The two Suvasvesi impact structures, Finland: Argon isotopic evidence for a "false" impact crater doublet

M. Schmieder, W.H. Schwarz, M. Trieloff, E. Buchner, J. Hopp, Eric Tohver, L.J. Pesonen, M. Lehtinen, J. Moilanen, S.C. Werner, T. Öhman

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    © 2016 The Meteoritical Society.

    The two neighboring Suvasvesi North and South impact structures in central-east Finland have been discussed as a possible impact crater doublet produced by the impact of a binary asteroid. This study presents 40Ar/39Ar geochronologic data for impact melt rocks recovered from the drilling into the center of the Suvasvesi North impact structure and melt rock from glacially transported boulders linked to Suvasvesi South. 40Ar/39Ar step-heating analysis yielded two essentially flat age spectra indicating a Late Cretaceous age of ~85 Ma for the Suvasvesi North melt rock, whereas the Suvasvesi South melt sample gave a Neoproterozoic minimum (alteration) age of ~710 Ma. Although the statistical likelihood for two independent meteorite strikes in close proximity to each other is rather low, the remarkable difference in 40Ar/39Ar ages of >600 Myr for the two Suvasvesi impact melt samples is interpreted as evidence for two temporally separate, but geographically closely spaced, impacts into the Fennoscandian Shield. The Suvasvesi North and South impact structures are, thus, interpreted as a "false" crater doublet, similar to the larger East and West Clearwater Lake impact structures in Québec, Canada, recently shown to be unrelated. Our findings have implications for the reliable recognition of impact crater doublets and the apparent rate of binary asteroid impacts on Earth and other planetary bodies in the inner solar system.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)966-980
    Number of pages15
    JournalMeteoritics and Planetary Science
    Issue number5
    Early online date22 Mar 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


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