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Colonia crater

A detailed portrait of the Colonia crater

eduardo cesar

Colonia crater: rare geological structure subject to occupation by humanseduardo cesar

A science task force, comprised of researchers from São Paulo, Montpellier (France) and Berlin (Germany) has prepared a detailed description of the geological structure of the Colonia crater located in Parelheiros, on the South Side of São Paulo city (Meteoritics and Planetary Science, November 2011). The round-shaped crater, with a diameter of 3.6 kilometers and borders that rise up to 125 meters above the central swampy plain, was accidentally discovered in 1961 through aerial photographs. The crater possibly resulted from the impact of a fairly big meteorite, or from some other heavenly body that has not been identified yet. Analyses of the rocks and sediments have not elucidated the origin of the crater; however, they indicated that the crater must have been formed at least 2.5 million years ago. Now, it can be stated that the layer of sediment probably goes down to a depth of 275 meters; previous estimates had measured the depth as ranging from 285 to 400 meters. The researchers noticed that a crater in China, described in 2011, was geologically similar to the Colonia crater, although the Chinese crater’s diameter measured only 1.8 kilometers. Geologists believe that these and other craters could contain materials or remains that might provide a better understanding of changes that occurred on the planet during the geological period referred to as the Quaternary Period, when the Earth went through intense climate change.

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