With over 190 confirmed impact craters having hit Earth, there are a plethora of interesting discoveries! A good example of this being that scientists can roughly determine the age of an impact based upon the size of the crater. Impact craters less than ten thousand years old typically have a diameter of around 330 feet. Almost all craters between 10,000 and 1 million year in age are less than 2.4 miles in diameter. For craters ages between 1 and 10 million years ago, they have a diameter of 3 miles or more. Craters with diameter 12 miles or more are all older than 10 million years ago. Knowing this, looking at the 5 oldest impact craters will probably be some of the largest!
Of the 5 oldest confirmed impact sites in the world, 2 are from Australia, 1 in Asia, 1 in Africa, and 1 in North America. This is a great amount of variation in the location of the impact craters.
Formerly known as Teague Ring, Shoemaker is an impact structure, the deeply eroded remnant of a former impact crater named after planetary geologist Eugene Shoemaker. It can be found in central Western Australia, about 62 miles north-northeast of Wiluna. The area contains a number of seasonal salt lakes, the largest being Lake Teague.
Formed by an asteroid impact located near the Bhonti village in Pichhore block of Shivpuri district of Madhya Pradesh state in India, the Dhala crater is the largest crater in India. It is located and between the Mediterranean and Southeast Asia, and has a diameter of the structure is estimated to be either 3km or 11km.
Currently a major geological structure in Ontario, Canada, the Sudbury crater was formed 1.849 billion years ago in the Paleoproterozoic era. The site is in the Canadian Shield, located in the city of Greater Sudbury, Ontario. The city erected a plaque commemorating the impact. A fun fact about this impact crater site is that NASA used it to train the Apollo 15, 16, and 17 astronauts in recognizing rocks formed as the result of a very large impact.
Although it has since eroded away, crater was thought to be around 100–200 miles across when it was formed, and has since eroded away. The asteroid that is thought to have been the source of the impact is thought to be 6 – 9 miles in diameter. The remaining structure, which forms the underlying bedrock, is located in present-day Free State province of South Africa. It is named after the town of Vredefort, which is near the center of the crater. The crater is thought to have been formed around 2 billion years ago.
The Yarrabubba impact structure is the eroded remnant of an impact crater, situated in the northern Yilgarn Craton in Western Australia. With an age of 2.229 billion years, it is the oldest known impact structure on Earth. The rim of the original crater has been completely eroded and is not readily visible on aerial or satellite images.