Shatter cone

  • Exhibition Text

    • Stress fractures

      This rock sample, found at Wells Creek Crater, is called a shatter cone. Shatter cones form when the shock wave from a meteorite impact travels down into the rock layers below. The intense pressure cracks the rock in a branching pattern, leaving cone-shaped chunks pointing toward the center of the impact. The tiny ridgelines radiating from the tip of the cone are imprints of the shattering shock wave frozen into the rock's surface.


      Wells Creek, Tennessee, USA

      AGE: ~ 200 million years

      DIAMETER: 12 Kilometers (8 miles)

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  • Collection Information


      Limestone Wells Creek Basin, Tennessee, USA

      AMNH T134

  • For Educators

    • Topic: Earth Science

      Subtopic: Meteorites

      Keywords: Meteorites, Astrophysics, Earth (Planet)--Surface, Astrogeology, Meteorite craters

      Audience: General