About 1.85 billion years ago, the 10 km large meteorite that created the Sudbury Basin certainly had the biggest impact on the local geology: in just a few seconds, the meteorite produced a crater 200 kilometres in diameter. The Sudbury Basin is the second largest of the 182 known impact craters on Earth.
The powerful explosion produced three unique types of rock that are illustrated in the video:
Shattercones: High-energy shock waves traveled through the rock right after the impact, re-aligning minerals in the rock into fan-like patterns called shattercones. They can be found along Ramsey Lake Road and inside the tunnel at Science North.
Sudbury Breccia: This rock type can be found just outside Dynamic Earth, which is located within the ancient crater walls. At the time of the impact, the rock in the crater walls was shattered heavily and fragments were rapidly rubbed against each other and crushed into smaller pieces. These smaller pieces then mixed with molten rock and solidified into Sudbury Breccia.
Sudbury Ejecta: Some material was ejected out of the crater and thrown 500 to 700 km away from the site of impact. Some of the ejecta form the so-called "Sudbury impact layer" found in Northern Michigan. The sample in the video contains small round pieces of debris that possess the same kind of impact features that Sudbury Basin rocks do.
If you would like to learn more about meteorites, visit the special exhibition Riding with Meteorites at Dynamic Earth, which runs until April 25.
Science North is an agency of the Government of Ontario. Dynamic Earth is a Science North attraction. IMAX® is registered trademark of IMAX Corporation. Science North is a not-for-profit and a registered charity.