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Abstract: Why Petroleum Explorationist Should be on Lookout for Buried Fossil Craters

Henry B. Sawatzky

Five subsurface structures either within or adjacent to the Williston basin, reveal some of the essential earmarks of terrestrial impact craters. One (Viewfield, Saskatchewan) is a simple bowl-shaped crater, and the others are of the complex variety which in addition to the elevated outer rim also display a positive highly disturbed central core. Two of these features appear to be Late Cretaceous, or younger, in age and three are dated as Jurassic-Triassic.

The Red Wing Creek, North Dakota, and Viewfield, Saskatchewan, anomalies have yielded commercial oil production, the former from the central core and the latter from the outer rim. Some interesting hydrocarbon shows are indicated at the other sites and it could be argued that they have been explored inadequately.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90971©1976 AAPG-SEPM Rocky Mountain Sections 25th Annual Meeting, Billings, Montana