Luther College hosts lecture on the Decorah Impact Crater on April 4

March 28, 2019

Luther College will host two geologists from the Iowa Geological Survey as they give two public lectures on the topic of the Decorah impact crater at 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, in the Decorah Public Library and 9:40-10:50 a.m. Thursday, April 4, in Valders Hall of Science Room 206 on Luther’s campus.

These lectures are open to the public with no charge for admission.

Geologist H. Paul Liu from the Iowa Geological Survey and retired geologist Robert McKay will come to Decorah and Luther’s campus to discuss the discovery of the Decorah impact crater and the unique fossils that were preserved in the basin of the crater, including Pentecopterus decorahensis, a newly discovered ancient ‘sea scorpion.’

The crater, also called the Decorah impact structure, was mapped using electromagnetic techniques in 2010. The data from this study was the final step in realizing that Decorah sits on top of a three-and-a-half-mile crater created by a meteorite impact about 470 million years ago.

Liu holds a doctorate from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. McKay holds a bachelor of science degree with a focus on geology from Tulane University. He conducted his graduate studies at the University of Iowa.

The lectures are sponsored by Luther’s environmental studies department.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,005, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college’s website: