Google Earth: Suspected Earth Impact Sites (KML)

NOTICE: The KML has been updated.

Impact IconA while ago I found the Impact Field Studies Group:

… The overall intent in forming IFSG is to bring together widely-separated researchers doing work at a variety of impact crater locations to share the observations and field experience for the common good of the impact community.

What’s most interesting about this group is that they’re maintaining a massive data base of 543 suspected Earth impact craters. Note the bold suspected! Now, you may know I’ve already converted the confirmed ‘Earth Impact Database’. You can imagine the former one just has Google Earth written all over it. So without further ado I present you:

All 499 Unconfirmed impact craters on earth,
Google Earth KML the SEIS Database in KML (144KB) (Mac users see note below!)

What’s in this database?
Well three times the dents you got from the confirmed one. Mostly small craters, but a few extremely large ones like the 800 km (~500 mile) Bangui in Africa (covering almost the entire Central African Republic). I had to skip a few because of lacking coordinates. Not all data is correct, as you may notice a few scattered in mid-ocean, just click the icon to find out where it should belong. It’s all a matter of garbage-in-garbage-out (apart from the few conversion mistakes made by me). I hope you’ll enjoy this one.

Bangui suspected impact crater

Silverpit suspected and disputed impact crater

A herd of suspected massive impact craters in Kazakhstan

Note: no network link this time as I didn’t want to polute the confirmed database and fear my little server won’t handle the load churning up 499 craters. 🙂

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR MAC USERS: I found out yesterday that this KML collection borks Google Earth for Mac. Please do not save it in your ‘My Places’ folder as it will work fine at first but after a restart you may loose all your placemarks! Because of some weird character bug, where otherwise fine KML data gets corrupted, it brings down your entire collection. Don’t ask me why or how. You can leave it in your ‘Temporary Places’ folder, just remember NOT to save it.
If you did get the corrupted ‘My Places’ you can get your placemarks back by visiting your ‘~/Library/Application Settings/Google Earth/’ folder (or something like that). Your placemarks file resides there and you may salvage what’s left of it.
Sorry, GE for Mac’s really Beta I guess. 🙁
It works fine on GE for PC, though!

Update 2006-02-21: I think it’s now safe for Mac users, provided you’ve updated to the latest beta.

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20 responses to “Google Earth: Suspected Earth Impact Sites (KML)”

  1. Dear Sir,
    I am the author of the SEIS database. I am very happy to see people picking it up. Your implementation for Google Earth is excellent. Not only for general look up of the structures but also for helping to improve the accuracy/precission of the coordinates.
    The structures in oceans you mentioned are not a mistake! They indeed occur there. There is, however, a lot of other inaccurate, missing and non verified information in the database. I am gradually working through it and the database is being updated periodically. If anyone notices someting suspicious please, please let me know.
    Sir, would you please contact me at I would like to discuss a possible collaboration on future updates.
    David Rajmon

  2. Hello David,

    Thank you(!) for collecting the data in the first place. When I did the ‘confirmed’ collection I also found that some impact craters where not spot-on. The general rule being, the smaller the crater, the more off place it is due to insufficient ‘resolution’ in the data. But GE is a tremendous help in checking ‘the facts’. As you have found yourself. (Assuming that the coordinates in GE are correct.)

    As for the ‘mid-ocean’ foul-ups, please see the southern part of the Indian Ocean with this set. You’ll find a few craters that should be in South-America (Argentina specifically). I meant those, not the ones like the Silverpit in the North-Sea.

    On the collaboration part, I’m interested. But please note that converting the way I did with this database is cumbersome. First I took your Excel-sheet, manually fixed/altered/added the data, converted it with a script to a CSV file, imported it to MySQL (several retries), adapted the ‘confirmed’ KML-script, output to browser, save as XML, import to Google Earth, constructed a single KML from several continents. Hardly an efficient way to handle things. 😉 So I do have some thoughts how to go about this. To be continued…

  3. Wetumpka Alabama is one of the 172 confirmed impact craters. Therefore it isn’t in the SEIS-database. Fortunately you can find the crater if you download the North American collection found on the Google Earth Impacts page. Don’t forget to download the other impacts though. 🙂

  4. Caspar,

    Thank you for putting this together. Coming from a completely biased point a view, I would very much like to see the Cuvette Central (Africa) proposed impact added to this work. It’s in the SEIS database but does not appear on your version. This feature may prove be one of the most significant tectonic features on Earth. Please see for more details. Thank you.


    Gregory Herman

  5. Hello Gregory,

    I am aware that the Google Earth version of the SEIS database is a bit behind. Only a year or so. That may seem a lot, but in geological terms… 😉

    Anyway, converting from SEIS to KML takes a bit of an effort. Thanks for the reminder though. I’ll look into it when I have/make some spare time.

  6. Sir,

    I’ve located a structure which I believe to be an impact crater, yet I do not find it listed in any of the databases I’ve been able to reference. I’d like to report it’s coordinates to any interested party for possible investigation/verification. Please forward any contact information. Thanks.


  7. I have noticed that many shoreline features combined with ocean floor topography give rather clear indication of craters that are not mentioned in any charts. The craters I am seeing are very large and combine features such as the arctic ocean floor topography combined with the shoreline of North America, Northern Siberia, and Europa giving a crater that appears to define the top of the planet, similar to the recently acclaimed Mars very large impact crater.

    Another is defined using Providence Island to the North tip of Madagascar as the center with the Coast of Africa on the west and the islands of Port Louis and Saint Denis to the South East rim.

    More would be the Gulf of Mexico formed by an angled impact coming in low over North America, The Caribbean sea area off the coast of Costa Rica.
    The Caribbean Sea area defined by Cuba on one side and the Yucatan on the other, Caymans forming the center.
    Hudson’s Bay in Canada with at least 3 craters combined.
    The Bearing Sea with the Aleutians forming the Southern rim.
    The Yellow Sea formed by at least 5 craters.

    The Bismarck Sea with New Britain and Manus Island forming most of the rim.
    The area directly South of Port Moresby has what appears to be 2 combined craters.

    Many others I am sure but those are obvious.

    Regards, Roy

  8. There seems to be other massive craters.

    Australian Bight – a tangential hit striking northerly on the south coast of Australia. It seems to have fused Ayers Rock, Uluru, located roughly mid continent and radial to the visual center of that shoreline. The formatiom Ayers is a mystery at present and popular belief is that it is the vestige of an ancient mountain range. The fact that it is a fused matrix of surrounding material sitting at an angle you would expect given this theory.

    My second point of interest is Sulu Sea (south of the Philippines). One edge is made up of the Philippines and the Mariana Trench. Another concentric ring is made up of Jakarta and Sumatra. There is one in the Phippine Sea with an arc of islands as well. This one seems to be mostly a sunken plate.

    Third is striking the west coast of Chili – radius point is around Easter Island.

  9. The earth must be as cratered as the moon. There are many large oval shapes visible on the earth’s surface. Many of the continental land mass have circular projections. Here are a few examples of large circular areas: a) area between Australia and Tasmania, b) the curve formed by Sicily and Italy, b) the Central Americ curves. There are also evidences for recent impacts such as lakes in straight lines. One easy to see example is the large lakes of North America: Great Bear Lake, Great Slave Lake and the Great Lakes. I have read that they were formed by glacial action but the formation is too well correlated to happen by chance.

  10. For what it is worth:
    In Google Earth, fly to:

    29°27’31.31″N 103°47’17.89″W

    This sure looks like an impact crater. Perhaps it isn’t, but..
    I could not find any current reference list of suspected craters or other place where I might post, and so am writing this here.


  11. I also believe I have located an impact site. Can anyone refer me to a database that lists all impact sites by lat/long? Is there a site where anyone in intrested in the reporting of such finds?


  12. Plate Tectonics does not explain circular features. To get a circular feature you need a point source radiating outwards. You get this with either an impact or volcanic explosion. The larger circular features are much too large to be explained by volcanic explosion. The most likely explanation is an impact. The major problem with the glacial explanation for the great north american lakes is than they form a straight line. How do you get a sheet of ice to carve a straight line thousands of miles long? I am thinking Shoemaker-Levy and Jupiter. Looks similar.

  13. Possible crater in Carroll Valley PA

    39°44’36.00″ N 77°29’30.00″ W

  14. I noticed an object labeled Big Basin, Kansas, USA at {23°14’23.85″N, 99°59’52.73″W} a location southeast of Matehuala, Mexico. I don’t know if my computer simply failed to properly read the KML or if this is an actual error but here it is anyways.

  15. Gentlemen:

    we are very glad that thanks to Dr Rajmon (his SEIS) and your GE, our results about Popigai and Chicxulub impact craters become more known. Below is reference and abstract to our paper published in 2010 in Solid Earth EGU. We continue in this work…..

    Best regards

    Jaroslav Klokocnik
    and co-authors

    Solid Earth, 1, 71–83, 2010
    © Author(s) 2010. CC Attribution 3.0 License.
    Solid Earth

    Candidates for multiple impact craters?: Popigai and Chicxulub as seen by the global high resolution gravitational field model EGM2008

    J. Klokoˇcn´ık1, J. Kosteleck´y2,3, I. Peˇsek3, P. Nov´ak2,4, C. A. Wagner5, and J. Sebera1,3
    1Astronomical Institute, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Ondˇrejov, Czech Republic
    2Research Institute for Geodesy, Topography and Cartography, Zdiby, Czech Republic
    3Department of Advanced Geodesy, Czech Technical University, Prague, Czech Republic
    4Department of Math., Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of West Bohemia, Pilsen, Czech Republic
    5Laboratory for Satellite Altimetry, NOAA, Silver Spring, MD, USA

    Published: 21 July 2010


    In 2008 the new Earth Gravitational Model (EGM2008) was released. It contains a complete set of
    spherical harmonic coefficients of the Earth’s gravitational
    potential (Stokes parameters) to degree 2190 and order 2159
    and selected orders to degree 2190, that can be used for evaluation
    of various potential quantities with both the unprecedented
    accuracy and high spatial resolution. Two such quantities,
    the gravity anomaly and second-order radial derivative
    of the disturbing potential, were computed over selected areas
    with known impact craters. The displays of these derivatives
    for two such sites clearly show not only the strong
    circular-like features known to be associated with them but
    also other symmetrical structures which appear to make them
    multiple impact sites. At Popigai, Siberia, the series of circular
    features fall in a line from the “primary crater” in the
    southeast (SE) direction. At Chicxulub, Yucat´an, there appears
    to be one more crater close to the “primary” in the
    northeast (NE) direction, as well as possibly others in the
    vicinity of the main crater (SW). Gravity information alone
    is not, however, proof of impact craters but it is useful in
    identifying candidate sites for further study, for examination
    by geologists and geophysicists. In the case of Chicxulub, a
    very recent single seismic profile suggests that a more likely
    explanation for the observed circular like gravity signal from
    EGM2008 NE of the “primary” is a pre-impact basin.

  16. I think I have found the impact crater remnant, responsible for unzipping the Atlantic Ocean.
    The crater remnants form two circular arcs, centred on Lough Coolin, near Galway, Ireland, the inner arc of about 75 miles radius, and the outer at 100 miles.
    Restoring Ireland, Newfoundland, and the Labrador coast to the -200Ma positions, matching remnants can be found on the coasts of Labrador and Newfoundland.

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