What this page contains: This is one of a group of several pages dedicated to communicating the nature of diagnostic evidence for impact crater identification and the specific tools and techniques used in this science. If you are new to impact crater science, you might want to start by reading [Crater Identification] and [What Makes a Confirmed Crater?] before returning to this and other specific topic pages. Please note that this website is perpetually under construction in an ongoing effort to make it more understandable and more useful.
Shatter cones are the only macroscopic (visible to the unaided eye) structures that serve as unambiguous diagnostic evidence that a geological structure or rock unit is the result of a hypervelocity impact event (a large meteorite impact).
Shatter Cone from Beaverhead crater. Thanks to Steve and Qynne Arnold.
Hargraves et al., 1990; Hargraves et al., 1994.
Shatter Cone from Crooked Creek Crater.
Shatter cone from Glover Bluff crater. Thanks to Steve and Qynne Arnold.
Shatter cone from Kentland Crater.
Shatter cone from Santa Fe crater.
Shatter cone from Sierra Madera crater.
Shatter cone from Wells Creek crater.
Shatter cone in NWA meteorite.
Bibliography and References:
Hargraves, R.B., Cullicott, C.E., Deffeyes, K.S., Hougen, S.B., Christiansen, P.P., and Fiske, P.S., 1990, Shatter cones and shocked rocks in southwestern Montana: The Beaverhead impact structure: Geology, v. 18, p. 832-834.
Hargraves, R.B., Kellogg, K.S., Fiske, P.S., and Hougen, S.B., 1994, Allochthonous impact-shocked rocks and superposed deformations at the Beaverhead site, southwest Montana—possible crater roots buried in southcentral Idaho, in Dressler, B.O., Grieve, R.A.F., and Sharpton, V.L., eds., Large Meteorite Impacts and Planetary Evolution: Boulder, Colorado, Geological Society of America Special Paper 293, p. 225-236