Magnetic and seismic reflection study of Lake Cheko, a possible impact crater for the 1908 Tunguska Event



[1] A major explosion occurred on 30 June 1908 in the Tunguska region of Siberia, causing the destruction of over 2,000 km2 of taiga; pressure and seismic waves detected as far as 1,000 km away; bright luminescence in the night skies of Northern Europe and Central Asia; and other unusual phenomena. This “Tunguska Event” is probably related to the impact with the Earth of a cosmic body that exploded about 5–10 km above ground, releasing in the atmosphere 10–15 Mton of energy. Fragments of the impacting body have never been found, and its nature (comet or asteroid) is still a matter of debate. We report here results from a magnetic and seismic reflection study of a small (∼500 m diameter) lake, Lake Cheko, located about 8 km NW of the inferred explosion epicenter, that was proposed to be an impact crater left by a fragment of the Tunguska Cosmic Body. Seismic reflection and magnetic data revealed a P wave velocity/magnetic anomaly close to the lake center, about 10 m below the lake floor; this anomaly is compatible with the presence of a buried stony object and supports the impact crater origin for Lake Cheko.