Planetary Science 9604A

PlanetSci 9604A: Impact Cratering Short Course and Field School 


Location: Sudbury, ON
Instructor: Gordon Osinski

Dates: TBD

Impact cratering is one of the most fundamental, yet poorly understood, geological processes in the Solar System. On many planets, impact craters are the dominant geological landform. On Earth, erosion, plate tectonics and volcanic resurfacing continually destroy the impact cratering record, but even here, the geological, biological, and environmental effects of impact cratering are apparent. Impact events are destructive and have been linked to at least one of the "big five" mass extinctions over the past 540 Ma. In recent years, it has also become apparent that impact craters can also have beneficial effects: many impact craters are associated with economic metalliferous ore deposits and hydrocarbon reservoirs. Impact events can also create new biological niches, which can provide favourable conditions for the survival and evolution of life and potentially on other planets such as Mars.

This is an intensive 7-day short course and field training program on impact cratering. This course will introduce students to the processes and products of impact cratering on Earth and throughout the Solar System. This course will be based in Sudbury, Ontario, the site of an ~200 km diameter impact structure formed 1.85 billion years ago. Each day will feature 3 hours of lecture material in the morning, followed by field excursions and/or hands on laboratory sessions in the afternoons. The Sudbury structure offers an exceptional opportunity to study impact melt rocks, various types of impact breccias, shatter cones, impact-induced hydrothermal alteration, and much more.

Click here to view the course syllabus

Fees and Registration: