The Digital Terrain Model (DTM) and the evaluation of known and the search for new craters in the Chiemgau meteorite impact strewn field

The Digital Terrain Model (DTM) and the evaluation of known and the search for new craters in the Chiemgau meteorite impact strewn field [PDF DOWNLOAD]

Kord Ernstson* (2017)

Abstract. – For several known and a few newly proposed meteorite craters in the Chiemgau meteorite impact strewn field the LiDAR data of the Digital Terrain Model DTM have been processed to reveal various maps and cross sections based on a high-resolution mesh down to 1 m and contour interval down to 0.2 m. The data processing highlights particular crater features that remain hidden in fieldwork and on conventional topographic maps and even may debunk mistaken structures.


*Faculty of Philosophy I, University of Würzburg, Germany,


1          Introduction
2          The Chiemgau meteorite impact event
3          Data processing
3.1       Terrain imagery
3.2       Horizontal gradient
3.3       Data filtering
3.4       Cross sections
4          Examples
4.1       Small craters in the DTM
4.2       Peripheral depressions around small craters
4.3       Medium-sized craters in the DTM
4.4       Mistaken structures
5          A possible large-sized crater in the DTM
6          Discussion and conclusions
7          References

Digital Terrain Model Chiemgau impact meteorite craters

The full article can be downloaded HERE

Impact educational

Dear visitor of our website,

in the last years we have observed a permanently increasing number of page views, and statistics counted more than 9,000 (nine thousand) just for the last four weeks and solely for the English version. And statistics also said that a very high percentage of the views have accounted for the page on “Understanding the Impact Cratering Process: a Simple Approach“. This was the initial spark to introduce a new category “Impact educational” that may be clicked in the top menu from now on. Moreover, we got clear about the fact that many of our scientific contributions – to say it geologically – have sedimented and buried to deeper and deeper layers, and many an article may have become subject even to subduction and oblivion – despite all search engines. Hence, our new “Impact educational” category especially intends to excavate older impact literature of particular importance and interest, and specific subject areas earlier discussed on our homepage will step by step be brought into a new context also integrating new research aspects and publications. Make a test and read about meteorite impact spallation, including a chapter on dynamic spallation vs. tectonic stress – fractured pebbles as a stress indicator!

Impact recognition, impact controversies, Africa and the Chiemgau impact

In addition to the post from below

“The convincing identification of terrestrial meteorite impact structures: What works, what doesn’t, and why”

we refer to two articles that again are shedding light on how exposed impact researchers (here: Christian Koeberl, Vienna, and Wolf Uwe Reimold, Berlin) crusade against impact structures/events with all evidence of shock metamorphism and generally accepted impact evidence by suppressing internationally published work.


In their paper Impact structures in Africa: A review. J. African Earth Sci., 93, 57-175, Reimold and Koeberl also massacre the Chiemgau impact (obviously not located in Africa), and a full comment article (in German with English abstract) by K. Ernstson can be clicked HERE. The abstract and a list of 16 contributions on the Chiemgau impact (Nos. 1-13 listed in the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)) follow:


1  Wolf Uwe Reimold and Christian Koeberl are using an article on impact structures in Africa which they have published in the “Journal of African Earth Sciences” to yet again crusade against the Chiemgau impact meanwhile established as a reality and based on evidenced shock effects (PDFs, diaplectic glasses, shatter cones) and spectacular findings of geological, mineralogical and cosmochemical features. Such campaigns are common practice with a few leading impact researchers of the so-called impact community (whatever this might be) in particular once innovative findings are concerned and once they themselves have not been involved in the respective research. This does not affect solely the Chiemgau impact.

2  The authors Reimold and Koeberl refer to the literature mentioning no more than a sole article (Heinlein 2009) that they use as supporting document for allegedly lacking evidence of the Chiemgau impact. Results of own research are not presented and do not exist. Dieter Heinlein, author of the respective article written in German language and printed in a hardly accessible German magazine for hobby astronomers and friends of stars has not finished any scientific degree and has never worked on any impact subject, as well as on glacial geology either. To call upon this author and his exceptionally poor contribution as sole argument opposed to the Chiemgau impact can be termed embarrassing only.

3  While the reference to the Heinlein article must be characterized as simply embarrassing, the complete concealment – bar one – of the 16 (!) Chiemgau research papers contributed to international meetings and in international journals, and listed below is a procedure scientifically absolutely unacceptable shedding some light on the view of science of Reimold and Koeberl. Many of these Chiemgau papers have been written in cooperation with reputable researchers from home and abroad and presented at classic international meetings like the Lunar & Planetary Science Conference (LPSC), the Meteoritical Society meeting or the meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

4  In order to justify their renewed attack against the Chiemgau impact research Reimold and Koeberl claim that when discussing possible new impact craters also the regional-geologic setting has to be taken into consideration. At that they in particular accentuate a glacial overprint obviously aiming at the Chiemgau impact strewn field that in their opinion is a cluster of glacially produced “holes”. In doing so they do not at all realize that they are questioning their own and always propagated postulate – shock as prerequisite for acceptance of impact – and putting the case for all those regional geologists who deny the existence of impact structures because these are incompatible with the regional-geologic setting.

List of publications on the Chiemgau impact event (withheld evidence by Reimold and Koeberl)

1          Ernstson, Hilt, Neumair: Microtektite-Like Glasses from the Northern Calcareous Alps (Southeast Germany): Evidence of a Proximal Impact Ejecta Origin.….45.1200E

2          Ernstson, Müller, Neumair: The Proposed Nalbach (Saarland, Germany) Impact Site: Is it a Companion to the Chiemgau (Southeast Bavaria, Germany) Impact Strewn Field?

3          Neumair, Ernstson: Peculiar Holocene Soil Layers: Evidence of Possible Distal Ejecta Deposits in the Chiemgau Region, Southeast Germany

4          Bauer, Hiltl, Rappenglück, Neumair, Ernstson: Fe2Si (Hapkeite) from the Subsoil in the Alpine Foreland (Southeast Germany): Is it Associated with an Impact?

5          Rappenglück, Bauer, Hiltl, Neumair, Ernstson: Calcium-Aluminium-Rich Inclusions in Iron Silicide (Xifengite, Gupeiite, Hapkeite) Matter: Evidence of a Cosmic Origin.

6          Shumilova, Isaenko, Makeev, Ernstson, Neumair, Rappenglück: Enigmatic Poorly Structured Carbon Substances from the Alpine Foreland, Southeast Germany: Evidence of a Cosmic Relation….43.1430S

7          Ernstson, Sideris, Liritzis, Neumair: The Chiemgau Meteorite Impact Signature of the Stöttham Archaeological Site (SE Germany)….12..249E

8          Ernstson, Mayer, Neumair, Sudhaus: The sinkhole enigma in the Alpine Foreland, Southeast Germany: Evidence of impact-induced rock liquefaction processes….3..385E

9          Ernstson, Neumair: Geoelectric Complex Resistivity Measurements of Soil Liquefaction Features in Quaternary Sediments of the Alpine Foreland, Germany

10        Neumair, Ernstson: Geomagnetic and morphological signature of small crateriform structures in the Alpine Foreland, Southeast Germany

11        Hiltl, Bauer, Ernstson, Mayer, Neumair, Rappenglück: SEM and TEM Analyses of Minerals Xifengite, Gupeiite, Fe2Si (Hapkeite?), Titanium Carbide (TiC) and Cubic Moissanite (SiC) from the Subsoil in the Alpine Foreland: Are they Cosmochemical?….42.1391H

12        Liritzis, Zacharias, Polymeris, Kitis, Ernstson, Sudhaus, Neumair, Mayer, Rappenglück, M.A., Rappenglück, B.: The Chiemgau Meteorite Impact And Tsunami Event (Southeast Germany): First OSL dating….10…17L 

13        Rappenglück, B., Ernstson, Mayer, Neumair, Rappenglück, M.A., Sudhaus, Zeller: The Chiemgau Impact: An Extraordinary Case Study for the Question of Holocene Meteorite Impacts and their Cultural Implications

14        Ernstson, Shumilova, Isaenko, Neumair, Rappenglück: From biomass to glassy carbon and carbynes: evidence of possible meteorite impact shock coalification and carbonization. Modern problems of theoretical, experimental and applied mineralogy (Yushkin Memorial Seminar–2013): Proceedings of mineralogical seminar with international participation. Syktyvkar: IG Komi SC UB RAS, 2013. 546 p.

15        Isaenko, Shumilova, Ernstson, Shevchuk, Neumair, Rappenglück: Carbynes and DLC in naturally occurring carbon matter from the Alpine Foreland, South-East Germany: Evidence of a probable new impactite. First European Mineralogical Conference 2-6 September 2012 – Frankfurt, Germany

16        Ernstson, Mayer, Neumair, Rappenglück, B., Rappenglück, M.A., Sudhaus, Zeller: The Chiemgau crater strewn field: evidence of a Holocene large impact in southeast Bavaria, Germany. – Journal of Siberian Federal University, Engineering & Technology, 1 (2010 3) 72-103.


Taking the same line, Reimold and Koeberl (with coauthors L. Ferrière and A. Deutsch) in a 9 pages “Letter to the Editor” of Meteoritics & Planetary Science once more crusade against the Chiemgau impact (and other proposed impacts) playing the schoolmasters but dishonestly suppressing all published impact evidence. They have never set foot in the Chiemgau impact region, they never saw any geologic outcrop, they have ignored geophysical evidence, and in principle they have ignored everything. They have never entered into a discussion with the scientists and researchers of the Chiemgau impact event, and they have considered clear shock effects (e.g. PDFs and diaplectic glass) from remote (published photomicrographs) diagnosis only. As written in the abstract above their only argument of opposition is a reference to Dieter Heinlein, author of an article written in German language and printed in a hardly accessible German magazine for hobby astronomers and friends of stars, who has not finished any scientific degree and has never worked on any impact subject. And we repeat: To call upon this author and his exceptionally poor contribution as sole argument opposed to the Chiemgau impact can be termed embarrassing only. Embarrassing, embarrassing … And we wonder at Meteoritics & Planetary Science and the acceptance of this schoolmaster-playing “Letter to the Editor”.

Reference: Reimold, W.U., Ferrière, L., Deutsch, A., and Koeberl, C. (2014): Impact controversies: Impact recognition criteria and related issues. – Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 49, 723-731.

“The convincing identification of terrestrial meteorite impact structures: What works, what doesn’t, and why”

“The convincing identification of terrestrial meteorite impact structures: What works, what doesn’t, and why”

by Kord Ernstson & Ferran Claudin (Dec. 2013)

Abstract. – We use and variegate the title of this article published in Earth-Science Reviews to show how science may (mal)function, how scientific results are manipulated, and how a few exposed impact researchers (the authors of the Earth-Science Reviews article included) are counteracting exactly the ideas presented in that article.

1 Introduction 

“The convincing identification of terrestrial meteorite impact structures: What works, what doesn’t, and why” is the title of a comprehensive and in principle not too bad article written by Bevan M. French and Christian Koeberl and published in Earth-Science Reviews (French & Koeberl 2010). We however would like to take up this title to once more point to the large Azuara and Rubielos de la Cérida impact structures in Spain and the related controversy shedding light on how science is manipulated, in this case with regard to some impact researchers from the so-called “impact community” (whatever that may be).

2 What doesn’t work

With a slight modification we begin with “what doesn’t work”. As for the identification of meteorite impact structures it obviously doesn’t work to publish clear and generally accepted impact shock features (like they are addressed in that article) to get an impact structure being established. This holds true for both the Azuara and Rubielos de la Cérida impact sites that are still opposed vehemently by a few leading impact researchers. Apart from the manifold geologic and geophysical evidence like ubiquitous monomictic and polymictic breccias, large systems of monomictic and polymictic breccia dikes, enormous and extended megabreccias, shatter cones, extended impact ejecta, gravity and geomagnetic anomalies, the unambiguously established shock metamorphism like shock melt, planar deformation features (PDFs) and diaplectic glass in various minerals appears not to convince (title!) Christian Koeberl, Falko Langenhorst, John Spray and others. Therefore, we once more present a collection of impact shock features from the Azuara and Rubielos de la Cérida impact structures in Spain that have all been published earlier in various journals:

Azuara impact structure: Planar deformation features (PDFs)

PDFs shock effect Azuara impact  PDFs shock Azuara impact SEMPDFs Azuara impact shock effectPDFs histogram shock Azuara Therriault analysis

Fig. 1 A-D: PDFs in quartz from the Azuara impact structure. A, B: in quartzite rocks from the impact ejecta deposit (Pelarda Fm.). C: from a polymictic strongly shocked breccia. D: Frequency diagram of Azuara PDFs based on data elaborated by Dr. A. Therriault. All figures have been published earlier.

An independent investigation of PDFs in samples from the Azuara impact structure (a polymictic dike breccia and Pelarda Fm. ejecta) was made at the Geological Survey of Canada by Dr. Ann Therriault (Therriault 2000). She analyzed the crystallographical orientation of PDFs in quartz (Fig. 1 D) and other parameters such as density, sharpness, spacing, and spreading over the grain (Fig. 1 C). And we cite from her report: Up to five sets of PDFs per grain were observed. The spacing is 1 µm or less, the PDF density high. Practically all sets are decorated. All shocked grains have reduced birefringence of 0.004 – 0.008.  Continue reading

Microtektites in the Alpine foreland: evidence of a Chiemgau impact relationship

In the Chiemgau meteorite crater strewn field (Ernstson et al. 2010, and references therein) impact glasses are found widespread in various formations, and tektite-like bodies of a dense black glass with vesicles have attracted considerable attention (Fig. 1).


Fig. 1.Dense black glass particles from the Chiemgau impact strewn field frequently exhibiting tektite-like shape and twisted form similar to irghizites from the Zhamanshin impact crater. – Click to enlarge!

Only recently, outside the crater strewn field in the foothills of the Alps at some 1500 m altitude a systematic search for impact fallout has revealed not only abundant tiny iron silicide particles (e.g., minerals xifengite and gupeiite) but also microtektites widely distributed in the soils (Fig. 2, 3).

A more detailed report can be read HERE.

Added link:  Abstract presented at the LPSC 45th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 2014


Fig. 3. Microtektites from the soil in the foothills of the Alps near the Chiemgau impact crater strewn field. Optical microscope images, 100 µm scale bar in each case. – Click to enlarge!

Microtektites Alpine Foreland Chiemgau impact

Fig. 4. SEM micrographs of microtektite-like glass particles show
very strange surface features and bizarre forms exhibiting micrometer-sized glass filaments and twisted bodies. – Click to enlarge!