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Sudbury Basin
Sudbury Structure
Sudbury Wanapitei WorldWind.jpg
NASA World Wind satellite image of the Sudbury astrobleme
Impact crater/structure
Confidence Confirmed
Diameter 130 km (81 mi)
Age 1849 Ma
Exposed Yes
Drilled Yes
Coordinates 46°36′N 81°11′W / 46.600°N 81.183°W / 46.600; -81.183
Country Canada
Province Ontario
Sudbury Basin is located in Canada
Sudbury Basin
Location in Canada

The Sudbury Basin is a major geologic structure in Ontario, Canada. It is the second-largest verified impact crater on Earth, as well as one of the oldest.

The basin is on the Canadian Shield in the city of Greater Sudbury, Ontario. The Sudbury Basin is referred to locally as "The Valley". The urban core of the former city of Sudbury lies on the southern outskirts of the basin.

The Sudbury Basin is near a number of other geological structures. None of the structures are directly related to each other in the sense of coming from the same geophysical processes.


The Sudbury basin was formed by a strike from a bolide about 10–15 km (6.2–9.3 mi) in diameter. It occurred 1.849 billion years ago in the Palaeoproterozoic era.

SIR-B Sudbury Impact Crater
Image taken from Space Shuttle Challenger in 1984/1985

Debris from the impact was scattered over an area of 1,600,000 km2 (620,000 sq mi) and traveled over 800 km (500 mi) away — rock fragments ejected by the impact have been found as far as Minnesota.

With such a large impact, debris was most likely scattered globally, but has since been worn away. Its present size is believed to be a smaller portion of a 250 km (160 mi) round crater that the bolide originally created.

Subsequent geological processes have deformed the crater into the current smaller oval shape. Sudbury Basin would then be the second-largest crater on Earth, after the 300 km (190 mi) Vredefort crater in South Africa, and larger than the 170 km (110 mi) Chicxulub crater in Yucatán, Mexico.


The full extent of the Sudbury Basin is 62 km (39 mi) long, 30 km (19 mi) wide and 15 km (9.3 mi) deep, although the modern ground surface is much shallower.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Cuenca de Sudbury para niños

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