Mauritania: Earth’s Bulls-Eye

If readers ever get into space, they may  find themselves looking for Mauritania, or its enormous Richat Structure, sometimes called ‘Earth’s Bulls-Eye’:

“This prominent circular feature in the Sahara desert of Mauritania has attracted attention since the earliest space missions because it forms a conspicuous bull’s-eye in the otherwise rather featureless expanse of the desert. Described by some as looking like an outsized ammonite in the desert, the structure [which has a diameter of almost 50 kilometers (30 miles)] has become a landmark for shuttle crews. Initially interpreted as a meteorite impact structure because of its high degree of circularity, it is now thought to be merely a symmetrical uplift (circular anticline) that has been laid bare by erosion.”

This prominent circular feature, known as the Richat Structure, in the Sahara desert of Mauritania is often noted by astronauts because it forms a conspicuous 50-kilometer-wide (30-mile-wide) bull’s-eye on the otherwise rather featureless expanse of the desert. Initially mistaken for a possible impact crater, it is now known to be an eroded circular anticline (structural dome) of layered sedimentary rocks.

See exciting NASA satellite pictures here.

 

About these ads

2 thoughts on “Mauritania: Earth’s Bulls-Eye

  1. Mauritania will enter the oil and gas map in a big way during the course of 2012 as existing players in the offshore fields finally capitalize on their assets.

    The impact on Mauritania will be great but, since Mauritania lacks the infrastructure to support O&G development, the impact on the region will be far greater.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s