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Steinheim crater

Coordinates: 48°41′12″N 10°03′54″E / 48.68667°N 10.06500°E / 48.68667; 10.06500
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Steinheim crater
Satellite image of Steinheim crater
Impact crater/structure
Diameter3.8 km (2.4 mi)
Age15.1 ± 0.1 Ma[citation needed]
Middle Miocene
Coordinates48°41′12″N 10°03′54″E / 48.68667°N 10.06500°E / 48.68667; 10.06500
MunicipalitySteinheim am Albuch
Steinheim crater is located in Germany
Steinheim crater
Location of the crater in Germany
Shatter cone from the Steinheim Basin (type locality), Germany.[1] The width of hand specimen is 25 cm.

The Steinheim crater is a meteorite crater in Steinheim am Albuch, Heidenheim County, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.[2] The crater is located at the north-eastern end of the Swabian Alb, 40km west of the much larger (24-km-diameter) Nördlinger Ries crater.[3][4]

It is 3.8 km in diameter and the age is estimated to be about 14.3 million years (Miocene). The crater is exposed at the surface. It had previously been thought that the two craters formed simultaneously by the impact of a double asteroid 14.8 million years ago, but a study published in 2020 suggests that Steinheim could actually be about 500,000 years younger than Nördlinger Ries.[5][6]

Panoramic view of the Steinheim basin.


  1. ^ J. Baier: Ein Beitrag zur Shatter-Cone-Bildung (Steinheimer Impaktkrater, Deutschland). - Aufschluss, 69(6), 370-376, 2018
  2. ^ "Steinheim". Earth Impact Database. Planetary and Space Science Centre University of New Brunswick Fredericton. Retrieved 2008-12-30.
  3. ^ J. Baier & A. Scherzinger: Der neue Geologische Lehrpfad im Steinheimer Impakt-Krater. - Jber. Mitt. oberrhein. geol. Ver, N. F. 92, 9-24, 2010.
  4. ^ B.A. Ivanov and D. Stöffler, "The Steinheim Impact Crater, Germany: Modeling of a Complex Crater with Central Uplift", Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVI, 2005.
  5. ^ Buchner, E., Sach, V.J. & Schmieder, M. New discovery of two seismite horizons challenges the Ries–Steinheim double-impact theory. Sci Rep 10, 22143 (2020).
  6. ^ J. Classen (1978). A large crater field recognized in Central Europe Archived 2016-06-11 at the Wayback Machine, Bull. Ver. Schweiz. Petroleum-Geol. u.-Ing., Vol. 44, Nr. 106, April 1978.
  • J. Baier, V. J. Sach: Shatter-Cones aus den Impaktkratern Nördlinger Ries und Steinheimer Becken. In: Fossilien, 35(2), Wiebelsheim 2018.
  • V. J. Sach & J. Baier: Neue Untersuchungen an Strahlenkalken und Shatter-Cones in Sediment- und Kristallingesteinen (Ries-Impakt und Steinheim-Impakt, Deutschland). Pfeil-Verlag, München 2017. ISBN 978-3-89937-229-8.