Structural evolution of the 40 km wide Araguainha impact structure, central Brazil

C. Lana, C.R.S. Filho, Y.R. Marangoni, E. Yokoyama, R.I.F. Trindade, Eric Tohver, W.U. Reimold

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    The 40 km wide Araguainha structure in central Brazil is a shallowly eroded impact crater that presents unique insights into the final stages of complex crater formation. The dominant structural features preserved at Araguainha relate directly to the centripetal movement of the target rocks during the collapse of the transient cavity. Slumping of the transient cavity walls resulted in inward-verging inclined folds and a km-scale anticline in the outer ring of the structure. The folding stage was followed by radial and concentric faulting, with downward displacement of kilometer-scale blocks around the crater rim. The central uplift records evidence for km-scale upward movement of crystalline basement rocks from the transient cavity floor, and lateral moment of sedimentary target rocks detached from the cavity walls. Much of the structural grain in the central uplift relates to structural stacking of km-scale thrust sheets of sedimentary strata onto the core of crystalline basement rocks. Outward-plunging radial folds indicate tangential oblate shortening of the strata during the imbrication of the thrust sheets. Each individual sheet records an early stage of folding and thickening due to non-coaxial strains, shortly before sheet imbrication. We attribute this folding and thickening phase to the kilometer-scale inward movement of the target strata from the transient cavity walls to the central uplift. The outer parts of the central uplift record additional outward movement of the target rocks, possibly related to the collapse of the central uplift. An inner ring structure at 10–12 km from the crater center marks the extent of the deformation related to the outward movement of the target rocks.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-16
    JournalMeteoritics and Planetary Science
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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