Remnants of paleoflora in impact melt rocks of the El’gygytgyn crater (Chukotka, Russia)

1E. P. Gurov,2 V. V. Permiakov,2,3 C. Koeberl
Meteoritics & Planetary Science (in Press) Link to Article []
1Institute of Geological Sciences, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, , Kiev, Ukraine
2Department of Lithospheric Research, University of Vienna, , A‐1090 Vienna, Austria
3Natural History Museum, , A‐1010 Vienna, Austria
Published by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons

Remnants of paleoflora were discovered in impact melt rocks from the El’gygytgyn crater, Chukotka, Russia. El’gygytgyn is a 3.58 Ma, 18 km diameter impact structure in Chukotka, northeastern Russia. A circular crater basin is surrounded by an uplifted rim. The crater floor is occupied by the El’gygytgyn Lake, 12 km in diameter, surrounded by lacustrine terraces up to 80 m in height. Impactites found at the El’gygytgyn crater include impact melt rocks, glass bombs, and shock metamorphosed volcanic rocks. Most impact melt rocks occur only in redeposited state in the terrace lake deposits. Floral remnants were discovered in impact melt rocks from various locations in the terrace deposits. The floral remnants include fragments of leaves, cell tissue, and undetermined organic matter that occur in vesicles within glassy melt rocks and impact melt breccias. After the discovery of floral remnants in impact melt breccias from upper Miocene strata in Argentina, and the description of floral imprints in the Dakhleh Glass of proposed impact origin in Egypt, the detection of paleoflora remnants in impact melt rocks of the El’gygytgyn structure is the first such occurrence in a confirmed impact crater on Earth.


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