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Geophysical signature of the Tunnunik impact structure, Northwest Territories, Canada

Abstract : In 2011, the discovery of shatter cones confirmed the 28 km-diameter Tunnunik complex impact structure, Northwest Territories, Canada. This study presents the first results of ground-based electromagnetic, gravimetric and magnetic surveys over this impact structure. Its central area is characterized by a ~10 km wide negative gravity anomaly of about 3 mGal amplitude, roughly corresponding to the area of shatter cones, and associated with a positive magnetic field anomaly of ~120 nT amplitude and 3 km wavelength. The latter correlates well with the location of the deepest uplifted strata, an impact-tilted Proterozoic dolomite layer of the Shaler Supergroup exposed near the center of the structure and intruded by dolerite dykes. Locally, electromagnetic field data unveil a conductive superficial formation which corresponds to an 80-100 m thick sand layer covering the impact structure. Based on measurements of magnetic properties of rock samples, we model the source of the magnetic anomaly as the magnetic sediments of the Shaler Supergroup combined with a core of uplifted crystalline basement with enhanced magnetization. More classically, the low gravity signature is attributed to a reduction in density measured on the brecciated target rocks and to the isolated sand formations. However, the present-day fractured zone does not extend deeper than ~1 km in our model, indicating a possible 1.5 km of erosion since the time of impact, about 430 Ma ago.
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Contributor : Jerome Gattacceca <>
Submitted on : Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 5:29:35 PM
Last modification on : Friday, February 26, 2021 - 3:26:44 AM


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Y. Quesnel, W. Zylberman, P. Rochette, Minoru Uehara, Jerome Gattacceca, et al.. Geophysical signature of the Tunnunik impact structure, Northwest Territories, Canada. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, Wiley, 2020, 55 (3), pp.480-495. ⟨10.1111/maps.13447⟩. ⟨insu-02484453⟩



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