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Stop 13 at Ries

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Old suevite quarry at Sternbach
Old suevite quarry at Sternbach
Photo: G. Osinski, University of Western Ontario
Location: 3.5 kilometers outside of the south crater rim
Scale: Height of the cliff is 5 meters

This is yet another suevite quarry, which is no longer active and becoming overgrown by vegetation. Here we can see the two types of ejecta at the Ries structure: Bunte Breccia and Suevite. Where else have we seen this relationship of suevite overlying Bunte Breccia?

Answer: The Aumühle quarry (stop 4)

As with the Aumühle quarry, at Sternbach we see suevite overlying Bunte Breccia, with a very sharp contact between the two. This indicates that the Bunte Breccia was deposited first, it underlies the suevite, with the suevite being deposited later.

Suevite overlying Bunte Breccia
Suevite overlying Bunte Breccia
Photo: G. Osinski, University of Western Ontario
Location: 3.5 kilometers outside of the south crater rim
Scale: Height of the rock hammer is 35 centimeters

Shale clast within suevite
Shale clast within suevite
Photo: G. Osinski, University of Western Ontario
Location: 3.5 kilometers outside of the south crater rim
Scale: Length of the rock hammer head is 10 centimeters

The suevite at Sternbach is somewhat unusual in that we see fairly abundant fragments of sedimentary rocks, mainly black shale. Most of the suevite we've seen at other locations (stops 3, 4, and 9) contain little-to-no sedimentary material. We don't really know why there are more fragments of sedimentary rocks here at Sternbach, but the formation of an impact crater is an incredibly complicated process that we have yet to fully unravel.

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