Picture of the Week #3

Central peak of the Sierra Madera impact crater in Pecos county, Texas. December 2003.

In the fall of 2003 I took a class on the geology of Texas with my Staff Education Benefit, which was very fun and informative. As part of the course, we had to do a research paper on some aspect of Texas geology. The professor had a list of topics that people tended to choose from, but we had the option of suggesting our own topic. I had a growing fascination with Earth impact craters, and I knew of several in Texas, so that was what I proposed to do my paper on and it was accepted. It was a lot of fun to research and put together.

Shortly after the end of the semester, I went out to McDonald Observatory and on the way back we stopped and took photos of the central peak of one of Texas' impacts - the approximately 100 million-year-old Sierra Madera crater, which is pictured here. Below is an image I made for the paper from the USGS National Map Seamless Server which shows the rim of the crater, which of course is heavily eroded.

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