Chiemgau impact (hypothesis) is a term that denotes a meanwhile manifoldly proved meteorite impact that happened as an extraordinary event in prehistoric times (Bronze Age, Celtic era) in southeast Bavaria (Germany). A large cosmic body (a comet or an asteroid) hit the ground and left a big crater strewn field with all relevant impact evidence. This website focuses on all aspects of the related scientific research including reports and publications on geosciences, astronomy, archeology and science of history, but also on discussions of this spectacular research area. In the Wikipedia four-line article "Chiemgau impact hypothesis" this event is characterized as "an obsolete scientific theory" that has been raised "by a team of hobby-archaeologists". This is grossly deceptive and typifies the standpoint of a few obstinate opponents of the Chiemgau impact, hence taking their side and thwarting Wikipedia requirements.
Already in the early days of the exploration of the Chiemgau impact crater strewn field at the beginning of the new millennium, a perfectly semicircular structure was discovered during a flight, which seemed to be punctured into the bank of the Inn river near Marktl. Geological research on the ground and sampling quickly proved the impact nature of this well 50 m measuring crater, which was introduced as No. 24 into the crater list of the Chiemgau impact, which had been meticulously conducted by local history researchers. The semicircular structure was easily explained by the erosion of floods in the valley of the Inn river
Not recorded in the topographical maps and soon blocked with a large stable it fell into oblivion and was only recently opened to the eye in full splendor by the Digital Terrain Model DGM 1 (Fig. 1).
The article reports on a newfound very young meteorite impact event in the Czech Republic amazingly similar to the Chiemgau and Saarland (Nalbach) impact events in Germany. A possibly simultaneous impact having affected Central Europe over a distance of more than 650 km is discussed. Click the abstract article!
The Digital Terrain Model (DTM) and the evaluation of known and the search for new craters in the Chiemgau meteorite impact strewn field [PDF DOWNLOAD]
Kord Ernstson* (2017)
Abstract. – For several known and a few newly proposed meteorite craters in the Chiemgau meteorite impact strewn field the LiDAR data of the Digital Terrain Model DTM have been processed to reveal various maps and cross sections based on a high-resolution mesh down to 1 m and contour interval down to 0.2 m. The data processing highlights particular crater features that remain hidden in fieldwork and on conventional topographic maps and even may debunk mistaken structures.
********************************************************************************************************* *Faculty of Philosophy I, University of Würzburg, Germany,
Content 1 Introduction – 2 The Chiemgau meteorite impact event 3 Data processing 3.1 Terrain imagery 3.2 Horizontal gradient 3.3 Data filtering 3.4 Cross sections 4 Examples 4.1 Small craters in the DTM 4.2 Peripheral depressions around small craters 4.3 Medium-sized craters in the DTM 4.4 Mistaken structures 5 A possible large-sized crater in the DTM 6 Discussion and conclusions 7 References Appendix
At the this year’s internationally prestigious Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in the Woodlands, Texas, two contributions on the Chiemgau meteorite impact crater strewn field in Germany have been presented (after preceding LPSC contributions in the years 2011, 2012 and 2014).
Evidence for superparamagnetic nanoparticles in limestones from Chiemgau crater field, SE Germany. V. Procházka1 , G. Kletetschka1 , 1 Institute of Hydrogeology, Engineering Geology and Applied Geophysics, Charles Univ., Albertov 6, CZ-12843 Praha 2, Czech Republic ()
Only recently an article has been published in the reputable journal Carbon with our colleague Dr. Tatyana Shumilova, Russian Academy of Sciences, as first author and Dr. M.A, Rappenglück from our CIRT research group as one of the co-authors:
A cross-bedded diamictite: evidence of a big Lake Chiemsee tsunami in the Chiemgau meteorite impact event strengthened
Abstract. – Gravel exploitation near Lake Chiemsee has exposed a quarry face exhibiting a larger diamictite deposit with significant cross bedding. The grain size of the material varies between silt and sharp-edged blocks up to the size of 1 m. In the majority, even the smaller fraction of limestone particles does not show any roundness. Frequently, limestone cobbles are covered with multiple sets of scratches and polish. For the cross-bedded diamictite exposed at the edge of a flat chain of hills a glacial deposit, e.g., as an end moraine, can be excluded. The multiple, small-scale cross-bedding units as well as the transport over short distance point to a close-by, short-term process of formation. It is interpreted as the result of a big Lake Chiemsee tsunami that was triggered in the Holocene Chiemgau impact event. The deposit also raises issues relevant to a Lake Chiemsee glacier.
At the this year’s Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in the Woodlands, Texas, the abstract article entitled “Strong shock metamorphism and a crater: evidence of a Holocene meteorite impact event near Nalbach (Saarland, Germany)” by Nico Berger, Werner Müller and Kord Ernstson was presented. Here, we in particular point out that the peculiar findings in the Nalbach area are revealing remarkable similarities to impact features in the Holocene large Chiemgau impact strewn field in southeast Germany, and meanwhile the possibility that the Nalbach impact is a companion to the Chiemgau impact is seriously being discussed. Click on the image to open the full text!
Under the scanning electron microscope (SEM): The odd world of the iron silicides from the Chiemgau impact meteorite crater strewn field (click to enlarge). Contribution to the mineralogy meeting of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Syktyvkar:
Meteorite impact on a micrometer scale: iron silicide, carbide and CAI minerals from the Chiemgau impact event (Germany)
Michael A. Rappenglück1, Frank Bauer2, Kord Ernstson3, Michael Hiltl4
1 Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, Gilching, Germany; – 2 Oxford Instruments GmbH NanoScience, Wiesbaden, Germany; – 3Faculty of Philosophy I, University of Würzburg, Germany; – 4 Carl Zeiss Microscopy GmbH, Oberkochen, Germany;
Shortly after the meeting between the 19th and 22nd May in Syktyvkar the Proceedings volume has been published:
Problems and perspectives of modern mineralogy (Yushkin Memorial Seminar–2014) Proceedings of mineralogical seminar with international participation Syktyvkar, Komi Republic, Russia 19–22 May 2014
The Rappenglück et al. contribution condenses the mineralogical evidence of the iron silicides from the Chiemgau impact crater strewn field that has been compiled with invaluable support by Carl Zeiss Microscopy und Oxford Instruments NanoScience.
We remind of the fact that in the beginning of the research on the Chiemgau impact the group of quite experienced local historians and amateur archeologists had detected the metallic iron silicides and, after having been aware of their relation to crateriform structures, had published the possible meteoritic origin of the matter. Investigations and attempts, respectively, to dismiss all iron silicides as industrial waste product, or at least as terrestrial, followed, and they are still spread rumors as for instance by the Bavarian Geological Survey (Landesamt für Umwelt, LfU) which is commented (in German) elsewhere and may be clicked HERE.
Ultimately it is evident that these local historians who later got together with scientists from geosciences, astronomy, archeology and historical scholarship to establish the Chiemgau Impact Research Team (CIRT), are proved right!
The abstract article from the Proceedings volume may be clicked HERE. The corresponding, much more informative POSTER may be clicked also for download. PLEASE NOTE: Depending on the selected browser the screen quality may appear quite different. As the case may be we suggest to save the file on the computer and to activate it with a pdf reading program. WARNING: The poster pdf has a size of more than 50 megabyte.