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The Petroleum Prospectivity of Impact Features: Investigating the Influence of Impact Sedimentation on Petroleum Systems

Katherine (Treena) Bron
Australian School of Petroleum, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia; [email protected]

In North America, studies of meteorite impact structures in hydrocarbon-producing basins have shown that they are excellent targets for oil & gas. Australia has experienced little investigation into the significance of meteorite impact events for hydrocarbon exploration, though Australia’s impact record is extensive. An estimated 2-5 times the presently identified number of terrestrial meteorite impact structures have not yet been recognized according to expected cratering rates; thus understanding impact structures & sediments as potential hydrocarbon traps is vital to evaluate & explore both the currently identified structures/deposits and future impact discoveries in petroleum exploration areas.

In this study, subsurface impact structures in sedimentary basins are investigated for their potential association with hydrocarbon systems. The confirmed Tookoonooka structure in the Eromanga Basin is the only known petroleum prospective impact structure in Australia.

The intended outcome of this project is to stratigraphically constrain the age of the impact using drillcore, petrographic and geochemical analyses to confirm the presence of an ejecta layer. Using seismic, well log data, and core logs, a stratigraphic correlation across the basin will then shed light on the impact’s relationship to petroleum systems within the basin. The relationship of proximal hydrocarbon fields to syn- and post-impact sedimentary processes will also be investigated.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90083 © 2008 AAPG Foundation Grants in Aid