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Chesapeake Crater Deep Drilling Project


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Hi All,


Thought I would let you know about a very interesting project that is going on at the moment on the Delmarva Peninsula in southeast Virginia. This is a joint venture between ICDP (International Continental Scientific Drilling Program) and USGS. The core well is being drilled very near the center of the crater in Eyreville, VA.


Here is a site where you can keep up with current progress:



I have visited the site twice. The first time I was there, on Oct 7, the were around 2,900 feet. I spoke with Lucy Edwards, USGS palynologist, and David Powars, one of the discoverers of the crater ( the latter is an old friend, I've known him since 2000, when cores were being drilled at Langley NASA). Lucy actually let me help her withdraw a core from the tube - the material was a cast of cretaceous redbed, and I was awed at being one of the two human beings to have ever laid eyes on that particular section of earth.


They encountered drill problems a couple of days after I left, and had to redrill a section of the core. I returned on Oct 29th with my camera. They were drilling into a huge hunk of granite. That went on for several days, so I don't know how thick that particular chunk was. They are now into suevite, which is " a metamorphic rock formed by the impact shock of meteorites. It is best known from the German Ries crater. The best known Russian locality is the Popigay crater in north eastern Siberia. Suevite is a breccia. This means the rock consists of broken pieces of the original rock, together with high pressure metamorphic minerals like Shistovite, Coesite, Diamond and glass."

From (http://maurice.strahlen.org/rocks.htm).


I took pictures of many boxes of the cores. They hope to drill 2-1/2 meters deep, but Dave Powars told me he's afraid the funding will run out before they get that deep. I feel like passing the hat.


Anyway - I'm recovering from back surgery, and haven't been able to drive, but I hope to visit the site at least once more before the drilling is completed.


I'm attaching a picture I took that is from 2,840.35 to 2,846.95 feet. You can clearly see the "matrix", ( the tsunami slurry) and several clasts, including a beautiful chunk of cretaceous clay. I guess this attachment is pretty big, and I can remove it after everyone has seen it, but I wanted y'all to see the detail.

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The attached image was just huge, so I took the liberty of cropping it down for you and running some very mild compression (I took care to make sure the image detail didn't suffer in any appreciable way). This should be much more page-friendly, even though I didn't resize it (again, to preserve the details).


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