The Pingualuit Crater (French: cratère des Pingualuit; Inuit,
"pimple"), formerly called Chubb Crater and later New
(cratère du Nouveau-Québec), is a young impact crater, by geological
standards, located on the Ungava Peninsula, in the administrative
region of Nord-du-Québec, in Quebec, Canada. It is 3.44 km
(2.14 mi) in diameter, and is estimated to be 1.4 ± 0.1 million
years old (Pleistocene). The crater and the surrounding area are
now part of Pingualuit National Park. The only species of fish in the
crater lake are arctic char, Salvelinus alpinus.
4 2007 expedition
6 External links
The crater is exposed to the surface, rising 160 m (520 ft)
above the surrounding tundra and is 400 m (1,300 ft) deep.
The 267 m (876 ft) deep Pingualuk Lake fills the hollow, and
is one of the deepest lakes in North America. The lake also holds some
of the purest fresh water in the world, with a salinity level of less
than 3 ppm (the salinity level of the
Great Lakes is 500 ppm). The
lake has no inlets or apparent outlets, so the water accumulates
solely from rain and snow and is only lost through evaporation. It is
one of the most transparent lakes in the world, with a Secchi disk
visible more than 35 m (115 ft) deep.
The crater was formed by a meteorite impact 1.4 Ma, as estimated by
40Ar/39Ar dating of impact melt rocks. An analysis of these rocks also
revealed planar deformation features as well as the composition of the
meteorite itself. The Ir, Ni, Co and Cr enrichments found in impact
melt samples suggest that the meteorite was chondritic in nature.
Largely unknown to the outside world, the lake-filled crater had long
been known to local
Inuit who knew it as the "Crystal Eye of Nunavik"
for its clear water. World War II pilots often used the almost
perfectly circular landmark as a navigational tool.
On June 20, 1943, a United States Army Air Force plane on a
meteorological flight over the Ungava region of
Quebec Province took a
photograph that showed the wide crater rim rising up above the
landscape. In 1948 the
Royal Canadian Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force covered the same
remote area as part of its program of photomapping Canada, however
these photographs were not made publicly available until 1950.
In 1950 Ontario diamond prospector Frederick W. Chubb became
interested by the strange terrain shown in the photographs and sought
the opinion of geologist V. Ben Meen of the Royal Ontario Museum.
Chubb hoped that the crater was that of an extinct volcano, in which
case the area might contain diamond deposits similar to those of South
Africa. However, Meen's knowledge of Canadian geology tentatively
ruled out a volcanic origin. Meen subsequently made a brief trip by
air to the crater with Chubb in 1950; it was on this trip that Meen
proposed the name "Chubb Crater" for the circular feature and "Museum
Lake" for the irregular body of water about 2 mi (3.2 km)
north of the crater (curr. Laflamme Lake).
Following his return, Meen organized a proper expedition with the
cooperation of the
National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society and the Royal Ontario
Museum. They travelled to the site in a
PBY Catalina flying boat in
July 1951, landing on nearby Museum Lake. Attempts to find
fragments of nickel-iron from the meteorite using mine detectors lent
by the US Army were unsuccessful due to the area's granite containing
high levels of magnetite. A magnetometer survey did find a magnetic
anomaly under the crater's northern rim, however, indicating that a
large mass of metal-bearing material was buried below the surface.
Meen led a second expedition to the crater in 1954. That same year its
name was changed to "Cratère du Nouveau-Quebec" ("New
at the request of the
Quebec Geographic Board.
An expedition led by James Boulger in 1986 collected a small sample
from area surrounding the New
Quebec crater. Petrographic analysis of
this sample was conducted at the Havard - Smithsonian Center for
Astrophysics and reported to 51st Meteoritical Society in 1988 by
Ursula Marvin and David Kring. Boulger returned to the area that
summer, along with a research party led by M. A. Bouchard of the
University of Montreal. Three years later Canadian geologist Richard
A. F. Grieve listed New
Quebec among the 130 known terrestrial impact
craters. The next year Marvin and Kring documented the
petrographic analysis of two impact melt samples collected within the
crater rim. They presented evidence of shock metamorphism, which
is consistent with similar impact crater sites.
In 1999, the name was again changed, to "Pingualuit". The crater and
the surrounding area are now part of
Pingualuit National Park
Pingualuit National Park created
on January 1, 2004.
Pingualuit crater, October 2007
Professor Reinhard Pienitz of
Laval University led a 2007 expedition
to the crater which extracted sediment cores from the bottom of the
lake which were filled with fossil pollen, algae, and insect larvae.
It was hoped that these finds would yield information about climate
change dating back to the last interglacial period 120,000 years
ago. Preliminary results show that the upper 8.5 m sediment core
contains records of two interglacial periods.
^ a b "New Quebec". Earth Impact Database. University of New
Brunswick. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
^ a b "Pingualuit (National Park)". Nunavik Parks. Retrieved
^ a b "
Pingualuit crater (Chubb crater)". Wondermondo.
^ Grieve, R.A.F. (March 1991). Impact melt rocks from New Quebec
crater (26 ed.). METEORITICS. p. 31-39.
^ a b Peritz, Ingrid (25 May 2007). "
Quebec crater is out of this
world". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 15 May 2008.
^ Meen, V. Ben (January 1952). "Solving the Riddle of Chubb Crater".
National Geographic Magazine. CI (1): 1–31.
^ "Buried Missile". TIME. 24 September 1951.
^ O'Dale, Charles. "Exploring the Pingualuit Impact Crater" (PDF).
Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Royal
Astronomical Society of Canada. Retrieved 2014-02-10.
^ Marvin, U.; Kring, David (1988). "Peterography of
Impactite from New
Quebec Crater". Papers Presented at the 51st Annual Meeting of the
Meteoritical Society: D–6. Bibcode:1992Metic..27..585M.
^ Grieve, R. (September 1991). "Terrestrial impact: The record in the
rocks*". Meteoritics. 26 (3): 175–194.
^ Marvin, U.; Kring, David (December 1992). "Authentication
controversies and impactite petrography of the New
Meteoritics. 27 (5): 585–595.
Quebec crater is out of this world by Ingrid Peritz, The Globe and
Mail, May 25, 2007.
Nunavik (Québec) tourism site
Pingualuit National Park
Pingualuit National Park (1)
Pingualuit National Park
Pingualuit National Park (2)
Earth Impact Database, New
Aerial Exploration of the Pingualuit (New Quebec) Structure
Impact cratering on Earth
≥20 km diameter
Clearwater East & West
Late Heavy Bombardment
Ordovician meteor event
Planar deformation features
Baldwin, Ralph Belknap
Chao, Edward C T
Dietz, Robert S
Hartmann, William K
Melosh, H Jay
Schultz, Peter H
Earth Impact Database
Impact Field Studies Group
Lunar and Planetary Institute