Chiemgau impact: is there a parallel with the Saarland region?

map of Germany showing the Saarland impact and Chiemgau impact locations

Do they form a pair? The Chiemgau impact and the suspected Saarland impact.

The earlier stated assumption that the Chiemgau impact may have a counterpart in the Saarland region

has been strengthened by new finds and new geologic and petrographic features. A respective update article may be clicked here:

Chiemgau impact: presentation at the first European Mineralogical Conference 2-6 September 2012 – Frankfurt, Germany

Session Meteorites and Planets

Carbynes and DLC in naturally occurring carbon matter from the Alpine Foreland, South-East Germany: Evidence of a probable new impactite

S. Isaenko, T. Shumilova, K. Ernstson, S. Shevchuk, A. Neumair, and M. Rappenglück

ABSTRACT download EMC2012-217.


diamond like carbon (DLC) in the impactite from the Chiemgau impact strewn field

From the poster: diamond-like carbon (DLC) in the probable impactite from the Chiemgau meteorite impact crater strewn field.

Chiemgau impact: presentation at the 34th International Geological Congress, 5-10 August 2012 – Brisbane, Australia

Every four years the International Union of Geosciences (IUGS) coordinates the International Geological Congress.

After a contribution at the 33th congress 2008 in Oslo the CIRT had now a presentation at the this year’s meeting in Brisbane, Australia:

A prehistoric meteorite impact in Southeast Bavaria (Germany): tracing its cultural implications


Abstract. – A meteorite crater field in Southeast Germany, the Chiemgau region, comprises more than 80 craters scattered in an area of about 60 km x 30 km. The crater diameters range between a few meters and 600 m, forming one of the biggest known areas of Holocene meteorite craters. Continue reading “Chiemgau impact: presentation at the 34th International Geological Congress, 5-10 August 2012 – Brisbane, Australia”

Chiemgau Impact – a new article: Jörg Völkel, Andrew Murray, Matthias Leopold, and Kerstin Hürkamp: Colluvial filling of a glacial bypass channel near the Chiemsee (Stöttham) and its function as geoarchive. – Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie (Annals of Geomorphology), 56(3), 371-386, 2012.

The Chieming-Stöttham archeological excavation – comments on a recently published article

by Chiemgau Impact Research Team (CIRT)

Abstract: – At the behest of the Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation (BLfD) the archeological excavation at Stöttham near Lake Chiemsee, which exposed an intercalated geological layer with all evidence of a catastrophic deposition in a meteoritical impact event, was accompanied by a study performed by Wissenschaftszentrum Weihenstephan für Ernährung, Landnutzung und Umwelt der Technischen Universität München [Science Center of Nutrition, Land Use and Environment, Technical University of Munich, at Weihenstephan]. In the now published article the exposure is most widely described and interpreted from a geomorphological and soil science perspective while the unambiguous impact features implying the typical heavy rock deformations and shock metamorphism (shock effects) are completely ignored. Nevertheless, the authors conclude that there are not any indications of an impact event. Here, we remind of the progress of events, discuss the major shortcomings of Völkel et al.’s article, and conclude that it doesn’t meet scientific requirements. Continue reading “Chiemgau Impact – a new article: Jörg Völkel, Andrew Murray, Matthias Leopold, and Kerstin Hürkamp: Colluvial filling of a glacial bypass channel near the Chiemsee (Stöttham) and its function as geoarchive. – Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie (Annals of Geomorphology), 56(3), 371-386, 2012.”

YDB impact: a new chapter

… or a “Requiem” for the rejection of the hypothesis?

YDB abbreviates Younger Dryas Boundary. The Younger Dryas stadial signifies a sharp onset of a period of cold climatic conditions in Earth’s history lasting roughly 1,000 years  between about 11,000 and 10,000 B.C. at the end of the Pleistocene (the “Ice Age”) and the beginning Holocene.

The causes of this event are controversially disputed, and they are conventionally ascribed to perturbations of  North Atlantic circulation. In 2007, a new hypothesis on a giant meteorite impact  Continue reading “YDB impact: a new chapter”

Chiemgau impact: conducting hypervelocity impact experiments

Experimental hypervelocity impact crater generation and the formation of the Lake Tüttensee crater

hypervelocity impact crater experiments in flour

Fig. 1. Snapshot of a hypervelocity impact into flour taken from a high-speed camera video. The full video may be played back by clicking on the image.

Meteorite impact is a fascinating geologic process that for many geologists, however, has remained enigmatic. Therefore we are glad to present here on our website some results of experimental impacts that have been recorded by high speed cameras. This has been possible by a cooperation between the CIRT and Werner Mehl who is a world-wide known specialist for ballistics and high speed photography

experimental hypervelocity impact into flor
Fig. 2. Experimental hypervelocity impact crater produced by a projectile (as lying in the hand) in a target of flour. The angle of the impact trajectory was 30°. On clicking on the image in Fig. 1 the full video can be  played back that shows the impact process recorded with a high speed camera. The outer ring-like fold of the foil is a side effect of the experimental set-up.

Details of the experiment are as follows: Continue reading “Chiemgau impact: conducting hypervelocity impact experiments”

Chiemgau impact: Pumice as an impact rock (impactite)

Pumice is a porous volcanic rock that is formed in gas-rich explosive eruptions on mixing of lava and water. When pressure releases, the melt froths by expansion of carbon dioxide and water vapor, and on rapid cooling the peculiar strongly vesicular texture forms. Pumice is nearly exclusively composed of glass with few mineral inclusions and has up to 90 % porosity which is why in general it floats in water. Depending on the source material and the texture pumice occurs in a broad color spectrum, from nearly white to yellow, gray and practically black. Well known is the Italian pumice from Lipari and Stromboli, and in Germany pumice from the Eifel volcanism is exploited.

Pumice from Lake Chiemsee

Since a few years the intensified geological investigations of the crater strewn field of the Chiemgau meteorite impact has revealed abundant finds of pumice cobbles in the shore region of Lake Chiemsee.

Fig. 1. Pumice varieties from Lake Chiemsee. White pumice – gray, marginally whitish pumice – gray pumice – grayish-black pumice (from top left to lower right). Samples by courtesy of Ernst Neugebauer.

The pumice occurs in various color varieties (Fig. 1) the white pumice rather being rare. Under the microscope the texture of the white form differs from the gray and grayish-black varieties (Figs. 2, 3). Continue reading “Chiemgau impact: Pumice as an impact rock (impactite)”

Chiemgau impact: A new carbon impactite

Presentation: 43. Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC), March 19–23, 2012, The Woodlands, Texas, USA:

Shumilova T. G.1   Isaenko S. I.1   Makeev B. A.1   Ernstson K.2   Neumair A.3 Rappenglück M. A.3: Enigmatic Poorly Structured Carbon Substances from the Alpine Foreland, Southeast Germany:  Evidence of a Cosmic Relation [Abstract #1430]

1Institute of Geology, Komi SC, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pervomayskaya st. 54, Syktyvkar, 167982 Russia, 2Faculty of Philosophy I, University of Würzburg, D-97074 Würzburg, Germany,  3Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, D-82205 Gilching, Germany.

Abstract download:

Poster download:

Poster LPSC

The study deals with a so far unknown impactite from the Chiemgau meteorite crater strewn field incorporating a high pressure/high temperature carbon allotrop.


Chiemgau impact: two contributions to the AGU 2011 Fall Meeting, San Francisco

At the AGU (American Geophysical Union) Fall Meeting, December 5-9, two contributions focusing on special features of the Chiemgau meteorite impact strewn field have been presented:

Neumair, A. & Ernstson, K. (2011), Geomagnetic and morphological signature of small crateriform structures in the Alpine Foreland, Southeast Germany, Abstract GP11A-1023 presented at 2011 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 5-9 Dec.

The poster may be clicked here: Poster Neumair & Ernstson

Ernstson, K. & Neumair, A. (2011), Geoelectric Complex Resistivity Measurements of Soil Liquefaction Features in Quaternary Sediments of the Alpine Foreland, Germany, Abstract NS23A-1555 presented at 2011 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 5-9 Dec.

The poster may be clicked here:  Poster Ernstson & Neumair

Chiemgau impact: an article on the impact-induced soil liquefaction (rock liquefaction)

Article on the Thunderhole phenomenon in the Chiemgau impact area: 

The sinkhole enigma in the alpine foreland, Southeast Germany: Evidence of impact-induced rock liquefaction processes

Kord Ernstson, Werner Mayer, Andreas Neumair and Dirk Sudhaus


The article describes the very first geologic and geophysical investigations of the so-called Thunderhole (“Donnerloch“) phenomenon in the region of the small town of Kienberg north of Lake Chiemsee in Southeast Bavaria. The authors conclude that the innumerable enigmatic sudden sinkhole cave-ins having happened in living memory originate from late and even today acting processes of an earlier shock-induced underground rock liquefaction known from strong earthquake shocks. The geologically prominent underground structures that have now been uncovered are considered the result of impact shocks in the course of the formation of the Chiemgau meteorite crater strewn field (Chiemgau impact).

Some characteristic images of this highlighting rock liquefaction (or soil liquefaction) process can be seen on continuing

Continue reading “Chiemgau impact: an article on the impact-induced soil liquefaction (rock liquefaction)”