Craters From Double Meteorite Impact Discovered in Sweden

Posted on September 14, 2015

Double meteorite impact craters in Sweden

Sweden was hit by a double meteorite impact around 458 million years ago. The largest of the two craters discovered by University of Gothenburg researchers has a diameter of 7.5 kilometers. The smaller crater is about 1/10th the size with a diameter of 700 meters.

The craters were found 20 kilometers south of Ostersund in Brunsflo. This part of Sweden was under the sea at the time of the impact with a water depth of about 500 meters. The researchers say this is the first double impact on Earth that has been conclusively proved. An illustration of what the impact might have looked like is pictured below.

Illustration of double meteorites hitting Sweden 458 million years ago


Erik Sturkell, Professor of Geophysics at the University of Gothenburg, says in a statement, "The two meteorite impacts occurred at the same time, 458 million years ago, and formed these two craters."

These two meteorites were not the only ones to strike Earth during this time period. Sturkell also says, "Around 470 million years ago, two large asteroids collided in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and many fragments were thrown off in new orbits. Many of these crashed on Earth, such as these two in Jämtland."

Many small meteorites have also been found in the region. The University of Gothenburg says 90 meteorites have been found on Kinnekulle over the past fifteen years.

Top Image: University of Gothenburg
Illustration: Don Dixon/Erik Sturkell/University of Gothenburg