Remote Sensing, Structural and Rock Magnetic Analyses of the Ramgarh Structure of SE Rajasthan, Central India-Further Clues to Its Impact Origin and Time of Genesis

  • Saumitra MisraEmail author
  • Pankaj Kumar Srivastava
  • Md. Arif
Part of the Springer Geology book series (SPRINGERGEOL)


The Ramgarh structure of SE Rajasthan, central India, situated within an almost undeformed, flat-lying Vindhyan Supergroup of sedimentary rocks of Meso- to Neoproterozoic age, is a potential candidate of asteroid impact crater for last many decades. A fresh observation on remote sensing images (ASTER, Landsat and Google Earth Imageries) along with structural analyses in field show that this rectangular structure has a rim-to rim diameter of ~<2.5 km with a present diameter/depth ratio of ~12, a small central conical peak (~6 m high), and quaquaversal dips of rim crest sandstones with average dips between 21° and 50°. Unlike the surrounding sedimentary rocks, which only show two sets of wide-spaced (~2 m) vertical fractures trending NE-SW and NW-SE, the country rocks within the structure show extreme brittle deformation including vertical fractures in numerous directions, moderately dipping fractures trending mostly NE-SW and NW-SE, and moderate fault planes with N-S and E-W trends. The geometry of the Ramgarh structure is very similar to those of asteroid impact craters, where the profound brittle deformation of the sedimentary country rocks within the structure could have been resulted due to sudden shock during the impact. Reactivation of fractures existing within the pre-impact country rocks inside and adjacent to the Ramgarh structure by the shock effect is also possible. Our present observation on sub-samples from a cm-sized glassy silicate piece and our previous study on mm-sized particles, recovered from this structure, show that these magnetic materials have very high Natural Remanent Magnetization (NRM) (~2–19 Am−1) and NRM to saturation isothermal remanent magnetization ratio (REM) (~7–145%) indicating the presence of a high magnetic field during their formation, much higher than the ambient Earth’s magnetic field. A natural phenomenon that could generate a unique ring-shaped deformation structure on a monotonously flat-lying, undeformed sedimentary country rock as well as a high magnetic field in and around this structure is a hypervelocity asteroid impact. The rectangular shape of the Ramgarh structure, which resembles the Arizona Crater, USA, was resulted due to post-impact dextral slip along a NW-SE unnamed fault, followed by dextral NE-SW faulting and minor sinistral slip along E-W fracture. These fractures reactivated perhaps during the modification stage of evolution of the Ramgarh structure. Our remote sensing observation further confirms that the impact took place on the palaeo-channel of Parvati River, which is now displaced towards W due to impact.


Asteroid impact crater Sedimentary target rocks Brittle deformation Quaquaversal dip NRM and REM of glassy samples Parvati River 



The first author (S. M.) is grateful to PLANEX, Indian Space Research Organization, and NRF, South Africa (grant no. 91089) for supporting this research work. Special thanks to Anand Dube of India, for helpful guidance to the first author during the field work, to Horton Newsom of USA for his continuous encouragement during the progress of this research, and to Tesfaye Kidane for helping in stereoplot software. We are indebted to Dr. Soumyajit Mukherjee and an anonymous reviewer for their constructive comments on the early version of the manuscript.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saumitra Misra
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pankaj Kumar Srivastava
    • 2
  • Md. Arif
    • 3
  1. 1.Discipline of Geological Sciences, SAEESUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalDurbanSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of Petroleum Engineering and Earth SciencesUniversity of Petroleum and Energy StudiesDehradunIndia
  3. 3.Birbal Sahni Institute of PalaeosciencesLucknowIndia

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