rb-Sr, fission track, and 10Be-26 Al studies (abstract). Meteoritics, v. 27, 244-245. 1992
  • Koeberl, C., Reimold, W.U., Bishop, J. and Miller, R.McG., Roter Kamm impact crater, SWA/Namibia: New geochemical and isotopic studies and further evidence for post-impact hydrothermal activity (abstract). Lunar and Planetary Science XXI, pp. 647-648. 1990
  • Koeberl, C., Reimold, W.U., Gotzinger, M. and Fredriksson, K., Quartz at the Roter Kamm crater and post-impact hydrothermal activity: A reply to E. Roedder. Geochemica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 54, pp. 3249-3251. 1990
  • Koeberl, C., The age of the Roter Kamm impact crater, Namibia: Constraints from 40Ar-39Ar, K-Ar, Rb-Sr, fission track, and 10Be-26Al studies. Meteoritics, v. 28, pp. 204-212. 1993
  • Miller, R. McG., Reimold, W. U., Deformation and shock deformation in rocks from the Roter Kamm crater, SWA/Nambia (abstract). Meteoritics, v. 21, pp. 456-458. 1986
  • Miller, R.M., Roter Kamm impact crater of Namibia; new data of rim structure, target rock geochemistery, ejecta, and meteorite trajectory. Special Paper-Geological Society of America, vol.465, pp.489-508. 2010
  • Rajmon, D., Copeland, P. , Reid, A. M. and Lavigne, J. -F., Temperature of Formation of Pseudotachylytic Impact Breccias, Roter Kamm Crater, SW Namibia. 62nd Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting
  • Rajmon, D., Copeland, P. , Reid, A. M., "Pseudotachylytes" that never melted: A Thermal Story from Roter Kamm Crater, Namibia. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXIII. 2002
  • Rajmon, D., Copeland, P., Reid, A.M., Lavigne,J-F., Temperature of Formation of Pseudotachylytic Impact Breccias, Roter Kamm Crater, SW Namibia, Meteoritics; vol. 34, No. 4, Supp. p. A95. 1999
  • Rajmon, D., Hall, S. A. , Reid, A. M. , Miller, R. McG and Robertson, D. J., Magnetic Investigations of Breccia Veins and Basement Rocks from Roter Kamm Crater and Surrounding Region, Namibia. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV. 2004
  • Reimold, W. U., Impact cratering - a review, with special reference to the economic importance of impacat structures and the southern African impact crater record. Earth, Moon and Planets, v. 70, pp. 21-45. 1995
  • Reimold, W. U., Koeberl, C. and Brandt, D., Suevite at the Roter Kamm impact crater, Namibia. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, v. 32, pp. 431-437. 1997
  • Reimold, W. U., Koeberl, C. and Miller, R. Mc.G., Geochemistry of the melt rocks in the Roter Kamm impact structure, SWA/Namibia. Congress '90, 23rd Bienn. Congr., Geological Society of South Africa, Cape Town, pp. 718-723. 1990
  • Reimold, W. U., Koeberl, C., Brandt., Suevite at the Roter Kamm Impact Crater, Namibia, Meteoritics; vol. 32, p. 431-7. 1997
  • Reimold, W. U., Miller, R. McG., The Roter Kamm impact crater, SWA/Namibia. Proceedings Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 19th, pp. 711-732. 1989
  • Reimold, W. U., Miller, R. McG., Grieve, R.A.F. and Koeberl, C., The Roter Kamm crater structure in SWA/Namibia (abstract). Lunar and Planetary Science XIX, pp. 972-973. 1988
  • Reimold, W. U., Reid, A.M., Jakes, P., Zolensky, M. and Miller, R. McG., A magnetic survey across the Roter Kamm impact crater, Namibia (abstract). Lunar and Planetary Science XXIII, pp. 1143-1144. 1992
  • Storzer, D., Koeberl, C and Reimold, W U., Age of the Roter Kamm impact crater, Namibia: A discussion based on fission track and isotopic measurements (abstract). Meteoritics, v. 25, pp. 411-412. 1990