The Gebel Kamil crater on Egypt’s southwest border, only 0.6km north of Sudan, has been placed on Egypt’s tourist map. The site is close to the national park of Gebel al-Uwainat and al-Gilf al-Kabeer, the stunningly beautiful site of ancient rock art.
The Kamil Crater is a meteorite impact crater 44.8m wide and 15.8m deep—this is the original depth, part of the crater is now covered with sand. It was located in 2008 using Google Earth satellite imagery by Vincenzo de Michele (former curator of the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milan in Milan, Italy).
The first geophysical study of the Kamil Crater was conducted during an Italian-Egyptian expedition undertaken in February 2010 as part of the 2009 Egyptian-Italian Science Year (EISY); the study proved the meteoritic origin of the crater. It is estimated to be less than 5,000 years old and shows a well-preserved rayed structure. The crater was produced by an iron meteorite that has been given an official name after the closest topographic feature in the area, Gebel Kamil, and which fragmented into thousands of pieces upon impact with the sandstone bedrock. The meteor is estimated to have been 1.3 metres wide and to have weighed 5,000 to 10,000kg, and is rich in Nickel and iron. Meteor fragments totalling 800kg were recovered during the geophysical expedition, the bulk of which are curated at the Egyptian Geological Museum in Cairo. Type specimens also are curated at the Museo Nazionale dell’Antartide at the University of Siena, and at the Museo di Storia Naturale at the University of Pisa.
13 May 2018