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m : meteorite-list@meteoritecentral.com 11 July 2011 • 10:37PM -0400

[meteorite-list] 6 crater fields in central New Mexico:
by Paul H.

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In “[meteorite-list] 6 crater fields in central New Mexico:
Dennis Cox: Rich Murray 2011.07.09 at
http://six.pairlist.net/pipermail/meteorite-list/2011-July/078188.html
Rich Murray wrote:

“6 crater fields in central New Mexico: Dennis Cox: Rich Murray 2011.07.09

http://craterhunter.wordpress.com/

A Catastrophe of Comets
More New Mexico Craters
Rich Murray: I slightly adjusted the view locations.
They sure look like impact craters... “

No they do not look like meteorite craters. First, these featrues
lack the morphology, which would suggest that they might be
meteorite craters. The majority lack the circular or elliptical outline
that might characterize an impact crater. The majority of them
are far to irregular to be candidates for  impact craters. In addition,  
sinkholes can also have nice circular outlines as can be seen in
the Bottomless Lakes of Bottomless Lakes State Park about 14
miles southeast of Roswell, New Mexico.

The Bottomless Lakes are discussed at:

Bottomless Lakes State Park, New Mexico
http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/PRD/bottomless.htm

Kottlowski, F. E., 1979, Bottomless Lakes: New Mexico
Geology, vol. 1, pp. 57-58.

McLemore, V. T., 1999, Bottomless Lakes: New Mexico
Geology, vol. 21, no. 2, p. 51-55.
http://geoinfo.nmt.edu/tour/state/bottomless_lakes/home.html

Rawling, G., and D. J. McCraw, 2010, Geologic map of
the Bottomless Lakes quadrangle, Chaves County,
New Mexico. Open-file geologic map. no. 126. scale
1:24,000, New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral
Resources. Socorro, New Mexico.
http://geoinfo.nmt.edu/publications/maps/geologic/ofgm/details.cfml?Volume=126

Second, if a person looks at the regional topographic maps,
these features lack any sign of the rim that an impact crater
would typically have. Finally, geologists have looked
at these features and found them to be classic examples
of carbonate karst, which are developed in the alternating
layers of limestone and dolomite of the San Andres
Formation, which underlies this area.

What one of these sinkholes looks like near the ground
surface can be seen the web page for Fort Stanton Cave,
Lincoln County, New Mexico, at
http://www.fscsp.org/photos/entrance_aerial_view_1200.jpg
http://www.fscsp.org/

The cave is located at lat. 33.50673°, long. -105.4936248°
about 28 miles south of the above area of karst.

I have talked about these features before in:

[meteorite-list] Impact Crater in New Mexico – Part 2
Lincoln County Revisited, January 6, 2009,
http://six.pairlist.net/pipermail/meteorite-list/2011-January/072231.html

A couple of web pages:

Karst
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karst

Sinkhole
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinkhole

There might be an impact crater or few lost among all of these
sinkholes. However, distinguishing them from the sinkholes
and demonstrating that they are impact craters will take a lot
a field work. It is certainly something that will be impossible
to do simply from aerial imagery.

Rich Murray wrote:
“Ground samples may reveal evidence of blast and surface
melting and coating.”

A person can look if they want. I suspect that it such a search
will find a complete absence of any credible evidence “blast
and surface melting and coating.”

If a person wants to look for features to investigate as
possible impact craters, they can check out a reported
possible impact crater by Skotnicki (2009) within the
Lincoln 7.5 quadrangle, Lincoln County, New Mexico.

The reference is:

Skotnicki , S. J., 2009, Preliminary Geologic Map
of the Lincoln Quadrangle, Lincoln County, New
Mexico. scale: 1:24,000. Open‐file Digital Geologic
Map OF‐GM 188. New Mexico Bureau of Geology
and Mineral Resources, Socorro, New Mexico.
http://geoinfo.nmt.edu/publications/maps/geologic/ofgm/details.cfml?Volume=18
8
http://geoinfo.nmt.edu/publications/maps/geologic/ofgm/downloads/188/Lincoln_Rep
ort.pdf
http://geoinfo.nmt.edu/publications/maps/geologic/ofgm/downloads/188/Lincoln_v1p
-00.pdf

Rich Murray wrote:
“69 views are in:
https://www.dropbox.com/gallery/2268163/1/CraterField?h=c40610

A Cox
34.281890 -105.139342 1.755 km area el
just S of County Road 3Ka, which comes from
10M SW of 285
and then W and N to 54, 60, 285 just W of Vaughn --
22 M S of Vaughn
75 M NNW of Roswell
many craters .01 to 0.1 km size”

No craters. Just craterwrongs in the form of sinkholes.

Rich Murray wrote:
“B Cox
34.254942 -105.117973
10 M SW of 285
many craters”

No craters. Just more sinkholes.

Rich Murray wrote:
“C Cox
34.203891 -105.058533 1.674 km area el
9 M SW of 285
.05 km wide 4 m deep”

Even more sinkholes.

Rich Murray wrote:
“D Cox
34.191197 -105.027841 1.644 km area el
8 M SW of 285
.07 km size 13 m deep”
Just another sinkhole.

Rich Murray wrote:
“E Cox
34.207906 -105.02134 1.606 km area el
7 M SW of 285
.04 km wide 3 m deep”

Just another sinkhole.

34.207906 -105.02134
“F Cox
34.210453 -105.03963 1.645 km area el
8 M SW of 285
.05 km wide 4 m deep”

More sinkholes. :-)

Best wishes,

Paul H.
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