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Crater drilling declared major success

e is the analysis of the groundwater reservoir in the Chesapeake Bay impact crater. Findings have direct implications for the millions of people living in the area along Virginia's eastern shore and to future development. Several teams from the U.S. and Europe are investigating the microbial life present in the impact crater, part of intriguing recent studies of life in exotic environments.

"The post-impact sediments record the recovery of the continental-shelf target area from devastating impact mega-tsunamis to the passive continental shelf and coastal plain that continues today," said Ken Miller, who chairs the Department of Geological Sciences at Rutgers University. "Comparison of the section in Virginia with more complete sections sampled in New Jersey and Delaware will yield new insight into global sea-level changes and the distribution of water-bearing units in the coastal plain."

The drillsite is located on private land in Northampton County on Virginia's Eastern Shore. The site was chosen because of its location above the central part of the buried crater. Drillsite activities began with extensive site preparations in July 2005. The drill rig arrived in early September, and scientists recovered the first core sample on September 15th.

Cores are being stored at the USGS in Reston, VA and will be photographed and documented during the next 3 months. In March 2006 members from all international teams will gather at the USGS to obtain samples of the core for their various studies.


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Contact: Gregory Gohn
ggohn@usgs.gov
703-648-4382
United States Geological Survey
12-Jan-2006


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