Wyoming’s Impact Crater Is So Big You Probably Missed it
Ever drive around Wyoming, looking at the landscape, wondering why it looks the way it does?
There are many reasons for it.
Wyoming's topography, like the entire planet, is forever changing. Even today.
This land has been a tropical swamp with crocodiles.
It has been as sandy as the deserts of North Africa.
It has been under a mile of ice.
Mountains have risen and fallen.
Rivers and lakes have come and gone.
One massive volcano we now call Yellowstone has changed Wyoming and the rest of North America drastically.
Then, there was that time a massive meteor hit almost dead center of what we now call this state.
Watch the video below as a gentleman from the University Of Wyoming explains.
Take a good look at some of Wyoming's landscape and it's hard to imagine that the state does not have a big meteor impact crater somewhere.
There is actually one near the center of Wyoming. Cloud Creek Crater is in Natrona County, about 48 miles northwest of Casper.
As you might imagine it is circular. Its diameter of about 7 km, and it is buried beneath about 1200 m of Mesozoic rock. Its estimated age is about 20 million years which puts it in the Jurassic Period.
Don't bother driving out to have a look. The impact feature is not exposed. But it is known by those drilling for oil and gas.
The Cloud Creek Crater was first reported in a publication back in was in 1985. It may have been discovered back in1973 by the Casper geologist Jack Wroble.
If the impact occurred during the late Triassic-Middle Jurassic, no telling how much life it snuffed out at that time.