Tookoonooka crater

Last updated
Tookoonooka crater
Australia Queensland location map.svg
Map pointer.svg
Location of the crater in Queensland
Impact crater/structure
Diameter55–66 km (34–41 mi)
Age 128 ± 5 Ma
Early Cretaceous
Location Eromanga Basin
Coordinates 27°7′S142°50′E / 27.117°S 142.833°E / -27.117; 142.833 Coordinates: 27°7′S142°50′E / 27.117°S 142.833°E / -27.117; 142.833
Country Australia
State Queensland
District South West

Tookoonooka is a large meteorite impact crater (astrobleme) situated in South West Queensland, Australia. It lies deeply buried within Mesozoic sedimentary rocks of the Eromanga Basin and is not visible at the surface. [1]



Tookoonooka was discovered using seismic data collected during routine petroleum exploration and first reported in a publication in 1989, [2] with proof of the impact theory coming from the discovery of shocked quartz in drill core. [3] Estimates of the crater diameter range from 55 km (34 mi) to 66 km (41 mi). [2] [3] The impact occurred during deposition of the Cretaceous Cadna-owie Formation, the age of which is variously estimated at being between 123 and 133 Ma, [2] [3] or 115–112 Ma. [4] Tookoonooka is associated with several small oil fields. [4]

Talundilly crater

The seismic data reveal a similar nearby structure of the same age referred to as Talundilly. [3] [4] [5] Although it seems likely that Tookoonooka and Talundilly are paired impact craters, proof that the latter is of impact origin is not possible without drilling. Another proposed paired impact craters are the larger West and East Warburton Basin structures in the nearby state of South Australia. [6]

See also

Related Research Articles

Chicxulub crater Prehistoric impact crater buried underneath the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico

The Chicxulub crater is an impact crater buried underneath the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. Its center is located offshore near the town of Chicxulub, after which the crater is named. It was formed when a large asteroid or comet about 11 to 81 kilometers in diameter, known as the Chicxulub impactor, struck the Earth. The date of the impact coincides precisely with the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary, slightly more than 66 million years ago, and a widely accepted theory is that worldwide climate disruption from the event was the cause of the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, a mass extinction in which 75% of plant and animal species on Earth became extinct, including all non-avian dinosaurs.


Bedout, or more specifically the Bedout High, is a geological and geophysical feature centered about 250 km off the northwestern coast of Australia in the Canning and overlying Roebuck basins. Although not obvious from sea floor topography, it is a roughly circular area about 30 km in diameter where older rocks have been uplifted as much as 4 km towards the surface and may mark the centre of a very large buried impact crater up to 250 km in diameter. The Bedout High was penetrated by two petroleum exploration wells in the 1970s and 1980s. It is named after nearby Bedout Island.

Acraman crater

Acraman crater is a deeply eroded impact crater in the Gawler Ranges of South Australia. Its location is marked by Lake Acraman, a circular ephemeral playa lake about 20 kilometres (12 mi) in diameter. The discovery of the crater and independent discovery of its ejecta were first reported in the journal Science in 1986. The evidence for impact includes the presence of shatter cones and shocked quartz in shattered bedrock on islands within Lake Acraman.

Ames crater

Ames crater is a meteorite crater (astrobleme) in Major County, Oklahoma, United States. It is about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) north of Ames, Oklahoma and 30 miles (48 km) southwest of Enid, Oklahoma. Buried under a thick layer of sediment, it was not discovered until 1991. Subsequent drilling within the crater, found a large amount of oil and gas. It is one of the largest of six meteor craters associated with oil-producing formations in the United States.

Boltysh crater

The Boltysh crater or Bovtyshka crater is an impact crater in the Kirovohrad Oblast of Ukraine, near the village of Bovtyshka. The crater is 24 kilometres (15 mi) in diameter and its age of 65.17 ± 0.64 million years, based on argon dating techniques, is within error of that of Chicxulub crater in Mexico and of the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary. The Chicxulub impact is believed to have caused the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous period, which included the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs. The Boltysh impact likely occurred several thousand years after Chicxulub, suggesting the extinction event may have been driven by multiple meteor strikes over an extended period of time about 65 million years ago.

Gosses Bluff crater

Gosses Bluff is thought to be the eroded remnant of an impact crater. Known as Tnorala to the Western Arrente people of the surrounding region, it is located in the southern Northern Territory, near the centre of Australia, about 175 km (109 mi) west of Alice Springs and about 212 km (132 mi) to the northeast of Uluru. It was named by Ernest Giles in 1872 after Australian explorer William Gosse's brother Henry, who was a member of William's expedition.

Mount Toondina crater

Mount Toondina crater is an impact structure, the eroded remnant of a former impact crater, located in northern South Australia in the locality of Allandale Station about 24 km (15 mi) south of the town of Oodnadatta. Mount Toondina is the high point of a circular topographic feature rising out of an otherwise relatively flat desert area of the Eromanga Basin. An impact origin was first suggested in 1976, challenging the earlier diapir hypothesis, and strongly supported by subsequent studies. A geophysical survey using gravity methods indicates an internal structure typical of complex impact craters, including an uplifted centre, and suggests that the original crater was about 3–4 km in diameter. The crater must be younger than the Early Cretaceous age of the rocks in which it is situated, but otherwise is not well dated. It has clearly undergone significant erosion since the impact event.

Obolon crater

Obolon' crater is a 20 km (12 mi) diameter buried meteorite impact crater situated about 200 km (120 mi) southeast of Kyiv in Ukraine . The site has been drilled, which revealed the presence of shocked minerals and impact melt rock; the high chlorine content of the latter suggesting that the area was covered by shallow sea at the time of impact. One estimate puts the age at 169 ± 7 million years.

Red Wing crater

Red Wing or Red Wing Creek structure is a meteor crater located in McKenzie County, North Dakota, about 24 km (15 mi) southwest of Watford City, North Dakota, United States.

Rochechouart crater

Rochechouart crater is an impact crater in France. The initial crater shape and structure has been lost by erosion and there is no crater visible on site; therefore it is more accurately described as Rochechouart impact structure.

Sierra Madera crater

Sierra Madera crater is a meteorite crater (astrobleme) in southwestern Pecos County, Texas, United States. The central peak of the rebound structure of the impact crater rises 793 ft (242 m) above the surrounding land. The peak is visible from U.S. Highway 385 between Fort Stockton, Texas and Marathon, Texas. The Sierra Madera crater is located on private property on the La Escalera Ranch.

Viewfield crater

Viewfield is an impact crater in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Woodleigh crater

Woodleigh is a large meteorite impact crater (astrobleme) in Western Australia, centred on Woodleigh Station east of Shark Bay, Gascoyne region. A team of four scientists at the Geological Survey of Western Australia and the Australian National University, led by Arthur J. Mory, announced the discovery in the 15 April 2000 issue of Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

Silverpit crater

Silverpit crater is a buried sub-sea structure under the North Sea off the coast of the island of Great Britain. The 20 km crater-like form, named after the Silver Pit — a nearby sea-floor valley recognized by generations of fishermen — was discovered during the routine analysis of seismic data collected during exploration for gas in the Southern North Sea Sedimentary Basin.

Serra da Cangalha

Serra da Cangalha is an impact crater in the State of Tocantins, near the border of Maranhão State, in north/northeastern Brazil. The crater is between 12 and 13 kilometres in diameter, making it the second-largest known crater in Brazil. Its age is estimated to be about 220 million years. The name means Pack-Saddle Mountains in Portuguese.

Clearwater Lakes Lake in northern Quebec, Canada

The Lac Wiyâshâkimî, also called the Clearwater Lakes in English, is a calque of Wiyâšâkamî in Northern East Cree and Allait Qasigialingat by the Inuit, are a pair of annular lakes on the Canadian Shield in Quebec, Canada, near Hudson Bay.

Cooper Basin

The Cooper Basin is a Permian-Triassic sedimentary geological basin in Australia. The basin is located mainly in the southwest part of Queensland and extends into north eastern South Australia. It is named after the Cooper Creek which is an ephemeral river that runs into Lake Eyre. For most of its extent, it is overlain by the Eromanga Basin. It covers 130,000 km².

Eromanga Basin

The Eromanga Basin is a large Mesozoic sedimentary basin in central and northern Australia. It covers parts of Queensland, the Northern Territory, South Australia, and New South Wales, and is a major component of the Great Artesian Basin. The Eromanga Basin covers 1,000,000 km² and overlaps part of the Cooper Basin.

Christian Koeberl

Christian Köberl is a professor of impact research and planetary geology at the University of Vienna, Austria. From June 2010 to May 2020 he was director general of the Natural History Museum in Vienna. He is best known for his research on meteorite impact craters.


  1. "Tookoonooka". Earth Impact Database . Planetary and Space Science Centre University of New Brunswick Fredericton . Retrieved 2017-10-09.
  2. 1 2 3 Gorter J.D., Gostin V.A. & Plummer P. 1989. The Tookoonooka Structure: an enigmatic sub-surface feature in the Eromanga Basin, its impact origin and implications for petroleum exploration. In: O’Neil B.J. (editor) The Cooper and Eromanga Basins, Australia: Proceedings of the Cooper and Eromanga Basins Conference, Adelaide, 1989, pp. 441–456. Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia, Society of Petroleum Engineers, Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SA Branches).
  3. 1 2 3 4 Gostin V.A. & Therriault A.M. 1997. Tookoonooka, a large buried Early Cretaceous impact structure in the Eromanga Basin of southwestern Queensland, Australia. Meteoritics and Planetary Science 32, 593–599. Abstract and full PDF
  4. 1 2 3 Gorter J.D. 1998. The petroleum potential of Australian Phanerozoic impact structures. APPEA Journal 38, 159–187.
  5. Longley I.M. 1989. The Talundilly anomaly and its implications for hydrocarbon exploration of Eromanga astroblemes. In: O'Neil B.J. (editor) The Cooper and Eromanga Basins, Australia: Proceedings of the Cooper and Eromanga Basins Conference, Adelaide, 1989, pp. 473–490. Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia, Society of Petroleum Engineers, Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SA Branches)
  6. World's largest asteroid impact zone found in Australia: Meteorite broke in two, leaving two craters each 200 km across. Mar 24, 2015