The preservation of the Agoudal impact crater, Morocco, under a landslide: Indication of a genetic link between shatter cones and meteorite fragments

Hassane Nachit, El Hassan Abia, Costanza Bonadiman, Mario Di Martino, Carmela Vaccaro

Geomorphology, Volume 295, 15 October 2017, Pages 76-83
Review Article


“Geological studies and tomographic profiles of a locality nearby the Agoudal village (Morocco) showed the presence of a single impact crater, 500–600 m diameter, largely hidden by a limestone block, 220 m long and 40 m deep. The site was interpreted as a landslide that followed the fall of a cosmic body. The Agoudal impact crater was not affected by intense erosion. The lack of an evident impact structure, as well as the sporadic distribution of impactites and their limited occurrence, can be explained by a complex geological framework and by recent tectonics. The latter is the result of the sliding of limestone block, which hides almost two-thirds of the crater’s depression, and the oblique fall of the meteoroid on sloping ground. In addition, some impact breccia dikes sharply cut the host rock in the Agoudal impact structure. They do not show any genetic relationship with tectonics or hydrothermal activity, nor are they related to any karst or calcrete formations. Altogether, the overlapping of the meteorite strewn field (11 km long and 3 km wide) with the area of occurrence of shatter cones and impact breccias, together with the presence of meteorite fragments (shrapnel) ejected from the crater, the presence of shatter cones contaminated by products of iron meteorites and the presence of impact breccias that contain meteorite fragments of the same chemical composition of the Agoudal meteorite indicate that the fall of this meteorite can be responsible for the formation of the impact structure.”