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Vredefort Dome

Vredefort Dome

Vredefort Dome, approximately 120 km south-west of Johannesburg, is a representative part of a larger meteorite impact structure, or astrobleme. Dating back 2,023 million years, it is the oldest astrobleme yet found on Earth. With a radius of 190 km, it is also the largest and the most deeply eroded. Vredefort Dome bears witness to the world’s greatest known single energy release event, which had devastating global effects including, according to some scientists, major evolutionary changes. It provides critical evidence of the Earth’s geological history and is crucial to understanding of the evolution of the planet. Despite the importance of impact sites to the planet’s history, geological activity on the Earth’s surface has led to the disappearance of evidence from most of them, and Vredefort is the only example to provide a full geological profile of an astrobleme below the crater floor.

Dôme de Vredefort

Le dôme de Vredefort, à environ 120 km au sud-ouest de Johannesburg, est une partie représentative de la structure d’impact d’une météorite de très grande taille, ou astroblème. Datant de 2 023 millions d’années, c’est le plus ancien astroblème découvert sur Terre à ce jour. Avec un rayon de 190 km, c’est aussi le plus grand et le plus profondément érodé. Le dôme de Vredefort est le témoin de la plus grande libération d’énergie jamais connue sur la planète ; elle a causé des changements planétaires dévastateurs, parmi lesquels, selon certains scientifiques, des modifications majeures en termes d’évolution. Le dôme constitue un témoignage très important de l’histoire géologique de la planète et tient une place fondamentale dans notre compréhension de l’évolution de la planète. Les impacts de météorites ont joué un rôle important dans l’histoire de la Terre, mais l’activité géologique à la surface de la planète a conduit à la disparition des traces de la plupart des sites d’impact. Et le dôme de Vredefort est le seul exemple sur Terre qui fournisse un profil géologique complet d’un astroblème au-dessous du fond du cratère.

قبة فريدفورت

إن قبة فريدفورت الواقعة على مسافة 120 كلم جنوب غرب جوهانسبرغ هي جزء يدلّ على بنية الاصطدام التي أحدثها حجر نيزكي كبير الحجم بالأرض أو ندبة نيزكية. إنها الندبة الأقدم على الأرض حتى أيامنا هذه وتعود إلى 2.023 مليون سنة خلت. يبلغ شعاعها 190 كلم وهي الأكبر والأكثر تآكلاً. تشهد قبة فريدفورت على أكبر عملية تحرير للطاقة عرفتها الكرة الأرضية. فقد تسبب بتغييرات كونية مدمّرة من بينها، بحسب بعض العلماء، تغييرات كبيرة لجهة التطوّر. تشكّل القبة شهادة مهمة عن تاريخ الكرة الأرضية الجيولوجي ولها مكانة كبيرة في فهمنا لتطوّر الكرة الأرضية. لقد لعب اصطدام النيازك دوراً مهماً في تاريخ الأرض إلا أن النشاطات الجيولوجية على سطح الأرض قد أدّت إلى اختفاء آثار غالبية مواقع الاصطدام. تبقى قبّة فريدفورت المثال الأوحد على الأرض الذي يقدّم سمةً جيولوجيةً كاملة لندبة نيزكية تحت حفرة.

source: UNESCO/ERI

弗里德堡陨石坑

弗里德堡陨石坑距离约翰内斯堡西南方约120公里,是陨石撞击结构或陨石坑的具有代表性的景观,可以追溯到20.23亿年前,是迄今为止地球上发现的最古老的陨石坑,其半径为190公里,也是面积最大撞击程度最深的陨石坑。弗里德堡陨石坑证明了已知的世界上最大的能量释放事件,这次事件导致毁灭性的全球变化,一些科学家认为它还包括了主要的进化演变。它提供了地球地质史的重要证据,对了解地球进化至关重要。尽管地球表面的地质活动对地球的历史意义重大,但是也导致受撞击最严重的遗址证据的消失。弗里德堡陨石坑是地球上仅存的一处提供关于火口原以下的陨石坑的完整地质概况的遗址。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Астроблема Вредефорт

Объект, расположенный примерно в 120 км к юго-западу от Йоханнесбурга, является представительным фрагментом крупной метеоритной импактной структуры, или астроблемы. Возраст кратера – 2 023 млн. лет, т.е. это древнейшая астроблема из всех обнаруженных к настоящему времени на Земле. Радиус астроблемы– 190 км, т.е. это еще и самый крупный и наиболее обнаженный на глубину объект такого рода. Вредефорт известен как след самого мощного в истории Земли метеоритного удара, который привел к глобальным последствиям. Так, по мнению некоторых ученых, столкновение с метеоритом могло изменить весь ход развития нашей планеты. Объект хранит ценнейшие свидетельства геологической истории Земли, и позволяет нам лучше понять её эволюцию. В результате произошедших в земной коре геологических изменений большинство древних метеоритных кратеров уже исчезло, и на этом фоне Вредефорт является единственным на Земле объектом, на котором доступен для непосредственного изучения геологический разрез астроблемы ниже её подошвы.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Bóveda de Vredefort

La bóveda de Vredefort se halla a unos 120 km al sudoeste de Johannesburgo y es un sitio representativo del impacto de un meteorito o astroblema. El astroblema de Vredefort es el más antiguo (2.023 millones de años), el más grande (190 km de radio) y el más erosionado de todos los descubiertos en la Tierra. Es un testimonio excepcional del fenómeno de liberación de energía más importante ocurrido en nuestro planeta, que, según algunos científicos, provocó profundas alteraciones en la evolución. Constituye, por lo tanto, un testimonio fundamental de la historia geológica y es esencial para comprender su evolución. Los impactos de meteoritos desempeñaron un papel muy importante en la historia de la Tierra, pero la actividad geológica en la superficie de ésta ha hecho desaparecer el rastro de la mayoría de ellos. De ahí el carácter excepcional del sitio de Vredefort, porque es el único de todo el mundo que ofrece un perfil geológico completo de un astroblema debajo del fondo del cráter.

source: UNESCO/ERI

フレーデフォート・ドーム

source: NFUAJ

Vredefortkrater

De Vredefortkrater ligt ongeveer 120 kilometer ten zuidwesten van Johannesburg en is een representatief deel van een grotere meteorietinslagstructuur (astrobleem). Het is de oudste krater op aarde die tot op heden gevonden is, daterend van 2.023 miljoen jaar geleden. En met een straal van 190 kilometer geldt het ook als het grootste en meest diep uitgeholde astrobleem. De Vredefortkrater getuigt van het moment in de geschiedenis van de aarde waarop op één moment de meeste energie vrijkwam, met verwoestende mondiale gevolgen. De meteorietinslag biedt essentieel bewijs voor de geologische geschiedenis van onze planeet en is cruciaal om de evolutie van de aarde te begrijpen. Vredefort heeft als enige inslagplek ter wereld een volledig geologisch astrobleemprofiel onder de kraterbodem.

Source: unesco.nl

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Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The Vredefort Dome is 120 km south west from Johannesburg. The property represents a unique geological phenomenon formed about 2 023 million years ago and is the oldest and largest known meteorite impact structure on earth. Within the area, geological strata comprising the middle to upper zones of the earth’s crust, developed over a period of more than 3 200 million years are exposed. All the classical related characteristics of a large astrobleme are found in the property. This multi-ring structure formed by the impact scar illustrates the effect of shock metamorphism of rocks, transformation of crystal structures and shatter cones of the immense force created by the impact.

Criterion (viii): Vredefort Dome is the oldest, largest, and most deeply eroded complex meteorite impact structure in the world. It is the site of the world’s greatest single, known energy release event. It contains high quality and accessible geological (outcrop) sites which demonstrate a range of geological evidences of a complex meteorite impact structure. The rural and natural landscapes of the serial property help portray the magnitude of the ring structures resulting from the impact. The serial nomination is considered to be a representative sample of a complex meteorite impact structure. A comprehensive comparative analysis with other complex meteorite impact structures demonstrated that it is the only example on earth providing a full geological profile of an astrobleme below the crater floor, thereby enabling research into the genesis and development of an astrobleme immediately post impact.

Integrity

The serial World Heritage property which is about 30,111 ha, is made up of a main component area of 30,108 ha and 3 satellite components of 1 ha each. The property of the Vredefort Dome includes key geological (outcrop) sites which demonstrate classic complex meteorite impact structure phenomena. A comprehensive comparative analysis with other complex meteorite impact structures demonstrated that it is the only example on earth providing a full geological profile of an astrobleme below the crater floor, thereby enabling research into the genesis and development of an astrobleme immediately post impact. This serial property is surrounded by a 5 km buffer zone that is designed to ensure the property’s long term protection against external development threats.

Protection and management requirements

Provision of legal protection and the establishment and maintenance of an effective management system involving all relevant stakeholders are essential requirements for this property.

The national World Heritage Convention Act of 1999 is to be applied to the World Heritage property following the completion of the national designation process. Various legal instruments are also applicable to ensure the protection of the property: These pieces of legislation include the Environmental Conservation Act(Act No. 73 of 1989), the National Environmental Management Act(Act No. 107 of 1998), the Physical Planning Act(Act No. 88 of 1967), the Subdivision of Agricultural Land Act(Act No 70 of 1970), the Free State Township Ordinance(Ord. No. 9 of 1969), National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act(Act No 10 of 2004) and the Free State Nature Conservation Ordinance(Ord. No. 8 of 1969). In terms of these laws, all development within or outside the property is subjected to an environmental impact assessment. Once the World Heritage Convention Act also applies to this property, it will automatically be recognized as a protected area in terms of the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas (Act 57 of 2003). Protection in terms of the latter legislation also implies that mining or prospecting will be completely prohibited within the property or its buffer zone.  The management of the property is to be guided by a multi-stakeholder Vredefort Dome Steering Committee and carried out on an interim basis by the Vredefort Dome Inter-Provincial Task Team. A framework defining roles and responsibilities is required. The future Management Authority is to oversee the implementation of the integrated management plan, taking into account the existing State Party’s action plan and draft management guidelines regarding the coordination of land-uses, development pressures, visual integrity, presentation and visitation of this World Heritage property.

An integrated management plan is required for the serial property so as to address the critical issues of the enforcement of the special land use planning requirements for the private property farmlands within the serial property, the preservation of the aesthetic rural/natural landscape and the protection, presentation of and public access to the clearly defined key satellite components. These conditions are essential to ensure that active conservation management is possible.

Long Description

Vredefort Dome, approximately 120 km south-west of Johannesburg, is a representative part of a larger meteorite impact structure (astrobleme). Dating back 2,023 million years, it is the oldest astrobleme found on Earth so far. With a radius of 190 km, it is also the largest and the most deeply eroded. Vredefort Dome bears witness to the world's greatest known single energy-release event, which caused devastating global change, including, according to some scientists, major evolutionary changes. It provides critical evidence of the Earth's geological history and is crucial to our understanding of the evolution of the planet. Despite this, geological activity on the Earth's surface has led to the disappearance of evidence from most impact sites and Vredefort is the only example to provide a full geological profile of an astrobleme below the crater floor, allowing research into the genesis and development of an astrobleme immediately post-impact.

The site contains high quality and accessible geological (outcrop) sites that demonstrate a range of geological evidences of a complex meteorite impact structure. The rural and natural landscapes of the serial property help to portray the magnitude of the ring structures resulting from the impact.

 

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC