COLUMBUS, OH -- Geologists have concluded a meteorite struck south-central Ohio millions of years ago, forming a crater nearly 5 miles in diameter at a point where Adams, Highland and Pike counties come together, according to a new report published by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
The report concludes that the area, named the Serpent Mound Disturbance after the adjacent famous prehistoric Native American effigy, is the single most complex geologic structure on the state's surface.
An investigative team made up of geologists from the ODNR Division of Geological Survey and the University of Glasgow (Scotland) became convinced of the meteorite theory after studying deep rock and mineral core samples collected at the site in the 1970s, which revealed features unique to impact craters. The geologists also recognized evidence of an impact crater in geophysical surveys and remote satellite imagery for the area.
Further analyses of the rock core samples recovered at the site indicated the meteorite impact occurred during the Permian Period, about 248 to 286 million years ago. During that period, geologists believe the modern-day continents were fused together into a single super-continent called Pangea, and the area of present-day Ohio lay just south of the equator.
The recently published report of Investigation No. 146 on the Serpent Mound Disturbance is titled: Subsurface Geology of the Serpent Mound Disturbance of Adams, Highland, and Pike Counties, Ohio. It is available from the ODNR Division of Geological Survey for $20 plus $1.35 tax and $4 postage.
To order the report and other publications of the ODNR Division of Geological Survey, contact: The Geologic Records Center, Division of Geological Survey, 4383 Fountain Square Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43224-1362; 614-265-6576; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org .