Meteorite crater in Kärdla

to map

40000 BC

The Kärdla meteor crater was formed during the Ordovician period. Approximately 455 million years ago, when a giant meteorite fell into the low sea. Today we can notice the main lines of the crater only if we know the underground structure of it. The structure of Kärdla meteorite has become one of the worlds most researched examples.

Slightly angular, though still rather orderly-shaped crater, measures 4 km in diameter, measured from the top of the surrounding rim wall. The crater is made visible by crystal bedrock relief in the crater bed: 250 m high and 1 km wide wavy rim surrounds the 3,5 km wide and 400-500 m deep flat crater bed. The crater is surrounded by a unique circular fault, 12-15 km in diameter, visible in photographs taken from space.

Kärdla impact crater (Kala, Puura, Suuroja, 1984), 4 km in diameter and more than 0,5 km in depth, is located in the North-Eastern part of Hiiumaa, and was formed around 455 million years ago. It was during the Upper-Ordovician period, when a meteorite of 200 m in diameter and of unknown composition hit the low sea (about 100 m deep).

Discovering and researching the crater proved to be the first and most serious endeavor of our impact crater researchers. The abnormal split and lay of limestone around Paluküla was pointed out by the coryphaei of Estonian geology (Schmidt, Helmersen, ect) in the XIX century, but the discussions got really heated in 1967, when mine drillers stumbled onto the crystal bedrock 15 meters deep, when it should have been at 250 meters instead! Research was then taken over by geologists with a taste for sensation, and after few years of drilling, they (Viiding, Kala, Pobul in 1969) stated that they were dealing with a small block of crystalline bedrock, lifted up by the Earths internal forces. Same viewpoint was adopted by other applied geologists, who had been mapping Hiiumaa and studying the structure around Paulküla, drilling dozens of drill holes (Kala, ect, 1971).



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