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Geology of central uplift is:
Orange peak, yellow and dark pink areas at center are Lower to middle Ordovician Limestone. This material
was thrust upwards a distance as much as 800m+/-. Light Pink through to orange are Silurian, Devonian and
Mississippian strata. Middle Ordovician Strata and above are flanking a ring structure (seen as a topographinc
Historical crater part of local landscape
Wells Creek Crater near TVA plant is one of nation's largest
Mar. 28, 2010
The Wells Creek Crater can easily be observed from the intersection of TN 149 and Old SR 149 at Cumberland
City. The north rim of the crater lies directly in front of you and it curves along the horizon from your left to the
right and visually gives you an indication of the size of the crater. / Owen Schroeder/The Leaf-Chronicle
About 200 million years ago, a large meteorite came hurtling through the darkness of outer space heading for a
direct impact with planet Earth at the confluence of what would later become known as Houston, Stewart and
Montgomery Counties in the state of Tennessee.
The meteorite was nearly 1,000 feet in diameter, weighed more than 100 million tons and was traveling in
excess of 36,000 miles per hour when it impacted with the Earth exploding with the force of a 1,000 megaton
The resulting impact crater was 2,000 feet deep and nearly eight miles across.
The huge hole in the Earth's surface would be named the Wells Creek Crater and it is one of the most studied
impact craters in the world.
the Wells Creek Crater can easily be observed by taking route TN 149 from Clarksville to Erin. The soil was fertile and a highly agricultural society developed in the community. These unique rocks are considered sound fossils that have recorded the sound wave of a large object from outer space announcing its arrival on Planet Earth. The crater is one of most popular sites in Tennessee on the Google web site "Sightseeing with Google Satellite Maps".During the Earth's history. sit in the remains of the impact crater. the Cumberland River and Wells Creek join at the north wall of the crater and the town of Cumberland City. The Indians found a heaven in the basin created by the meteorite impact. The low hill in the center of the crater offered an excellent place to camp and live. Today. While blasting out the rock for the rail bed. The Wells Creek Crater produces the finest shatter cones in the world and some of them are on display in the Rock & Ore Collection at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Most of these scars have been eroded by time. The rocks have close-spaced grooves that radiate outward from their apex which points toward the impact area. including two in Tennessee (although other listings have three meteorite craters in the state). As you top the hill at the intersection of TN 149 and Old SR 149. the north rim of the crater lies directly in front of you. Scatter cones are rocks that have a distinctively patterned structure that was formed by a large impacting object. a geologist found strange rock formations near Cumberland City that suggested a violent impact had occurred in the area. . Dollywood. It will curve around the horizon from your left to the right and visually give you an indication of the size of the crater. while the surrounding crater rim provided defensive protection from other marauding tribes. they were impressed by the same features that lured the Indians. The crater was first discovered by Indian tribes about 10. If you want to take a trip back in time. The fact that the settlers were living in an impact crater became known in the 1860s when a railroad was being built from Clarksville to the West. but at least 174 remain and they are listed in the Earth Impact Data Base. countless meteorites have impacted with the planet and many of them left behind scars that range from small pits to huge craters that are hundreds of miles across. ranking along with Graceland.000 years ago when they settled into the area. then turn left onto TN 233 at the Steam Plant and you will drive across the floor of the crater. the Tennessee Aquarium and the Jack Daniels Distillery. along with the TVA Cumberland City Stream Plant. The United States has 26 impact craters in the data base. Turn right onto Old SR 149 to Cumberland City. Wild game was plentiful and clear springs flowed through the area while dense flint was available nearby for arrow and spear points. Wells Creek Crater ranks as the ninth largest impact crater in the United States and 62nd place on the EIDB. When the first white settlers moved into the area.