3-D seismic characterization of a cryptoexplosion structure

J. Helen Isaac, Robert R. Stewart

Three-quarters of a circular structure is observed on three-dimensional (3-D) seismic data from James River, Alberta. The structure has an outer diameter of 4.8 km and a raised central uplift surrounded by a rim synform. The central uplift has a diameter of 2.4 km and its crest appears to be uplifted about 400 m above regional levels.

The structure is at a depth of about 4500 m. This is below the zone of economic interest and the feature has not been penetrated by any wells. The disturbed sediments are interpreted to be Cambrian. We infer that the structure was formed in Late Cambrian to Middle Devonian time and suffered erosion before the deposition of the overlying Middle Devonian carbonates.

Rim faults, probably caused by slumping of material into the depression, are observed on the outside limb of the synform. Reverse faults are evident underneath the feature and the central uplift appears to have coherent internal reflections. The amount of uplift decreases with increasing depth in the section. The entire feature is interpreted to be a cryptoexplosion structure, possibly caused by a meteorite impact.