Editors: Kevin R. Evans, J. Wright Horton Jr., David T. King Jr., and Jared R. Morrow
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Large meteorite impacts are agents of sedimentation; sedimentary particles are generated through brecciation, which then are transported, emplaced, and deposited. Up until the 1960s, the geologic community largely regarded meteorite impacts as geologic sideshows and curiosities, which were inherently controversial. Today, it is widely recognized that large impacts have played a pivotal role in the evolution of Earth’s biota and sculpted the surface of the planet. Although the future holds risks of impact, ancient impact structures may also be viewed as resources, where breccia bodies and peripheral strata host accumulations of hydrocarbons and ore deposits. This Special Paper examines the sedimentary record of impacts, including the generation of impact melts in sedimentary target rocks; structures such as Chesapeake Bay, Gardnos, Lockne, Mjølnir, and Weaubleau; and distal deposits from the Alamo, Avak, and Chicxulub impacts.