The Real Story of Vredefort

By David P. Howcroft

fig a location of vredefort meteorite structure


At two hundred and eighty four kilometers in diameter, the Vredefort Meteorite Structure in South Africa, with its central rebound, the Vredefort Dome, is accepted as the largest known impact site on Earth. After 100 years it, as well as the Bushveld Complex and Zimbabwe’s Great Dyke, are still regarded as a mystery.


Radiometric dating in the core has been used to calculate the age at 2023 Ma. The nearby Bushveld Large Igneous Province, world renowned treasure chest of valuable minerals, is dated at 2054 Ma. The chrome and platinum-rich Great Dyke in Zimbabwe is dated as 2575 Ma.

As a result of the multi-million year age differences, members of the geological community do not consider that these three sub-crustal structures are connected, and, with +2000 Ma dates they certainly do not accept that Vredefort, Bushveld and Great Dyke could have had anything to do with the extreme events with worldwide effects from 214 Ma onwards.

Extreme Events from 214 Ma include:

My main hypotheses contend that the Vredefort Meteorite Impacts were part of a cluster that occurred in 214 Ma and were linked to:

I accept that the dating methods are accurate but contend that samples came from, or were contaminated by the Vredefort Structure rebound floor rocks and, in the case of the Bushveld Complex and Great Dyke, from the target layer of strata into which the minerals were intruded horizontally. This would account for the three separate 2 Ga ages for the same event and totally overshadow the true age of 214 Ma.

Any hypothesis must be tested on all points of observational fact. The balance of evidence must be strongly in its favor before it is even tentatively accepted and must always being able to meet the challenge of new observations and experiments(Patrick Hurley April 1968)


  1. Vredefort, the world’s largest meteorite impact structure (Fig. 1a)

  2. Earth impact effects, power and forces involved

  3. Asteroid belt, metallic meteorites and multiple impacts (Fig. 3a, b)

  4. Simple, complex and penetrative craters (Fig. 4a, b, c)

  5. Continental drift, Pangaea, glaciers, coal and sedimentation (Fig. 5a-e)

  6. The ripples of upturned strata, magma dykes and caves (Fig. 6)

  7. Witwatersrand basin, worlds largest deposits of gold (Fig. 1a)

  8. Bushveld Complex, worlds largest deposits, chrome, platinum, PGMs, vanadium, vermiculite and andalusite (Fig. 8)

  9. The Great Dyke of Zimbabwe (Fig. 9)

  10. The swathe of minerals south-west to north-east (Fig. 10a, b, c, d)

  11. The Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction (Fig.11)

  12. Karoo Mantle Plume (Fig. 12a, b)

  13. Continental drift 204 Ma till now (Fig.13a,b, c)

  14. The diamond ring (Fig. 14)

  15. Coal in crater and ripple valleys (Fig. 15)

  16. Dating; 2020 Ma, 2055 Ma & 2575 Ma or 214 Ma – to summarise

  17. Reference list

  18. Dr. Hans Merensky. The worlds greatest geologist

  19. Dr. Leslie Boardman

  20. About the author, David Parkinson Howcroft

Rev 20180907 Copyright (c) 2018 dave (at)