Insights into the morphology of the Serra da Cangalha impact structure from geophysical modeling



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Erratum Volume 48, Issue 2, 320, Article first published online: 19 February 2013

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Forward modeling is commonly applied to gravity field data of impact structures to determine the main gravity anomaly sources. In this context, we have developed 2.5-D gravity models of the Serra da Cangalha impact structure for the purpose of investigating geological bodies/structures underneath the crater. Interpretation of the models was supported by ground magnetic data acquired along profiles, as well as by high resolution aeromagnetic data. Ground magnetic data reveal the presence of short-wavelength anomalies probably related to shallow magnetic sources that could have been emplaced during the cratering process. Aeromagnetic data show that the basement underneath the crater occurs at an average depth of about 1.9 km, whereas in the region beneath the central uplift it is raised to 0.5–1 km below the current surface. These depths are also supported by 2.5-D gravity models showing a gentle relief for the basement beneath the central uplift area. Geophysical data were used to provide further constraints for numeral modeling of crater formation that provided important information on the structural modification that affected the rocks underneath the crater, as well as on shock-induced modifications of target rocks. The results showed that the morphology is consistent with the current observations of the crater and that Serra da Cangalha was formed by a meteorite of approximately 1.4 km diameter striking at 12 km s−1.