Serendipity: A search for lineaments finds impact craters?
In exploration for oil and gas, potential fields provide a costeffective
way to explore large areas. Euler deconvolution is an
established algorithm to extract features from potential fields.
We use an enhancement to the conventional Euler deconvolution
process designed to identify lineaments typically associated with
faults, fractures, etc. In examining these data, it was surprising
to observe circular features, in particular a very large feature in
the Texas Panhandle. Since the observed pattern was suggestive
of an impact site, known impact craters are examined to look for
similar expressions in the gravity field. Gravity measurements are
often used in analyzing impact sites due to changes in geology,
which can be quite varied and complex. The ability of this process
to extract small coherent signals from the data and to operate on
large areas makes it a useful tool in identifying impact sites and
other large circular features such as salt domes, calderas, etc. All
of these types of structures can be of scientific and economic interest.
The examination here is focused on impact structures.