Monday, 11 February 2013

The Richat Structure: The Eye Of The Earth

image credit: NASA cc

The Richat Structure, also known as the Eye of the Sahara and Guelb er Richat, is a prominent circular feature in the Sahara desert of west–central Mauritania near Ouadane. This structure is a deeply eroded, slightly elliptical, 40 kilometers (24.8 miles) in diameter, dome. The sedimentary rock exposed in this dome range in age from Late Proterozoic within the center of the dome to Ordovician sandstone around its edges.

The sedimentary rocks comprising this structure dip outward at 10°-20°. Differential erosion of resistant layers of quartzite has created high-relief circular cuestas.
The center of the Richat Structure consists of a siliceous breccia covering an area that is at least 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) in diameter.

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