Pantasma - Hypervelocity Impact Crater

Alternate Names Valle di Santa Maria di Pantasma (Rochette et al., 2019).
Local Language
Coordinates 13° 22' 12" N; 85° 57' 0" W
  1. Located in the volcanic Nicaragua Highlands. Structure is strongly dissected by the Pantasma River.
Country Nicaragua
Region Jinotega
Date Confirmed 2019
  1. Confirmed based on the presence of FRIGN zircon and coesite from impact glass (Rochette et al., 2019).
Buried? No
Drilled? No
Target Type Crystalline
  1. Oligocene volcanics surround the impact structure (Rochette et al., 2019).
Sub-Type Basalt
Apparent Crater Diameter (km) 14 km
Age (Ma) 0.804 ± 0.009
Notes :
  1. 0.804 ± 0.009 Ma determined by 40Ar/39Ar of impact glass (Koeberl et al., 2022)

Method :
  1. 40Ar/39Ar
Impactor Type Unknown

Advanced Data Fields


  1. Some of the rim remains and possible ejecta material may be preserved (Rochette et al., 2019).
Final Rim Diameter
Apparent Rim Diameter
14 km
  1. The circular structure has a diameter of ~14 km (Rochette et al., 2019).
Rim Reliability Index
  1. Located in a highly erodible and wet tropical area may have eroded the central peak, or peak is possibly buried (Rochette et al., 2019).
Crater Morphology
Central Uplift Diameter
Central Uplift Height
Uplift Reliability Index
Structural Uplift
Thickness of Seds
Target Age
Impactor Type
Other Shock Metamorphism
FRIGN zircon
  1. The presence of former reidite phase in zircon called FRIGN zircon was detected (Cavosie et al., 2018; Rochette et al., 2019).
Shatter Cones
  1. Pervasive fracturing but no convincing shatter cones were observed (Rochette et al., 2019).
Planar Fractures
  1. Quartz fragments from possible ejecta layer are strongly deformed with numerous planar fractures (Rochette et al., 2019).
Planar Deformation Features
  1. PDFs in quartz were not identified in possible ejecta layer samples (Rochette et al., 2019).
Diaplectic Glass
  1. Coesite was identified in impact glass using Raman spectroscopy (Rochette et al., 2019).
Crater Fill
  1. Polymict breccia at the centre of the structure contains altered melt fragments that broadly resemble suevite. Possible ejecta layer contains Palaeozoic rocks which would have originated hundreds of metres below the surface (Rochette et al., 2019).
Proximal Ejecta
Distal Ejecta
Volume of Melt
Depth of Melting


Spot a missing reference? Submit Reference

A J Cavosie, N E Timms, Ludovic Ferrière, P Rochette (2018) Former reidite in granular neoblastic zircon (FRIGN zircon) from the Luizi impact structure and proposed Pantasma structure, 49th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, p. Abstract 1816, Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Houston, TX

A J Cavosie, N E Timms, Ludovic Ferrière, P Rochette (2018) FRIGN zircon—The only terrestrial mineral diagnostic of high-pressure and high-temperature shock deformation, Geology 46(10), p. 891-894, Geological Society of America, doi:10.1130/G45079.1

P Rochette, R Alaç, P Beck, G Brocard, A J Cavosie, V Debaille, B Devouard, F Jourdan, B Mougel, F Moustard, F Moynier, S Nomade, G R Osinski, B Reynard, J Cornec (2019) Pantasma: Evidence for a pleistocene circa 14 km diameter impact crater in Nicaragua, Meteoritics and Planetary Science 901(4), p. 880-901, doi:10.1111/maps.13244

Matteo Masotta, Stefano Peres, Luigi Folco, Lucia Mancini, Pierre Rochette, Billy P. Glass, Fabrizio Campanale, Nicolas Gueninchault, Francesco Radica, Sounthone Singsoupho, Enrique Navarro (2020) 3D X-ray tomographic analysis reveals how coesite is preserved in Muong Nong-type tektites, Scientific Reports 10(1), Nature Research, doi:10.1038/s41598-020-76727-6

Pierre Rochette, Pierre Beck, Martin Bizzarro, Régis Braucher, Jean Cornec, Vinciane Debaille, Bertrand Devouard, Jérôme Gattacceca, Fred Jourdan, Fabien Moustard, Frédéric Moynier, Sébastien Nomade, Bruno Reynard (2021) Impact glasses from Belize represent tektites from the Pleistocene Pantasma impact crater in Nicaragua, Communications Earth and Environment 2(1), Nature Publishing Group, doi:10.1038/s43247-021-00155-1

Pierre Rochette, David Baratoux, Regis Braucher, Jean Cornec, Vinciane Debaille, Bertrand Devouard, Jerome Gattacceca, Matthieu Gounelle, Fred Jourdan, Fabien Moustard, Sébastien Nomade (2023) Linking a distal ejecta with its source crater: a probabilistic approach applied to tektites, Comptes Rendus - Geoscience 355, p. 145-155, Academie des sciences, doi:10.5802/crgeos.206