Near Odessa in Ector County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Odessa Meteor Craters
East and South (route marked) is located the Odessa Meteor Craters, formed in prehistoric time when a great shower of nickel-iron meteorites collided with the earth. Geologists estimate that the time of the meteor fall was about 20,000 years ago. The shower was composed of many thousands of individual meteorites of various sizes which fell over an area of about 2 square mile. The smaller meteorites, which were by far the most numerous, either came to rest on the earths' surface or at the bottom of shallow impact pits within the soil. There were several very large meteoric masses in the shower, however, and these struck the earth with such enormous energy that they penetrated deeply into bedrock and shattered with explosive force, thus producing craters in the earth at the places of impact. when freshly formed the craters were funnel-shaped depressions, the largest about 550 feet in diameter and 100 feet in depth. More than 100,000 cubic yards of crushed rock was ejected from this crater by the energy released from the impacting meteoric mass. Smaller crater in the vicinity of the main crater range from 15 feet 18 feet in depth. In the ages following
1. Odessa Meteor Craters Marker
their formation the craters gradually accumulated sediments deposited by wind and water. The main crater was eventually filled to with 6 feet of the level of the surrounding plain. It now appears as a shallow, nearly circular depression surrounded by a low, rock-buttressed rim. The several smaller associated craters were so completely buried that their existence was not suspected until they were exposed in excavations made by the University of Texas, in the early 1940's. Meteor craters are among the rarest and most interesting of land features. Observations by astrophysicists indicated that meteoric bodies which strike our earth originate within our Solar System, probably form the steroidal belt located between the planets, Jupiter and Saturn.
By Bill Kirchner, July 12, 2015
2. site of Odessa Meteor Craters Marker
Text of marker from Texas Historical Commission, Texas Historic Sites Atlas.
Erected 1962. (Marker Number 3668.)
Location. Marker has been reported missing. It was located near 31° 45.979′ N, 102° 31.195′ W. Marker was near Odessa, Texas, in Ector County. Marker could be reached from Interstate 20 Frontage Road at milepost 106, 1.3 miles east of Farm to Market Road 866, on the right. Marker was located on the eastbound frontage road. Touch for map. Marker was in this post office area: Odessa TX 79763, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this
location, measured as the crow flies. The Caprock (approx. 2.2 miles away); Odessa Meteor Crater (approx. 2½ miles away); Penwell (approx. 5.7 miles away); Ector County Discovery Well (approx. 7 miles away); Well's Point (approx. 8 miles away); The Henderson House (approx. 10.1 miles away); Odessa (approx. 10.3 miles away); Ector County Public Schools (approx. 10.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Odessa.
By Bill Kirchner, July 12, 2015
3. site of Odessa Meteor Craters Marker
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More. Search the internet for Odessa Meteor Craters.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 9, 2015, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 260 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on August 9, 2015, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.