CIRIR Restitution 2020-La structure d’impact de Rochechouart et le CIRIR entrent dans les programmes de formation du LPI (Lunar & Planetary Institute)/Rochechouart impact and CIRIR become part of the LPI training program

Août 2020-Le CIRIR Restitution fait une grande avancée. Il est rejoint par le prestigieux LPI, aboutissement des échanges entrepris en 2018 par Philippe Lambert avec sa direction. LPI est un institut de recherche mondialement reconnu dans l’étude du système solaire et ses membres sont fortement impliqués dans la définition de la stratégie de la recherche des sciences planétaires aux États-Unis et dans la conception des missions d’exploration du système solaire. Créé en 1968, le LPI avait pour objectif initial d’encourager et de faciliter la coopération internationale autour de l’exploitation scientifique des échantillons collectés à la surface de la Lune par les astronautes américains et conservés à la NASA au Johnson Space Center à Houston-USA. Philippe Lambert qui y a travaillé au début des années 80 s’en est inspiré pour le CIRIR, avec des moyens beaucoup plus modestes et un objectif plus « ciblé », cependant avec une démarche analogue : encourager et faciliter la coopération internationale autour de l’exploitation scientifique des échantillons collectés à la surface… de la Terre, et un objectif voisin : renseigner, entre autres, la géologie de la Lune, Mars, et bien d’autres objets planétaires, et ce avec des couts de mission sans commune mesure avec ceux des missions spatiales.

Par ailleurs le LPI est fortement impliqué dans la communication scientifique et dans la formation en planétologie (formation des étudiants en planétologie du monde entier et formation des astronautes américains). Dans ce contexte, le LPI organise depuis plusieurs années, des programmes de formation dans deux sites d’impact, principalement au Meteor Crater, Arizona, USA et dans la structure d’impact de Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. Il vient d’ajouter le site d’impact de Rochechouart à sa liste en août 2020 et ce faisant renforce l’équipe Restitution du CIRIR.


August 2020-CIRIR Restitution makes a big step forward. He is joined by the prestigious LPI, the culmination of discussions undertaken in 2018 by Philippe Lambert with LPI. LPI is a globally recognized research institute in the study of the solar system and its members are heavily involved in defining the strategy for planetary science research in the United States and in the design of exploration missions of the solar system. Created in 1968, the LPI’s initial objective was to encourage and facilitate international cooperation around the scientific exploitation of samples collected on the surface of the Moon by American astronauts and curated at NASA-Johnson Space Center (Houston- Texas). Philippe Lambert, who worked there at the beginning of the 1980s, was inspired by it for the CIRIR, with much more modest means and a more “targeted” objective, however with a similar approach and aim: to encourage and facilitate international cooperation around the scientific exploitation of samples collected on the surface of… Earth, and a similar target: the geology of the Moon, Mars, and other planetary objects, yet with mission costs beyond comparison with those of space missions.

In addition, the LPI is strongly involved in scientific communication and training program. LPI is training students in planetology from all over the world and training American astronauts. In this context, the LPI organizes training at two impact sites in the world: Meteor Crater, Arizona, USA and Sudbury impact, Ontario, Canada. LPI added the Rochechouart impact structure to the list in August 2020.

«GIGA», un projet grand public sur les impacts à l’échelle de la planète-« GIGA » a worldwide project for education and training of the general public on asteroid impacts

GLOBAL IMPACT HERITAGE ASSOCIATION: A PROJECT SERVING THE PUBLIC AND IMPACT RESEARCH. P. Lambert1 . 1CIRIR – Center for International Research and Restitution on Impacts and on Rochechouart, F-87600 Rochechouart, France,,

Introduction: The why, who and how associating the globally existing structures to promote impact geoheritage amongst the public are discussed in preamble to the project “Global Impact Heritage Association” (name subject to change), intended for the benefit of the public worldwide, with positive impact on ground based planetary research.

Why: Impact cratering is a still relatively young and newly recognized geo-process (~60 years), and its nature, effects, and role are not well known by the public at large. Yet impact cratering is now widely acknowledged by the scientific community as a fundamental planetary process that occurred, and still occurs, throughout the solar system. Meteorites as the remnants of planetary bodies are abundantly affected by impact processes, and the large planetary objects of the solar system were essentially formed as the result of impacts. Eventually, impact craters are the most observed geo-form on the surface of most planetary objects (including the Moon, Mercury, much of Mars, and many other rocky and frozen bodies). Over the last decades it has also become apparent that impact events have profoundly affected the origin and evolution of Earth. The European Space Agency identifies asteroid impact as a major threat to Earth and focuses its 2019 strategy for renewed funding on this threat. The cataclysmic role of meteorite impact on evolution of life is also widely  recognized by the public. What has remained obscure, however, is the potentially fundamental “positive” role impact could have played regarding the development and evolution of life, both as a possible “carrier” of micro-organisms to seed Earth, and as a provider of environmental conditions favorable for the seeding with and/or the development of life on otherwise hostile planetary surfaces (including the early Earth). Recent space missions revealed that complex organic chemistry is active on a variety of planetary objects (including satellite Titan or comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko). Organic chemistry has become an active field of meteorite studies. It has been recently established that large impacts are capable of triggering hydrothermal activity on planetary surfaces without free water, a mechanism that may have resulted in transient giant lakes in large impact craters on Mars [1]. And finally, impacts can also produce economic ore deposits. Approximately one third of the meteorite impact structures confirmed on Earth hve major or significant economic resources. On the Moon, the impact mechanism is responsible for all materials exposed on its surface, and plans for mining the Moon’s resources necessarily need to consider the impact cratering process. While essentially incomplete due to erosion, sedimentation, and plate tectonics, the terrestrial impact cratering record is and will remain for many decades the best opportunity offered to mankind in the whole Solar System to conduct field work and laboratory studies towards improved understanding of the impact cratering process. In this context the need for elevating the level of awareness of impact cratering, and interest by the public on this topic is obvious. The scientific community and the funding available for research in this field are still rather small and both needs to be developed. This situation can be improved through sensibilization of the general public and other stakeholders.

This is precisely the core objective of the already existing outreach initiatives and structures dedicated to meteorite impact cratering. Our proposal is, thus, to gather the global forces toward that aim, bringing the existing and future structures together into a “win-win” partnership (see “How”).

Who: This association would primarily focus on structures (private and public) directly in contact with the public, i.e. museums, natural reserves and parks, and geoparks. With nearly 300,000 visitors/year, Meteor Crater Museum, a private structure, is way ahead of all others in terms of visitors’ numbers. The accessibility, the quality of the Museum and the perfectly-sized and preserved crater combine to make this site such a success. Next in line are the Ries crater museum and the Ries geopark in Germany, where the total number of visitors to both these institutions is more difficult to figure out but is estimated at some 50,000/year. The Ries Crater Museum in Nördlingen is ran by the state of Bavaria and the municipality. The Ries Geopark is a national institution that is run by the local district council. The next structures are about ten times smaller, with the Steinheim Meteor Crater Museum (Germany) that opened in 1978, run by the local communities, and the Paul Pellas Museum in Rochechouart dedicated to the Rochechouart impact structure. This facility is part of the “Réserve Naturelle Nationale de l’Astroblème de Rochechouart-Chassenon” primarly intended to protect the impact geoheritage. CIRIR, the publically funded international association for developing both the research and the restitution to the public is currently settling on site. CIRIR involves more than 70 specialists of geoheritage and impact research, and aims to bring the Rochechouart impact structure onto the World Heritage list. CIRIR and CIRIR-UNESCO project will boost the interest of the public and the stakeholders in the Rochechouart impact and in terrestrial impact structures, in general. A number of smaller visitor centers exist at a variety of impact sites such as, in no particular order, Odessa (Texas-USA), Charlevoix (Quebec-Canada), Campo del Cielo (Argentina), Gardnos (Norway), Lockne (Sweden), and Söderfjärden (Finland). Other plans for visitors centers exist at Vredefort and Tswaing in South Africa, with Vredefort being a designated but not effected World Heritage site, also at Siljan (Sweden), Chicxulub (Mexico), Wetumpka, and Flynn Creek (USA), Dellen and several other sites in Sweden, Karikkoselkä, Keurusselkä, Lappajärvi, Saarijärvi, and Summanen in Finland, Morasko in Poland, Bosumtwi (Ghana), and possibly others.

How: To be efficient the proposed association of outreach establishments must benefit all members, must be cost-efficient and without intellectual constraints. Ideally, the following rules should apply: no entry fees, all members would be equal and free to contribute on a voluntary basis, and for a win-win scenario. The geographical spread of the concerned structures is such that each could easily promote others without risking local or regional competition. The international dimension of the group and the respective visibilities of the members would then benefit others. Further benefits would come from exchanges (e.g., relevant information, news, return of experience…) in the group. Beyond “networking”, the sites could exchange “materials”. For instance, each associate could provide the others with “matter to show” related to their own site and or initiatives. The members could also combine assets, and possibly join for common initiatives (e.g., joint exhibition/event, specific development such as documentaries, software, and more…). For the developer, this would mean increased visibility, thus promotion of its site and initiatives. For the associate, it would provide collaborative input possibilities, use of materials from others, and the possibility to bring their aspects into the other development. Collaboration – but without obligation. Each member would decide and would be responsible for what he wants to provide to the others. In that context, some members could decide to join forces, or the whole group could join forces for specific projects, such as “a world tour of terrestrial impact craters”. With or without the contribution of the scientific community, the group could also collectively look for international support for some specific projects for education, cultural heritage and geo-tourism related to impact craters on Earth, eventually addressing broader issues and topics, such as preservation of our planet, or the policies to set at the world level in the context of the fast growing future for exploring and exploiting extraterrestrial natural resources (starting with the Moon).

Conclusion: The proposed world association of outreach structures (private and public) dedicated to terrestrial impact craters would benefit all. It would benefit the members by increasing their attractivity/visibility and increase their cost efficiency via mutualization of means and experiences. It would benefit the populations on site through geo-tourism and the public at large by increasing knowledge and quality of tuition about geological and biological processes. The association would serve science, by attracting the youth and motivating decision makers for reinforcing research in this field. In this context, the combined efforts can be seen and advertised as a service to humankind. Preliminary contacts have been made with the managers of the largest structures listed above and communication is in progress. Results will be reported at the conference. 

Acknowledgments: I am grateful to the host of friends and colleagues for support, constructive exchange and information, including Uwe Reimold, Drew Barringer, Jennie Wadsworth, Jens Ormo, Gisela Prosges, Elmar Bruckner, Susanne Schwenzer, Martin Schmieder, Paula Lindgren, David Kring, Carleton Moore, Bjorn Forsberg, Stefan Hölzl, Linda Wickstrom, Pierre Poupart and others who will hopefully forgive me for not being listed here.

References: [1] Abramov O. and Kring D. A. (2005) Journal of Geophysical Research 110, E12809, 19 p., doi: 10.1029/2005JE002453 [2] Lambert P. (2019), this conference

Large Meteorite Impacts VI 2019 (LPI Contrib. No. 2136)

Le CIRIR et Rochechouart à la 6ème édition de la “Large Meteorite Impact Conference” à Brasilia-Brésil, 30-09/3-10/2019-Rochechouart at the 6th “Large Meteorite Impact Conference” September 30-October 3, 2019, Brasilia, Brazil

Organisée tous 4 à 6 ans, cette conférence est en quelque sorte les « Jeux Olympiques » des « champions » de l’étude des cratères d’impact météoritique que compte la planète, et plus précisément des spécialistes de l’étude des cratères d’impact sur Terre. C’est à l’occasion de 4ème édition de cette manifestation, en 2008 en Afrique du Sud, que P. Lambert annonçait le projet de valorisation du Géopatrimoine « Impact de Rochechouart » comme « Laboratoire Naturel » à disposition de la communauté internationale pour la connaissance du phénomène dans le Système Solaire et au-delà. Ce projet s’est réalisé depuis. Le CIRIR créé en 2016 en est l’instrument. Les forages réalisés en 2017-2018 dans les sites de la Réserve Naturelle Nationale de l’Astroblème de Rochechouart Chassenon en sont une des réalisations concrètes, de mêmes que travaux présentés à l’occasion de cette manifestation, dont la liste est donnée ci-dessous :

Organized every 4-6 years, this conference is sort of “Olympics” of the “champions” of the studies of meteorite impact craters worldwide. It was at the 4th edition of theis conference that P. Lambert announced the project of making the Rochechouart Impact Geoheritage a Natural Laboratory made available to the community worldwide for understanding impact cratering in the Solar System and beyond. The CIRIR created in 2016, is the practical instrument toward that aim. The 2017-2018 drillings in the National Reserve are one of the practical results as are the presentations by CIRIR members at this conference, as listed below :

AN ERODED PEAK RING IMPACT RECORDING A TSUNAMI ON EARTH: ROCHECHOUART. P. Lambert1 . 1CIRIR-Center for International Research and Restitution on Impacts and on Rochechouart-87600 Rochechouart-France,,

CURRENT STAGE OF THE CIRIR RESEARCH AND OUTREACH AT ROCHECHOUART. P. Lambert1 . 1CIRIR-Center for International Research and Restitution on Impacts and on Rochechouart-87600 Rochechouart-France,,

MULTISCALE GEOELECTRICAL INVESTIGATIONS ON THE ROCHECHOUART/CHASSENON IMPACT BRECCIA. Y. Quesnel1 , P. Sailhac2 , J. Lofi3 , P. Pezard3 , P. Lambert4 , P. Rochette1 , M. Uehara1 , 1Aix-Marseille University, CNRS, IRD, INRA, Coll France, CEREGE, Aix-en-Provence, France (, 2GEOPS, Univ Paris-Sud, France, 3Geosciences Montpellier, Univ. Montpellier, France, 4CIRIR, Rochechouart, France.

CORE AND DOWNHOLE PETROPHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF THE ROCHECHOUART IMPACT ROCKS. P. Rochette1 , F. Demory1 , O. Cherait1 , L. Hervieu1 , B. Celerier2 , J. Lofi2 , P.A. Pezard2 , P. Lambert3 , Y. Quesnel1 , 1 Aix-Marseille University, CNRS, IRD, INRA, Coll France, CEREGE, Aix-en-Provence, France (, 2 Geosciences Montpellier, France, 3 CIRIR, Rochechouart, France.

MAPPING THE K, Th, U DISTRIBUTION AT THE ROCHECHOUART IMPACT STRUCTURE: INSIGHT INTO IMPACT-RELATED AND POST-IMPACT PROCESSES. D. Baratoux1 , C.A.B. Niang1,2,3, J. Lofi4 , P. Rochette5 , W.U. Reimold6 , P. Lambert7 , 1 Géosciences Environnement Toulouse, University of Toulouse, CNRS & IRD, 14, Avenue Edouard Belin, 31400, Toulouse, France. 2 Département de Géologie, Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal,, 3 Institut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal. 4 Geosciences Montpellier, Université de Montpellier Campus Triolet cc060Place Eugène Bataillon 34095 Montpellier, France. 5 Centre Européen de Recherche et d’Enseignement des Géosciences et de l’Environnement, Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS, IRD, CEREGE UM34, Aix en Provence, France. 6 Institute of Geosciences, Laboratory of Geodynamics, Geochronology and Environmental Science, University of Brasília, Brasília, Brazil.7 Center for International Research & Restitution on Impacts and on Rochechouart, 87600 Rochechouart, France.

GLOBAL IMPACT HERITAGE ASSOCIATION: A PROJECT SERVING THE PUBLIC AND IMPACT RESEARCH. P. Lambert1 . 1CIRIR – Center for International Research and Restitution on Impacts and on Rochechouart, F-87600 Rochechouart, France,,

Le CIRIR et Rochechouart au “European Planetary Science Congres-DPS Joint Meeting 2019” à Genève, Suisse, 15-20/09/2019-Rochechouart at the “EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2019” in Geneva, Switzerland, 15–20 September 2019

Organisé tous les ans, par Europlanet Society, conjointement avec la DPS (Division for Planetary Sciences de l’American Astronomical Society) tous les deux ans, ce congrès à rassemble à Genève 1730 participants de 52 nations. C’était l’occasion pour P. Lambert, les membres du CIRIR et Jean-Pierre Lebreton, président de ce Congrès, de présenter un projet ambitieux pour la valorisation du geopatrimoine Impact de Rochechouart auprès du grand public à l’échelle de la planète, en faire un lieu d’éducation et d’entrainement, à commencer pour les astronautes.
Organized each year by the Europlanet Society, jointly with DPS (Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society) every 2 years, the EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2019 was attended by 1730 participants from 52 countries. It was the ooportunity for P. Lambert, with the CIRIR consortium and Jean-Pierre Lebreton, president of this Congres, to present an ambitious project toward the empowerment of the Rochechouart impact geoheritage into the public by using the CIRIR facilities and means toward making the site a training and education site, stating with astronauts:

THE ROCHECHOUART IMPACT GEOSITE FOR RESEARCH, EDUCATION AND TRAINING Philippe Lambert (1), Jean-Pierre Lebreton (2, 3), and CIRIR consortium (1), (1) Center for International Research and Restitution on Impact and on Rochechouart, 87600 Rochechouart, France; (2) LPC2E, CNRS-Université Orleans-CNES, 45000 Orleans, France; (3) LESIA, Observatoire de Paris-Meudon, CNRS, 92195, Meudon, France,

In the prospect of future economic exploitation of the
Moon and asteroids which are made and permanently
reprocessed by impact, we address the potential for
utilizing Rochechouart impact as test site for studies,
and the field facilities and resources available on site
and for practical “immersive” training of astronauts,
administrations and industries on impact materials
and processes.
10.1029/2005JE002453, 2005

Le CIRIR et Rochechouart à la 82ème édition de l’“Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society” à Sapporo-Japon, 7-12/7/2019-Rochechouart at the 82th “Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society”, July 7-12, 2019, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan

Organisée tous les ans, cette conférence est avec la « Lunar & Planetary Science Conference », le rendez-vous annuel des spécialistes des cratères d’impacts de météorite depuis les années 60. C’est pour les chercheurs, l’occasion de présenter leurs derniers résultats. Deux communications par le CIRIR portant sur Rochechouart y étaient présentées.

Organized each year, this conference together with the « Lunar & Planetary Science Conference » is the annual “Rendez-Vous”of the specialist of impact cratering and terrestrial impact crater since le 60’s. It is the opportunity to present their latest results to the community. This year, 2 presentations on Rocchechouart by CIRIR members were presented :

“MISSION TO ROCHECHOUART” PROJECT: A REVIEW. P. Lambert1 and CIRIR Consortium2- 1CIRIR-Center for International Research and Restitution on Impacts and on Rochechouart-87600 Rochechouart-France,,

A SURVEY OF ZIRCON MICROTEXTURES IN THE ROCHECHOUART IMPACTITES A. Plan1 , P. Lindgren1, P. Lambert2.1Lunds University, Department of Geology, Sölvegatan 12, 223 62, Lund, Sweden, email: 2CIRIR – Center for international Research and Restitution on Impacts and onRochechouart, 87600 Rochechouart, France, email: