The circle on the above map outlines the detached Beaverhead Impact

Structure’s Crater in the North American Plate. The North American Plate
has moved westward since the impact event which I have I believe
occurred at the K-T Boundry or about sixty five million years ago. I
believe the bolide that created the Beaverhead impacted the earth at the
present location of the Yellowstone Hot Spot, the huge impact crater
weakened the mantle and created a channel for the heat to reach the
surface.







The two maps above were cut and copied from GEOLOGICAL MAP OF NORTH AMERICA 2003, which can be
downloaded from the following link http: http://ngmdb.usgs.gov/gmna/

The rising heat and lava rising through this channel has in effect cut
through the North American Plate as it moved westword like a cutting
torch through steel.



Evidence Connecting the Beaverhead Impact Crater with the K-T
Boundary Event
Tim McElvain 9/1/2011


The above photograph taken of Shatter cones in the Medicine Lodge Valley southwestern Montana
resulting from the shock wave generated by the Beaverhead Impact Event.

The Beaverhead Impact Crater has been a recognized impact structure for years. Numerous papers have
been published describing this structure, such as the paper: Shatter cones and shocked rocks in
southwestern Montana: The Beaverhead impact structure, Geology, R. B. Hargraves, C.E. Cullicott, K.
S. P. P> Christiansen and P. S. Fisk; September, 1990 v. 18, no. 9, p. 823-834.
This post should be treated like a blog, it represents my latest working
hypothesis; however, trying to digest the results of my last field trip leads
me to believe that I will not have time in my lifetime to do this do this
idea justice. After I published this paper I began a conversation with
Delbert S Duncan who is also interested in the Beaverhead Impact Crater
and its possible relationship to the two K-T Boundary layers in Montana.
The composition of these layers in the Hell Creek Formation, Hell Creek
Ranch, Jordan, MT has two layers the white layer, and the Tan layer
overlain by the Z-Coal Layer. The White layer is composed of very fine
grain clay, but the Tan layer locally called the Iridium layer is composed
of everything from clay to small pea sized pebbles. Mr. Duncan has
published a paper (see link below) explaining his conviction that the
White Layer represents the Chicxulb Impact Event and the Tan layers
mineralogy and grain size is more what one would expect from the
Beaverhead Impact Event. If this proves to be true it will be further
evidence that the Chicxulb and the Beaverhead Impact Craters are
closely related in time. The following link is to Delbert S. Duncan’s
paper:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/151387134/An-Investigation-of-the-Cretaceous-Impact-of-the-Beaverh
ead-Asteroid



Abstract

The Beaverhead Impact Crater was a wet impact crater created in the Cretaceous Intercontinental Seaway
that occurred at the K-T Boundary the target being at or near the present day location of the Yellowstone
Hotspot; however, the center of the crater today is near Challis Idaho due to the westward movement of the
North American plate over the past 65 million years. The huge waves caused by the impact and resurgent
water flooding back into the collapsed crater and the subsequent water movement oscillating back
and forth over the crater rim created sedimentary deposits unique to wet impact craters. In southwest
Montana approximately 140 kilometers east of the crater center the Beaverhead Group of formations
contain cobble conglomerates deposits of different lithologies up to 15,000 feet thick, exotic limestone
blocks and finer grained polymictic sedimentary breccia beds. The cobble conglomerates rest on rocks
dating form Precambrian to Cretaceous which indicates to me that these deposits are inside of the crater rim
and the finer grained sedimentary breccias such as the Monida Sandstone and Aspen Formation, which are
interbedded with the cobble conglomerates, are more distal breccias and lie outside the crater rim.
There is evidence in the Beaverhead Group sedimentary units that indicate they were deposited by currents
flowing in many different directions, which may also support the wet impact theory in that they were
deposited, by surging and resurging currents into and out of the crater.

Introduction

The Beaverhead Group of formations outcropping in Beaverhead County, Montana and Clark County,
Idaho is perplexing and difficult to explain using standard geological methods before the widespread
acceptance of large impact craters as a geologic process. These formations were studied extensively by
Robert T. Ryder and Robert Scholten and published in their paper:

Syntectonic Conglomerates in Southwestern Montana: Their Nature, Origin, and
Tectonic Significance, Robert T. Ryder and Robert Scholten, 1973 Geological Soc
America
http://gsabulletin.gsapubs.org/content/84/3/773

I cannot improve on their fieldwork, but I am offering another interpretation of their evidence related to
the deposition of the Beaverhead Group. I suggest that the peculiar deposition of the Beaverhead Group is
a direct result of the large Beaverhead Impact Structure. I believe that the best interpretation of the nature
of the deposits described by Ryder et al., 1973 can be explained by the research and papers on the Lockne
Impact Structure, in Sweden. I attended the symposium on Impact Craters as Indicators for Planetary
Environmental Evolution and Astrobiology, Ostersund (Sweden), June 8-14, 2006. We studied the
Lockne Impact Structure a wet impact structure near Ostersund, Sweden. After visiting the outcrops and
studying the contributing papers (see references) about the Lockne Impact Structure; I believe the
Beaverhead Group of formations resemble the ejecta deposits at Lockne that resulted from the ejection of
water and ejecta from the crater during excavation and the resurge of water after the collapse of the crater
along with further oscillation of water until it reached equilibrium. One difficulty in making this
comparison is that the Beaverhead Structure is hundreds if not thousands of times larger than the Lockne
Crater.

I became interested in the Beaverhead Impact Crater and its possible relationship to a thick set of
sediments in southwest Montana of K-T Boundary age after reading a paper in:
Roadside Geology of Montana: Roadside Geology
of Montana, David D. Alt and Donald W. Hyndman, 1986. On page 160 the authors begin to describe the
Beaverhead Conglomerate of latest Cretaceous to earliest Tertiary age. In their description of the formation
they state that it contains cratered, sheared and crushed cobbles the significance of which has been gnawing
at me ever since. Further investagation into the geology of south western Montana geology informed
me that the Beaverhead Conglomerate is part of a group of formations lumped into The Beaverhead
Group in the earlier literature, and has subsequently been divided into individual formations either
in latest Cretaceous or earliest Tertiary age.

I have concluded after my investigations; that the Beaverhead Impact was a wet impact that occurred
offshore in the Cretaceous Intercontinental Seaway and occurred at or very close to the K-T Boundary. The
Beaverhead Group Formations I believe are composed of surge and resurge deposits of fluidized ejecta
and material eroded from the sea floor and crater rim, and was deposited as the ocean water resurged into
the collapsed impact crater and continued to add units of different lithologies as the seas oscillated back
and forth in the giant crater seeking equilibrium. Besides carrying ejecta these waves probably cut gullies
in the crater wall. This process is explained in detail in the following paper:

Formation of resurge gullies at
impacts at sea: The Lockne crater,
Sweden

ILKA VON DALWIGK* AND JENS ORMOt

Department of Geology and Geochemistry, Stockholm University, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden tPresent address:
International Research School of Planetary Sciences, Universita d'Annunzio, Viale Pindaro 42, 65127 Pescara, Italy
*Correspondence author's e-mail address: ilka@geo.su.s e (Received 1998 September 17; accepted in revised form 2000
November 22)
Meteoritics & Planetary Science ) Available online at http://www.r

In all of the papers that I have read about the Beaverhead Iimpact Crater, the date of the impact event has
been suggested to be late Precambrian-early Paleozoic because no shatter cones were found in the
adjacent Mississippian and younger formations. My research into the Cretaceous – Tertiary Beaverhead
Formation outcrops in Beaverhead County, Montana and Clark County, Idaho has revealed the presence
of shocked quartz, massive deformation in K-T formations, and cratered and sheared cobbles. The
presence of especially shocked quartz in K
– T Beaverhead Group of sedimentary formations approximately 140 kilometers east of the center of the
Beaverhead Impact Crater and approximately 40 kilometers east of the Montana Beaverhead Shatter Cone
Site is strong evidence that the Beaverhead Impact Crater happened at or very close to the K -T Boundary
and is equal to or greater in size to the Chicxulub Impact Structure. I also found shocked quartz grains
in the Pennsylvanian Quadrent Fomation in the Tendoy Mountains in southwest Montana.

Personal Research into the Oriigin of Cratered Cobbles

Following up on my curosity about the Cratered Cobbles in the Beaverhead
Formation in southwest Montana described in;

Roadside Geology of Montana: Roadside Geology
of Montana, David D. Alt and Donald W. Hyndman, 1986.

I began to search for papers about cratered cobbles asociated with impact structures
and I found the following paper by Ernston et. al:

Ernstson, K., M. Rampino, and M. Hill, 2001: Cratered cobbles in Triassic Buntsandstein conglomerates
in northeastern Spain: An indicator of shock deformation in the vicinity of large impacts. Geology, 29,
11-14, doi:10.1130/0091-7613(2001)029<0011:CCITBC>2.0.CO;2.

However’ the impact origin of the Triassic cobbles in Spain was brought into question
by Chapman et. al. in the following paper:


TRIASSIC CRATERED COBBLES: SHOCK EFFECTS OR TECTONIC PRESSURE? M. G.

Chapman1, M. A. Evans2, and J. F. McHone3; 1U.S. Geological Survey, 2255 N. Gemini Dr., f Pittsburgh,
Pittsburgh, PA, 15260; 3Dept. Geology, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287.

After studying the Chapman et. al. document I realized that I probably would not find any evidence of
shock metamorphism in the cobbles themselves, but in my experience elsewhere I thought I might find
shocked quartz in the sand and sandstone associated with the cobbles. After two field trips visiting the
Beaverhead group foamations I have found definate evidence of shock metamorphism in these
formations, and I did find evidence of shock metamorphism in some of the sandstone cobbles.

Cratered Cobbles in the Beaverhead Group

In the Lima Montana area and in the hills and valleys in Idaho west of Interstate Highway 15, I collected
polished quartzite cobbles that were cratered and shattered with hairline fractures. The photographs of the
cobbles below were collected in the Stoddard Creek canyon just west of the old railroad town of Beaver,
Idaho. The Clark County of Idaho geologic map (see description above) classifies this sandstone and
cobble conglomerate formation as a Paleocene and Cretaceous sandstone and conglomerate (Beaverhead
Formation). Before I realized that the Beaverhead group has the unique charistics of a wet impact, I
thought the craters in the rounded, polished, quartzite cobbles illustrated below were caused by collisions
between the cobles while airborne, and that they were rounded and polished during the excavation phase
of the Beaverhead Impact Crater. I now believe these cratered cobbles could also have been formed as
the train of ejecta moved back and forth in the extreemly turblent surge and resurge currents generated by
the collapsed crater. In either case the little impact craters on these cobbles would probably have had to
occur while they were under tremendous confining pressure in order to keep the cobble from shattering
and exploding. Kord Ernston and Fernando Claudin in their web site, Ernstson Cladin Impact Structures,
The Perlarda Formation, http://www.impactstructures.com/ propose that rocks can be rounded and highly




polished in the excavation phase of the formation of an impact crater.

Cratered polished quartzite cobble – all the circular white marks are little impact craters that shattered the





cobble with fine hairline fractures.


The above photo is of a polished, quartzite cobble that has three relatively larger craters and several lesser
collision scars.



Photograph of a small cobble illustrating the numerous intersecting hairline fractures



Photograph of a broken cobble illustrating how the rock broke along hairline fractures caused by the
various collision impacts; notice the curved surface where the rock separated along one of the ring
fractures, and the other flat surfaces where the rock separated along shear fractures almost like cleavage.




The above photograph is of a sheared, polished, quartzite cobble; the fractures are probably torsion
fractures created when the cobble was accelerated in the impact explosion.




The Beaver Head Group

I believe that the single most conclusive evidence of a bolide impact is the presence of shocked quartz
followed by shatter cones. I have now made two trips to the area and have taken samples of the
Beaverhead Group Formations and well as the Pennsylvanian Quadrent Formation in Big Sheep Creek
Canyon, Little Sheep Creek Canyon and Chute Creek Canyon, including some of the sandstone cobbles in
the Kblq LITTLE SHEEP QUARTZITE CONGLOMERATE (UPPER CRETACEOUS), (Lonn et al.

2000) in Little Sheep Canyon, MT. After making thin sections and grain mounts of my samples I believe I
have found shocked quartz in all of the formations I sampled. The Beaverhead Formation around Lima MT
has been subdivided into at least three groups all of which contain evidence of shock metamorphism:

Kblc LIMA CONGLOMERATE (UPPER CRETACEOUS) — Limestone pebble to cobble
conglomerate derived from erosion of Blacktail-Snowcrest uplift (Nichols and others, 1985). A5


Kbsn SNOWLINE SANDSTONE (UPPER CRETACEOUS) — Calcareous salt and
pepper sandstone; contains limestone fragments (Ryder and Scholten, 1973).


Kbm MONIDA SANDSTONE (UPPER CRETACEOUS) — Clean, calcareous quartz
sandstone (Wilson, 1970; Ryder and Scholten, 1973).


TKgr GRAVEL AND CONGLOMERATE OF UNCERTAIN AFFINITIES (EOCENE TO
UPPER CRETACEOUS)


TKb BEAVERHEAD GROUP UNDIVIDED (PALEOCENE AND UPPER
CRETACEOUS) — Conglomerate, sandstone, mudstone, and limestone


TKbq QUARTZITE CLAST CONGLOMERATE – Unit overlies the Red Butte
Conglomerate in the Chute Canyon area. Clasts may be recycled from the Little Sheep
Quartzite Conglomerate (Kblq).


TKbr RED BUTTE CONGLOMERATE (PALEOCENE AND UPPER
CRETACEOUS) — Limestone conglomerate contains clasts of recycled limestone
conglomerate and well-rounded quartzite (Haley & Perry, 1991).


Cretaceous


Kblq LITTLE SHEEP QUARTZITE CONGLOMERATE (UPPER CRETACEOUS)

Quartzite round stone conglomerate; Contains large limestone blocks of Madison Group
limestone (Mm) chiefly carried along thrust faults (Perry and others, 1988) Kblc LIMA
CONGLOMERATE (UPPER CRETACEOUS) — Limestone pebble to cobble conglomerate
derived from erosion of Blacktail-Snowcrest uplift (Nichols and others, 1985). All of the above
descriptions taken from the downloaded PDF:
http://www.mbmg.mtech.edu/pdf_100k/lima-text.pdf


PRELIMINARY GEOLOGIC MAP OF THE LIMA 30' x 60' QUADRANGLE,
SOUTHWEST MONTANA by Jeffrey D. Lonn, Betty Skipp, Edward T. Ruppel, Susanne U.
Janecke, William J. Perry, Jr., James W. Sears, Mervin J. Bartholomew, Michael C. Stickney, William J.

Fritz, Hugh A. Hurlow, and Robert C. Thomas Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Open
File Report MBMG 408 2000 Revised 1/05 Correlation Chart symbols; Text, Part A, unit symbols
1/06 Map: faults with Quaternary movement; added Holocene faults in Centennial Valley north of Lima
Reservoir; revised location and type of other faults; Text and Correlation Chart units This report has had
preliminary reviews for conformity with Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology’s technical and editorial
standards. Partial support has been provided by the STATEMAP component of the National Cooperative
Geologic Mapping Program of the U. S. Geological Survey under Contract Number 99-HQAG0130.

And in Idaho

The Cretaceous Tertiary formations subdivided in Montana are apparently still lumped into the
Paleocene and Cretaceous sandstone and conglomerate (Beaverhead Formation) in Clark County,
Idaho:

Digital Atlas of Idaho, Nov. 2002
http://imnh.isu.edu/digitalatlas Compilby Paul
K. Link, Idaho State University, Geosciences Dept.

http://www.isu.edu/departments/geology/ Cobble Conglomerates
The cobble conglomerates in the Lima Montana area lie at the eastern base of the Tendoy Mountains and
Lima Peaks and are overlain by big sheets of Triassic through Pennsylvanian-Mississippian formations.
The cobble conglomerate formations thicken to the south and are thickest at the Idaho Montana state line
and in Clark County Idaho (Ryder et al. 1973). I believe the thickening is due to the formation of a resurge
gully in this area similar to those formed in the Lockne Impact Crater, Sweden (Dalwigk et al. 1998). The
flow direction in the Beaverhead Group varies radically sometimes up to 180 degrees, as indicated by clast
imbrication measurements (Ryder et al. 1973). The surging and resurging currents into and out of the
collapsed impact crater could also explain the change in the direction of flow.

In all of the following photomicrographs I have identified the planar microstructures as PDF's because I
have never heard of two or more sets of low pressure or tectonic planar microstructures in one quartz
crystal, nor have I heard of low-pressure planar structures that are straight and of the one to five micron
scale that defines PDF’s. However, in this paper I have not measured and ploted the angle to the c-axis of
the pole of the planar microstructure and tested the plots to the quartz index.

I visited and collected samples of the cobble conglomerates in the following locations:
Big Sheep Creek Canyon – 12011
TKbr formation outcrop, consisting mostly of rounded and slightly polished limestone cobbles along
with Belt quartzite cobbles and sandstone cobbles. There is some slight cratering of the cobbles.


Photograph of the TKbr cobble conglomerate in Big Sheep Creek Canyon

I collected a sandstone cobble that may be reworked Quadrant formation that has been rounded and
deposited with the rest of the cobbles in the formation. The following photomicrograph is of a quartz grain
with one possibly two sets of planar features found in the sandstone cobble. The
primary set of planar features fits the scale of PM’s possibly PDF’s.



The following two photomicrographs were taken from a partially melted and quenched quartz grain
found in the matrix of the TKbr Formation. Melt and shocked quartz grains were found in the resurge
sediments in the Lockne Crater, Sweden (Dalwigk et al. 1998).



Melted and quenched quartz grain, plain polarized light.



Melted and quenched quartz grain, illuminated with cross-polarized light.

Chute Canyon

TKbg Formation on the south side of Chute Canyon is a boulder to pebble matrix-supported
conglomerate primarily composed of rounded and polished Belt quartzite cobbles along with
limestone, sandstone and granitic cobbles.

The following two photomicrographs were taken of quartz grains in a rotten pegmatite cobble in the TKbg
Formation. The multiple sets of planar microstructures in the quartz crystals fit the
scale of PDF’s.



The above photomicrograph is of an isolated quartz grain in the rotten pegmatite cobble.



The above photomicrograph is of a quartz grain illuminated with cross-polarize light with two sets of
planar micrographs in the rotten pegmatite and in the southeast quadrant there is a quartz grain with one
set of planar microstructures, all of the planar features fit the scale of planar deformation features.


The following four photomicrographs are of melt blobs in the matrix of the TKbr formation
illuminated first with plane-polarized light then with cross-polarized light.


Plane-polarized light Cross-polarized light Plane-polarized light








Little Sheep Creek Canyon

Contact between Kblq and Pq (Pennsylvanian Quadrant Formation. The Pq formation beds are almost
vertical at this location and are an organic limestone or marl. Just to the northeast in the Kblq Formation I
collected cobbles of Precambrian quartzite with numerous welded shear fractures. I also collected some
quartzite sandstone rounded cobbles that appear to be younger than the PC cobbles possibly recycled Pq
quartzite. I found some planar microstructures in quartz grains in a sandstone cobble.

Cretaceous Snowline Sandstone and Monida Sandstone east of Monida,
Montana

The Snowline Sandstone and Monida Sandstone appear to be a distal ejecta, or the result of offshore
surge and resurge currents. The sedimentary features, clasts and the presence of shocked quartz and melt
blobs leads me to equate these two formations to the distal ejecta from the Lockne marine-target inpact
crater in Sweden (Sterkell et al. 1998). I made grain mounts of sand grains and thin sections of samples
from the Ksbn and Kbm Formation collected near Monida, Montana and I found a surprisingly high
percentage of quartz grains with numerous sets of PDF's in the Ksbn (Snowline Sandstone) and some in
the Kbm Formation.

The Snowline Sandstone east of Monida, MT is made up of an alternating series of beds whose grain size
ranges from a very fine grained beds that are slope forming, to fine grained sandstone lenses or channels
that are cliff forming, to a pebble conglomerate or sedimentary breccia, more resistant than the sandstone
lenses, that form cliffs or ridges. The sedimentary breccia photographe below forms the backbone of a
ridge because the beds are either slightly overturned or vertical.




The above photograph illustrates the near vertical dip, possibly overturned, outcrop of one of the
sedimentary breccia beds in the Kbsn Formation. The photograph was taken on the top of the ridge
approximately 1.5 miles north of Monida, Montana.



The above photomicrograph is a detailed view of the above sedimentary breccia illustrating the pebble
sized belt chert clast among the smaller angular grains of limestone, quartz, and some blobs of melt. The
cliff forming resistant beds are thin (one half to one meter thick).


The fine grained beds of Snowline Sandstone are a calcarenite with quartz, limestone, and chert grains
and range from rounded to angular. Some of quartz grains have decorated planar
microstructures ranging from PDF’s, PF’s to Bohm lamellae, and some of the quartz grains have been
toasted with remnant PDF’s, some partially melted, and some have been melted and quenched. I
collected samples at one location that had a 50cm bed of the fine grained calcarenite, and immediately
below there is another bed of limestone sedimentary breccia with some sandstone or mudstone clasts. I
also found a partially melted quartz grain with possible remnant
PDF’s.


The above photomicrograph is of a quartz grains with two primary sets of PDF’s and at least two
additional sets that are less prominent.



The above photomicrograph is of a quartz grain with at least 2 sets of highly decorated PDF’s, and the
following photomicrograph is of the same grain illuminated with cross-polarized light.




The three following photomicrographs are of a partially melted, toasted, quartz grain, in a thin section
made from a sample of the Ksbn Snowline Sandstone, with two possibly three sets of remnant PDF’s.


The above photomicrograph of the above mentioned grain illuminated with crossed polarized light. The
northeast half of the grain has remnant PDF’s and the southern half is partially melted with plastically
warped, remnant PDF’s.



The above photomicrograph is a detail illuminated with plane polarized llight of the northwest quadrant of
the above quartz grain exhibiting two possibly three sets of remnant PDF’s, and in the southwest quadrant
of this photomicrograph there has been sufficient melting to destroy the original PDF’s. The following
photomicrograph is the same area of the grain as the above illustration, but illuminated with
cross-polarized light.


.
The following two photomicrographs are of basement rock within the Snowline Formation sedimentary
breccia. These clasts were probably ejected from the greater depths of the Beaverhead Impact Crater.


Basement rock material and melt grains within the Snowline sedimentary breccia, illuminated with
crossed polarized light through a wave plate to help differentiate the quartz from the limestone.
Notice the reaction rind separating the grain from the limestone.
Formatted: Font: (Default) +Body (Calibri)


Melted and quenched quartz within the Snowline sedimentary breccia, illuminated with crossed polarized
light through a wave plate to help differentiate the quartz from the limestone.

Kbm -Monida Sandstone (Upper Cretaceous)

The Monida Sandstone is clean, quarz sandstone with calcite cement, stratigraphically older than the above
Kbsn. Sample collected is a medium to fine grained sandstone with calcite cement.



The above photomicrograph of a quartz grain in the Monida Sandstone with multiple sets of planar
microstructures. The grain has been toasted and plastically warped making some of the micrstructures
curviplanar; however I believe this a shocked grain of quartz.

The PDF’s in quartz grains in these formations indicate that the Late
Cretaceous early Tertiary Formations have been severely shocked or the
formations are composed of distal ejecta from the Beaverhead Impact
Structure.

The outcrops of the Beaverhead Group in the Lima area of Montana, where the above samples were
collected, can be seen plotted on the cropped copy of The PRELIMINARY GEOLOGIC MAP OF THE
LIMA 30' x 60'
QUADRANGLE, SOUTHWEST MONTANA below. The numerous high angle dips and
overturned symbols indicate that the Kbn, Kbsn and Kblc Formations in the Lima, Montana
area are severely folded, faulted and in places overturned. There are TK cratered cobbles
scattered around the sandstone and conglomerate mapped here but I found more big beds of
cratered cobbles a few miles south of Monida Pass in Idaho on the west side of Interstate
Highway 15 across from Beaver, Idaho.




The deformation of the Snowline and Monida Formations in this area was probably caused by Tertiary
thrust faulting.


Tectonic implications of the placement of the Tendoy Mountains and Lima Peaks,
which consist of Triasic through Pennsylvanian-Missippian beds apparently thrust
over the Triassic-Cretaceous Conglomerates

Driving up the Big Sheep Creek Road, north of Lima, MT and opposite Dell, MT, one encounters the
extreemly deformed Pennsylvanian Mississippian Snowcrest Range Group Formation, Pennsylvanian
Quadrent Formation and other Triassic Formations overlying the TKbr RED BUTTE
CONGLOMERATE (PALEOCENE AND UPPER CRETACEOUS) Formation forming the Tendoy
Mountains. My first impression was that the deformed Snowcrest Range Group Formations appeared to
be a megabreccia, but after examaning the formations I now believe the deformation could just as easily
been caused by drag as the formations were thrust over the Red Butte conglomerate. However; ROBERT
T. RYDER and ROBERT SCHÖLTEN along with other sources cited in their paper, Syntectonic
Conglomerates in Southwestern Montana: Their Nature, Origin, and Tectonic Significance, 1973; suggest
that the Tendoy Mountains and the Lima Peaks could be allochthonous blocks that glided on a structural
slope possibly lubricated with water on a fluvial surface. I have probably used too much poetic license in
my interpretation of their description of this phenomenon, but I believe these large sheets of bedded rock
could have detached from the crater rim and slid down on top of the cobble conglomerates that were
deposited by the surge and resurge currents. However, I personally believe the structural significance of
the area is

very difficult to decipher. It appears to me that the Beaverhead Impact target was in the middle of the
Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway of North America in around 500 meters of water, which covered at
least 17,000 feet of sedimentary rock on top of the Precambrian basement (Thomas, 1965). With the
western movement of the North American Plate the impact crater has subsequently passed over the Sevier
Thrust Belt. I cannot distinguish which structural features are due to thrusting along the Sevier Thrust Belt,
which continued at least through the Mid-Tertiary, and impact related structures. I am limiting my
conclusions to the Cretaceous-Triassic and older formations that I have found shocked quartz in. There are
other indicators that point to a large impact crater such as impact melt, and other sedimentary evidence that
is almost unique to wet impacts.




The above photo is an oblique view looking north at Dixon Mountain a member of the Tendoy Mountain
Range, east of Dell Montana printed from Google Earth. The the large sheets of bedded rock are
prominently illustrated, and the light colored area in the lower right quadrant of the photo under the first
limestone cliff is the Snowcrest Range Group. Dixon Mountain north of Big Sheep Creek can be seen from
any angle on the Dixon Mountain Tour in Google earth.



On the above photograph I have outlined the contacts of the PMsr -Snowcrest Range Group, Pq -Ouadrent
Formation and the TKbr -Red Butte Conglomerate. The structural relationship of the formations can
readably be seen in the above two photographs.


The photographs below illustrate the size, extent and deformation of the Snowcrest Range
Group in Dixon Peak. This photograph was taken looking in a northerly direction from Big
Sheep Creek Road at the base of Dixon Mountain.



The Pennsylvanian-Mississippian Snowcrest Range Group -Includes Conover Ranch and Lombard
Formations and is composed of alternating beds of limestone, calcareous mudstone, siltstone and minor
gypsum (Wardlaw and Pecora, 1985, and personal observation). This formation composed of alternating
competent and incompetent beds could be easly stured up and deformed simply by the drag caused by the
weight of the overlying formations as the whole group was thrust over the TKbr -Red Butte
Comglomerate. The fact that the Beaverhead Impact Crater overprints the Sevier Thrust Belt complicates
the investigation and interpretation of the impact crater. No shatter cones have been found in the
Mississippian – Pennsylvanian limestone formations in the Tendoy Mountains; however, I have found
shocked quartz in all of these formations.





K-T Boundary Impact Event

The fact that Beaverhead Group has been dated at or near the K-T Boundary raises all
sorts of possibilities for speculation one of which is that this impact structure could be
coeval with the Chicxulub Impact Crater. The possibility that the Beaverhead Impact
could have happened at the K-T Boundary could explain several mysteries. One
interesting possibility is that the Beaverhead bolide could have been a companion to the
Chicxulub bolide. The Beaverhead impact seems big enough to have been instrumental in
the formation of the Yellowstone Hot Spot and the Challis Magmatic Episode. The
Beaverhead Impact event seems to be bracketed in time between the very late Cretaceous
Beaverhead Group Formations and the 52 to 43 Ma Challis Magmatic Episode (Challis

Magmatic Episode By Laura DeGrey and Paul Link of Idaho State University web page -
http://geology.isu.edu/Digital_Geology_Idaho/Module8/mod8.htm). However, searching
the Yellowstone Hotspot on Google, returns numerous conflicting ideas and papers.
Large impact craters are not usually associated with volcanic episodes on earth;
however, Alxeopoulos et. al. in their paper ―Large impact craters and basins on Venus,
with implications for ring mechanics in terrestrial planets‖Department of Earth and
Planetary Sciences and McDonald Center for Space Sciences, Washington University,
Saint Louis, Missouri 63130, Geological Society of America Special Paper 293, 1994,
have shown evidence that large impact craters on Venus have been flooded by later
volcanic eruptions probably a few million years after the formation of the impact crater.
The Challis Magmatic Episode appears to have occurred about 12 to 15 million years
afer the formation of the Beaverhead Impact Crater. The Bouguer gravity map of the
region surrounding the proposed detached root of the Beaverhead structure, East Idaho
(copied, cut and pasted below from the Beaverhead page in the Earth Impact Database,
http://passc.net/EarthImpactDatabase/beaverhead.html) is very interesting.

The Snake River Plane looks remarkably integrated into a giant circular structure some 460 kilometers in
diameter. If the Snake River Plane turns out to be the moat of the giant























Beaverhead Impact Structure the structure would be of the same size class or bigger than the
Chicxulub Impact Structure.

It has been my experience researching the Santa Fe Impact Structure that, due to the
controversial nature of impact structures on earth, after establishing proof that the basement
rocks have been shocked by a large impact event, some researchers seem reluctant to look for
evidence in later sedimentary rocks that would help date the impact. The whole structure is
swept under the rug so to speak – into the Precambrian – removing the necessity of looking for
evidence of the impact in younger rocks. I believe the geological community has always been
skeptical of extraterrestrial impact craters and would like to pigeonhole them all as close to the
last great bombardment as possible. If this new evidence dates the Beaverhead Impact
Structure at or near the KT boundary it may help to give us more confidence in accepting the
fact that bombardment of the earth has been continuous if a little less frequent than in the
remote past.

References:

Shatter cones and shocked rocks in southwestern Montana: The Beaverhead
impact structure, Geology, R. B. Hargraves, C.E. Cullicott, K. S. Deffeyes, S.
Hougen,
P. P> Christiansen and P. S. Fisk; September, 1990 v. 18, no. 9, p. 823-834.


Roadside Geology of Montana: Roadside Geology
of Montana, David D. Alt and Donald W. Hyndman, 1986.

Ernstson, K., M. Rampino, and M. Hill, 2001: Cratered cobbles in Triassic Buntsandstein
conglomerates in northeastern Spain: An indicator of shock deformation in the vicinity of
large impacts. Geology, 29, 11-14, doi:10.1130/0091-
7613(2001)029<0011:CCITBC>2.0.CO;2.



TRIASSIC CRATERED COBBLES: SHOCK EFFECTS OR TECTONIC PRESSURE? M. G.

Chapman1, M. A. Evans2, and J. F. McHone3; 1U.S. Geological Survey, 2255 N. Gemini Dr., Flagstaff, AZ 86001,
mchapman@usgs.gov; 2Dept. Geology and Planetary Sci., University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 15260; 3Dept.
Geology, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287.


Ernstson Cladin Impact Structures, The Perlarda Formation, http://www.impact-
structures.com/

PRELIMINARY GEOLOGIC MAP OF THE LIMA 30' x 60' QUADRANGLE,
SOUTHWEST MONTANA by Jeffrey D. Lonn, Betty Skipp, Edward T. Ruppel, Susanne
U. Janecke, William J. Perry, Jr., James W. Sears, Mervin J. Bartholomew, Michael C. Stickney,
William J. Fritz, Hugh A. Hurlow, and Robert C. Thomas Montana Bureau of Mines and
Geology Open File Report MBMG 408 2000 Revised 1/05 Correlation Chart symbols;
Text, Part A, unit symbols 1/06 Map: faults with Quaternary movement; added Holocene faults in
Centennial Valley north of Lima Reservoir; revised location and type of other faults; Text and
Correlation Chart units This report has had preliminary reviews for conformity with Montana
Bureau of Mines and Geology’s technical and editorial standards. Partial support has been
provided by the STATEMAP component of the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program
of the U. S. Geological Survey under Contract Number 99-HQ-AG0130.
http://www.mbmg.mtech.edu/pdf_100k/lima-text.pdf



Digital Atlas of Idaho, Nov. 2002 http://imnh.isu.edu/digitalatlas Compiled by Paul K. Link,
Idaho State University, Geosciences Dept.

http://www.isu.edu/departments/geology/


Formation of resurge gullies at
impacts at sea: The Lockne crater,
Sweden

ILKA VON DALWIGK* AND JENS ORMOt

Department of Geology and Geochemistry, Stockholm University, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden tPresent address: International
Research School of Planetary Sciences, Universita d'Annunzio, Viale Pindaro 42, 65127 Pescara, Italy *Correspondence
author's e-mail address: ilka@geo.su.se

(Received 1998 September 17; accepted in revised form 2000 November 22)
Meteoritics & Planetary Science 36, 359-369 (2001)

Available online at http://www.uark.edu/meteor

Syntectonic Conglomerates in Southwestern Montana: Their Nature, Origin, and Tectonic Significance, ROBERT T. RYDER and ROBERT
SCHÖLTEN, Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 84, p. 773-796, 10 figs., March 1973.

Distant ejecta from the Lockne marine-target impact crater, Sweden
ERIK STURKELLI *, JENS ORMO2, JAAK NOLVAK3 AND ASA WALLIN4 'Nordic Volcanological Institute,
Grenshvegur 50, IS-108 Reykjavik, Iceland 2International Research School of Planetary Sciences, Dipartimento di Scienze,
Universita' d'hnunzio, Viale Pindaro 42,65127 Pescara, Italy 3Institute of Geology at Tallinn Technical University, 7 Estonia
Avenue, EE-10143 Tallinn, Estonia 4Department of Geology and Geochemistry, Stockholm University, SE-106 91
Stockholm, Sweden *Corresponding author's e-mail address: erik@norvol.hi.is (Received 1998 September 9; accepted in
revised form2000 Mav 10) Mereorrrics & PIuneluryScience35, 929-936 (2000) 0 Meteoritical Society, 2000 Printed in USA

Alxeopoulos et. al. ―Large impact craters and basins on Venus, with implications for ring
mechanics in terrestrial planets‖Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and
McDonald Center for Space Sciences, Washington University, Saint Louis, Missouri 63130,
Geological Society of America Special Paper 293, 1994


the Beaverhead page in the Earth Impact Database

http://passc.net/EarthImpactDatabase/beaverhead.html)

BULLETIN OF THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PETROLEUM GEOLOGISTS VOL. 49, NO. 11
(NOVEMBER, 1965), PP. 1867-1877, 25 FIGS.
SEDIMENTATION AND STRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT OF BIG HORN BASIN' LEONARD E. THOMAS' Casper, Wyoming

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