Hoff's Aliner Travels
A Travel Blog for US and Canadian Parks with Geological Notes

The Odessa Meteor Crater is a meteorite crater near Odessa, Texas. At impact, around 59,000 to 68,000 years ago, the crater was 550 feet across and a 100 feet deep. Since that time, it has filled in from erosion and blowing soil and is only 15 feet deep. They dug a shaft in 1941 to study the impact but had to quit investigating for a time because of WW II.
There are actually 5 craters at the site because the meteor broke apart before hitting. Over 1500 nickle iron meteorites have been recovered from the surrounding area over the years, the largest of which weighed approximately 300 lb. Boulders on the crater rim came from a limestone layer from about 45 to 50 feet deep that was thrown up and out by the impact.
Crater forming impacts are typically too old for meteorites to be preserved and the meteorites tend to be destroyed by the force of impact. Odessa is an exception, both because of its small size and because of its relatively young age and arid setting.
The crater is one of 30 confirmed in the United States. Most people are unaware that Chesapeake Bay is a meteor crater.


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