It’s confirmed: Decorah sits on meteorite crater

It’s confirmed. The city of Decorah sits atop a 470 million-year-old meteorite crater.

That’s according to scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey. They released a statement Tuesday indicating geophysical surveys conducted by airplane confirm rock studies. The results show Decorah is built on a buried ancient crater concealed beneath bedrock and sediment.

Decorah, known for its annual Nordic Fest celebrating its Norwegian heritage and a family of bald eagles watched by millions of Internet nature enthusiasts, now has a new claim to fame. It’s built on one of just 180 or so known impact craters on earth.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources geologists first made the discovery in 2008 after examining well drilling samples.

The crater appears to be about 3 1/2 miles wide and more than 700 feet deep.