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Noerdlinger Ries

The Nördlinger Ries is a depression in western Bavaria, Germany, located north of the Danube in the district of Donau-Ries.

The Ries is in fact a crater caused by a meteorite 14.8 million years ago. The depression has a circular shape and is 25 km in diameter. The bottom of the crater is about 100-150 m below the brink. The city of Nördlingen[?] is located in the middle of the crater.

The word "Ries" is not a German word; it is believed, that the term is derived from Raetia, since the tribe of Raetians lived in the area in pre-Roman times. The addition "Nördlinger" is actually redundant, as there is no other place called Ries.

In 1960 two American scientists, Eugene Shoemaker and Edward Chao[?], proved, that the depression was caused by a meteorite. Until then it was assumed, that the Ries was of volcanic origin.

For human settlement within the Ries region, see Donau-Ries.

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