Impact Cratering from an Indian Perspective

  • Jayanta K. Pati
  • Puniti Pati
Part of the Society of Earth Scientists Series book series (SESS)


There are only 176 known terrestrial meteoritic impact structures and only two confirmed impact structures are known from India till date. The Asian countries like, Japan and China reported their first respective confirmed meteoritic impact structure in 2010. The 656 ± 81 ka old Lonar crater, Maharashtra, is a 1.8 km diameter, bowl-shaped simple structure, and the recently discovered Dhala impact structure, Madhya Pradesh, is a complex structure with a characteristic central uplift. The 25 km diameter Dhala impact structure is the third oldest known on Earth. It is asymmetrically disposed with respect to its crater margin and comprises a 100 m thick melt sheet. Hitherto, the studies on Ramgarh structure, Rajasthan, have not yielded any diagnostic evidence of meteoritic impact cratering. The confirmation of simple, complex and multi-ring impact structures are made on the basis of mesoscopic and microscopic shock metamorphic features besides the physical and/or chemical signature(s) of the impactor (asteroid or comet). A precise knowledge of the impact diagnostic shock features is essential to discover more impact structures from the Indian landmass. In addition, the study of the impact cratering process is essential for a better understanding of the planetary evolution, landscape modification, and the presence of water and life on Earth. This high energy catastrophic process is also crucial to our understanding of the at least one major world-wide mass extinction event and the formation of some of the large mineral deposits.


Impact Crater Impact Structure Indian Remote Sensing Crater Floor Vindhyan Supergroup 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



JKP thanks the PLANEX, Department of Space, Government of India for funding the impact crater research at the University of Allahabad. We thank Dr. Axel Wittmann, LPI, USA for his excellent review and helpful suggestions which improved the overall quality of the manuscript.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Nehru Science CentreUniversity of AllahabadAllahabadIndia

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