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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Cape Charles in Northampton County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater

 
 
The Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 18, 2015
1. The Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater Marker
Inscription. A meteor/comet two miles wide crossed paths with Earth 35 million years ago. Moving at the speed of 21 miles per second, it crashed here, and what is today the town of Cape Charles, creating the sixth largest impact crater on earth.

The meteor blasted into the shallow sea that covered the state's eastern half, and exploded with more force than the combined nuclear arsenal of today's world powers. Rock flew skyward, bedrock fractured seven miles deep and enormous tsunamis raced westward to the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Melted rock splashed upward in the center, hardening into a central peak nearly a mile tall, which is directly under Cape Charles. Over the centuries sentiment and debris have filled in the crater and what is now called the Chesapeake Bay lays over much of it today.

Although the carter is not visible today, small earthquakes occasionally rock its fault lines, and two low ridges appear to the mimic its contours far underground. One of these can be seen near the town of Painter, northeast of Cape Charles. The other is just east of Gloucester Courthouse on the western side of the Bay.
Written by Diane Tennant, Reporter, Virginia-Pilot
(caption)
The meteor's impact flung a huge column of water into the air. When the water collapsed
The Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 18, 2015
2. The Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater Marker
back into the hole, tsunamis (giant waves) between 1,000 and 4,000 feet high scoured the land.
 
Erected by Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network.
 
Location. 37° 16.014′ N, 76° 1.396′ W. Marker is in Cape Charles, Virginia, in Northampton County. Marker is at the intersection of Mason Avenue and Bay Avenue, on the left when traveling west on Mason Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cape Charles VA 23310, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Rails Overlooking the Chesapeake Bay (a few steps from this marker); Cape Charles to Little Creek (approx. 0.2 miles away); Cape Charles Colored School (approx. 0.8 miles away); Cape Charles (approx. 0.8 miles away); The Custis Tombs (approx. 2.8 miles away); Bacon's Rebellion (approx. 2.9 miles away); Mansion Site (approx. 2.9 miles away); Indians (approx. 2.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cape Charles.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
 
Categories. Natural Features
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 19, 2015, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 240 times since then and 48 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 19, 2015, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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