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Jaime L. B. Presser, Ricardo Alonso & Maximiliano Rocca

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Presser, J.L.B., Alonso, R., Rocca, M. 2019. Malvinas Islands (Falkland Islands): Advances in the inferred buried marine impact mega-structure. Pyroclastic Flow Journal of Geology, Vol. 9, no. 1, p. 1-14.



In 1992 Rampino noticed a large, almost circular negative gravity anomaly (~30 mGal) on the Falkland Plateau to the WNW of Malvinas Islands/Falkland Islands using satellite data then available, and speculated that it might be associated with a large (~250 km wide?) buried impact structure. In some more recent compilations Rocca & Presser (2015) and Rocca et al. (2017) was attended the Malvinas Islands/Falkland Islands “buried impact structure” with particular care; but also these works was harshly criticized. The present text, which is an advance to demonstrate the certain possibilities that this Malvinas Islands/Falklnad Islands It could really be a very probable mega impact structure, gathers shows and evaluates the existing and available indirect information; like gravimetry (Isostasy, Free-air and Bouguer); seismic reflection (Geco Prakla); and, even commenting aspects of its magnetic behavior and its local geology. In all gravimetric analyses from the Malvinas Islands/Falklnad Islands “buried impact structure” it can be shown that an annulus of positive gravity anomaly surrounding a circular oval depression of negative (isostasy and Free-air)/much lower (Bouguer) values gravity anomaly. The most relevant gravimetric information would be the near circular to oval Bouguer gravity low anomaly (with a minimum value of ~150 mGal) surrounded by at least circular ~255 kilometers wide circular ring of positive gravity anomaly (maximum ~225 mGal); a very high values of Bouguer anomaly that are highly compatible with what is expected to be found in mega impact structures. The Malvinas probable impact structure shows almost 100 mGal superior to the volcanic complex of Iceland; so it seems obvious that Malvinas probable impact structure moves away from a speculation by mega-paleo-volcano origin. When gravimetrically modeled, a probable peak ring of ~255 km is evidenced; as well as, the inferred the ~550 km probable rim-crest; configuration that reproduces an almost perfect and symmetrical modeling of a very probable giant impact structure with its clear visible the very probable elements: rim crest-annulus basin-peak ring-central basin-peak ring-annulus basin-rim crest. Four Geco Prakla seismic reflection lines on the area located to the SW of the potential peak ring show a vertical and disturbed crystalline basement (the “peak ring”); in three of them, the “central basin” what would it be filled with sediments after impact (probable ejecta). Using the empirical formula of Assumpção et al. (2013) calculation for crustal thickness could be found very clearly strong CT distortion along Malvinas very probable giant impact structure: around 3400-4000 meters; as is to be expected in terrestrial mega impact structure. Harness the EMAG2v3 a global Earth Magnetic Anomaly Grid compiled from satellite (Meyer et al.,  2017) for the Malvinas very probable giant impact structure a well superior anomaly was found and better definition than observed, using the same information, to the one characterized by the impact crater Chicxulub. The geological map of the Falkland Islands Government that was placed ontop of the modeling isostasy gravimetric map where the approximate circumference of the very probable peak-ring and the very probable rim-crest is highlighted. This information allows to see that the largest island (West Malvinas) would be part of the very probable peak-ring and the smaller island (East Malvinas) would be part of the very probable rim-crest; both separated by the depression that would correspond to the very probable annulus basin. Based on what was analyzed in the Malvinas Islands area, we concluded the Malvinas exhibited geophysics traits of a large ancient asteroid impact; i.e. Malvinas very probable giant impact structure. Very probable impact structure what could be among one of the world's largest impact crater.


Islas-Malvinas/Falkland-Islands, impact-basin, gravimetric-modeling, seismic-data

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