Tenoumer crater

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Landsat image of the Tenoumer crater; screen capture from NASA World Wind
Oblique Landsat image of Tenoumer crater draped over digital elevation model (x3 vertical exaggeration); screen capture from NASA World Wind

Tenoumer is an impact crater in Mauritania.[1]


The crater is located in the western Sahara Desert. It is 1.9 km in diameter and the age is estimated to be 21,400 ± 9,700 years old, placing it in the Pleistocene epoch.[2][3]

The crater is exposed at the surface and is nearly circular. Edges of the crater rise up to 110 metres high above the base of the crater, but the bottom of the crater is covered with approximately 200 – 300 m thick layer of sediments.

Tenoumer crater has formed in gneiss and granite of Precambrian peneplain with a thin layer of Pliocene sediments (no older). The crater is believed to be caused by an impact event due to basement rocks found outside the crater. A volcanic origin was once theorized because of the discovery of basalt and rhyodacite outside of the crater basin, but current evidence clearly indicates an impact origin.


  1. ^ "Tenoumer". Earth Impact Database. University of New Brunswick. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  2. ^ Jaret, S. J.; Kah, L. C.; French, B. M. (2009). "40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference" (PDF). Lunar and Planetary Institute.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  3. ^ Storzer, D.; Selo, M.; Latouche, L.; Fabre, J. (2003). "The Age of Tenoumer Crater, Mauritania, Revisited" (PDF). XXXIV. Lunar and Planetary Institute. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 22°55′5″N 10°24′27″W / 22.91806°N 10.40750°W / 22.91806; -10.40750