Serpent Mound crater

Coordinates: 39°2′N 83°24′W / 39.033°N 83.400°W / 39.033; -83.400
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Serpent Mound crater
Air photo showing the perimeter of Serpent Mound crater, in 1974
Impact crater/structure
Diameter8 kilometres (5.0 mi)
Age< 320 Ma
Oblique air photo of central Serpent Mound crater

Serpent Mound crater, also known as the Serpent Mound Disturbance,[1] is an eroded meteorite impact crater in Ohio, United States. It lies largely in Adams County, with the northern part mostly in Highland County, except for a small northeast part in Pike County.[2][3]

It is classified as a complex crater because it features a central uplift, a transition zone, and a ring graben (a ring-shaped trough in the outer part of the crater). Although eroded, the original rim diameter has been estimated at 8 km (5.0 mi) and the age is estimated to be less than 320 million years (Mississippian or younger).[2] However, a 2010 paper suggested that the maximum rim diameter is 14 kilometres (8.7 mi).[4]

The crater is named after the Serpent Mound, an effigy mound, located on a plateau in Brush Creek Valley within the crater. European-American explorers had already noted the unusual terrain in the 19th century, and it is often speculated that the odd geological features inspired Native Americans to construct the mound at that location.[5]

In 1980, the Serpent Mound Cryptoexplosive Structure was designated as a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service.[6]


  1. ^ Reidel, S.P.; Koucky, F.L.; Stryker, R.J (1982). "The Serpent Mound disturbance, south central Ohio". Am. J. Sci. 282 (9): 1343–1375. doi:10.2475/ajs.282.9.1343.
  2. ^ a b "Serpent Mound". Earth Impact Database. Planetary and Space Science Centre University of New Brunswick Fredericton. Retrieved 2012-02-07.
  3. ^ "Subsurface Geology of the Serpent Mound Disturbance of Adams, Highland, and Pike Counties, Ohio." Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological Survey. PDF Archived 2010-11-28 at the Wayback Machine (accessed 10 April 2007)
  4. ^ Milam, Keith A. (June 2010). "A Revised Diameter for the Serpent Mound Impact Crater in Southern Ohio" (PDF). The Ohio Journal of Science. 110 (3): 34–43. Bibcode:2011LPI....42.2797M. hdl:1811/52788. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Unearthing clues at Serpent Mound: Geologists find evidence of a meteor crash near prehistoric monument in Adams County". The Plain Dealer. March 3, 1997. p. 1A. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  6. ^ "National Natural Landmarks - National Natural Landmarks (U.S. National Park Service)". Retrieved 2019-03-26. Year designated: 1980

39°2′N 83°24′W / 39.033°N 83.400°W / 39.033; -83.400