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Vredefort Dome

Travel Guide Africa South Africa Free State Vredefort Dome

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Introduction

The Vredefort crater is the largest verified impact crater on Earth, more than 300 kilometres across when it was formed. What remains of it is located in the present-day Free State Province of South Africa and named after the town of Vredefort, which is situated near its centre. Although the crater itself has long since eroded away, the remaining geological structures at its centre are known as the Vredefort Dome or Vredefort impact structure. In 2005, the Vredefort Dome was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites for its geologic interest. The asteroid that hit Vredefort is estimated to have been one of the largest ever to strike Earth (at least since the Hadean Eon some four billion years ago), thought to have been approximately 5-10 kilometres in diameter. The crater's age is estimated to be 2.023 billion years (± 4 million years), which places it in the Paleoproterozoic Era. It is the second-oldest known crater on Earth, a little less than 300 million years younger than the Suavjärvi Crater in Russia.

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This is version 1. Last edited at 9:07 on Jan 26, 16 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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