National Aeronautics and Space Administration


Date of this Version



The Journal of Geology, 1993, volume 101, p. 1-19


Mathematical analysis demonstrates that substantial impact crater deposits should have been produced during the last 2 Gy of Earth's history. Textures of impact deposits are shown to resemble textures of tillites and diamictites of Precambrian and younger ages. The calculated thickness distribution for impact crater deposits produced during 2 Gy is similar to that of tillites and diamictites ≤2 Ga. We suggest, therefore, that some tillites/diamictites could be of impact origin. Extensive tillite/diamictite deposits predated continental flood basalts on the interior of Gondwa- naland. Significantly, other investigators have already associated impact cratering with flood basalt volcanism and continental rifting. Thus, it is proposed that the breakup of Gondwanaland could have been initiated by crustal fracturing from impacts.