Piccaninny crater

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Piccaninny crater
Piccaninny crater Western Australia.jpg
Landsat image of the deeply eroded remnant of Piccaninny crater (circular feature in centre); screen capture from the NASA World Wind program
Impact crater/structure
Diameter7 km (4.3 mi)
Age<360 Ma
LocationPurnululu (Bungle Bungle) National Park
Coordinates17°25′30″S 128°26′10″E / 17.42500°S 128.43611°E / -17.42500; 128.43611Coordinates: 17°25′30″S 128°26′10″E / 17.42500°S 128.43611°E / -17.42500; 128.43611
Country Australia
StateWestern Australia
Piccaninny crater is located in Western Australia
Piccaninny crater
Location of the crater in Western Australia
Oblique Landsat image draped over digital elevation data (x3 vertical exaggeration), eroded remnant of Piccaninny crater (circular feature in centre); screen capture from the NASA World Wind program

Piccaninny "crater" refers to an impact structure, the eroded remnant of a former impact crater, situated in northern Western Australia. It was named after Piccaninny Creek and lies within the Purnululu (Bungle Bungle) National Park.[1]


The site is marked by a circular topographic feature on top of the flat-topped sandstone and conglomerate Bungle Bungle Range, clearly visible on remotely sensed images (Google Maps image). When first reported in 1983 after aerial observation, it was interpreted as either an impact structure or a cryptovolcanic feature.[2] Later ground examination by E.M. and C.S. Shoemaker confirmed the presence of types of deformation confirming an impact origin.[3]

The circular topographic feature is 7 km in diameter, although due to the amount of erosion the original crater may have been larger. It has been estimated that the present land surface is 1–2 km below the original crater floor.[3] The impact event has not been dated, and must be younger than the Devonian age of the rocks in the area, but is clearly not recent because of the amount of erosion.


  1. ^ "Piccaninny". Earth Impact Database. University of New Brunswick. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  2. ^ Beere GM (1983). "The Piccaninny structure – a cryptoexplosive feature in the Ord Basin, East Kimberly". Geological Survey of Western Australia Record. 1983/6. GSWA download search Archived 2009-07-13 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ a b Shoemaker EM, Shoemaker CS (1985). "Impact structures of Western Australia". Meteoritics. 20: 754–756. PDF