Including Original "Paul H. Letters" Copyright © 1996-2018 Paul V. Heinrich - All rights reserved.

Monday, 11 July 2011

RE: 6 crater fields in central New Mexico

 RE: 6 crater fields in central New Mexico

In “[meteorite-list] 6 crater fields in central New Mexico: 
Dennis Cox: Rich Murray 2011.07.09 at 
Rich Murray wrote: 

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

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 

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. 

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. 

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 

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, 

A couple of web pages: 



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.

Rich Murray wrote: 
“69 views are in: 

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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