U.S. Geological Survey

Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater Drilling Project

International Continental Drilling Program

International Continental Drilling Program


International Continental Drilling Program

Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater

Deep Drilling Project, Virginia, United States

Workshop Announcement

The late Eocene (ca. 35.5 Ma) Chesapeake Bay impact crater is one of Earth's largest and best preserved "wet-target" impact structures. Special characteristics of interest to the impact community include the crater's size (85 km diameter), its multi-layered water-sediment-rock target, its relative youth and lack of tectonic deformation, and its good accessibility on an intra-plate continental shelf. Despite more than a decade of geological investigations, the central crater (collapsed transient crater and central rebound) of the Chesapeake Bay impact structure has never been drilled. A program to drill one or more scientific coreholes into the central crater is now being formulated. This program will build on a drilling program conducted in the outer part of the crater for the past three years and on available geophysical data for the entire impact structure. An additional theme of this program is a climatic, stratigraphic, and subsidence analysis of the post-impact Cenozoic sedimentary section above the crater. Analysis of this section will provide an excellent natural experiment comparing a shelfal region dominated by subsidence associated with the crater with one dominated by simple thermal subsidence and loading, as represented by existing cored sections in New Jersey and Delaware.

Members of the international scientific community who can make significant contributions to planning of the drilling project, and who are interested in joining an associated scientific working group, are invited to register for a Workshop to be held on 22-24 September 2003 near Reston, Virginia, USA. The Workshop will focus on establishing scientific and operational plans, and scientific working groups for the drilling project. General subject areas for working groups are:

  1. Mineralogy, Petrology, Geochemistry, and Geochronology of Crystalline Crater Materials

  2. Stratigraphy, Paleontology, Petrology, and Hydrology of Sedimentary Crater Materials

  3. Climate History and Sequence Stratigraphy of Post-impact Eocene-Quaternary sediments

  4. Seismic-Reflection and Potential-Field Geophysics of the Chesapeake Bay Crater

  5. Analysis and Modeling of Impact Processes and Products

  6. Drilling Technology and Borehole Geophysics

The workshop agenda will include reviews of existing datasets and interpretations by invited speakers, working group breakout sessions, and plenary discussion sessions. Additional scientific presentations will be limited to optional poster presentations at one informal evening session and impromptu poster sessions at lunches and coffee breaks. Presentations are limited to one 4 ft x 3 ft poster.

REGISTRATION: ALL participants MUST register by downloading the Registration Form available on this website and sending it via e-mail to icdpcbay@usgs.gov. There is no registration fee to attend the workshop. The deadline for registration is 01 September 2003. Participation in the Workshop will be limited to about 50 scientists. Limited travel funds are available for invited participants. Registrants should submit a brief (1-3 pages) proposal outlining the nature of their participation in the workshop and drilling project. These proposals also should be emailed to icdpcbay@usgs.gov .

Last update: 25 June 2003