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Why look for craters

October 9, 2012

all diameters (numbers inside parentheses) are in miles

Ames, Iowa (9.5) – oil and gas

Avak, Alaska (7.2) – gas

Barringer, Arizona (0.7) – silica

Beyenchine-Salaatin, Russia (4.8) – pyrites

Boltysh, Ukraine (14.4) – oil shale

Carswell, Canada (23.4) – uranium

Charlevoix, Canada (34.4) – ilmenite

Crooked Creek, Missouri (4.2) – lead, zinc

Decaturville, Missouri (3.6) – lead, zinc

Ilyinets, Ukraine (2.7) – agate

Kaluga, Russia (9.0) – mineral water

Kara, Russia (39) – diamond, zinc

Logoisk, Belarus (10.2) – amber, calcium phosphate

Lonar, India (1.1) – various salts

Manicouagan, Canada (60) – prospecting underway; already used for hydroelectricity

Marquez, Texas (13.2) – oil and gas

Obolon, Ukraine (9) – oil shale

Popigai, Russia (50) – diamonds

Puchzeh-Katunki, Russia (48) – diamond, zeolite

Ragozinka, Russia (5.4) – diatomite

Red Wing Creek, North Dakota (5.4) – oil and gas

Ries, Germany (14.4) – lignite, bentonite, moldavites

Rotmistrovka, Ukraine (1.6) – oil shale

Saint Martin, Canada (24) – gypsum, anhydrite

Saltpan, South Africa (0.7) – various salts

Serpent Mound, Ohio (4.8) – lead, zinc

Siljan, Sweden (33) – lead, zinc

Slate islands, Canada (18) – gold

Steen RIver, Canada (15) – oil

Sudbury, Canada (150 – maybe more) – copper, nickel, platinum

Ternovka, Ukraine (7.2) – iron, uranium

Tookoonooka, Alaska (33) – oil

Ust’-Kara, Russia (15) – diamond

Vredefort, South Africa (180) – gold, uranium

Zapadnaya, Ukraine (2.4) – diamond

Zhamanshin, Kazakstan (8.1) – bauxite, impact glass

About half the gold ever produced has come from Vredefort mines. The mines have been productive for over 100 years. For every dollar of gold, a bonus of about 10 cents worth of uranium.

So far, Sudbury, despite questions about how exactly it formed (and was subsequently deformed), remains a world-class source for several ores. It would be reasonable to expect that the Chesapeake melt sheet would be 2500 cubic miles.

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