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Ramgarh crater was caused by meteorite impact, say experts

Researchers say that a huge meteorite is likely to have fallen and created the Ramgarh crater. The process for getting the structure recognised has been started and it may soon be recognised as the 191st crater in the world, third in India and first in Rajasthan.

science Updated: Jun 09, 2018 12:09 IST
Press Trust of India
Ramgarh crater,Meteorite,Science
Members of the Geological Survey of India (GSI) and the National Trust for Art and Culture Heritage (INTACH) inspecting the Ramgarh Crater in Baran district of Rajasthan.(PTI)

Since the 19th century, the Ramgarh crater has evoked the interest of geologists. Now, a team of scientists is in Rajasthan’s Baran district to solve the mystery of its origin, and believe they have evidence to prove it was caused by meteorite impact.

With a diameter of 3.2 kilometre and an elevation of more than 200 metre above the surrounding terrain, it was first discovered by the Geological Survey of India in 1869. Nearly a century later, in 1960, it was recognised as a ‘crater’ by the Geological Society of London.

A four-member team from the Geological Survey of India and National Trust for Art and Culture Heritage central office, New Delhi, visited the site yesterday to collect evidence related to the origin of the crater in Ramgarh village of the district. “A huge meteorite of about three kilometres diametre, about 75,000 crore years ago, is likely to have fallen here creating a trench of about 4 km diameter,” said Prof Vinod Agrawal from the team.

According to experts, there are two recognised craters in India — Lonar Lake in Buldhana district of Maharashtra and another in Shivpuri district of Madhya Pradesh. “The centrally uplifted region of Ramgarh Crater is a live evidence of meteorite impact and is an ideal location as per well-established and internationally-approved criteria for meteorite presence,” Agrawal said.

The site is set to be recognised as a 'crater of a meteorite impact'. (PTI)

There are several other evidence in Ramgarh structure that will prove the meteorite impact theory, he added. Pushpendra Singh Ranawat, geologists and coordinator of the team, said it was a very rare site in India and has got multi-faceted significance that include a geo-heritage aspect. “It is a general presumption that when something falls, it makes an equal and opposite reaction and the centrally uplifted region of the Ramgarh structure is an evidence of meteorite impact beyond challenge,” Ranawat said.

He said the process for getting the structure recognised has been started and it is almost certain that Ramgarh Crater would soon get recognised by the global agency in Canada as the 191st crater in the world, third in India and first in Rajasthan.

Ranawat said a lot of research has been carried out at the site with collection of geochemical evidence, and field as well as laboratory evidence published in research papers and journals. Once these evidence are approved by agency in India and by an international agency, the Ramgarh structure in Baran would be recognised as a crater of meteorite impact, he added. “It would bring Baran as well as Rajasthan on the geological global map,” Jitendra Kumar Sharma of Baran INTACH chapter said.

He expressed confidence that the Ramgarh Crater would get recognition in the World Geological Seminar scheduled to be held in 2020.

First Published: Jun 09, 2018 12:08 IST