My home country is number one in the world at least in one thing. Estonia is probably the most densely impact cratered country. Estonia hosts at least 5 craters/crater fields (and some unconfirmed holes in the ground as well) in a relatively small area (45,227 km2). There are several reasons which at least partly explain why this is the case but I will leave it for another day. Today I want to show you some pictures of one of the craters which happens to be only 15 km away from my summer home where I live at the moment.
This is Ilumetsa Crater in SE Estonia. I visited the place today to take some fresh pictures for my blog. This is actually a crater field, at least two craters are confirmed to be of impact origin. The largest crater is 80 meters wide from rim to rim and 12.5 meters deep (including 2.5 meters of peat covering the bottom of the crater). The rim of the crater is 1…4.5 meters high. The crater is 6,600 years old. So the formation of the crater field is geologically a relatively recent event (from the Holocene). The age of the crater is determined by radiocarbon dating and palynological means. There is shattered bedrock composed of weakly cemented Devonian sandstone below the crater. About 30 meters of the bedrock is disturbed by the impact event. So far, no meteoritic material has been found directly at the impact sites but microimpactites have been found from a peat layer (6,600 years old) in a bog nearby.
Largest crater (Põrguhaud) of the Ilumetsa crater field.
Most people enjoy mythological nonsense much more than geology. This place has been associated with devils since the ancient times. Põrguhaud means ‘hellgrave’ and I read that people did not dare to go near the crater during nighttime. Well, at least old Estonians were smart enough to understand that there is something wrong with the place. However, little did they know that this hole has more to do with celestial than hellish powers. Anyway, this friendly looking chap here is how devil should look according to a sculptor.
There are more wooden animals by the hiking trail leading to the crater.