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Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater


To understand how a meteorite impact 35 million years ago negatively affected ground-water availability in southeastern Virginia.


This project is working to understand how a comet/asteroid that crashed into Chesapeake Bay 35 million years ago has influenced modern groundwater supplies in southeast Virginia. An international scientific workshop developed plans for drilling a 2-kilometer-deep corehole through the center of the crater. This core, which was drilled in 2005, was financed primarily by the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program. The results from this deep core, other cores already drilled nearer the crater margin, and geophysical data, are providing an unprecedented amount of information about how craters are formed, and specifically about how this crater led to salty ground water in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.

Study Area:


Anticipated Uses:

Resources (Water)


Clemson University (SC), College of William and Mary (VA), Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (VA), International Continental Scientific Drilling Program, NASA Langley Research Center (VA), Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy

Project Status:

Current NCGMP Funding

Project Duration:


Duration of NCGMP Funding:


Contact Information:

Project Chief: Gregory S. Gohn (Eastern Earth Surface Processes Team)
Phone: 703-648-4382

Related Links:

Project Website: