Goat Paddock, Western Australia: an impact crater near the simple –complex transition

Abstract

Goat Paddock in northern Western Australia is a *5 km-diameter impact crater of Eocene age excavated in gently dipping Proterozoic sandstones. Roughly radial gorges formed by post-impact erosion provide cross-sectional views of the wall and rim zone. The predominant structural theme is one of synclinal rim folding with broad zones in which bedrock strata were deformed by impact to steep, vertical and overturned attitudes. Impact breccia is found craterward of deformed bedrock, on top of it, and downdropped into fault troughs roughly concentric to the crater. The bedrock–breccia contact is sharp in some places and gradational in others. In at least one section, the entire mass of upturned bedrock and breccia was displaced radially over essentially undisturbed bedrock, as indicated by slickensides on the horizontal contact. Talus deposits are similar to breccia, but show rough size sorting and clast orientation that dips steeply craterward, indicating that the talus formed as slides down the oversteepened crater wall immediately after crater formation. Shatter cones in some clasts indicate that allogenic material is incorporated in these deposits. Suevite, characterised by ropy flow textures, and by microclasts of quartz with planar deformation features, planar fractures, and of vesiculated silica glass, was found overlying deformed bedrock at a point where the surface of the bedrock forms a nearly horizontal bench midway up the crater wall. The crater was at least partially filled by later sediments, represented by bedded conglomerate close to the crater wall grading inward to sand, silt and mudstone recovered by drillholes on the crater floor. Some of the talus and conglomerate occupy re-entrants in the crater walls, suggesting an original scalloped outline to the crater. Two drillholes, one central and one halfway to the wall, both reached brecciated sandstone after penetrating 210 m of lake sediments. Goat Paddock has a flat floor with no indication of a central uplift and a depth/diameter ratio of *0.073. This crater form, coupled with the modification of the crater walls by slumping and the scalloped outline of the crater rim suggests that Goat Paddock bridges the two traditional classes of impact crater: simple and complex.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Milton2005GoatPW, title={Goat Paddock, Western Australia: an impact crater near the simple –complex transition}, author={D. Jeff Milton and Francis A . Macdonald}, year={2005} }