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Information

Name:Vredefort Dome
Area:Southern Africa
Country:South Africa
Registered Year:2005 
Type:Natural Heritage
Criteria:(vii)(viii)
See description of criteria
Brief Description:
Vredefort Dome, approximately 120km south west of Johannesburg, is a representative part of a larger meteorite impact structure, or astrobleme. Dating back 2,023 million years, it is the oldest astrobleme found on earth so far. With a radius of 190km, it is also the largest and the most deeply eroded. Vredefort Dome bears witness to the world’s greatest known single energy release event, which caused devastating global change, including, according to some scientists, major evolutionary changes. It provides critical evidence of the earth’s geological history and is crucial to our understanding of the evolution of the planet. Despite their importance to the planet’s history, geological activity on the earth’s surface has led to the disappearance of evidence from most impact sites and Vredefort is the only example on earth to provide a full geological profile of an astrobleme below the crater floor.

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