MAPPING METEORITE CRATER, CURRANT, NEVADA
Our efforts are focused on mapping the crater and crater-fill materials. The crater is approximately 0.8 km east of the Pancake Range on a braided pediment surface that slopes eastward at approximately 3°; the elevation is 1,597 m, below a subtle shoreline at 1,640 m. The crater is sub-circular, 80.5 by 90.2 m, and approximately 7 m deep. The slope of the sides varies from 18–28°. A low berm-like feature, approximately 0.15 m high, is present on the east side of the crater. An intermittent stream cuts the west wall and drains into the crater; no outlet for the stream is present. A fan of alluvial gravel has prograded into the crater. Two distinct caliche layers, one with small clasts and the other with much larger clasts, are present just below the crater rim. The caliche appears to have been broken during crater formation. In a shaft excavation, 4 m deep, several layers of undeformed, flat-lying silt-rich sediments are present, indicating that deposition post-dated formation of the crater. Objectives for continued studies are to use ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to image crater-floor sediments, characterize development of the crater, examine comparable anomalous features that have developed in alluvial settings, and attempt to determine the origin. The outcome of future studies potentially will enhance our understanding of small impacts and their frequency of occurrence, or alternatively, help to elucidate features that commonly are mistaken for meteorite impacts.