Mistastin crater

Mistastin crater
Impact crater/structure
Diameter19 kilometres (12 mi)
Age36.4 ± 4 million years old (Eocene Epoch)
LocationLabrador, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Coordinates55°53′N 63°18′W / 55.883°N 63.300°W / 55.883; -63.300Coordinates: 55°53′N 63°18′W / 55.883°N 63.300°W / 55.883; -63.300
Mistastin crater is located in Newfoundland and Labrador
Mistastin crater
Mistastin crater
Location of the Mistastin crater in Labrador
Topo mapCanada NTS 13M
Mistastin Lake
Coordinates55°53′N 63°18′W / 55.883°N 63.300°W / 55.883; -63.300
TypeImpact crater lake
Basin countriesCanada
Max. length19 km (12 mi)
Max. width12 km (7.5 mi)
Surface area145 km2 (56 sq mi)
Surface elevation338 metres (1,109 ft)

Mistastin crater is a meteorite crater in Labrador, Canada which contains the roughly circular Mistastin Lake.[3] The lake is approximately 16 km (9.9 mi) in diameter, while the estimated diameter of the original crater is 28 km (17 mi). The age of the crater is calculated to be 36.4 ± 4 million years (Eocene).

Formation and geology

Mistastin crater was created 36 million years ago by a violent asteroid impact.[4] The presence of cubic zirconia around the crater rim suggests that the impact generated temperatures in excess of 2,370 °C (4,300 °F) (halfway that of the surface of the Sun), the highest crustal temperatures known on Earth[4] and produced global changes that lasted for decades after the impact.

Mishta-minishtikᐡ, the lake's arcuate central island, is interpreted to be the central uplift of the complex crater structure. The target rocks were part of a batholith composed of adamellite, mangerite and lenses of anorthosite. There are abundant shock metamorphic features exhibited in the rocks of the island. Planar deformation features, diaplectic glass, melt rocks, and shatter cones have been identified.


  1. ^ "Mistastin". Earth Impact Database. Planetary and Space Science Centre University of New Brunswick Fredericton. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  2. ^ "Place names - Mishta-minishtikᐡ". Natural Resources Canada. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Mistastin". Earth Impact Database. Planetary and Space Science Centre University of New Brunswick Fredericton. Retrieved 2007-01-13.
  4. ^ a b Dvorsky, George (2017-09-17). "The Hottest Known Temperature On Earth Was Caused By An Ancient Asteroid Strike". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2017-09-17.

Further reading

  • Currie, K.L. (1968) "Mistastin Lake, Labrador: A new Canadian crater". Nature, v. 220, pp. 776–777.
  • Currie, K.L. Larochelle, A. (1969) "A paleomagnetic study of volcanic rocks from Mistastin Lake, Labrador, Canada". Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 6, pp. 309–315.
  • Currie, K.L. (1971) "Geology of the resurgent cryptoexplosion crater at Mistastin Lake, Labrador". Geological Survey of Canada Bulletin 207, 62 p.
  • Currie, K.L. (1971) "The composition of anomalous plagioclase glass and coexisting plagioclase from Mistastin Lake, Labrador, Canada". Mineralogical Magazine, v. 38, pp. 511–517.
  • Grieve, R.A.F. (1975) "Petrology and chemistry of the impact melt at Mistastin Lake crater, Labrador". Geological Society of America Bulletin 86, pp. 1617–1629.
  • Mak, E.K.C. York, D., Grieve, R.A.F. and Dence, M.R. (1976) "The age of the Mistastin Lake crater, Labrador, Canada". Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 31, pp. 345–357.
  • Marchand, M. Crocket, J.H. (1977) "Sr isotopes and trace element geochemistry of the impact melt and target rocks at the Mistastin Lake crater, Labrador". Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 41, pp. 1487–1495.

External links

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