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Vredefort Dome

South AfricaFree State


Vredefort Dome 

It is a representative section of a larger meteorite impact structure, or astrobleme, located about 120 kilometers south-west of Johannesburg. It is the world's oldest astrobleme, dating back 2,023 million years. It is also the largest and most eroded, with a radius of 190 km. The Vredefort Dome was the site of the world's largest known single energy release event, which had catastrophic worldwide consequences, including, according to some experts, substantial evolutionary shifts.

It is vital to understanding the planet's evolution since it gives critical evidence of the Earth's geological history. Despite the importance of impact sites to the planet's history, most of them have vanished due to geological activity on the surface, and Vredefort is the only example that provides a complete geological profile of an asteroid below the crater floor.

Geological strata spanning the middle to upper zones of the earth's crust, formed over a period of more than 3 200 million years, are exposed within the area.

The property has all of the traditional characteristics of a huge astrobleme. The effect of shock metamorphism of rocks, change of crystal structures, and shatter cones of the great force caused by the impact are depicted in this multi-ring structure formed by the impact scar.

The Vredefort Dome was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.

(Source UNESCO)


  • South AfricaFree State

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