Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Chesapeake Bay Meteorite impact Crater

Detailed Description

About 35 million years ago a meteoroid 2-3 miles wide swooped through the Earth's atmosphere and blasted an enormous crater into the continental shelf in what’s modern-day Virginia. The ancient impact has been buried beneath 1,000 to 1,500 feet of rocky debris, sediment, and marine deposits. The Chesapeake Bay crater was identified by C. Wylie Poag (U.S. Geological Survey, USGS), who assembled an international team to investigate its characteristics and consequences. Evidence of the crater came from two sources: 1) cores drilled by the USGS and the Virginia State Water Control Board, and 2) marine seismic-reflection profiles collected by Texaco, Inc., the USGS, and the National Geographic Society.


Public Domain.