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astrobleme

[as-truh-bleem] /ˈæs trəˌblim/
noun, Geology
1.
an erosional scar on the earth's surface, produced by the impact of a cosmic body, as a meteorite or asteroid.
Compare crater (def 2).
Origin
1965-1970
1965-70; < astro- + -bleme (< Greek blêma shot, wound)
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for astrobleme

astrobleme

/ˈæstrəˌbliːm/
noun
1.
a mark on the earth's surface, usually circular, formed by a large ancient meteorite impact
Word Origin
C20: from astro- + Greek blēma shot, wound
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for astrobleme
n.

1961, from astro- + Greek bleme "throw of a missile; wound caused by a missile," from ballein "to throw" (see ballistics).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for astrobleme

(from Greek astron, blema, "star wound"), remains of an ancient meteorite-impact structure on the Earth's surface, generally in the form of a circular scar of crushed and deformed bedrock. Because such telltale features as crater walls, fused silica glass, and meteorite fragments are heavily modified over time by erosion and weathering, the identification of astroblemes is based chiefly on the presence of subsurface shock structures known as shatter cones. These are conically shaped structures that form in the bedrock directly under the point of impact. They radiate in a distinctive pattern from the point of impact and are identifiable even in drill-core samples. The suddenness and intensity of the shattering cannot be produced by other natural means, so it provides a useful criterion for recognizing astroblemes. Using this evidence, the Ashanti Crater in Ghana and the Vredefort Ring structure in South Africa have been identified as probable astroblemes.

Learn more about astrobleme with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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