Well of the Week – This was one way to make a mark in Manitoba

The discovery of astroblemes in conjunction with oil and gas exploration is always an interesting distraction. Enough impact craters have been discovered in the WCSB to make an entire Petro NinjaEnlighten Geoscience Well of the Week series on the subject.

Sawatzky (1977)

One that comes to mind for me is the Hartney Lake structure in southwestern Manitoba. I was in the process of mapping out sub-basins in the Lodgepole when I came across what appeared to be a repeated section in 100/01-28-005-24W1/00. I said to myself something along the lines of “That’s weird. Must be a bad logging job”. And I put the fiche for 100/01-29-005-24W1/00 into the reader (that is how long ago this was) and couldn’t even find the Mississippian in that well or in 100/06-29-005-24W1/00.

Sawatzky (1977)

Okay. Time to go to the library. The answer was found in Sawatzky (1977) and Anderson (1980). A big old meteor hit the area in the Jurassic. This event caused the sort of structural features you do not normally associate with the Williston Basin.

Anderson (1980)

The Hartney structure did not, alas, create a trap for hydrocarbons. Future articles will explore some that have.

O'Dale (2022)


Anderson C. E. (1980), A seismic reflection study of a probable astrobleme near Hartney, Manitoba Canadian Journal of Exploration Geophysics 16:7–18. https://csegjournal.com/assets/pdfs/archives/1980_12/1980_Anderson_C_manitoba_astrobleme.pdf[accessed 10-26-2022].

O’ Dale, C. https://craterexplorer.ca/hartney-structure/ [accessed 10-26-2022].

Sawatzky H.B. (1977). Buried impact craters in the Williston Basin and adjacent area Impact and Explosion Cratering p 461-480. https://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu//full/1977iecp.symp..461S/0000469.000.html [accessed 10-26-2022].

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