Saturday, January 31, 2009

Day 225: Lasting impact

view from the rim, Jon Sullivan

"Meteor Crater is a meteorite impact crater located approximately 43 miles (69 km) east of Flagstaff, near Winslow in the northern Arizona desert of the United States. It lies at an elevation of about 1740 m (5709 ft) above sea level. It is about 1,200 m (4,000 ft) in diameter, some 170 m deep (570 ft), and is surrounded by a rim that rises 45 m (150 ft) above the surrounding plains. The center of the crater is filled with 210-240 m (700-800 ft) of rubble lying above crater bedrock. The crater was created about 50,000 years ago during the Pleistocene epoch when the local climate on the Colorado Plateau was much cooler and damper. At the time, the area was an open grassland dotted with woodlands inhabited by woolly mammoths, giant ground sloths, and camels; it was probably not inhabited by humans. The earliest confirmed record of human habitation in the Americas dates from long after this impact." read more

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