An unusual curve in the Diamantina River near Winton could be caused by an asteroid strike from more than 250 million years ago.
Scientifically known as the Diamantina River ring feature, the site spans 120 kilometres in diameter on Woodstock Station and could have been caused by a 10 kilometre asteroid, according to former GeoScience researcher Andrew Glikson.
"The Diamantina River ring feature has been known for some time and people have wondered about it and how it came about," Mr Glikson said.
"While researching we found a magnetic signature associated with it and that became interesting, because when you have those magnetic circular features, with depth, it could be an asteroid."
Mr Glikson said while looking at the seismic data, there were some anomalies in the depth of the structure.
"There is disruption of depth in certain areas so based on that we started to study the structure in detail," he said.
"But since we conducted the research, there has only been shallow drilling and no deep drilling under the sedimentary cover of the Diamantina feature."
Mr Glikson said without deep drilling it was near impossible to prove what caused the feature 250 million years ago.
"If there is no drilling and we cannot get a rock sample from the basement there is not much more we can do to prove what has caused this," he said.
"To conduct further testing someone would need to fund money to conduct a deeper drill, but at the moment there is no economic incentive to do that. There is no one that can be convinced to spend the significant amount of money on it."
Mr Glikson said there were a number of circular features in the world but nothing as impressive at the Diamantina River ring feature.
"There still are a number of features that are circular and puzzling but the Diamantina feature is very distinct," he said.
"At the moment there is a circular structure there and we don't know what it is and it would be quite interesting to find out."
The Diamantina River ring feature could possibly be linked to another famous asteroid strike near Australia that occurred around the same time.
A 200 kilometre crater was located undersea off the north-west Australian coast where geologists believe the asteroid hit with the force of one million nuclear bombs, an impact that almost snuffed out life on earth.
Luann Becker, of the University of California at Santa Barbara, and colleagues at the Australian National University in Canberra said that her team had found fragments of a meteor in a geological layer that corresponded to the date of the Permian mass extinction 250 million years ago.
Analysis of geological cores drilled by oil companies prospecting in the region had also revealed convincing data to suggest that the crater was created by a massive object from outer space.
"The scientists have found melted rock and shocked-quartz crystals that contain the tell-tale fractures that they believe are the result of a cataclysmic collision involving a huge explosive force," Dr Becker said.
"The great dying at the end of the Permian period is the greatest of the five known mass extinctions. No type of life was spared: plants, insects, reptiles, fish, molluscs and microbes were all affected."
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