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South Africa, Vredefort Dome

 Posted by , last edited on February 04, 2014 at 10:34:45

Location Northwest and Free State provinces, South Africa
Coordinates S26 51 36 E27 15 36
Property 30,000 ha
Date of Inscription 2005

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1162 )

Vredefort Dome, approximately 120 km south-west of Johannesburg, is a representative part of a larger meteorite impact structure, or astrobleme. Dating back 2,023 million years, it is the oldest astrobleme yet found on Earth. With a radius of 190 km, it is also the largest and the most deeply eroded. Vredefort Dome bears witness to the world’s greatest known single energy release event, which had devastating global effects including, according to some scientists, major evolutionary changes. It provides critical evidence of the Earth’s geological history and is crucial to understanding of the evolution of the planet. Despite the importance of impact sites to the planet’s history, geological activity on the Earth’s surface has led to the disappearance of evidence from most of them, and Vredefort is the only example to provide a full geological profile of an astrobleme below the crater floor.

Photos from Landolia

Vredefort crater

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