The Elko crater field consists of two arrays of rimmed craters in the valleys of Dorsey, Susie, and McClellan Creeks, 30 to 50 km north of Elko, Nevada. In the principal array, more the 165 craters are scattered irregularly in an area 3 km wide and 20 km long. Most of the the craters are circular but some, formed by overlap, are oval or irregular. They range from 5 m to 250 m in diameter and the relief of the largest ones, from the sedimentary floor of the cater to the top of the rim, is at least 6 m. The surficial material of the rims is principally gravel similar to that in the surrounding terrane. The surficial material inside the craters is primarily silt, probably blown in by the wind, and pebbles, apparently washed in from the rims. There is also a later of volcanic ash at a depth of about 2 m. This ash was identified by its physical and mineralogical composition as the Mazama ash (R. E. Wilcox, oral commun., 1976), a ±6600 year old ash bed also present in the alluvium of Dorsey and Susie Creeks. The craters are presently interpreted as having been formed by a meteor shower although no meteor material has been discovered. Investigation is continuing.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Map showing the Elko crater field, Elko County, Nevada