The Seismic Characterization of Meteorite Impact Structures

Michael James Mazur

This thesis examines the seismic characteristics of three possible nimpact craters and one confirmed impact structure. Using established seismic methods and impact crater scaling relations, an investigation of these features is undertaken. The largest structure examined here is the 24-km diameter Steen River impact feature in northwestern Alberta, Canada. This astrobleme has been imaged by more than 130 seismic lines to date. The second largest structure studied in this thesis is the 3.5-km Hotchkiss structure located approximately 300-km south of the Steen River impact structure. The three seismic lines imaging this feature clearly show many of the diagnostic features of a complex impact feature. The Muskingum structure in Ohio, USA is approximately 1.3 km across and possibly represents an impact crater within the simple-to-complex transition zone. The 2 km diameter Puffin structure is apparent on a 3 D seismic dataset acquired in the Timor Sea off the coast of northwestern Australia. Interpretation of this structure is inherently complex and indefinite due to extensive faulting in the area and due to the proximity of several kimberlite pipes to the study area.