A previously unnoticed impact crater in Hudson Bay of unprecedented size and uniform morphology

Jeanne-Marie LaVergne, Rutgers University, and Frederick John LaVergne, alumnus, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Observing mapping information on the area adjacent to the Manicougan Impact Site, we noticed an apparent impact-related land-form of an unprecedented size in that region on panning out in the view of the on-line map we were viewing. It is likely that this has gone unnoticed because of the remote location, sparse local population, and limited available imaging studies. Further, smaller nearby craters may have been treated as the culprit for available evidence in the form of breccia, "shattercones", and coesite/stishovite deposits. In the image below (Image 1), the arc described by the shoreline is paralleled by a smaller concentric arc of barrier islands, which we propose represent the inner wall of the crater. NOTE the following structures Rebound/Uplift Structure = Belcher Islands. There are two main "volcanic sequences" described as the "Flaherty" and "Eskimo" formations, the "Flaherty" formation being superior. These form part of the CircumSuperior Belt, a primarily igneous formation spanning the Canadian Shield. We propose that these "volcanics" are, in fact, remains of the rebound "upthrust" of mantle material. Crater Rim Structure - barrier islands A nearly perfect arc is formed by these islands, which include Gillie's Island and Mowat Island. What other geological force could describe such a uniform radius? We believe that evidence will show that the impacting object struck an ice overburden, and that the phase change as the energy was instantly dissipated would have caused a greater lateral thrust, the ice acting almost like body armor in deflecting some of the impact. The Belcher Islands almost certainly represent an upthrust rebound feature are indeed mantle sourced. A large impactor such as we theorize would penetrate the Earth's crust and into the mantle, but not before explosively dispersing water and ice laterally, in a mostly uniform fashion. The Superior Craton appears to be as uniform in structure as the Siberian trappes, and of

similar composition and age. If this is the case, the igneous rocks present in the Belcher Islands may indeed be due to rebound of mantle material. This "scab" or "plug" would not necessarily demonstrate the presence of "shock minerals", because the material from deep within the Earth would have been upthrust with far less velocity than the impacting object. That velocity differential is the reason that the impact was far more violent than the rebound. The ice overburden may also have attenuated the distribution of shatter cones and other debris - attenuated, but not eliminated. Further, the sudden expansion of ice to water vapor in dissipating the energy of the impact as heat energy would have magnified the outward thrust of energy, and would have caused significant blow-back from the impact...conceivably sufficient to launch solid material and water/water vapor outside Earth's atmosphere. A difficult problem arises from this scenario, as it is entirely possible that such evidence already attributed to other known, smaller craters, might have actually been from this impactor. The image below clearly shows the outline of what remains of what, to our eyes, can only be a impact-generated structure. Image 1 (below)**

Largest Circle - proposed "LaVergne" crater location. Medium Circle is proposed PEI impact crater location. Smallest circle is Manicougan Crater.

LandSat photo of Belcher Islands. Note arcs formed by these rocky islands - the very fingerprint of an impact rebound feature. Image 2 (below)

Image 3 (below)

Paired craters at right are known - Clearwater East and West Craters. A slightly smaller crater lying just inshore of this largest crater is not presently named. Oblong figures drawn in this image show a possible derivation of impact direction which would create a round crater with rebound offset South and East of the actual contact point. It may be extrapolated that some shock minerals, breccia, and other indicators of impact would be most attributable to this newly-noted larger crater - "LaVergne" - if there were an abundance of them south and East of this feature. Potential effects on global climate and upper atmospheric chemistry would include greatly increased albedo, resulting in a lowering of the overall temperature world wide - not unlike that predicted by the 'nuclear winter' theories of the 1970's. As most of the ejecta "blanket" would be water, little mineral evidence may exist. A fairly straight line of approach in the general direction of other known impacts is indicated by the crater's position, the alignment of the Belcher Islands, and the presence of the newly noted smaller crater, the Clearwater series, and the Manicougan and proposed PEI features. Other craters that may or may not have been coincident with this event include the following: • • • • • • Carswell Charlevoiz Haughton Mistastin Montagnais Steen River

and, to a lesser extent • • • • • • • Boltysh Saint Martin Slate Islands Obolon' Presque Isle Red Wing Sudbury (Largest Suspected crater acknowledged at this time)

and other smaller sites across the North American and European continent. Age determination of the "LaVergne" crater would potentially tie some of these together as part of a single event. Shoemaker-Levy 9 showed us that a cometary impact might well consist of several individual fragments travelling in company. Impact of a comet, rather than an asteroid, would also limit the amount of non-native minerals present in the ejecta blanket created by such a large impact.

Dating this structure will be critical to understanding it's importance in our Earth's geological history. JML/FJL copyright 07/12/2012 **We further noted another similar group of features, somewhat smaller in size, off the North shore of Prince Edward Island. Two even LARGER features which may also be evident in the image have not escaped our notice. Extensive erosion and deformation, possibly as a result of this more recent impact, make them more difficult to discern.