Impact Glass Fragment from Darwin Crater near Mt. Darwin, Tasmania.
Dimensions: 45.1 x 27.6 x 18.8 mm max.
Impactite Name: DARWIN GLASS
natural glass melt created by meteorite impact
Location: in Wild Rivers National Park, World Heritage Area, 26 km south of Queenstown, Tasmania
Date: Find: 1915
The huge Darwin Crater, approx. 1 km across and 200 m deep, was created about 73,000 years ago when a meteorite struck Tasmania near Mt. Darwin. The heat generated by the explosive force of the impact melted and vaporized the rocks. The molten material was hurled into the sky, falling back as glass and creating one of the world's most spectacular silica glassfields associated with a meteorite crater.
The geologist Lostus Hill found in 1915 small pieces of impactite glass about 10 km west of the crater, but could not pinpoint the source of it. In 1972 R.J. Ford, a geologist at the University of Tasmania, found the crater in dense bush whilst working on an access road for the then proposed Gordon-below-Franklin Dam for the Hydro-Electric-Commission. The crater floor is covered by thick tea-tree swamp. In 1974 a 4WD track was bulldozed into the crater to allow a drill hole being put down in the centre. This showed that in the past 73,000 years the crater has completely been filled with sediment, which provides a valuable pollen record revealing the changing vegetation of the area.
To visit this unusual site today please be reminded that it is now protected within the World Heritage area, and any samples are not allowed to be taken away! But it is still worth wile, seeing the Darwin Glass in situ.
If you have got a piece of Darwin Glass consider yourself very lucky, as there is no more material coming out from the crater area anymore these days!