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Science. 2004 Jun 4;304(5676):1469-76. Epub 2004 May 13.

Bedout: a possible end-Permian impact crater offshore of northwestern Australia.

Author information

1
Institute for Crustal Studies, Department of Geological Sciences, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA. lbecker@crustal.ucsb.edu

Abstract

The Bedout High, located on the northwestern continental margin of Australia, has emerged as a prime candidate for an end-Permian impact structure. Seismic imaging, gravity data, and the identification of melt rocks and impact breccias from drill cores located on top of Bedout are consistent with the presence of a buried impact crater. The impact breccias contain nearly pure silica glass (SiO2), fractured and shock-melted plagioclases, and spherulitic glass. The distribution of glass and shocked minerals over hundreds of meters of core material implies that a melt sheet is present. Available gravity and seismic data suggest that the Bedout High represents the central uplift of a crater similar in size to Chicxulub. A plagioclase separate from the Lagrange-1 exploration well has an Ar/Ar age of 250.1 +/- 4.5 million years. The location, size, and age of the Bedout crater can account for reported occurrences of impact debris in Permian-Triassic boundary sediments worldwide.

PMID:
15143216
DOI:
10.1126/science.1093925
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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