Australian Geologist Accidentally Discovers Meteor Crater in Google Earth

Hickman Crater in Google EarthGeologist Arthur Hickman now has a meteor crater named after himself. He discovered Hickman Crater while looking for likely places to find iron ore in mountains in the western part of Australia. He sent a screenshot and the coordinates over to a colleague at Australian National University who later confirmed it is a well-perserved meteor crater between 10,000 and 100,000 years old. via ScienceAlert. You can see the crater in Google Earth here , or look at it with Google Maps.
This is not the first crater discovered with Google Earth. Two years ago a huge crater was discovered in the Saharan Desert with Google Earth.
If you want to start searching for craters in Google Earth, you might want to load this super-collection showing placemarks of known and suspected meteor craters on Earth . There are several folders which show various datasets of craters and some show the size of the craters as well. Also, be aware that not all things that look like meteor craters are. Besides the obvious volcano craters, there are other geological objects which appear as meteor craters but are not. Read this article from NASA.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. I wonder what other geographic novelties have been discovered on Google Earth.

  2. Man, that area looks like hell on earth. Zoom out a little.

  3. I still have a curiosity toward the lower bowl of Lake Michigan to be an actual crater — potentially a crater that could have occured that directly links the mini ice age that preceeded the disappearence of the Clovis inhabitants of North America.
    But unfortunately, there’s very little, if any, data resources to investigate the depths of the Great Lakes to determine whether Lake Michigan could have that potential. There’s too much dispute that the impact discussed occured in Canada — but the actual placement is disputed, because they speculate that it happened closer to the ice-damn formation or had occured on the ice-shelf itself.

  4. Pat Bailey says:

    I’ve been trying to find someone on the GE staff to field this question, and now’s the perfect time…
    Why is the Meteor Crater near Winslow AZ not shown in higher resolution? This is arguably the best-known, most easily recognized crater on Earth, and it’s sitting just about exactly one mile west of a much higher resolution area. Almost as tantalyzing on GE as Stonehenge was three or four years ago.
    35 deg 01 min 37.43 sec N
    111 deg 01 min 21.61 sec W.

  5. I agree, it is annoying when lots of places are still not in high definition, it makes exploring out of the way places much more difficult,
    i have come across one item that has me totaly baffled as to what it is,
    its at the edge of a mining area near the Bolivia/Chile border cordinates are 21’26’59,32S – 63,13’43, 63W and looks like the back bone of a bird with beak, except its over 1’000 meters long,
    i’m sure there is a simple explanation as to what it is, ???

  6. kittyhawk says:

    If that is a crater, which I seriously question, then I suspect there is a second crater located exactly 1,714 feet (center to center) SSW of this crater.

  7. I discovered a large ancient circular structure in a southeast state, I’m a private pilot, own a Piper Cherokee.
    It revealed itself to me after repeated passings,
    over a period of a few years. It is almost 5 miles wide. Nobody has the money to investigate it for now, I don’t really don’t know what to do next. Any ideas? I know it’s a crater by it’s characteristics. The Earth Impact Database people in Canada don’t have the time or the funds to mess with it right now. They are busy with their own craters in Canada. I reported it to them in 2008.
    It is as old as the Appalacian Mountains themselves, it is so old that a river runs through it and it blends in with the surrounding hills very nicely so that it has been hidden until now. It is so big there are farms on the INSIDE of it, and nobody knows it.
    I believe it to be a dual structure, since it looks like there is a small crater next to it so it came down in pieces, as many of them did.

Leave a Reply