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Stop 9 at Haughton

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Selenite crystals in the impact melt breccia (person for scale)
Selenite crystals in the impact melt breccia
Photo: G. Osinski, University of Western Ontario
Location: Along the Haughton River valley that eventually exits the structure to the north

A closer look at the melt breccias with selenite crystals (pocket knife for scale)
A closer look at the melt breccias with selenite crystals
Photo: G. Osinski, University of Western Ontario

Geologist John Parnell inspects samples of selenite

High resolution MPEG-1 (12.1 Mb)

Moderate resolution WMV (6.4 Mb)

Low resolution WMV (1.5 Mb)

At several locations within the impact melt breccias, you can see large deposits of transparent selenite (often called gypsum) crystals. These crystals formed during a period of hydrothermal activity, which occurred shortly after the Haughton impact event. Hydrothermal systems that are active today, such as the one found at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, are typically associated with volcanically active regions on Earth. However, impact craters can also provide two of the most important components of a hydrothermal system - heat and water.

Click here to learn more about hydrothermal activity associated with impact craters.

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