Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NASA scientists determined to unearth origin of the Iturralde Crater

09.09.2002


NASA scientists will venture into an isolated part of the Bolivian Amazon to try and uncover the origin of a 5 mile (8 kilometer) diameter crater there known as the Iturralde Crater. Traveling to this inhospitable forest setting, the Iturralde Crater Expedition 2002 will seek to determine if the unusual circular crater was created by a meteor or comet.



Organized by Dr. Peter Wasilewski of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., the Iturralde Crater Expedition 2002 will be led by Dr. Tim Killeen of Conservation International, which is based in Bolivia. Killeen will be assisted by Dr. Compton Tucker of Goddard.

The team intends to collect and analyze rocks and soil, look for glass particles that develop from meteor impacts and study magnetic properties in the area to determine if the Iturralde site, discovered in the mid-1980s with satellite imagery, was indeed created by a meteor.


If a meteorite is responsible for the impression, rocks in the area will have shock features that do not develop under normal geological circumstances. The team will also look for glass particles, which develop from the high temperatures of impact.

The Iturralde Crater Expedition 2002 team will extensively analyze soil in the impact zone for confirmation of an impact. One unique aspect of the Iturralde site is the 4-5 km deep surface sediment above the bedrock. Thus the impact was more of a gigantic "splat" rather than a collision into bedrock.

The large crater is only 1 meter lower in elevation than the surrounding area. Water collects within the depression, but not on the rim of the crater, which is slightly higher than both the surrounding landscape and the interior of the crater. These subtle differences in drainage are reflected in the forest and grassland habitats that developed on the landscape. It is precisely these differences in the vegetation structure that can be observed from space and which led to the identification of the Iturralde Crater in the 1970s when Landsat Images first became available for Bolivia.

Impact craters can also be confirmed through the magnetic study of the impact zone. Dr. Wasilewski’s team will conduct ground magnetometer surveys and will examine the area through an unmanned aerial vehicle plane fitted with a magnetometer, an instrument for measuring the magnitude and direction of magnetic field. The resulting data will be analyzed by associating the magnetic readings with geographical coordinates, to map magnetic properties of the area. The magnetometer data could provide conclusive evidence as to whether or not the Iturralde feature is an impact crater.

The Iturralde Crater Expedition 2002 expedition also contains an education component. Teachers from around the world who are involved with the teacher professional development program, called Teacher as Scientist, have helped to design the expedition. One teacher will actually be on-site assisting with data collection.

University students from Bolivia will also be involved in the expedition. The educational element of the expedition is just as important as the science results," said Goddard engineer Patrick Coronado. "This is one of those experiments that stirs the imagination, where science and technology come head-to-head with nature in an attempt to unlock its secrets."

Krishna Ramanujan | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.blueiceonline.org
http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/topstory/20020904icecrater.html

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht New studies increase confidence in NASA's measure of Earth's temperature
24.05.2019 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht New Measurement Device: Carbon Dioxide As Geothermometer
21.05.2019 | Universität Heidelberg

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New studies increase confidence in NASA's measure of Earth's temperature

A new assessment of NASA's record of global temperatures revealed that the agency's estimate of Earth's long-term temperature rise in recent decades is accurate to within less than a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit, providing confidence that past and future research is correctly capturing rising surface temperatures.

The most complete assessment ever of statistical uncertainty within the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP) data product shows that the annual values...

Im Focus: The geometry of an electron determined for the first time

Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.

The spin of an electron is a promising candidate for use as the smallest information unit (qubit) of a quantum computer. Controlling and switching this spin or...

Im Focus: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

On Mars, sands shift to a different drum

24.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Piedmont Atlanta first in Georgia to offer new minimally invasive treatment for emphysema

24.05.2019 | Medical Engineering

Chemical juggling with three particles

24.05.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>