Chesapeake is a 35-Ma-old shallow-marine, complex impact structure with a diameter of approximately 85 km. The structure is completely buried beneath several hundreds of meters of postimpact sediments. Therefore, subsurface information can be obtained only from geophysical surveys and drill holes. Recently, deep drilling into the inner crater zone, at Eyreville near Cape Charles, was carried out in order to provide constraints on geophysical modeling and cratering processes in a multilayered marine target. We analyzed samples of the Eyreville core including postimpact, impact-produced, and basement-derived units in order to clarify the magneto-mineralogy, to provide physical parameters for better understanding the influence of the impact on the petrophysical and rock-magnetic properties, and to provide rock-magnetic data for magnetic modeling. Results show a complex behavior of physical properties of the lithologies in the Eyreville core due to different lithologies having been affected by shock-induced changes. Our data suggest that pyrrhotite and magnetite carry the magnetic properties in most of the core samples, whereas hematite is present in oxidized clays from the uppermost impact-generated unit (Exmore beds) and related sediment megablocks. The granitic megablock appears to be undeformed based on lack of brittle deformation in magnetite and petrophysically appears as a single block. In contrast, the impactite sequence below the megablock shows brittle deformation and magnetic fabric randomization, and the pyrrhotite in the associated schist fragments is strongly fractured. Thus, the Chesapeake Bay deep core provides an extraordinary opportunity to study the effect of impact on magnetite and pyrrhotite, the two main magnetic minerals creating crustal magnetic anomalies.
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