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Richat Structure

Satellite picture of the Richat Structure
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The Richat Structure is a prominent circular feature in the Sahara desert of Mauritania has attracted attention since the earliest space missions because it forms a conspicuous bullís-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. Paleozoic quartzites form the resistant beds outlining the structure.

Original entry was from the NASA Earth Observatory; [1]

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