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Sample records for interpreting impact crater

  1. The rayed crater Zunil and interpretations of small impact craters on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McEwen, Alfred S.; Preblich, Brandon S.; Turtle, Elizabeth P.; Artemieva, Natalia A.; Golombek, Matthew P.; Hurst, Michelle; Kirk, Randolph L.; Burr, Devon M.; Christensen, Philip R.

    2005-08-01

    A 10-km diameter crater named Zunil in the Cerberus Plains of Mars created ˜10 secondary craters 10 to 200 m in diameter. Many of these secondary craters are concentrated in radial streaks that extend up to 1600 km from the primary crater, identical to lunar rays. Most of the larger Zunil secondaries are distinctive in both visible and thermal infrared imaging. MOC images of the secondary craters show sharp rims and bright ejecta and rays, but the craters are shallow and often noncircular, as expected for relatively low-velocity impacts. About 80% of the impact craters superimposed over the youngest surfaces in the Cerberus Plains, such as Athabasca Valles, have the distinctive characteristics of Zunil secondaries. We have not identified any other large (⩾10 km diameter) impact crater on Mars with such distinctive rays of young secondary craters, so the age of the crater may be less than a few Ma. Zunil formed in the apparently youngest (least cratered) large-scale lava plains on Mars, and may be an excellent example of how spallation of a competent surface layer can produce high-velocity ejecta (Melosh, 1984, Impact ejection, spallation, and the origin of meteorites, Icarus 59, 234-260). It could be the source crater for some of the basaltic shergottites, consistent with their crystallization and ejection ages, composition, and the fact that Zunil produced abundant high-velocity ejecta fragments. A 3D hydrodynamic simulation of the impact event produced 10 10 rock fragments ⩾10 cm diameter, leading to up to 10 9 secondary craters ⩾10 m diameter. Nearly all of the simulated secondary craters larger than 50 m are within 800 km of the impact site but the more abundant smaller (10-50 m) craters extend out to 3500 km. If Zunil is representative of large impact events on Mars, then secondaries should be more abundant than primaries at diameters a factor of ˜1000 smaller than that of the largest primary crater that contributed secondaries. As a result, most small

  2. Lunar crater volumes - Interpretation by models of impact cratering and upper crustal structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Croft, S. K.

    1978-01-01

    Lunar crater volumes can be divided by size into two general classes with distinctly different functional dependence on diameter. Craters smaller than approximately 12 km in diameter are morphologically simple and increase in volume as the cube of the diameter, while craters larger than about 20 km are complex and increase in volume at a significantly lower rate implying shallowing. Ejecta and interior volumes are not identical and their ratio, Schroeters Ratio (SR), increases from about 0.5 for simple craters to about 1.5 for complex craters. The excess of ejecta volume causing the increase, can be accounted for by a discontinuity in lunar crust porosity at 1.5-2 km depth. The diameter range of significant increase in SR corresponds with the diameter range of transition from simple to complex crater morphology. This observation, combined with theoretical rebound calculation, indicates control of the transition diameter by the porosity structure of the upper crust.

  3. Impact Crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    Today marks the 45th anniversary of the dawn of the Space Age (October 4, 1957). On this date the former Soviet Union launched the world's first satellite, Sputnik 1. Sputnik means fellow traveler. For comparison Sputnik 1 weighed only 83.6 kg (184 pounds) while Mars Odyssey weighs in at 758 kg (1,671 pounds).

    This scene shows several interesting geologic features associated with impact craters on Mars. The continuous lobes of material that make up the ejecta blanket of the large impact crater are evidence that the crater ejecta were fluidized upon impact of the meteor that formed the crater. Volatiles within the surface mixed with the ejecta upon impact thus creating the fluidized form. Several smaller impact craters are also observed within the ejecta blanket of the larger impact crater giving a relative timing of events. Layering of geologic units is also observed within the large impact crater walls and floor and may represent different compositional units that erode at variable rates. Cliff faces, dissected gullies, and heavily eroded impact craters are observed in the bottom half of the image at the terminus of a flat-topped plateau.

    Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS

  4. Centrifuge impact cratering experiment 5

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    Transient crates motions, cratering flow fields, crates dynamics, determining impact conditions from total crater welt, centrifuge quarter-space cratering, and impact cratering mechanics research is documented.

  5. Impact crater scaling laws

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holsapple, K. A.

    1987-01-01

    Impact craters are numerous on planetary bodies and furnish important information about the composition and past histories of those bodies. The interpretation of that information requires knowledge about the fundamental aspects of impact cratering mechanics. Since the typical conditions of impacts are at a size scale and velocity far in excess of experimental capabilities, direct simulations are precluded. Therefore, one must rely on extrapolation from experiments of relatively slow impacts of very small bodies, using physically based scaling laws, or must study the actual cases of interest using numerical code solutions of the fundamental physical laws that govern these processes. A progress report is presented on research on impact cratering scaling laws, on numerical studies that were designed to investigate those laws, and on various applications of the scaling laws developed by the author and his colleagues. These applications are briefly reviewed.

  6. Impact Crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    The layering of material observed at the bottom of this impact crater suggests multiple depositional and erosional episodes in a changing environment.

    Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

  7. 3d morphometric analysis of lunar impact craters: a tool for degradation estimates and interpretation of maria stratigraphy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vivaldi, Valerio; Massironi, Matteo; Ninfo, Andrea; Cremonese, Gabriele

    2015-04-01

    In this study we have applied 3D morphometric analysis of impact craters on the Moon by means of high resolution DTMs derived from LROC (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera) NAC (Narrow Angle Camera) (0.5 to 1.5 m/pixel). The objective is twofold: i) evaluating crater degradation and ii) exploring the potential of this approach for Maria stratigraphic interpretation. In relation to the first objective we have considered several craters with different diameters representative of the four classes of degradation being C1 the freshest and C4 the most degraded ones (Arthur et al., 1963; Wilhelms, 1987). DTMs of these craters were elaborated according to a multiscalar approach (Wood, 1996) by testing different ranges of kernel sizes (e.g. 15-35-50-75-100), in order to retrieve morphometric variables such as slope, curvatures and openness. In particular, curvatures were calculated along different planes (e.g. profile curvature and plan curvature) and used to characterize the different sectors of a crater (rim crest, floor, internal slope and related boundaries) enabling us to evaluate its degradation. The gradient of the internal slope of different craters representative of the four classes shows a decrease of the slope mean value from C1 to C4 in relation to crater age and diameter. Indeed degradation is influenced by gravitational processes (landslides, dry flows), as well as space weathering that induces both smoothing effects on the morphologies and infilling processes within the crater, with the main results of lowering and enlarging the rim crest, and shallowing the crater depth. As far as the stratigraphic application is concerned, morphometric analysis was applied to recognize morphologic features within some simple craters, in order to understand the stratigraphic relationships among different lava layers within Mare Serenitatis. A clear-cut rheological boundary at a depth of 200 m within the small fresh Linnè crater (diameter: 2.22 km), firstly hypothesized

  8. Analytical Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopy of Laboratory Impacts on Stardust Aluminium Foils: Interpreting Impact Crater Morphology and the Composition of Impact Residues.

    SciTech Connect

    Kearsley, A T; Graham, G A; Burchell, M J; Cole, M J; Dai, Z R; Teslich, N; Chater, R; Wozniakiewicz, P A; Spratt, J; Jones, G

    2006-10-19

    The known encounter velocity (6.1kms{sup -1}) between the Stardust spacecraft and the dust emanating from the nucleus of comet Wild 2 has allowed realistic simulation of dust collection in laboratory experiments designed to validate analytical methods for the interpretation of dust impacts on the aluminium foil components of the Stardust collector. In this report we present information on crater gross morphology, the pre-existing major and trace element composition of the foil, geometrical issues for energy dispersive X-ray analysis of the impact residues in scanning electron microscopes, and the modification of dust chemical composition during creation of impact craters as revealed by analytical transmission electron microscopy. Together, these observations help to underpin the interpretation of size, density and composition for particles impacted upon the Stardust aluminium foils.

  9. Paleontological interpretations of crater processes and infilling of synimpact sediments from the Chesapeake Bay impact structure

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Self-Trail J.M.; Edwards, L.E.; Litwin, R.J.

    2009-01-01

    Biostratigraphic analysis of sedimentary breccias and diamictons in the Chesapeake Bay impact structure provides information regarding the timing and processes of late-stage gravitational crater collapse and ocean resurge. Studies of calcareous nannofossil and palynomorph assemblages in the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP)-U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Eyreville A and B cores show the mixed-age, mixed-preservation microfossil assemblages that are typical of deposits from the upper part of the Chesapeake Bay impact structure. Sparse, poorly preserved, possibly thermally altered pollen is present within a gravelly sand interval below the granite slab at 1392 m in Eyreville core B, an interval that is otherwise barren of calcareous nannofossils and dinocysts. Gravitational collapse of watersaturated sediments from the transient crater wall resulted in the deposition of sediment clasts primarily derived from the nonmarine Cretaceous Potomac Formation. Collapse occurred before the arrival of resurge. Low pollen Thermal Alteration Index (TAI) values suggest that these sediments were not thermally altered by contact with the melt sheet. The arrival of resurge sedimentation is identified based on the presence of diamicton zones and stringers rich in glauconite and marine microfossils at 866.7 m. This horizon can be traced across the crater and can be used to identify gravitational collapse versus ocean-resurge sedimentation. Glauconitic quartz sand diamicton dominates the sediments above 618.2 m. Calcareous nannofossil and dinoflagellate data from this interval suggest that the earliest arriving resurge from the west contained little or no Cretaceous marine input, but later resurge pulses mined Cretaceous sediments east of the Watkins core in the annular trough. Additionally, the increased distance traveled by resurge to the central crater in turbulent flow conditions resulted in the disaggregation of Paleogene unconsolidated sediments. As a

  10. Paleontological interpretations of crater processes and infilling of synimpact sediments from the Chesapeake Bay impact structure

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Self-Trail, Jean M.; Edwards, Lucy E.; Litwin, Ronald J.

    2009-01-01

    Biostratigraphic analysis of sedimentary breccias and diamictons in the Chesapeake Bay impact structure provides information regarding the timing and processes of late-stage gravitational crater collapse and ocean resurge. Studies of calcareous nannofossil and palynomorph assemblages in the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP)–U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Eyreville A and B cores show the mixed-age, mixed-preservation microfossil assemblages that are typical of deposits from the upper part of the Chesapeake Bay impact structure. Sparse, poorly preserved, possibly thermally altered pollen is present within a gravelly sand interval below the granite slab at 1392 m in Eyreville core B, an interval that is otherwise barren of calcareous nannofossils and dinocysts. Gravitational collapse of water- saturated sediments from the transient crater wall resulted in the deposition of sediment clasts primarily derived from the nonmarine Cretaceous Potomac Formation. Collapse occurred before the arrival of resurge. Low pollen Thermal Alteration Index (TAI) values suggest that these sediments were not thermally altered by contact with the melt sheet. The arrival of resurge sedimentation is identified based on the presence of diamicton zones and stringers rich in glauconite and marine microfossils at 866.7 m. This horizon can be traced across the crater and can be used to identify gravitational collapse versus ocean-resurge sedimentation. Glauconitic quartz sand diamicton dominates the sediments above 618.2 m. Calcareous nannofossil and dino-flagellate data from this interval suggest that the earliest arriving resurge from the west contained little or no Cretaceous marine input, but later resurge pulses mined Cretaceous sediments east of the Watkins core in the annular trough. Additionally, the increased distance traveled by resurge to the central crater in turbulent flow conditions resulted in the disaggregation of Paleogene unconsolidated sediments. As

  11. The terrestrial impact cratering record.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grieve, R. A. F.; Pesonen, L. J.

    1992-12-01

    Approximately 130 terrestrial hypervelocity impact craters are currently known. The rate of discovery of new craters is 3 - 5 craters per year. Although modified by erosion, terrestrial impact craters exhibit the range of morphologies observed for craters on other terrestrial planetary bodies. Due to erosion and its effects on form, terrestrial craters are recognized primarily by the occurrence of shock metamorphic effects. Terrestrial craters have a set of geophysical characteristics which are largely the result of the passage of a shock wave and impact-induced fracturing. Much current work is focused on the effects of impact on Earth evolution. Previous work on shock metamorphism and the contamination of impact melt rocks by meteoritic siderophile elements provides a basis for the interpretation of the physical and chemical evidence from Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary sites as resulting from a major impact. By analogy with the lunar record and modelling of the effects of very large impacts, it has been proposed that biological and atmospheric evolution of the Earth could not stabilize before the end of the late heavy bombardment ≡3.8 Ga ago. The present terrestrial cratering rate is 5.4±2.7×10-15 km-2a-1 for a diameter ≥20 km. On a gobal scale, a major impact sufficient to cripple human civilization severely will occur on time scales of ≡106a.

  12. Impact craters on Titan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wood, Charles A.; Lorenz, Ralph; Kirk, Randy; Lopes, Rosaly; Mitchell, Karl; Stofan, Ellen; Cassini RADAR Team

    2010-01-01

    Five certain impact craters and 44 additional nearly certain and probable ones have been identified on the 22% of Titan's surface imaged by Cassini's high-resolution radar through December 2007. The certain craters have morphologies similar to impact craters on rocky planets, as well as two with radar bright, jagged rims. The less certain craters often appear to be eroded versions of the certain ones. Titan's craters are modified by a variety of processes including fluvial erosion, mass wasting, burial by dunes and submergence in seas, but there is no compelling evidence of isostatic adjustments as on other icy moons, nor draping by thick atmospheric deposits. The paucity of craters implies that Titan's surface is quite young, but the modeled age depends on which published crater production rate is assumed. Using the model of Artemieva and Lunine (2005) suggests that craters with diameters smaller than about 35 km are younger than 200 million years old, and larger craters are older. Craters are not distributed uniformly; Xanadu has a crater density 2-9 times greater than the rest of Titan, and the density on equatorial dune areas is much lower than average. There is a small excess of craters on the leading hemisphere, and craters are deficient in the north polar region compared to the rest of the world. The youthful age of Titan overall, and the various erosional states of its likely impact craters, demonstrate that dynamic processes have destroyed most of the early history of the moon, and that multiple processes continue to strongly modify its surface. The existence of 24 possible impact craters with diameters less than 20 km appears consistent with the Ivanov, Basilevsky and Neukum (1997) model of the effectiveness of Titan's atmosphere in destroying most but not all small projectiles.

  13. Impact craters on Titan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wood, C.A.; Lorenz, R.; Kirk, R.; Lopes, R.; Mitchell, Ken; Stofan, E.

    2010-01-01

    Five certain impact craters and 44 additional nearly certain and probable ones have been identified on the 22% of Titan's surface imaged by Cassini's high-resolution radar through December 2007. The certain craters have morphologies similar to impact craters on rocky planets, as well as two with radar bright, jagged rims. The less certain craters often appear to be eroded versions of the certain ones. Titan's craters are modified by a variety of processes including fluvial erosion, mass wasting, burial by dunes and submergence in seas, but there is no compelling evidence of isostatic adjustments as on other icy moons, nor draping by thick atmospheric deposits. The paucity of craters implies that Titan's surface is quite young, but the modeled age depends on which published crater production rate is assumed. Using the model of Artemieva and Lunine (2005) suggests that craters with diameters smaller than about 35 km are younger than 200 million years old, and larger craters are older. Craters are not distributed uniformly; Xanadu has a crater density 2-9 times greater than the rest of Titan, and the density on equatorial dune areas is much lower than average. There is a small excess of craters on the leading hemisphere, and craters are deficient in the north polar region compared to the rest of the world. The youthful age of Titan overall, and the various erosional states of its likely impact craters, demonstrate that dynamic processes have destroyed most of the early history of the moon, and that multiple processes continue to strongly modify its surface. The existence of 24 possible impact craters with diameters less than 20 km appears consistent with the Ivanov, Basilevsky and Neukum (1997) model of the effectiveness of Titan's atmosphere in destroying most but not all small projectiles. ?? 2009 Elsevier Inc.

  14. Impact craters on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schaber, G. G.

    1991-01-01

    Compared with volcanism and tectonism, impact cratering on Venus has played an overall minor role in sculpting the present-day landscape. The study of Venus impact craters is vital to help place the chronology of the geologic features on the surface in the context of the planet's geological evolution. The degradation of impact craters also provides information on surface and interior processes, particularly alteration by tectonism and volcanism. Through orbit 1422, Magellan mapped about 450 impact craters, with diameters ranging from 2 to 275 km, within an area of about 226 million sq km, or 49 percent of the planet's surface. These craters and their associated deposits show surprisingly little evidence of degradation at the 75 m/pixel resolution of the Magellan SAR. Remarkably few craters in the Magellan images appear to be in the process of being buried by volcanic deposits or destroyed by tectonic activity.

  15. Interpreting the cratering record - Mercury to Ganymede and Callisto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woronow, A.; Strom, R. G.; Gurnis, M.

    1982-01-01

    A first analysis is presented of what the Galilean satellites' crater production function is, along with some interpretations of the conclusion. The basic premise is that the larger crater population of the lunar highlands is not at saturation density. The saturation issue is addressed, showing why the concept of saturation of lunar highlands can no longer be regarded as the best hypothesis, at least for large craters. The cratering records of Mars, Mercury, and the moon are reviewed and synthesized, and crater characteristics and statistics for Callisto and Ganymede are discussed and interpreted. It is shown that even the very densely cratered lunar highlands still retain considerable information about their production function; that remarkable similarities exist among the cratering histories of all of the terrestrial planets, both in terms of their production functions and of their total crater densities; and that the Gallilean satellites seem to have experienced quite a different impact history from that of the terrestrial planets.

  16. Experimental impact crater morphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dufresne, A.; Poelchau, M. H.; Hoerth, T.; Schaefer, F.; Thoma, K.; Deutsch, A.; Kenkmann, T.

    2012-04-01

    The research group MEMIN (Multidisciplinary Experimental and Impact Modelling Research Network) is conducting impact experiments into porous sandstones, examining, among other parameters, the influence of target pore-space saturation with water, and projectile velocity, density and mass, on the cratering process. The high-velocity (2.5-7.8 km/s) impact experiments were carried out at the two-stage light-gas gun facilities of the Fraunhofer Institute EMI (Germany) using steel, iron meteorite (Campo del Cielo IAB), and aluminium projectiles with Seeberg Sandstone as targets. The primary objectives of this study within MEMIN are to provide detailed morphometric data of the experimental craters, and to identify trends and characteristics specific to a given impact parameter. Generally, all craters, regardless of impact conditions, have an inner depression within a highly fragile, white-coloured centre, an outer spallation (i.e. tensile failure) zone, and areas of arrested spallation (i.e. spall fragments that were not completely dislodged from the target) at the crater rim. Within this general morphological framework, distinct trends and differences in crater dimensions and morphological characteristics are identified. With increasing impact velocity, the volume of craters in dry targets increases by a factor of ~4 when doubling velocity. At identical impact conditions (steel projectiles, ~5km/s), craters in dry and wet sandstone targets differ significantly in that "wet" craters are up to 76% larger in volume, have depth-diameter ratios generally below 0.19 (whereas dry craters are almost consistently above this value) at significantly larger diameters, and their spallation zone morphologies show very different characteristics. In dry craters, the spall zone surfaces dip evenly at 10-20° towards the crater centre. In wet craters, on the other hand, they consist of slightly convex slopes of 10-35° adjacent to the inner depression, and of sub-horizontal tensile

  17. Centrifuge Impact Cratering Experiments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmidt, R. M.; Housen, K. R.; Bjorkman, M. D.

    1985-01-01

    The kinematics of crater growth, impact induced target flow fields and the generation of impact melt were determined. The feasibility of using scaling relationships for impact melt and crater dimensions to determine impactor size and velocity was studied. It is concluded that a coupling parameter determines both the quantity of melt and the crater dimensions for impact velocities greater than 10km/s. As a result impactor radius, a, or velocity, U cannot be determined individually, but only as a product in the form of a coupling parameter, delta U micron. The melt volume and crater volume scaling relations were applied to Brent crater. The transport of melt and the validity of the melt volume scaling relations are examined.

  18. Problems in the interpretation of lunar mare stratigraphy and relative ages indicated by ejecta from small impact craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, R. A.; Brennan, W. J.; Nichols, D. J.

    1974-01-01

    The numbers of large ejecta blocks in excess of several meters in diameter ('blockiness') around the rims of small craters in southeastern Mare Serenitatis exceed those around similar craters in southern Mare Imbrium (and some other regions) at all but the final stages of crater degradation. Terrestrial explosion crater analogs, studies of impact processes, and a layered mare model suggest that the nature of the layering in the subsurface, including lavas, ejecta and buried regolith horizons, could account for the variable blockiness of crater ejecta and, possibly, for some variation in crater size-frequency distributions. Such effects would limit the reliability and utility of counting postmare craters for the purpose of estimating the relative ages of mare surfaces. Similarly, comparisons of the effects of progressive degradation on small impact craters to determine relative or absolute ages of individual craters may be limited by the influence of stratigraphy on ejecta fragment size distributions, which would in turn affect micrometeorite erosion rates and regolith production models.

  19. Impact Crater with Peak

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    (Released 14 June 2002) The Science This THEMIS visible image shows a classic example of a martian impact crater with a central peak. Central peaks are common in large, fresh craters on both Mars and the Moon. This peak formed during the extremely high-energy impact cratering event. In many martian craters the central peak has been either eroded or buried by later sedimentary processes, so the presence of a peak in this crater indicates that the crater is relatively young and has experienced little degradation. Observations of large craters on the Earth and the Moon, as well as computer modeling of the impact process, show that the central peak contains material brought from deep beneath the surface. The material exposed in these peaks will provide an excellent opportunity to study the composition of the martian interior using THEMIS multi-spectral infrared observations. The ejecta material around the crater can is well preserved, again indicating relatively little modification of this landform since its initial creation. The inner walls of this approximately 18 km diameter crater show complex slumping that likely occurred during the impact event. Since that time there has been some downslope movement of material to form the small chutes and gullies that can be seen on the inner crater wall. Small (50-100 m) mega-ripples composed of mobile material can be seen on the floor of the crater. Much of this material may have come from the walls of the crater itself, or may have been blown into the crater by the wind. The Story When a meteor smacked into the surface of Mars with extremely high energy, pow! Not only did it punch an 11-mile-wide crater in the smoother terrain, it created a central peak in the middle of the crater. This peak forms kind of on the 'rebound.' You can see this same effect if you drop a single drop of milk into a glass of milk. With craters, in the heat and fury of the impact, some of the land material can even liquefy. Central peaks like the one

  20. Fresh, Rayed Impact Crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-416, 9 July 2003

    This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a fresh, young meteor impact crater on the martian surface. It is less than 400 meters (less than 400 yards) across. While there is no way to know the exact age of this or any other martian surface feature, the rays are very well preserved. On a planet where wind can modify surface features at the present time, a crater with rayed ejecta patterns must be very young indeed. Despite its apparent youth, the crater could still be many hundreds of thousands, if not several million, of years old. This impact scar is located within the much larger Crommelin Crater, near 5.6oN, 10.0oW. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the left.

  1. Venus - Impact Crater 'Isabella

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    Crater Isabella, with a diameter of 175 kilometers (108 miles), seen in this Magellan radar image, is the second largest impact crater on Venus. The feature is named in honor of the 15th Century queen of Spain, Isabella of Castile. Located at 30 degrees south latitude, 204 degrees east longitude, the crater has two extensive flow-like structures extending to the south and to the southeast. The end of the southern flow partially surrounds a pre-existing 40 kilometer (25 mile) circular volcanic shield. The southeastern flow shows a complex pattern of channels and flow lobes, and is overlain at its southeastern tip by deposits from a later 20 kilometer (12 mile) diameter impact crater, Cohn (for Carola Cohn, Australian artist, 1892-1964). The extensive flows, unique to Venusian impact craters, are a continuing subject of study for a number of planetary scientists. It is thought that the flows may consist of 'impact melt,' rock melted by the intense heat released in the impact explosion. An alternate hypothesis invokes 'debris flows,' which may consist of clouds of hot gases and both melted and solid rock fragments that race across the landscape during the impact event. That type of emplacement process is similar to that which occurs in violent eruptions on Earth, such as the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption in the Philippines.

  2. Small Impact Crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    22 June 2005 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a small impact crater with a 'butterfly' ejecta pattern. The butterfly pattern results from an oblique impact. Not all oblique impacts result in an elliptical crater, but they can result in a non-radial pattern of ejecta distribution. The two-toned nature of the ejecta -- with dark material near the crater and brighter material further away -- might indicate the nature of subsurface materials. Below the surface, there may be a layer of lighter-toned material, underlain by a layer of darker material. The impact throws these materials out in a pattern that reflects the nature of the underlying layers.

    Location near: 3.7oN, 348.2oW Image width: 3 km (1.9 mi) Illumination from: lower left Season: Northern Autumn

  3. Visualization and Interpretation in 3D Virtual Reality of Topographic and Geophysical Data from the Chicxulub Impact Crater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosen, J.; Kinsland, G. L.; Borst, C.

    2011-12-01

    We have assembled Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) data (Borst and Kinsland, 2005), gravity data (Bedard, 1977), horizontal gravity gradient data (Hildebrand et al., 1995), magnetic data (Pilkington et al., 2000) and GPS topography data (Borst and Kinsland, 2005) from the Chicxulub Impact Crater buried on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. These data sets are imaged as gridded surfaces and are all georegistered, within an interactive 3D virtual reality (3DVR) visualization and interpretation system created and maintained in the Center for Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. We are able to view and interpret the data sets individually or together and to scale and move the data or to move our physical head position so as to achieve the best viewing perspective for interpretation. A feature which is especially valuable for understanding the relationships between the various data sets is our ability to "interlace" the 3D images. "Interlacing" is a technique we have developed whereby the data surfaces are moved along a common axis so that they interpenetrate. This technique leads to rapid and positive identification of spatially corresponding features in the various data sets. We present several images from the 3D system, which demonstrate spatial relationships amongst the features in the data sets. Some of the anomalies in gravity are very nearly coincident with anomalies in the magnetic data as one might suspect if the causal bodies are the same. Other gravity and magnetic anomalies are not spatially coincident indicating different causal bodies. Topographic anomalies display a strong spatial correspondence with many gravity anomalies. In some cases small gravity anomalies and topographic valleys are caused by shallow dissolution within the Tertiary cover along faults or fractures propagated upward from the buried structure. In other cases the sources of the gravity anomalies are in the more deeply buried structure from which

  4. Impact Cratering Calculations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahrens, Thomas J.

    2002-01-01

    Many Martian craters are surrounded by ejecta blankets which appear to have been fluidized forming lobate and layered deposits terminated by one or more continuous distal scarps, or ramparts. One of the first hypotheses for the formation of so-called rampart ejecta features was shock-melting of subsurface ice, entrainment of liquid water into the ejecta blanket, and subsequent fluidized flow. Our work quantifies this concept. Rampart ejecta found on all but the youngest volcanic and polar regions, and the different rampart ejecta morphologies are correlated with crater size and terrain. In addition, the minimum diameter of craters with rampart features decreases with increasing latitude indicating that ice laden crust resides closer to the surface as one goes poleward on Mars. Our second goal in was to determine what strength model(s) reproduce the faults and complex features found in large scale gravity driven craters. Collapse features found in large scale craters require that the rock strength weaken as a result of the shock processing of rock and the later cratering shear flows. In addition to the presence of molten silicate in the intensely shocked region, the presence of water, either ambient, or the result of shock melting of ice weakens rock. There are several other mechanisms for the reduction of strength in geologic materials including dynamic tensile and shear induced fracturing. Fracturing is a mechanism for large reductions in strength. We found that by incorporating damage into the models that we could in a single integrated impact calculation, starting in the atmosphere produce final crater profiles having the major features found in the field measurements (central uplifts, inner ring, terracing and faulting). This was accomplished with undamaged surface strengths (0.1 GPa) and in depth strengths (1.0 GPa).

  5. Impact Cratering Calculations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahrens, Thomas J.

    1997-01-01

    Understanding the physical processes of impact cratering on planetary surfaces and atmospheres as well as collisions of finite-size self-gravitating objects is vitally important to planetary science. The observation has often been made that craters are the most ubiquitous landform on the solid planets and the satellites. The density of craters is used to date surfaces on planets and satellites. For large ringed basin craters (e.g. Chicxulub), the issue of identification of exactly what 'diameter' transient crater is associated with this structure is exemplified by the arguments of Sharpton et al. (1993) versus those of Hildebrand et al. (1995). The size of a transient crater, such as the K/T extinction crater at Yucatan, Mexico, which is thought to be the source of SO,-induced sulfuric acid aerosol that globally acidified surface waters as the result of massive vaporization of CASO, in the target rock, is addressed by our present project. The impact process excavates samples of planetary interiors. The degree to which this occurs (e.g. how deeply does excavation occur for a given crater diameter) has been of interest, both with regard to exposing mantle rocks in crater floors, as well as launching samples into space which become part of the terrestrial meteorite collection (e.g. lunar meteorites, SNC's from Mars). Only in the case of the Earth can we test calculations in the laboratory and field. Previous calculations predict, independent of diameter, that the depth of excavation, normalized by crater diameter, is d(sub ex)/D = 0.085 (O'Keefe and Ahrens, 1993). For Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 (SL9) fragments impacting Jupiter, predicted excavation depths of different gas-rich layers in the atmosphere, were much larger. The trajectory and fate of highly shocked material from a large impact on the Earth, such as the K/T bolide is of interest. Melosh et al. (1990) proposed that the condensed material from the impact upon reentering the Earth's atmosphere induced. radiative

  6. Lunar Simple Crater Impact Melt Volumes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Plescia, Jeffrey B.; Barnouin, O. S.; Cintala, Mark J.

    2013-01-01

    Impact melt is observed in simple lunar craters having diameters as small as less than 200 m. The presence of ponds of impact melt on the floor of such small craters is interpreted to indicate vertical impacts. Data from the LRO LROC and LOLA experiments allow quantitative estimates of the volume of impact melt in simple crater. Such estimates allow for validation of theoretical models of impact melt generation and examination of target effects. Preliminary data have considerable scatter but are broadly consistent with the models.

  7. Impact Cratering Calculations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahrens, Thomas J.

    2001-01-01

    We examined the von Mises and Mohr-Coulomb strength models with and without damage effects and developed a model for dilatancy. The models and results are given in O'Keefe et al. We found that by incorporating damage into the models that we could in a single integrated impact calculation, starting with the bolide in the atmosphere produce final crater profiles having the major features found in the field measurements. These features included a central uplift, an inner ring, circular terracing and faulting. This was accomplished with undamaged surface strengths of approximately 0.1 GPa and at depth strengths of approximately 1.0 GPa. We modeled the damage in geologic materials using a phenomenological approach, which coupled the Johnson-Cook damage model with the CTH code geologic strength model. The objective here was not to determine the distribution of fragment sizes, but rather to determine the effect of brecciated and comminuted material on the crater evolution, fault production, ejecta distribution, and final crater morphology.

  8. Locating the LCROSS Impact Craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marshall, William; Shirley, Mark; Moratto, Zachary; Colaprete, Anthony; Neumann, Gregory A.; Smith, David E.; Hensley, Scott; Wilson, Barbara; Slade, Martin; Kennedy, Brian; Gurrola, Eric; Harcke, Leif

    2012-01-01

    The Lunar CRater Observations and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission impacted a spent Centaur rocket stage into a permanently shadowed region near the lunar south pole. The Sheperding Spacecraft (SSC) separated approx. 9 hours before impact and performed a small braking maneuver in order to observe the Centaur impact plume, looking for evidence of water and other volatiles, before impacting itself. This paper describes the registration of imagery of the LCROSS impact region from the mid- and near-infrared cameras onboard the SSC, as well as from the Goldstone radar. We compare the Centaur impact features, positively identified in the first two, and with a consistent feature in the third, which are interpreted as a 20 m diameter crater surrounded by a 160 m diameter ejecta region. The images are registered to Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter (LRO) topographical data which allows determination of the impact location. This location is compared with the impact location derived from ground-based tracking and propagation of the spacecraft's trajectory and with locations derived from two hybrid imagery/trajectory methods. The four methods give a weighted average Centaur impact location of -84.6796 deg, -48.7093 deg, with a 1s uncertainty of 115 m along latitude, and 44 m along longitude, just 146 m from the target impact site. Meanwhile, the trajectory-derived SSC impact location is -84.719 deg, -49.61 deg, with a 1 alpha uncertainty of 3 m along the Earth vector and 75 m orthogonal to that, 766 m from the target location and 2.803 km south-west of the Centaur impact. We also detail the Centaur impact angle and SSC instrument pointing errors. Six high-level LCROSS mission requirements are shown to be met by wide margins. We hope that these results facilitate further analyses of the LCROSS experiment data and follow-up observations of the impact region

  9. The Martian impact cratering record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strom, Robert G.; Croft, Steven K.; Barlow, Nadine G.

    1992-01-01

    A detailed analysis of the Martian impact cratering record is presented. The major differences in impact crater morphology and morphometry between Mars and the moon and Mercury are argued to be largely the result of subsurface volatiles on Mars. In general, the depth to these volatiles may decrease with increasing latitude in the southern hemisphere, but the base of this layer may be at a more or less constant depth. The Martial crustal dichotomy could have been the result of a very large impact near the end of the accretion of Mars. Monte Carlo computer simulations suggest that such an impact was not only possible, but likely. The Martian highland cratering record shows a marked paucity of craters less than about 30 km in diameter relative to the lunar highlands. This paucity of craters was probably the result of the obliteration of craters by an early period of intense erosion and deposition by aeolian, fluvial, and glacial processes.

  10. Impact crater degradation on venusian plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Izenberg, N. R.; Arvidson, R. E.; Phillips, R. J.

    1994-02-01

    In venusian plains, impact craters without extensive low backscatter ejecta deposits are more likely to have low backscatter floors, be embayed by volcanic deposits, and exhibit fractures as compared to craters with extensive low backscatter ejecta. We interpret these trends as evidence of ongoing degradation of low backscatter ejecta by aeolian activity, weathering, and volcanism. Using a crater age sequence based on extent of preservation of low backscatter ejecta, together with Monte Carlo simulations, we find that tectonic activity has extended over a longer time period than volcanism.

  11. Degradation studies of Martian impact craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barlow, N. G.

    1991-01-01

    The amount of obliteration suffered by Martian impact craters is quantified by comparing measurable attributes of the current crater shape to those values expected for a fresh crater of identical size. Crater diameters are measured from profiles obtained using photoclinometry across the structure. The relationship between the diameter of a fresh crater and a crater depth, floor width, rim height, central peak height, etc. was determined by empirical studies performed on fresh Martian impact craters. We utilized the changes in crater depth and rim height to judge the degree of obliteration suffered by Martian impact craters.

  12. Venus - Multiple-Floored, Irregular Impact Crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    Magellan imaged this multiple-floored, irregular impact crater at latitude 16.4 degrees north, longitude 352.1 degrees east, during orbits 481 and 482 on 27 September 1990. This crater, about 9.2 kilometers in maximum diameter, was formed on what appears to be a slightly fractured, radar-dark (smooth) plain. The abundant, low viscosity flows associated with this cratering event have, however, filled local, fault-controlled troughs (called graben). These shallow graben are well portrayed on this Magellan image but would be unrecognizable but for their coincidental infilling by the radar-bright crater flows. This fortuitous enhancement by the crater flows of fault structures that are below the resolution of the Magellan synthetic aperture radar is providing the Magellan Science Team with valuable geologic information. The flow deposits from the craters are thought to consist primarily of shock melted rock and fragmented debris resulting from the nearly simultaneous impacts of two projectile fragments into the hot (800 degrees Fahrenheit) surface rocks of Venus. The presence of the various floors of this irregular crater is interpreted to be the result of crushing, fragmentation, and eventual aerodynamic dispersion of a single entry projectile during passage through the dense Venusian atmosphere.

  13. Largest impact craters on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ivanov, B. A.; Weitz, C. M.; Basilevsky, A. T.

    1992-01-01

    High-resolution radar images from the Magellan spacecraft have allowed us to perform a detailed study on 25 large impact craters on Venus with diameters from 70 to 280 km. The dimension of these large craters is comparable with the characteristic thickness of the venusian lithosphere and the atmospheric scale height. Some physical parameters for the largest impact craters on Venus (LICV), such as depth, ring/diameter ratio, and range of ballistic ejecta deposits, have been obtained from the SAR images and the altimetry dataset produced by MIT. Data related to each of these parameters is discussed.

  14. Craters! A Multi-Science Approach to Cratering and Impacts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartmann, William K.; Cain, Joe

    This book provides a complete Scope Sequence and Coordination teaching module. First, craters are introduced as a generally observable phenomena. Then, by making craters and by investigating the results, students gain close-up, hands-on experience with impact events and their products. Real crater examples from the Moon and elsewhere are included…

  15. Impact Crater in Coastal Patagonia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    D'Antoni, Hector L; Lasta, Carlos A.; Condon, Estelle (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Impact craters are geological structures attributed to the impact of a meteoroid on the Earth's (or other planet's) surface (Koeberl and Sharpton. 1999). The inner planets of the solar system as well as other bodies such as our moon show extensive meteoroid impacts (Gallant 1964, French 1998). Because of its size and gravity, we may assume that the Earth has been heavily bombarded but weathering and erosion have erased or masked most of these features. In the 1920's, a meteor crater (Mark 1987) was identified in Arizona and to this first finding the identification of a large number of impact structures on Earth followed (Hodge 1994). Shock metamorphic effects are associated with meteorite impact craters. Due to extremely high pressures, shatter cones are produced as well as planar features in quartz and feldspar grains, diaplectic glass and high-pressure mineral phases such as stishovite (French 1998).

  16. Impact cratering through geologic time

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shoemaker, E.M.; Shoemaker, C.S.

    1998-01-01

    New data on lunar craters and recent discoveries about craters on Earth permit a reassessment of the bombardment history of Earth over the last 3.2 billion years. The combined lunar and terrestrial crater records suggest that the long-term average rate of production of craters larger than 20 km in diameter has increased, perhaps by as much as 60%, in the last 100 to 200 million years. Production of craters larger than 70 km in diameter may have increased, in the same time interval, by a factor of five or more over the average for the preceding three billion years. A large increase in the flux of long-period comets appears to be the most likely explanation for such a long-term increase in the cratering rate. Two large craters, in particular, appear to be associated with a comet shower that occurred about 35.5 million years ago. The infall of cosmic dust, as traced by 3He in deep sea sediments, and the ages of large craters, impact glass horizons, and other stratigraphic markers of large impacts seem to be approximately correlated with the estimated times of passage of the Sun through the galactic plane, at least for the last 65 million years. Those are predicted times for an increased near-Earth flux of comets from the Oort Cloud induced by the combined effects of galactic tidal perturbations and encounters of the Sun with passing stars. Long-term changes in the average comet flux may be related to changes in the amplitude of the z-motion of the Sun perpendicular to the galactic plane or to stripping of the outer Oort cloud by encounters with large passing stars, followed by restoration from the inner Oort cloud reservoir.

  17. Geology of five small Australian impact craters

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shoemaker, E.M.; Macdonald, F.A.; Shoemaker, C.S.

    2005-01-01

    Here we present detailed geological maps and cross-sections of Liverpool, Wolfe Creek, Boxhole, Veevers and Dalgaranga craters. Liverpool crater and Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater are classic bowlshaped, Barringer-type craters, Liverpool was likely formed during the Neoproterozoic and was filled and covered with sediments soon thereafter. In the Cenozoic, this cover was exhumed exposing the crater's brecciated wall rocks. Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater displays many striking features, including well-bedded ejecta units, crater-floor faults and sinkholes, a ringed aeromagnetic anomaly, rim-skirting dunes, and numerous iron-rich shale balls. Boxhole Meteorite Crater, Veevers Meteorite Crater and Dalgaranga crater are smaller, Odessa-type craters without fully developed, steep, overturned rims. Boxhole and Dalgaranga craters are developed in highly follated Precambrian basement rocks with a veneer of Holocene colluvium. The pre-existing structure at these two sites complicates structural analyses of the craters, and may have influenced target deformation during impact. Veevers Meteorite Crater is formed in Cenozoic laterites, and is one of the best-preserved impact craters on Earth. The craters discussed herein were formed in different target materials, ranging from crystalline rocks to loosely consolidated sediments, containing evidence that the impactors struck at an array of angles and velocities. This facilitates a comparative study of the influence of these factors on the structural and topographic form of small impact craters. ?? Geological Society of Australia.

  18. Venus - Lavinia Region Impact Craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    Three large meteorite impact craters, with diameters that range from 37 to 50 kilometers (23 to 31 miles), are seen in this image of the Lavinia region of Venus. The image is centered at 27 degrees south latitude and 339 degrees east longitude (longitude on Venus is measured from 0 degrees to 360 degrees east), and covers an area 550 kilometers (342 miles) wide by about 500 kilometers (311 miles) long. Situated in a region of fractured plains, the craters show many features typical of meteorite impact craters, including rough (bright) material around the rim, terraced inner walls and central peaks. Numerous domes, probably caused by volcanic activity, are seen in the southeastern corner of the mosaic. The domes range in diameter from 1 to 12 kilometers (0.6 to 7 miles). Some of the domes have central pits that are typical of some types of volcanoes. North is at the top of the image.

  19. Structural and Geological Interpretation of Posidonius Crater on the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishihara, Y.; Chiba, T.; Haruyama, J.; Otake, H.; Ohtake, M.

    2015-12-01

    Posidonius crater locates on northeastern rim parts of the Serenitatis basin and is a typical floor-fractured crater. Because of Posidonius is located lunar central nearside and easily observed by ground-base telescope, the complex texture of crater floor attracted planetary scientist attention from before lunar exportation era. However, origin or formation histories of floor fractures are not fully resolved yet. In this study, we try to estimate geologic histories of Posidonius crater based on topographic data and multiband image data obtained by Terrain Camera (TC) and Multiband Imager (MI) onboard Kaguya. A part of crater floor of Posidonius is flooded by mare basalt. Previous studies interpreted that the source of mare basalt is located somewhere at Mare Serenitatis and flooded into Posidonius crater, then sinuous rill (Rimae Posidonius) is the resulting structure of flooded basalt flow. However, based on TC topographic data, sinuous rill feature indicate opposite flow direction to previous interpretations. Based on TC topographic data, we could interpret topographic features as follows; Rimare Posidonius flow from volcanic vent located at northern edge of Posidonius crater floor and flow out to Mare Serenitatis at western rim, the central part of crater floor slightly leaned to west and broken in several regions. From band depth of MI data, eastern part of crater floor is mostly consisted by highland materials and complex rills are basically not showing the basaltic feature. Combined both analysis results, we interpret the cause of complex structure of Posidonius crater is as follows; after crater formation, large sill intruded below crater floor and uppermost layer of crater floor is delaminated from the basement then floats on basaltic intrusion as "otoshibuta" (Japanese style lid for stew). Complex fracture was probably formed delamination and flotation stage by mechanical stress.

  20. Venusian impact basins and cratered terrains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hamilton, Warren B.

    1992-01-01

    The consensus regarding interpretation of Magellan radar imagery assigns Venus a young volcanic surface subjected in many areas to moderate crustal shortening. I infer that, on the contrary, ancient densely cratered terrain and large impact basins may be preserved over more than half the planet and that crustal shortening has been much overestimated. I see wind erosion and deposition as far more effective in modifying old structures. Integration with lunar chronology suggests that most of the surface of Venus may be older than 3.0 Ga and much may be older than 3.8 Ga. Broad volcanos, hug volcanic domes, plains preserving lobate flow patterns, and numerous lesser volcanic features, pocked sparsely by impact craters, are indeed obvious on Magellan imagery. Some of these postvolcanic impact craters have been slightly extended, but only a small portion has been flooded by still younger lavas. Relative ages of the young craters are indicated by the varying eolian removal of their forms and ejecta blankets and flow lobes, and the oldest are much subdued. If these young impact craters, maximum diameter 275 km, include all preserved impact structures, then their quantity and distribution indicate that Venus was largely resurfaced by volcanism approx. 0.5 Ga, subsequent eruptions having been at a much reduced rate. Away from the approx. 0.5 Ga volcanic features, much of Venus is, however, dominated by circular and subcircular features, 50-2000 km in diameter, many of them multiring, that may be mostly older impact and impact-melt structures substantially modified by wind action. Eolian erosion scoured to bedrock old ridges and uplands, including those that may be cratered terrains and the rims and outer-ring depressions of large impact basins, and removed all surficial deposits to the limits of resolution of the imagery. The complementary eolian deposits form not only dunes, wind streaks, and small plains, but also broad radar-dark plains, commonly assumed to be volcanic

  1. Impacts into Sandstone: Crater Morphology, Crater Scaling and the Effects of Porosity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poelchau, M. H.; Dufresne, A.; Kenkmann, T.

    2011-03-01

    Crater morphology results from impact cratering experiments in sandstone within the MEMIN program are presented and compared to other brittle materials. The effects of porosity on crater shape, volume and cratering efficiency are analyzed.

  2. Why do complex impact craters have elevated crater rims?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kenkmann, Thomas; Sturm, Sebastian; Krueger, Tim

    2014-05-01

    Most of the complex impact craters on the Moon and on Mars have elevated crater rims like their simple counterparts. The raised rim of simple craters is the result of (i) the deposition of a coherent proximal ejecta blanket at the edge of the transient cavity (overturned flap) and (ii) a structural uplift of the pre-impact surface near the transient cavity rim during the excavation stage of cratering [1]. The latter occurs either by plastic thickening or localized buckling of target rocks, as well as by the emplacement of interthrust wedges [2] or by the injection of dike material. Ejecta and the structural uplift contribute equally to the total elevation of simple crater rims. The cause of elevated crater rims of large complex craters [3] is less obvious, but still, the rim height scales with the final crater diameter. Depending on crater size, gravity, and target rheology, the final crater rim of complex craters can be situated up to 1.5-2.0 transient crater radii distance from the crater center. Here the thickness of the ejecta blanket is only a fraction of that occurring at the rim of simple craters, e.g. [4], and thus cannot account for a strong elevation. Likewise, plastic thickening including dike injection of the underlying target may not play a significant role at this distance any more. We started to systematically investigate the structural uplift and ejecta thickness along the rim of complex impact craters to understand the cause of their elevation. Our studies of two lunar craters (Bessel, 16 km diameter and Euler, 28 km diameter) [5] and one unnamed complex martian crater (16 km diameter) [6] showed that the structural uplift at the final crater rim makes 56-67% of the total rim elevation while the ejecta thickness contributes 33-44%. Thus with increasing distance from the transient cavity rim, the structural uplift seems to dominate. As dike injection and plastic thickening are unlikely at such a distance from the transient cavity, we propose that

  3. Keeping that youthful look. [impact cratering of Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Solomon, Sean C.

    1993-01-01

    The record of impact cratering on Venus, recently revealed from high-resolution radar imaging by the Magellan spacecraft, has been interpreted as indicating that the planet underwent catastrophic global resurfacing about 500 million years ago. Although other interpretations of the crater characteristics have been suggested, the possibility of geologically rapid global resurfacing on the planet that most resembles our own in terms of mass, density, and bulk composition has generated widespread interest. The mechanisms that could cause such a catastrophe are discussed.

  4. The Explorer's Guide to Impact Craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chuang, F.; Pierazzo, E.; Osinski, G.

    2005-01-01

    Impact cratering is a fundamental geologic process of our solar system. It competes with other processes, such as plate tectonics, volcanism, fluvial, glacial and eolian activity, in shaping the surfaces of planetary bodies. In some cases, like the Moon and Mercury, impact craters are the dominant landform. On other planetary bodies impact craters are being continuously erased by the action of other geological processes, like volcanism on Io, erosion and plate tectonics on the Earth, tectonic and volcanic resurfacing on Venus, or ancient erosion periods on Mars. The study of crater populations is one of the principal tools for understanding the geologic history of a planetary surface. Among the general public, impact cratering has drawn wide attention through its portrayal in several Hollywood movies. Questions that are raised after watching these movies include: How do scientists learn about impact cratering? , and What information do impact craters provide in understanding the evolution of a planetary surface? Fundamental approaches used by scientists to learn about impact cratering include field work at known terrestrial craters, remote sensing studies of craters on various solid surfaces of solar system bodies, and theoretical and laboratory studies using the known physics of impact cratering.

  5. Backyard bolides: finding a buried impact crater.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poag, C. W.

    1998-10-01

    The author reports the scientific activities that led to his discovery of a huge submerged impact crater in Chesapeake Bay, some 140 km east of Atlantic City, New Jersey. This crater, buried under 350 m of sediment is 80 km wide and almost 1 km deep. Microfossil evidence shows that the crater is approximately 35 million years old. The author futher identified 14 small secondary craters with diamters of 0.4 to 0.5 km diameter within 60 km of the primary crater. These were caused by the impact of huge blocks of material ejected by the primary impact event. In addition, the author identified an intermediate-size primary crater (19 km diameter) in Toms Canyon, some 300 km from the Chesapeake crater and, again from microfossil evidence, identical in age.

  6. Noachian and more recent phyllosilicates in impact craters on Mars

    PubMed Central

    Fairén, Alberto G.; Chevrier, Vincent; Abramov, Oleg; Marzo, Giuseppe A.; Gavin, Patricia; Davila, Alfonso F.; Tornabene, Livio L.; Bishop, Janice L.; Roush, Ted L.; Gross, Christoph; Kneissl, Thomas; Uceda, Esther R.; Dohm, James M.; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Rodríguez, J. Alexis P.; Amils, Ricardo; McKay, Christopher P.

    2010-01-01

    Hundreds of impact craters on Mars contain diverse phyllosilicates, interpreted as excavation products of preexisting subsurface deposits following impact and crater formation. This has been used to argue that the conditions conducive to phyllosilicate synthesis, which require the presence of abundant and long-lasting liquid water, were only met early in the history of the planet, during the Noachian period (> 3.6 Gy ago), and that aqueous environments were widespread then. Here we test this hypothesis by examining the excavation process of hydrated minerals by impact events on Mars and analyzing the stability of phyllosilicates against the impact-induced thermal shock. To do so, we first compare the infrared spectra of thermally altered phyllosilicates with those of hydrated minerals known to occur in craters on Mars and then analyze the postshock temperatures reached during impact crater excavation. Our results show that phyllosilicates can resist the postshock temperatures almost everywhere in the crater, except under particular conditions in a central area in and near the point of impact. We conclude that most phyllosilicates detected inside impact craters on Mars are consistent with excavated preexisting sediments, supporting the hypothesis of a primeval and long-lasting global aqueous environment. When our analyses are applied to specific impact craters on Mars, we are able to identify both pre- and postimpact phyllosilicates, therefore extending the time of local phyllosilicate synthesis to post-Noachian times. PMID:20616087

  7. Noachian and more recent phyllosilicates in impact craters on Mars.

    PubMed

    Fairén, Alberto G; Chevrier, Vincent; Abramov, Oleg; Marzo, Giuseppe A; Gavin, Patricia; Davila, Alfonso F; Tornabene, Livio L; Bishop, Janice L; Roush, Ted L; Gross, Christoph; Kneissl, Thomas; Uceda, Esther R; Dohm, James M; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Rodríguez, J Alexis P; Amils, Ricardo; McKay, Christopher P

    2010-07-01

    Hundreds of impact craters on Mars contain diverse phyllosilicates, interpreted as excavation products of preexisting subsurface deposits following impact and crater formation. This has been used to argue that the conditions conducive to phyllosilicate synthesis, which require the presence of abundant and long-lasting liquid water, were only met early in the history of the planet, during the Noachian period (> 3.6 Gy ago), and that aqueous environments were widespread then. Here we test this hypothesis by examining the excavation process of hydrated minerals by impact events on Mars and analyzing the stability of phyllosilicates against the impact-induced thermal shock. To do so, we first compare the infrared spectra of thermally altered phyllosilicates with those of hydrated minerals known to occur in craters on Mars and then analyze the postshock temperatures reached during impact crater excavation. Our results show that phyllosilicates can resist the postshock temperatures almost everywhere in the crater, except under particular conditions in a central area in and near the point of impact. We conclude that most phyllosilicates detected inside impact craters on Mars are consistent with excavated preexisting sediments, supporting the hypothesis of a primeval and long-lasting global aqueous environment. When our analyses are applied to specific impact craters on Mars, we are able to identify both pre- and postimpact phyllosilicates, therefore extending the time of local phyllosilicate synthesis to post-Noachian times. PMID:20616087

  8. Low-emissivity impact craters on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weitz, C. M.; Elachi, C.; Moore, H. J.; Basilevsky, A. T.; Ivanov, B. A.; Schaber, G. G.

    1992-01-01

    An analysis of 144 impact craters on Venus has shown that 11 of these have floors with average emissivities lower than 0.8. The remaining craters have emissivities between 0.8 and 0.9, independent of the specific backscatter cross section of the crater floors. These 144 impact craters were chosen from a possible 164 craters with diameters greater than 30 km as identified by researchers for 89 percent of the surface of Venus. We have only looked at craters below 6053.5 km altitude because a mineralogical change causes high reflectivity/low emissivity above the altitude. We have also excluded all craters with diameters smaller than 30 km because the emissivity footprint at periapsis is 16 x 24 km and becomes larger at the poles.

  9. The Explorer's Guide to Impact Craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierazzo, E.; Osinski, G.; Chuang, F.

    2004-12-01

    Impact cratering is a fundamental geologic process of our solar system. It competes with other processes, such as plate tectonics, volcanism, or fluvial, glacial and eolian activity, in shaping the surfaces of planetary bodies. In some cases, like the Moon and Mercury, impact craters are the dominant landform. On other planetary bodies impact craters are being continuously erased by the action of other geological processes, like volcanism on Io, erosion and plate tectonics on the Earth, tectonic and volcanic resurfacing on Venus, or ancient erosion periods on Mars. The study of crater populations is one of the principal tools for understanding the geologic history of a planetary surface. Among the general public, impact cratering has drawn wide attention through its portrayal in several Hollywood movies. Questions that are raised after watching these movies include: ``How do scientists learn about impact cratering?'', and ``What information do impact craters provide in understanding the evolution of a planetary surface?'' Fundamental approaches used by scientists to learn about impact cratering include field work at known terrestrial craters, remote sensing studies of craters on various solid surfaces of solar system bodies, and theoretical and laboratory studies using the known physics of impact cratering. We will provide students, science teachers, and the general public an opportunity to experience the scientific endeavor of understanding and exploring impact craters through a multi-level approach including images, videos, and rock samples. This type of interactive learning can also be made available to the general public in the form of a website, which can be addressed worldwide at any time.

  10. The LCROSS Impact Cratering Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, P. H.; Hermalyn, B.; Ernst, C. M.; Colaprete, A.

    2009-12-01

    The large Earth-Departure-Upper Stage (the “EDUS”) and the LCROSS Shepherding Spacecraft (SSc) will both slam into the permanently shadowed regions near the lunar south pole on October 9, 2009. The goal of this mission is to excavate possible ice buried below the surface, thereby providing a measure of potential reservoirs of water for future human exploration. Impact experiments at the NASA Ames Vertical Gun Range (AVGR) have contributed to the mission design and planning. These experiments have included predictions for target selection (Schultz, 2006), a re-assessment of excavation at early times (Hermalyn and Schultz, 2009), and excavation depths (this study). Such predictions are critical for designing instrument sensitivity/selection for the SSc and earth-based telescopic observing campaigns. Because the EDUS has an effective low density (with concentrations at two ends), we have explored the effects of impactor density and configuration (hollow, solid) on the early-stage cratering process, including excavation depths. Most ejecta scaling studies use loose quartz or flint-shot sand in order to track late-stage excavation scaling. This approach does not work well at earlier stages, which comprise a greater fraction of growth at larger scales (see Hermalyn and Schultz, 2009; Hermalyn and Schultz, this volume). Experiments using solid and hollow aluminum spheres impacted a variety of target types (fine and coarse sand, fine pumice, and JSC-1a) in order to assess their effect on this earlier stage of crater growth. Tracers were placed at different depths allowed tracking of excavation. Results have direct implications to the LCROSS experiment and observations (after appropriate scaling). First, the effective low-density impactor significantly reduces excavation depths to a projectile diameter or less, even in sand. This becomes more important for regolith-like targets since the hollow projectile collapses and target compression prevents deep penetration

  11. Dimensional scaling for impact cratering and perforation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watts, Alan; Atkinson, Dale; Rieco, Steve

    1993-01-01

    This report summarizes the development of two physics-based scaling laws for describing crater depths and diameters caused by normal incidence impacts into aluminum and TFE Teflon. The report then describes equations for perforations in aluminum and TFE Teflon for normal impacts. Lastly, this report also studies the effects of non-normal incidence on cratering and perforation.

  12. Aboriginal oral traditions of Australian impact craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamacher, Duane W.; Goldsmith, John

    2013-11-01

    In this paper we explore Aboriginal oral traditions that relate to Australian meteorite craters. Using the literature, first-hand ethnographic records and field trip data, we identify oral traditions and artworks associated with four impact sites: Gosses Bluff, Henbury, Liverpool and Wolfe Creek. Oral traditions describe impact origins for Gosses Bluff, Henbury and Wolfe Creek Craters, and non-impact origins for Liverpool Crater, with Henbury and Wolfe Creek stories having both impact and non-impact origins. Three impact sites that are believed to have been formed during human habitation of Australia -- Dalgaranga, Veevers, and Boxhole -- do not have associated oral traditions that are reported in the literature.

  13. Impact Crater Size and Evolution: Expectations for Deep Impact

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schultz, P. H.; Anderson, J. L. B.; Heineck, J. T.

    2002-01-01

    Deep Impact will involve a unique cratering experiment designed to probe below the surface of a comet. Laboratory experiments provide critical data for crater scaling and evolution of the ejecta curtain. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  14. The Deep Impact oblique impact cratering experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, Peter H.; Eberhardy, Clara A.; Ernst, Carolyn M.; A'Hearn, Michael F.; Sunshine, Jessica M.; Lisse, Carey M.

    The Deep Impact probe collided with 9P Tempel 1 at an angle of about 30° from the horizontal. This impact angle produced an evolving ejecta flow field very similar to much smaller scale oblique-impact experiments in porous particulate targets in the laboratory. Similar features and phenomena include a decoupled vapor/dust plume at the earliest times, a pronounced downrange bias of the ejecta, an uprange “zone of avoidance” (ZoA), heart-shaped ejecta ray system (cardioid pattern), and a conical (but asymmetric) ejecta curtain. Departures from nominal cratering evolution, however, provide clues on the nature of the impact target. These departures include: fainter than expected flash at first contact, delayed emergence of the self-luminous vapor/dust plume, uprange-directed plume, narrow early-time uprange ray followed by a late-stage uprange plume, persistence of ejecta asymmetries (and the uprange ZoA) throughout the approach sequence, emergence of a downrange ZoA at late times, detachment of uprange curved rays, very long lasting non-radial ejecta rays, and high-angle ejecta plume lasting over the entire encounter. The first second of crater formation most closely resembles the consequences of a highly porous target, while later evolution indicates that the target may be layered as well. Experiments also reveal that impacts into highly porous targets produce a vapor/dust plume directed back up the incoming trajectory. This uprange plume is attributed to cavitation within a narrow penetration funnel. The observed lateral expansion speed of the initial vapor plume downrange provides an estimate for the total vaporized mass equal to ˜5m (projectile masses) of water ice or 6m of CO2. The downrange plume speed is consistent with the gas expansion added to the downrange horizontal component of the DI probe. Based on high-speed spectroscopy of experimental impacts, the observed delay in brightening of the DI plume may be the result of delayed condensation of carbon

  15. The Deep Impact oblique impact cratering experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, Peter H.; Eberhardy, Clara A.; Ernst, Carolyn M.; A'Hearn, Michael F.; Sunshine, Jessica M.; Lisse, Carey M.

    2007-10-01

    The Deep Impact probe collided with 9P Tempel 1 at an angle of about 30° from the horizontal. This impact angle produced an evolving ejecta flow field very similar to much smaller scale oblique-impact experiments in porous particulate targets in the laboratory. Similar features and phenomena include a decoupled vapor/dust plume at the earliest times, a pronounced downrange bias of the ejecta, an uprange "zone of avoidance" (ZoA), heart-shaped ejecta ray system (cardioid pattern), and a conical (but asymmetric) ejecta curtain. Departures from nominal cratering evolution, however, provide clues on the nature of the impact target. These departures include: fainter than expected flash at first contact, delayed emergence of the self-luminous vapor/dust plume, uprange-directed plume, narrow early-time uprange ray followed by a late-stage uprange plume, persistence of ejecta asymmetries (and the uprange ZoA) throughout the approach sequence, emergence of a downrange ZoA at late times, detachment of uprange curved rays, very long lasting non-radial ejecta rays, and high-angle ejecta plume lasting over the entire encounter. The first second of crater formation most closely resembles the consequences of a highly porous target, while later evolution indicates that the target may be layered as well. Experiments also reveal that impacts into highly porous targets produce a vapor/dust plume directed back up the incoming trajectory. This uprange plume is attributed to cavitation within a narrow penetration funnel. The observed lateral expansion speed of the initial vapor plume downrange provides an estimate for the total vaporized mass equal to ˜5m (projectile masses) of water ice or 6m of CO 2. The downrange plume speed is consistent with the gas expansion added to the downrange horizontal component of the DI probe. Based on high-speed spectroscopy of experimental impacts, the observed delay in brightening of the DI plume may be the result of delayed condensation of carbon, in

  16. Gale Crater: An Amazonian Impact Crater Lake at the Plateau/Plain Boundary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cabrol, N. A.; Grin, E. A.

    1998-01-01

    Gale is a 140-km diameter impact crater located at the plateau/plain boundary in the Aeolis Northeast subquadrangle of Mars (5S/223W). The crater is bordered in the northward direction by the Elysium Basin, and in eastward direction by Hesperian channels and the Aeolis Mensae 2. The crater displays a rim with two distinct erosion stages: (a) though eroded, the south rim of Gale has an apparent crest line visible from the north to the southwest (b) the west and northwest rims are characterized by a strong erosion that, in some places, partially destroyed the rampart, leaving remnant pits embayed in smooth-like deposits. The same type of deposits is observed north, outside Gale, it also borders the Aeolis Mensae, covers the bottom of the plateau scarp, and the crater floor. The central part of Gale shows a 6400 km2 subround and asymmetrical deposit: (a) the south part is composed of smooth material, (b) the north part shows spectacular terraces, streamlines, and channels. The transition between the two parts of the deposit is characterized by a scarp ranging from 200 to 2000 in high. The highest point of the scarp is at the center of the crater, and probably corresponds to a central peak. Gale crater does not show a major channel directly inflowing. However, several large fluvi systems are bordering the crater, and could be at the origin of the flooding of the crater, or have contributed to. One fluvial system is entering the crater by the southwest rim but cannot be accounted alone for the volume of sediment deposited in the crater. This channel erodes the crater floor deposit, and ends in a irregular-shaped and dark albedo feature. Gale crater shows the morphology of a crater filled during sedimentation episodes, and then eroded Part of the lower sediment deposition contained in Gale might be ancient and not only aqueous in origin. According to the regional geologic history, the sedimentary deposit could be a mixture of aeolian and pyroclastic material, and aqueous

  17. Icy Satellites of Saturn: Impact Cratering and Age Determination

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dones, L.; Chapman, C. R.; McKinnon, William B.; Melosh, H. J.; Kirchoff, M. R.; Neukum, G.; Zahnle, K. J.

    2009-01-01

    Saturn is the first giant planet to be visited by an orbiting spacecraft that can transmit large amounts of data to Earth. Crater counts on satellites from Phoebe inward to the regular satellites and ring moons are providing unprecedented insights into the origin and time histories of the impacting populations. Many Voyager-era scientists concluded that the satellites had been struck by at least two populations of impactors. In this view, the Population I impactors, which were generally judged to be comets orbiting the Sun, formed most of the larger and older craters, while Population II impactors, interpreted as Saturn-orbiting ejecta from impacts on satellites, produced most of the smaller and younger craters. Voyager data also implied that all of the ring moons, and probably some of the midsized classical moons, had been catastrophically disrupted and reaccreted since they formed. We examine models of the primary impactor populations in the Saturn system. At the present time, ecliptic comets, which likely originate in the Kuiper belt/scattered disk, are predicted to dominate impacts on the regular satellites and ring moons, but the models require extrapolations in size (from the observed Kuiper belt objects to the much smaller bodies that produce the craters) or in distance (from the known active Jupiter family comets to 9.5 AU). Phoebe, Iapetus, and perhaps even moons closer to Saturn have been struck by irregular satellites as well. We describe the Nice model, which provides a plausible mechanism by which the entire Solar System might have experienced an era of heavy bombardment long after the planets formed. We then discuss the three cratering chronologies, including one based upon the Nice model, that have been used to infer surface ages from crater densities on the saturnian satellites. After reviewing scaling relations between the properties of impactors and the craters they produce, we provide model estimates of the present-day rate at which comets impact

  18. Impact Craters in North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grieve, R. A. F.; Wood, C. A.; Garvin, J. B.; McLaughlin, G.; McHone, J. F.

    1988-03-01

    Meteor Crater Upheaval Dome Sierra Madera Middlesboro Pilot Lake Carswell Gow Lake Deep Bay Nicholson Lake West Hawk Lake Haughton Sudbury Wanapitei Brent Lac Couture New Quebec Clearwater Lakes Manicouagan Charlevoix Lac La Moinerie Mistastin

  19. Some implications of large impact craters and basins on Venus for terrestrial ringed craters and planetary evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckinnon, W. B.; Alexopoulos, J. S.

    1994-01-01

    Approximately 950 impact craters have been identified on the surface of Venus, mainly in Magellan radar images. From a combination of Earth-based Arecibo, Venera 15/1, and Magellan radar images, we have interpreted 72 as unequivocal peak-ring craters and four as multiringed basins. The morphological and structural preservation of these craters is high owing to the low level of geologic activity on the venusian surface (which is in some ways similar to the terrestrial benthic environment). Thus these craters should prove crucial to understanding the mechanics of ringed crater formation. They are also the most direct analogs for craters formed on the Earth in Phanerozoic time, such as Chicxulub. We summarize our findings to date concerning these structures.

  20. Research on lunar Mare emplacement and impact cratering experiments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, R.; Schultz, P. H.; Gault, D. E.

    1980-01-01

    A model was derived enabling the interpretation of lunar styles of volcanism through the analysis of various surface features. The model was applied to several areas on the Moon, including the Orientale Basin, the Smythii Basin, the Herigonious region, and several highland areas. Concurrent with the application of the model, several topical studies of various aspects of lunar volcanism were completed. A series of impact crater experiments was conducted at NASA Ames in order to determine the effect that viscous targets would have on cratering mechanics and morphology for application in studies of Martian ejecta flow craters. The results of the experiments led to a model that can account for the formation of multiple flow lobes and the general morphology of some aspects of Martian craters.

  1. Limb of Copernicus Impact Crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    Copernicus is 93 km wide and is located within the Mare Imbrium Basin, northern nearside of the Moon (10 degrees N., 20 degrees W.). Image shows crater floor, floor mounds, rim, and rayed ejecta. Rays from the ejecta are superposed on all other surrounding terrains which places the crater in its namesake age group: the Copernican system, established as the youngest assemblage of rocks on the Moon (Shoemaker and Hackman, 1962, The Moon: London, Academic Press, p.289- 300).

  2. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Mars Impact Cratering

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This document discusses the following topics: High Resolution Digital Elevation Models of Pristine Explosion Craters; Crater Degradation in the Martian Highlands: Morphometric Analysis of the Sinus Sabaeus Region and Simulation Modeling Suggest Fluvial Processes; Analysis of Impact Crater Preservation on Mars Using THEMIS Data; Atmospheric Entry Studies and the Smallest Impact Craters on Mars; Updating the Crater Count Chronology System for Mars; Control of Impact Crater-related Fracture Systems on the Subsurface Hydrology and Ground Collapse; Quantitative Analyses of Terrestrial Crater Deposits: Constraining Formation and Sediment Transport Processes on Mars; and Predicted Effects of Surface Processes on Martian Impact Crater Depth/Diameter Relationships

  3. The missing large impact craters on Ceres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marchi, S.; Ermakov, A. I.; Raymond, C. A.; Fu, R. R.; O'Brien, D. P.; Bland, M. T.; Ammannito, E.; de Sanctis, M. C.; Bowling, T.; Schenk, P.; Scully, J. E. C.; Buczkowski, D. L.; Williams, D. A.; Hiesinger, H.; Russell, C. T.

    2016-07-01

    Asteroids provide fundamental clues to the formation and evolution of planetesimals. Collisional models based on the depletion of the primordial main belt of asteroids predict 10-15 craters >400 km should have formed on Ceres, the largest object between Mars and Jupiter, over the last 4.55 Gyr. Likewise, an extrapolation from the asteroid Vesta would require at least 6-7 such basins. However, Ceres' surface appears devoid of impact craters >~280 km. Here, we show a significant depletion of cerean craters down to 100-150 km in diameter. The overall scarcity of recognizable large craters is incompatible with collisional models, even in the case of a late implantation of Ceres in the main belt, a possibility raised by the presence of ammoniated phyllosilicates. Our results indicate that a significant population of large craters has been obliterated, implying that long-wavelength topography viscously relaxed or that Ceres experienced protracted widespread resurfacing.

  4. Tabular comparisons of the Flynn Creek impact crater, United States, Steinheim impact crater, Germany and Snowball explosion crater, Canada

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roddy, D. J.

    1977-01-01

    A tabular outline of comparative data is presented for 340 basic dimensional, morphological, and structural parameters and related aspects for three craters of the flat-floored, central uplift type, two of which are natural terrestrial impact craters and one is a large-scale experimental explosion crater. The three craters are part of a general class, in terms of their morphology and structural deformation that is represented on each of the terrestrial planets including the moon. One of the considered craters, the Flynn Creek Crater, was formed by a hypervelocity impact event approximately 360 m.y. ago in what is now north central Tennessee. The impacting body appears to have been a carbonaceous chondrite or a cometary mass. The second crater, the Steinheim Crater, was formed by an impact event approximately 14.7 m.y. ago in what is now southwestern Germany. The Snowball Crater was formed by the detonation of a 500-ton TNT hemisphere on flat-lying, unconsolidated alluvium in Alberta, Canada.

  5. Crater and cavity depth in hypervelocity impact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kadono, T.; Fujiwara, A.

    2003-04-01

    Hypervelocity impact experiments with low-density mediums (e.g., foams) have been so far carried out to develop the instruments for intact capture of interplanetary dust particles. The results show that the impact leads a "cavity", a cylindrical or carrot (spindle) shaped vestige. Its shape depends on the condition of projectiles; when impact velocity is so low that projectiles are intact, the depth increases with impact velocity, while it decreases or is constant with impact velocity when the impact velocity is so high that projectiles are broken (e.g., Kadono, Planet. Space Sci. 47, 305--318, 1999). On the other hand, as described by Summers (NASA TN D-94, 1959), crater shape with high density targets (comparable to projectile density) also changes with impact velocity. At low velocities, the strength of projectile's materials is greater than the dynamic impact pressure and the projectile penetrates the target intact. The crater produced is deep and narrow. With increase in impact velocity, a point is reached at which the impact pressure is sufficient to cause the projectile to fragment into a few large pieces at impact. Then as the impact velocity is increased further, the projectile shatters into numerous small pieces and the penetration actually decreases. Finally a velocity is reached at which the typical fluid impact occurs, the crater formed is nearly hemispherical in shape. It appears that the situation in cavity formation with low density targets is quite similar to that in cratering with high density targets at low impact velocity. This similarity allows us to discuss cavity formation and cratering in a unified view. As described above, the previous experiments clearly suggest that the condition of projectiles plays important roles in both cratering and cavity formation. Hence here, by introducing a parameter that characterizes the condition of projectiles at the instance of impact, cratering processes such as projectile penetration and shock wave

  6. Impact Crater Particulates: Microscopic Meteoritic Material Surrounding Meteorite Craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Toby Russell

    1995-01-01

    The influx of extraterrestrial matter onto the Earth is a ongoing process. Every year 40,000 metric tons of extraterrestrial matter is accreted by the Earth (Love 1993). A small fraction of this material arrives at Earth as objects large enough to survive the passage through atmosphere. Some of this material is completely melted as it passes through the atmosphere and arrives at the surface of the Earth as cosmic spherules. Cosmic spherules formed from metallic cosmic material undergoes changes in its elemental abundance as it passes through the atmosphere. The oxidation of the spherules results in the concentration of more refractory elements like Ni and Co into the metallic phase. Cosmic spherules are also formed by the passage of large meteorites through the atmosphere and their resulting impact onto the Earth. I found that the cosmic spherules from a wide variety of sources show a very similar trend in the elemental abundance patterns of their metallic phases. This trend is most obvious in the spherules recovered from the deep -sea and the spherules imbedded in impactite glass recovered from iron meteorite impact crater sites. The metallic spherules recovered from the soil surrounding impact craters do not show the high degree of elemental fractionation found in the deep-sea and impactite spherules. The composition of these spherules indicate that they are a mixture of meteoritic and target material. Metallic spherules are not the only meteoritic material to be found in the soil surrounding meteorite craters. I found that small fragments of the parent meteorite are an ubiquitous component of the soil surrounding the Odessa and Dalgaranga meteorite craters. These fragments occurred as small (most less than 400 mu m in size) heavily weathered fragments of meteoritic metal. The total calculated mass of these fragments is an order of magnitude larger than the mass of ponderable meteorites recovered from the site but 1 to 2 orders of magnitude smaller than the

  7. Impact mechanics at Meteor Crater, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shoemaker, Eugene Merle

    1959-01-01

    Meteor Crator is a bowl-shaped depression encompassed by a rim composed chiefly of debris stacked in layers of different composition. Original bedrock stratigraphy is preserved, inverted, in the debris. The debris rests on older disturbed strata, which are turned up at moderate to steep angles in the wall of the crater and are locally overturned near the contact with the debris. These features of Meteor Crater correspond closely to those of a crater produced by nuclear explosion where depth of burial of the device was about 1/5 the diameter of the resultant crater. Studies of craters formed by detonation of nuclear devices show that structures of the crater rims are sensitive to the depth of explosion scaled to the yield of the device. The structure of Meteor Crater is such as would be produced by a very strong shock originating about at the level of the present crater floor, 400 feet below the original surface. At supersonic to hypersonic velocity an impacting meteorite penetrates the ground by a complex mechanism that includes compression of the target rocks and the meteorite by shock as well as hydrodynamic flow of the compressed material under high pressure and temperature. The depth of penetration of the meteorite, before it loses its integrity as a single body, is a function primarily of the velocity and shape of the meteorite and the densities and equations of state of the meteorite and target. The intensely compressed material then becomes dispersed in a large volume of breccia formed in the expanding shock wave. An impact velocity of about 15 km/sec is consonant with the geology of Meteor Crater in light of the experimental equation of state of iron and inferred compressibility of the target rocks. The kinetic energy of the meteorite is estimated by scaling to have been from 1.4 to 1.7 megatons TNT equivalent.

  8. Venus impact craters: Implications for atmospheric and resurfacing processes from Magellan observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phillips, Roger J.

    1991-01-01

    Observations of impact craters on Venus by Magellan yield important insights into: (1) atmospheric effects on the formation of impact craters and their attendant ejecta deposits and (2) the resurfacing history of the planet. Most craters smaller than 15 km are classified as irregular; they possess irregularly shaped rims, and multiple hummocky floors. The irregular nature of these craters is interpreted to be the consequence of breakup and dispersion of incoming meteoroids by the dense atmosphere. Two major ejecta facies of venusian impact craters are hummocky ejecta and outer ejecta. A number of craters documented in the Magellan images possess often non-radial, flow-like ejecta indicative of a low viscosity materials. Approximately half of the impact craters observed with the Magellan radar are partially or wholly surrounded by areas with low radar backscatter cross sections.

  9. A suspected impact crater near Duckwater, Nevada.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmude, R. W., Jr.; Westfall, J. E.

    1998-07-01

    Results of recent expeditions to a possible impact crater in central Nevada are summarized in this report. This feature has a mean diameter of 91.3 m, a mean depth of 5.1±0.1 m, a volume of 24560 m3 and a rim height of up to 0.6 m). Preliminary geological and topographic maps of this crater are presented.

  10. Impact Cratering on Small Asteroids and into Coarse Regoliths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durda, D. D.

    2012-12-01

    Impact cratering on the smallest asteroids can result in crater and other associated impact scar morphologies that we do not usually see exhibited in imagery of larger main-belt asteroids and airless moons. The NEAR-Shoemaker spacecraft at (433) Eros and the Hayabusa spacecraft at (25143) Itokawa showed the surfaces of these near-Earth asteroids to be relatively depleted in smaller craters. 'Armoring' of the surface by the presence of boulders larger than the size of the projectiles needed to form the missing craters has been proposed as one possible contributing factor in the observed depletion. Indeed, a number of bright spots observed on the surfaces of some boulders on Itokawa appear to have a size distribution consistent with small projectiles and have been interpreted as impact scars - an extreme end member example of the armoring hypothesis. Several research teams have conducted a number of laboratory impact experiments focusing on the range of morphological expression of craters formed in coarse regoliths where the impacting projectiles are comparable in size to the regolith grains. The results of these experiments suggest that craters become less well defined and more irregular in shape as soon as the regolith target grains are larger than the projectiles. I will give an overview of the range of visual appearance of impact features on small asteroids, review the results of some previous laboratory experiments relevant to the armoring hypothesis, and present results of our own new impact experiments conducted at the Ames Vertical Gun Range to examine the range of morphological expression of impacts onto blocks on and in the regolith of small airless bodies.

  11. Calculational investigation of impact cratering dynamics - Early time material motions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomsen, J. M.; Austin, M. G.; Ruhl, S. F.; Schultz, P. H.; Orphal, D. L.

    1979-01-01

    Early time two-dimensional finite difference calculations of laboratory-scale hypervelocity (6 km/sec) impact of 0.3 g spherical 2024 aluminum projectiles into homogeneous plasticene clay targets were performed and the resulting material motions analyzed. Results show that the initial jetting of vaporized target material is qualitatively similar to experimental observation. The velocity flow field developed within the target is shown to have features quite similar to those found in calculations of near-surface explosion cratering. Specific application of Maxwell's analytic Z-Model (developed to interpret the flow fields of near-surface explosion cratering calculations), shows that this model can be used to describe the flow fields resulting from the impact cratering calculations, provided that the flow field center is located beneath the target surface, and that application of the model is made late enough in time that most of the projectile momentum has been dissipated.

  12. Structure of the Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater from Wide-Angle Seismic Waveform Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lester, W. R.; Hole, J. A.; Catchings, R. D.; Bleibinhaus, F.

    2006-12-01

    The 35 million year old Chesapeake Bay impact structure is one of the largest and most well preserved meteor/comet impact structures on Earth. As a marine impact on a continental shelf, its morphology consists of a deep inner crater penetrating pre-existing crystalline basement surrounded by a much wider, shallower crater within the overlying sediments. In 2004, the U.S. Geological Survey conducted a combined refraction and low-fold reflection seismic survey across the northern part of the inner crater with the goals of constraining crater structure and identifying an ideal drill site for a deep borehole. Waveform inversion was applied to the seismic data to produce a high-resolution seismic velocity model of the inner crater. This significantly improved the spatial resolution over previous images based on travel times. Under the northeastern part of the outer crater, eastward-sloping, relatively intact crystalline basement is at a depth of ~1.5 km. The edge of the inner crater is at ~17 km radius and slopes gradually inward to penetrate pre-existing crystalline basement. The top of crystalline rock on the central uplift is about 0.8 km higher than its surroundings. Seismic velocity of crystalline rocks under the inner crater is much lower than under the outer crater, suggesting strong fracturing/brecciation of the inner crater floor and even stronger brecciation of the central uplift. A basement uplift and lateral change of basement velocity occurs at a radius of ~12 km and is interpreted as possibly indicating the edge of the transient crater caused by impact excavation prior to collapse. Assuming a 24 km diameter transient crater, scaling laws based on extraterrestrial craters and numerical models predict the observed inner crater diameter, central uplift diameter, and inner crater depth. This suggests that the crater collapse processes that created the inner crater in crystalline rocks were unaffected by the much weaker rheology of the overlying sediments.

  13. Dark halos and rays of young lunar craters: A new insight into interpretation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaydash, Vadym; Shkuratov, Yuriy; Videen, Gorden

    2014-03-01

    Images acquired by the Narrow Angle Camera of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter allow phase-ratio imagery of young lunar craters surrounded by dark halos. Such imaging is a new optical remote-sensing technique that is sensitive to the degree of surface roughness. We apply the phase-ratio technique to LRO images of young dark-halo craters near the crater Denning and in the Balmer basin, in addition to craters created by the impacts of the Ranger-6 spacecraft and Saturn-5 sections of Apollo-13 and Apollo-17. We suggest an alternative explanation of the dark halos and rays seen near the craters at large phase angles. Phase-ratio imaging suggests that these features result from higher surface roughness. Thus, the interpretation of dark crater halos and rays as a composition/maturity variance should be used with caution. The composition and structure factors can be effectively discriminated only using images acquired in a wide range of phase angles including small angles.

  14. Cometary Dust Characteristics: Comparison of Stardust Craters with Laboratory Impacts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kearsley, A. T.; Burchell, M. J.; Graham, G. A.; Horz, F.; Wozniakiewicz, P. A.; Cole, M. J.

    2007-01-01

    Aluminium foils exposed to impact during the passage of the Stardust spacecraft through the coma of comet Wild 2 have preserved a record of a wide range of dust particle sizes. The encounter velocity and dust incidence direction are well constrained and can be simulated by laboratory shots. A crater size calibration programme based upon buckshot firings of tightly constrained sizes (monodispersive) of glass, polymer and metal beads has yielded a suite of scaling factors for interpretation of the original impacting grain dimensions. We have now extended our study to include recognition of particle density for better matching of crater to impactor diameter. A novel application of stereometric crater shape measurement, using paired scanning electron microscope (SEM) images has shown that impactors of differing density yield different crater depth/diameter ratios. Comparison of the three-dimensional gross morphology of our experimental craters with those from Stardust reveals that most of the larger Stardust impacts were produced by grains of low internal porosity.

  15. Impact Craters on Titan? Cassini RADAR View

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, Charles A.; Lopes, Rosaly; Stofan, Ellen R.; Paganelli, Flora; Elachi, Charles

    2005-01-01

    Titan is a planet-size (diameter of 5,150 km) satellite of Saturn that is currently being investigated by the Cassini spacecraft. Thus far only one flyby (Oct. 26, 2004; Ta) has occurred when radar images were obtained. In February, 2005, and approximately 20 more times in the next four years, additional radar swaths will be acquired. Each full swath images about 1% of Titan s surface at 13.78 GHz (Ku-band) with a maximum resolution of 400 m. The Ta radar pass [1] demonstrated that Titan has a solid surface with multiple types of landforms. However, there is no compelling detection of impact craters in this first radar swath. Dione, Tethys and other satellites of Saturn are intensely cratered, there is no way that Titan could have escaped a similar impact cratering past; thus there must be ongoing dynamic surface processes that erase impact craters (and other landforms) on Titan. The surface of Titan must be very young and the resurfacing rate must be significantly higher than the impact cratering rate.

  16. Impact craters: An ice study on Rhea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalle Ore, Cristina M.; Cruikshank, Dale P.; Mastrapa, Rachel M. E.; Lewis, Emma; White, Oliver L.

    2015-11-01

    The goal of this project is to study the properties of H2O ice in the environment of the Saturn satellites and in particular to measure the relative amounts of crystalline and amorphous H2O ice in and around two craters on Rhea. The craters are remnants of cataclysmic events that, by raising the local temperature, melted the ice, which subsequently crystallized. Based on laboratory experiments it is expected that, when exposed to ion bombardment at the temperatures typical of the Saturn satellites, the crystalline structure of the ice will be broken, resulting in the disordered, amorphous phase. We therefore expect the ice in and around the craters to be partially crystalline and partially amorphous. We have designed a technique that estimates the relative amounts of crystalline and amorphous H2O ice based on measurements of the distortion of the 2-μm spectral absorption band. The technique is best suited for planetary surfaces that are predominantly icy, but works also for surfaces slightly contaminated with other ices and non-ice components. We apply the tool to two areas around the Inktomi and the Obatala craters. The first is a young impact crater on the leading hemisphere of Rhea, the second is an older one on the trailing hemisphere. For each crater we obtain maps of the fraction of crystalline ice, which were overlain onto Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) images of the satellite searching for correlations between crystallinity and geography. For both craters the largest fractions of crystalline ice are in the center, as would be intuitively expected since the 'ground zero' areas should be most affected by the effects of the impact. The overall distribution of the crystalline ice fraction maps the shape of the crater and, in the case of Inktomi, of the rays. The Inktomi crater ranges between a maximum fraction of 67% crystalline ice to a minimum of 39%. The Obatala crater varies between a maximum of 51% and a minimum of 33%. Based on simplifying assumptions

  17. Impact Materials of Takamatsu Crater in Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miura, Y.; Okamoto, M.; Fukuchi, T.

    1995-09-01

    Shocked quartz materials have been found in Japanese K.T boundary (Hokkaido) and mountains of middle main-islands of Japan, though there are few direct evidence of "natural circular structure" on the surface in Japan. However circular structure has been recently found as a buried crater(up to 150m deep) [1] which is ca. 4km in diameter with -10 mgal of Bouguer gravity anomaly from surrounding Rhyoke granitic region of the southern part of Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture, northeast Shikoku, Japan [1,2,3]. Two boring cores of 300m deep near small mountains inside the crater could not reach the bottom of the crater so far. From model calculation of the negative gravity anomaly, the Takamatsu crater shows deep basin structure up to 1.4km. If the Takamatsu crater is considered to be only impact crater, it is difficult to discuss only surface materials on the crater. But anomalous minerals are found only around small volcanic intrusions inside the crater, which the mixed minerals are clearly different with those of other volcanic intrusions of the Yashima and Goshikidai outside the crater [1,2,3]. The small volcanic intrusions are not origin of large Takamatsu crater, because the small volcanic intrusions are found on whole areas of Kagawa Prefecture. Major different activity of the small intrusions inside the crater is to bring the brecciated materials of the interior (esp. crater sediments). The xenolith materials around only volcanic intrusion of andesite are divided into the following four major mineral materials:(a) round pebble fragments from the Rhyoke granitic basement (Sampling No.15), (b) rock fragments from intruded biotite andesites (Nos. 2,15), (c) impact-induced fragments of shocked Quartz grains (Nos. 2,3,6,15), diaplectic feldspars (Nos. 2,3,6,15), silica glasses (Nos. 2,15) and small Fe-Ni metallic grains (No.15), and (d) small sedimentary fragments of halite and mordenite, as listed in Table 1. Table I, showing the characterization of surface samples

  18. Cratering on a Comet: Expectations for Deep Impact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, P. H.

    2001-11-01

    In 2005, the Deep Impact Mission will witness the collision of a 350kg impactor into Comet P-Temple 1. Laboratory impact experiments provide scaling laws that relate impactor mass to crater diameter and depth for various target and impactor properties. A series of experiments have been performed at the NASA Ames Vertical Gun Range in order to assess the effects of the density and impedance ratio between target and impactor, target compressibility, target porosity, and impact angle. Although the maximum velocity achievable in the laboratory is below that for Deep Impact (7km/sec versus 10.3 km/sec), varying impactor diameter and velocity allows extrapolating beyond this range, for certain assumptions. This approach has been used for various particulate targets including pumice (1.1 to 1.5 g/cc, sand (1.7g/cc), vermiculite (0.09 g/cc), and micro-spheres (0.05g/cc), which provide the maximum possible diameter produced on Temple 1. Smaller sizes are expected if strength, rather than gravity, controls limits of crater growth or if internal energy losses (e.g., pore-space collapse) reduce the coupling efficiency. Crater size also can be augmented through back pressures created by vapor expansion within the crater cavity. The maximum predicted crater diameters (without back pressure) for the DI impact into a 0.3 g/cc porous target are: 89 m (pumice), 124 m (fine sand), 98m (fine sand with compaction losses). Formation times approach 200 seconds. Crater size, plume evolution (size and photometry), formation time, ejection (curtain) angle, and the ejecta deposit will all contribute to meaningful interpretations of the near-surface properties.

  19. Martian cratering. II - Asteroid impact history.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hartmann, W. K.

    1971-01-01

    This paper considers the extent to which Martian craters can be explained by considering asteroidal impact. Sections I, II, and III of this paper derive the diameter distribution of hypothetical asteroidal craters on Mars from recent Palomar-Leiden asteroid statistics and show that the observed Martian craters correspond to a bombardment by roughly 100 times the present number of Mars-crossing asteroids. Section IV discusses the early bombardment history of Mars, based on the capture theory of Opik and probable orbital parameters of early planetesimals. These results show that the visible craters and surface of Mars should not be identified with the initial, accreted surface. A backward extrapolation of the impact rates based on surviving Mars-crossing asteroids can account for the majority of Mars craters over an interval of several aeons, indicating that we see back in time no further than part-way into a period of intense bombardment. An early period of erosion and deposition is thus suggested. Section V presents a comparison with results and terminology of other authors.

  20. The size-frequency distribution of elliptical impact craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collins, G. S.; Elbeshausen, D.; Davison, T. M.; Robbins, S. J.; Hynek, B. M.

    2011-10-01

    Impact craters are elliptical in planform if the impactor's trajectory is below a threshold angle of incidence. Laboratory experiments and 3D numerical simulations demonstrate that this threshold angle decreases as the ratio of crater size to impactor size increases. According to impact cratering scaling laws, this implies that elliptical craters occur at steeper impact angles as crater size or target strength increases. Using a standard size-frequency distribution for asteroids impacting the terrestrial planets we estimate the fraction of elliptical craters as a function of crater size on the Moon, Mars, Earth, Venus and Mercury. In general, the expected fraction of elliptical craters is ~ 2-4% for craters between 5 and 100-km in diameter, consistent with the observed population of elliptical craters on Mars. At larger crater sizes both our model and observations suggest a dramatic increase in the fraction of elliptical craters with increasing crater diameter. The observed fraction of elliptical craters larger than 100-km diameter is significantly greater than our model predictions, which may suggest that there is an additional source of large elliptical craters other than oblique impact.

  1. The missing large impact craters on Ceres

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Marchi, S.; Ermakov, A.; Raymond, C.A.; Fu, R.R.; O'Brien, D.P.; Bland, Michael; Ammannito, E.; De Sanctis, M.C.; Bowling, Tim; Schenk, P.; Scully, J.E.C.; Buczkowski, D.L.; Williams, D.A.; Hiesinger, H.; Russell, C.T.

    2016-01-01

    Asteroids provide fundamental clues to the formation and evolution of planetesimals. Collisional models based on the depletion of the primordial main belt of asteroids predict 10–15 craters >400 km should have formed on Ceres, the largest object between Mars and Jupiter, over the last 4.55 Gyr. Likewise, an extrapolation from the asteroid Vesta would require at least 6–7 such basins. However, Ceres’ surface appears devoid of impact craters >~280 km. Here, we show a significant depletion of cerean craters down to 100–150 km in diameter. The overall scarcity of recognizable large craters is incompatible with collisional models, even in the case of a late implantation of Ceres in the main belt, a possibility raised by the presence of ammoniated phyllosilicates. Our results indicate that a significant population of large craters has been obliterated, implying that long-wavelength topography viscously relaxed or that Ceres experienced protracted widespread resurfacing.

  2. The missing large impact craters on Ceres

    PubMed Central

    Marchi, S.; Ermakov, A. I.; Raymond, C. A.; Fu, R. R.; O'Brien, D. P.; Bland, M. T.; Ammannito, E.; De Sanctis, M. C.; Bowling, T.; Schenk, P.; Scully, J. E. C.; Buczkowski, D. L.; Williams, D. A.; Hiesinger, H.; Russell, C. T.

    2016-01-01

    Asteroids provide fundamental clues to the formation and evolution of planetesimals. Collisional models based on the depletion of the primordial main belt of asteroids predict 10–15 craters >400 km should have formed on Ceres, the largest object between Mars and Jupiter, over the last 4.55 Gyr. Likewise, an extrapolation from the asteroid Vesta would require at least 6–7 such basins. However, Ceres' surface appears devoid of impact craters >∼280 km. Here, we show a significant depletion of cerean craters down to 100–150 km in diameter. The overall scarcity of recognizable large craters is incompatible with collisional models, even in the case of a late implantation of Ceres in the main belt, a possibility raised by the presence of ammoniated phyllosilicates. Our results indicate that a significant population of large craters has been obliterated, implying that long-wavelength topography viscously relaxed or that Ceres experienced protracted widespread resurfacing. PMID:27459197

  3. The missing large impact craters on Ceres.

    PubMed

    Marchi, S; Ermakov, A I; Raymond, C A; Fu, R R; O'Brien, D P; Bland, M T; Ammannito, E; De Sanctis, M C; Bowling, T; Schenk, P; Scully, J E C; Buczkowski, D L; Williams, D A; Hiesinger, H; Russell, C T

    2016-01-01

    Asteroids provide fundamental clues to the formation and evolution of planetesimals. Collisional models based on the depletion of the primordial main belt of asteroids predict 10-15 craters >400 km should have formed on Ceres, the largest object between Mars and Jupiter, over the last 4.55 Gyr. Likewise, an extrapolation from the asteroid Vesta would require at least 6-7 such basins. However, Ceres' surface appears devoid of impact craters >∼280 km. Here, we show a significant depletion of cerean craters down to 100-150 km in diameter. The overall scarcity of recognizable large craters is incompatible with collisional models, even in the case of a late implantation of Ceres in the main belt, a possibility raised by the presence of ammoniated phyllosilicates. Our results indicate that a significant population of large craters has been obliterated, implying that long-wavelength topography viscously relaxed or that Ceres experienced protracted widespread resurfacing. PMID:27459197

  4. Meteoritic material at five large impact craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palme, H.; Janssens, M.-J.; Takahashi, H.; Anders, E.; Hertogen, J.

    1978-01-01

    The paper analyzes the meteoritic material at five multikilometer craters: Clearwater (Lac a l'Eau Claire) East and West (22 and 32 km), Manicouagan (70 km) and Mistastin (28 km), all in Canada; and Lake Bosumtwi (10.5 km), Ghana, which is associated with Ivory Coast tektites. Radiochemical neutron activation analysis is applied to 16 crater samples for the siderophile trace elements Ir, Os, Pd, Ni, Ge, and Re, which are depleted to varying degrees in the earth's crust but are abundant in all meteorites except achondrites. It is found that only two samples, both from Clearwater, exhibit a strong meteoritic signal. The remaining ones fall within or slightly above the range for terrestrial rocks, and therefore at best contain only small meteoritic components. Clearwater East is the first terrestrial impact crater to be associated with a stony meteorite (a C1 or C2 chondrite).

  5. Damage areas due to impact craters on LDEF aluminum panels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coombs, Cassandra R.; Atkinson, Dale R.; Allbrooks, Martha; Wagner, J. D.

    1992-01-01

    Because of its exposure time and total exposed surface area, the LDEF provides a unique opportunity to analyze the effects of the natural and man-made particle populations in low earth orbit (LEO). This study concentrated on collecting and analyzing measurements of impact craters from seven painted aluminum surfaces at different locations on the satellite. These data are being used to: (1) update the current theoretical micrometeoroid and debris models for LEO; (2) characterize the effects of the LEO micrometeoroid and debris environment of satellite components and designs; (3) help assess the probability of collision between spacecraft in LEO and already resident debris and the survivability of those spacecraft that must travel through, or reside in, LEO; and (4) help define and evaluate future debris mitigation and disposal methods. Measurements were collected from one aluminum experiment tray cover (Bay C-12), two aluminum grapple plates (Bays C-01, C-10), and four aluminum experiment sun-shields (Bay E-09), all of which were coated with thermal paint. These measurements were taken at the Facility for Optical Interpretation of Large Surfaces (FOILS) Lab at JSC. Virtually all features greater than 0.2 mm in diameter possessed a spall zone in which all of the paint was removed from the aluminum surface, and which varied in size from 2-5 crater diameters. The actual craters vary from central pits without raised rims to morphologies more typical of craters formed in aluminum under hypervelocity impact conditions for larger features. Most craters exhibit a shock zone that varies in size from approximately 1-20 crater diameters. In general, only the outermost layer of paint was affected by this impact-related phenomenon, with several impacts possessing ridge-like structures encircling the area in which this outer-most paint layer was removed. Overall, there were no noticeable penetrations or bulges on the underside of the trays. One tray from the E-09 bay exhibited a

  6. Interpretation of Wild 2 Dust Fine Structure: Comparison of Stardust Aluminium Foil Craters to the Three-Dimensional Shape of Experimental Impacts by Artificial Aggregate Particles and Meteorite Powders

    SciTech Connect

    Kearsley, A T; Burchell, M J; Price, M C; Graham, G A; Wozniakiewicz, P J; Cole, M J; Foster, N J; Teslich, N

    2009-12-10

    New experimental results show that Stardust crater morphology is consistent with interpretation of many larger Wild 2 dust grains being aggregates, albeit most of low porosity and therefore relatively high density. The majority of large Stardust grains (i.e. those carrying most of the cometary dust mass) probably had density of 2.4 g cm{sup -3} (similar to soda-lime glass used in earlier calibration experiments) or greater, and porosity of 25% or less, akin to consolidated carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, and much lower than the 80% suggested for fractal dust aggregates. Although better size calibration is required for interpretation of the very smallest impacting grains, we suggest that aggregates could have dense components dominated by {micro}m-scale and smaller sub-grains. If porosity of the Wild 2 nucleus is high, with similar bulk density to other comets, much of the pore-space may be at a scale of tens of micrometers, between coarser, denser grains. Successful demonstration of aggregate projectile impacts in the laboratory now opens the possibility of experiments to further constrain the conditions for creation of bulbous (Type C) tracks in aerogel, which we have observed in recent shots. We are also using mixed mineral aggregates to document differential survival of pristine composition and crystalline structure in diverse fine-grained components of aggregate cometary dust analogues, impacted onto both foil and aerogel under Stardust encounter conditions.

  7. The Wabar impact craters, Saudi Arabia, revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gnos, E.; Hofmann, B. A.; Halawani, M. A.; Tarabulsi, Y.; Hakeem, M.; Al Shanti, M.; Greber, N. D.; Holm, S.; Alwmark, C.; Greenwood, R. C.; Ramseyer, K.

    2013-10-01

    The very young Wabar craters formed by impact of an iron meteorite and are known to the scientific community since 1933. We describe field observations made during a visit to the Wabar impact site, provide analytical data on the material collected, and combine these data with poorly known information discovered during the recovery of the largest meteorites. During our visit in March 2008, only two craters (Philby-B and 11 m) were visible; Philby-A was completely covered by sand. Mapping of the ejecta field showed that the outcrops are strongly changing over time. Combining information from different visitors with our own and satellite images, we estimate that the large seif dunes over the impact site migrate by approximately 1.0-2.0 m yr-1 southward. Shock lithification took place even at the smallest, 11 m crater, but planar fractures (PFs) and undecorated planar deformation features (PDFs), as well as coesite and stishovite, have only been found in shock-lithified material from the two larger craters. Shock-lithified dune sand material shows perfectly preserved sedimentary structures including cross-bedding and animal burrows as well as postimpact structures such as open fractures perpendicular to the bedding, slickensides, and radiating striation resembling shatter cones. The composition of all impact melt glasses can be explained as mixtures of aeolian sand and iron meteorite. We observed a partial decoupling of Fe and Ni in the black impact glass, probably due to partitioning of Ni into unoxidized metal droplets. The absence of a Ca-enriched component demonstrates that the craters did not penetrate the bedrock below the sand sheet, which has an estimated thickness of 20-30 m.

  8. Coring the Chesapeake Bay impact crater

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Poag, C.W.

    2004-01-01

    In July 1983, the shipboard scientists of Deep Sea Drilling Project Leg 95 found an unexpected bonus in a core taken 150 kilometers east of Atlantic City, N.J. At Site 612, the scientists recovered a 10-centimeter-thick layer of late Eocene debris ejected from an impact about 36 million years ago. Microfossils and argon isotope ratios from the same layer reveal that the ejecta were part of a broad North American impact debris field, previously known primarily from the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. Since that serendipitous beginning, years of seismic reflection profiling, gravity measurements and core drilling have confirmed the source of that strewn field - the Chesapeake Bay impact crater, the largest structure of its kind in the United States, and the sixth-largest impact crater on Earth.

  9. Chesapeake Bay impact structure: Morphology, crater fill, and relevance for impact structures on Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Horton, J.W., Jr.; Ormo, J.; Powars, D.S.; Gohn, G.S.

    2006-01-01

    The late Eocene Chesapeake Bay impact structure (CBIS) on the Atlantic margin of Virginia is one of the largest and best-preserved "wet-target" craters on Earth. It provides an accessible analog for studying impact processes in layered and wet targets on volatile-rich planets. The CBIS formed in a layered target of water, weak clastic sediments, and hard crystalline rock. The buried structure consists of a deep, filled central crater, 38 km in width, surrounded by a shallower brim known as the annular trough. The annular trough formed partly by collapse of weak sediments, which expanded the structure to ???85 km in diameter. Such extensive collapse, in addition to excavation processes, can explain the "inverted sombrero" morphology observed at some craters in layered targets. The distribution of crater-fill materials i n the CBIS is related to the morphology. Suevitic breccia, including pre-resurge fallback deposits, is found in the central crater. Impact-modified sediments, formed by fluidization and collapse of water-saturated sand and silt-clay, occur in the annular trough. Allogenic sediment-clast breccia, interpreted as ocean-resurge deposits, overlies the other impactites and covers the entire crater beneath a blanket of postimpact sediments. The formation of chaotic terrains on Mars is attributed to collapse due to the release of volatiles from thick layered deposits. Some flat-floored rimless depressions with chaotic infill in these terrains are impact craters that expanded by collapse farther than expected for similar-sized complex craters in solid targets. Studies of crater materials in the CBIS provide insights into processes of crater expansion on Mars and their links to volatiles. ?? The Meteoritical Society, 2006.

  10. Hydrogeology associated to faulting of the Chicxulub Impact Crater rim

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rebolledo-Vieyra, M.; Hernandez-Terrones, L.; Almazan-Becerril, A.; Valadez-Cruz, F.

    2011-12-01

    The only surface expression of the Chicxulub Impact Crater is a Ring of Cenotes (sinkholes) whose density varies from several cenotes per kilometer, to several kilometers between each cenote. This ring has a radius of approximately 90 km and it is centered at Chicxulub Puerto. It is not known today whether the Ring of Cenotes is the surface expression of the transient cavity as some authors have suggested, or whether it is the outer rim of the impact structure. The center of the ring is approximately coincident with the center of the Chicxulub Impact Crater. Reactivation of K/T rim faults had been associated to the formation of the ring of cenotes. However, none of these models project such faults to the Tertiary sedimentary sequence; therefore we can only infer that the cenotes are associated to these faults. Other hypotheses include "post impact subsidence induced by slumping and viscous relaxation in the rim" and "slumping in the rim of the buried crater, differential thickness in the rocks overlying the crater, or solution collapse within porous impact deposits", others suggest duration of subaerial exposure and weathering as a principal reason both for difference in permeability and cenote density inside and outside the Ring. This is consistent with the evolution of surface features reported. While sedimentation occurred in the basin outlined by the Ring, erosion and karst weathering were taking place outside the Ring. The karst features are associated with gravity gradients, which have been interpreted as corresponding to peripheral faults of the buried crater. We conducted geoelectric tomography perpendicular to the ring of cenotes, where we mapped the karstic features in the area and we interpret the high permeability in this area, to be associated to the faults generated by the differential compaction of the sedimentary sequence within the crater. This fault system generates a secondary porosity with high permeability that allows the circulation of water

  11. Impact cratering at geologic stage boundaries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stothers, Richard B.

    1993-01-01

    The largest known Cenozoic impact craters with the most accurately measured ages are found to correlate very closely with geologic stage boundaries. The level of confidence in this result is 98-99 percent even under the most pessimistic assumptions concerning dating errors. One or more large impacts may have led, in at least some cases, to the extinctions and first appearances of biotic species that mark many of the geologic stage boundaries.

  12. Hydrothermal Alteration at Lonar Crater, India and Elemental Variations in Impact Crater Clays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newsom, H. E.; Nelson, M. J.; Shearer, C. K.; Misra, S.; Narasimham, V.

    2005-01-01

    The role of hydrothermal alteration and chemical transport involving impact craters could have occurred on Mars, the poles of Mercury and the Moon, and other small bodies. We are studying terrestrial craters of various sizes in different environments to better understand aqueous alteration and chemical transport processes. The Lonar crater in India (1.8 km diameter) is particularly interesting being the only impact crater in basalt. In January of 2004, during fieldwork in the ejecta blanket around the rim of the Lonar crater we discovered alteration zones not previously described at this crater. The alteration of the ejecta blanket could represent evidence of localized hydrothermal activity. Such activity is consistent with the presence of large amounts of impact melt in the ejecta blanket. Map of one area on the north rim of the crater containing highly altered zones at least 3 m deep is shown.

  13. Impact and cratering rates onto Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenstreet, Sarah; Gladman, Brett; McKinnon, William B.

    2015-09-01

    The New Horizons spacecraft fly-through of the Pluto system in July 2015 will provide humanity's first data for the crater populations on Pluto and its binary companion, Charon. In principle, these surfaces could be dated in an absolute sense, using the observed surface crater density (# craters/km2 larger than some threshold crater diameter D). Success, however, requires an understanding of both the cratering physics and absolute impactor flux. The Canada-France Ecliptic Plane Survey (CFEPS) L7 synthetic model of classical and resonant Kuiper belt populations (Petit, J.M. et al. [2011]. Astron. J. 142, 131-155; Gladman, B. et al. [2012]. Astron. J. 144, 23-47) and the scattering object model of Kaib et al. (Kaib, N., Roškar, R., Quinn, T. [2011]. Icarus 215, 491-507) calibrated by Shankman et al. (Shankman, C. et al. [2013]. Astrophys. J. 764, L2-L5) provide such impact fluxes and thus current primary cratering rates for each dynamical sub-population. We find that four sub-populations (the q < 42AU hot and stirred main classicals, the classical outers, and the plutinos) dominate Pluto's impact flux, each providing ≈ 15-25 % of the total rate. Due to the uncertainty in how the well-characterized size distribution for Kuiper belt objects (with impactor diameter d > 100km) connects to smaller projectiles, we compute cratering rates using five model impactor size distributions: a single power-law, a power-law with a knee, a power-law with a divot, as well as the "wavy" size distributions described in Minton et al. (Minton, D.A. et al. [2012]. Asteroids Comets Meteors Conf. 1667, 6348) and Schlichting et al. (Schlichting, H.E., Fuentes, C.I., Trilling, D.E. [2013]. Astron. J. 146, 36-42). We find that there is only a small chance that Pluto has been hit in the past 4 Gyr by even one impactor with a diameter larger than the known break in the projectile size distribution (d ≈ 100km) which would create a basin on Pluto (D ⩾ 400km in diameter). We show that due to

  14. Impact Materials of Takamatsu Crater in Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miura, Y.; Okamoto, M.; Fukuchi, T.

    1995-09-01

    Shocked quartz materials have been found in Japanese K.T boundary (Hokkaido) and mountains of middle main-islands of Japan, though there are few direct evidence of "natural circular structure" on the surface in Japan. However circular structure has been recently found as a buried crater(up to 150m deep) [1] which is ca. 4km in diameter with -10 mgal of Bouguer gravity anomaly from surrounding Rhyoke granitic region of the southern part of Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture, northeast Shikoku, Japan [1,2,3]. Two boring cores of 300m deep near small mountains inside the crater could not reach the bottom of the crater so far. From model calculation of the negative gravity anomaly, the Takamatsu crater shows deep basin structure up to 1.4km. If the Takamatsu crater is considered to be only impact crater, it is difficult to discuss only surface materials on the crater. But anomalous minerals are found only around small volcanic intrusions inside the crater, which the mixed minerals are clearly different with those of other volcanic intrusions of the Yashima and Goshikidai outside the crater [1,2,3]. The small volcanic intrusions are not origin of large Takamatsu crater, because the small volcanic intrusions are found on whole areas of Kagawa Prefecture. Major different activity of the small intrusions inside the crater is to bring the brecciated materials of the interior (esp. crater sediments). The xenolith materials around only volcanic intrusion of andesite are divided into the following four major mineral materials:(a) round pebble fragments from the Rhyoke granitic basement (Sampling No.15), (b) rock fragments from intruded biotite andesites (Nos. 2,15), (c) impact-induced fragments of shocked Quartz grains (Nos. 2,3,6,15), diaplectic feldspars (Nos. 2,3,6,15), silica glasses (Nos. 2,15) and small Fe-Ni metallic grains (No.15), and (d) small sedimentary fragments of halite and mordenite, as listed in Table 1. Table I, showing the characterization of surface samples

  15. Debris and meteoroid proportions deduced from impact crater residue analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berthoud, Lucinda; Mandeville, Jean-Claude; Durin, Christian; Borg, Janet

    1995-01-01

    This study is a further investigation of space-exposed samples recovered from the LDEF satellite and the Franco-Russian 'Aragatz' dust collection experiment on the Mir Space Station. Impact craters with diameters ranging from 1 to 900 micron were found on the retrieved samples. Elemental analysis of residues found in the impact craters was carried out using Energy Dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDX). The analyses show evidence of micrometeoroid and orbital debris origins for the impacts. The proportions of these two components vary according to particle size and experimental position with respect to the leading edge of the spacecraft. On the LDEF leading edge 17 percent of the impacts were apparently caused by micrometeoroids and 11 percent by debris; on the LDEF trailing edge 23 percent of the impacts are apparently caused by micrometeoroids and 4 percent consist of debris particles - mostly larger than 3 micron in diameter - in elliptical orbits around the Earth. For Mir, the analyses indicate that micrometeoroids form 23 percent of impacts and debris 9 percent. However, we note that 60-70 percent of the craters are unidentifiable, so the definitive proportions of natural v. man-made particles are yet to be determined. Experiments carried out using a light gas gun to accelerate glass spheres and fragments demonstrate the influence of particle shape on crater morphology. The experiments also show that it is more difficult to analyze the residues produced by an irregular fragment than those produced by a spherical projectile. If the particle is travelling above a certain velocity, it vaporizes upon impact and no residues are left. Simulation experiments carried out with an electrostatic accelerator indicate that this limit is about 14 km/s for Fe particles impacting Al targets. This chemical analysis cut-off may bias interpretations of the relative populations of meteoroid and orbital debris. Oblique impacts and multiple foil detectors provide a higher likelihood

  16. The Complicated Geologic Histories of Large Venusian Impact Craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rumpf, M. E.; Herrick, R.; Gregg, T. K.

    2005-12-01

    One of the more surprising discoveries from the Magellan imaging campaign was that the impact craters have a spatial distribution closely consistent with a random pattern. First impressions of most craters were that they are also well preserved. These observations led to an initial post-Magellan consensus that the planet is nearly geologically inactive and that activity rapidly ceased a few hundred million years ago. Early mapping efforts were mostly interpreted in terms of a rapid, linear, globally uniform stratigraphic evolution in the nature of volcanism and deformation. A number of challenges to this view have been made as detailed study of the Magellan data has progressed, and several researchers now advocate a more uniformitarian view of the planet. A valuable research tool has been topography derived from Magellan stereo imagery; it provides an order of magnitude improvement in horizontal resolution over the altimetry data (1 km vs. 10 km). Previous studies utilizing the stereo-derived topography have shown that impact craters with radar-dark floors (most of the population) are shallow and probably partially filled with post-impact lavas, and detailed mapping of Mead impact basin (the planet's largest impact structure) has revealed post-impact volcanic embayment. We have recently performed detailed photogeologic mapping, aided by stereo-derived topography, of several 50-100 km diameter impact craters. Most of these craters are not at the top of the stratigraphic column, and in some cases there is a complex, multi-event post-emplacement history. The combined histories of these craters are not consistent with a rapid cessation of geologic activity, and we are still synthesizing the individual histories to evaluate the hypothesis of a linear global stratigraphic evolution. Although the stereo-derived topography greatly aided interpretation, in many cases geologic contacts were ambiguous, individual volcanic flows could not be distinguished, source vents could

  17. Impact cratering experiments in brittle targets with variable thickness: Implications for deep pit craters on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michikami, T.; Hagermann, A.; Miyamoto, H.; Miura, S.; Haruyama, J.; Lykawka, P. S.

    2014-06-01

    High-resolution images reveal that numerous pit craters exist on the surface of Mars. For some pit craters, the depth-to-diameter ratios are much greater than for ordinary craters. Such deep pit craters are generally considered to be the results of material drainage into a subsurface void space, which might be formed by a lava tube, dike injection, extensional fracturing, and dilational normal faulting. Morphological studies indicate that the formation of a pit crater might be triggered by the impact event, and followed by collapse of the ceiling. To test this hypothesis, we carried out laboratory experiments of impact cratering into brittle targets with variable roof thickness. In particular, the effect of the target thickness on the crater formation is studied to understand the penetration process by an impact. For this purpose, we produced mortar targets with roof thickness of 1-6 cm, and a bulk density of 1550 kg/m3 by using a mixture of cement, water and sand (0.2 mm) in the ratio of 1:1:10, by weight. The compressive strength of the resulting targets is 3.2±0.9 MPa. A spherical nylon projectile (diameter 7 mm) is shot perpendicularly into the target surface at the nominal velocity of 1.2 km/s, using a two-stage light-gas gun. Craters are formed on the opposite side of the impact even when no target penetration occurs. Penetration of the target is achieved when craters on the opposite sides of the target connect with each other. In this case, the cross section of crater somehow attains a flat hourglass-like shape. We also find that the crater diameter on the opposite side is larger than that on the impact side, and more fragments are ejected from the crater on the opposite side than from the crater on the impact side. This result gives a qualitative explanation for the observation that the Martian deep pit craters lack a raised rim and have the ejecta deposit on their floor instead. Craters are formed on the opposite impact side even when no penetration

  18. High-explosive cratering analogs for bowl-shaped, central uplift, and multiring impact craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roddy, D. J.

    1976-01-01

    The paper describes six experimental explosion craters in terms of their basic morphology, subsurface structural deformation, and surrounding ejecta blanket. These craters exhibit one or more of the following features: bowl shapes with underlying breccia lens, central uplifts, multirings, terraced walls, rim strata, zones of concentric rim deformation, inner continuous ground cover of ejecta blankets formed by overturned flaps, secondary cratering, and fused alluvium. These craters were formed by large shock wave energy transfers at or near zero heights-of-burst, and it is possible that impact craters with analogous morphologic and structural features may have formed under similar surface energy transfer conditions.

  19. Impact fragmentation of Lonar Crater, India: Implications for impact cratering processes in basalt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Senthil Kumar, P.; Prasanna Lakshmi, K. J.; Krishna, N.; Menon, R.; Sruthi, U.; Keerthi, V.; Senthil Kumar, A.; Mysaiah, D.; Seshunarayana, T.; Sen, M. K.

    2014-09-01

    Impact fragmentation is an energetic process that has affected all planetary bodies. To understand its effects in basalt, we studied Lonar Crater, which is a rare terrestrial simple impact crater in basalt and analogues to kilometer-scale simple craters on Mars. The Lonar ejecta consists of basaltic fragments with sizes ranging from silt to boulder. The cumulative size and mass frequency distributions of these fragments show variation of power index for different size ranges, suggesting simple and complex fragmentation. The general shape of the fragments is compact, platy, bladed, and elongated with an average edge angle of 100°. The size distribution of cobble- to boulder-sized fragments is similar to the fracture spacing distribution in the upper crater wall, indicating the provenance of those large fragments. Its consistency with a theoretical spallation model suggests that the large fragments were ejected from near surface of the target, whereas the small fragments from deeper level. The petrophysical properties of the ejecta fragments reflect the geophysical heterogeneity in the target basalt that significantly reduced the original size of spall fragments. The presence of Fe/Mg phyllosilicates (smectites) both in the ejecta and wall indicates the role of impact in excavating the phyllosilicates from the interior of basaltic target affected by aqueous alteration. The seismic images reveal a thickness variation in the ejecta blanket, segregation of boulders, fractures, and faults in the bedrock beneath the crater rim. The fracturing, fragmentation, and fluvial degradation of Lonar Crater have important implications for Mars.

  20. On the scaling of crater dimensions. II - Impact processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holsapple, K. A.; Schmidt, R. M.

    1982-01-01

    Holsapple and Schmidt (1980) previously addressed the problem of the scaling of explosive cratering. Their analysis included results which show under which conditions the scaling can be bounded between quarter-root and cube-root rules. The present investigation is an extension of the earlier analysis and approaches the case of impact cratering. More restrictive bounds are found for impact cratering than for the explosive case. These stronger results come from considering the role of the impactor momentum as an independent variable for impact cratering. Attention is given to impact cratering variables, general scaling rules, the bounds on scaling rules, a generalization to more variables, and previous scaling rules and results.

  1. Topographical analysis of lunar impact craters using SELENE images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vijayan, S.; Vani, K.; Sanjeevi, S.

    2013-10-01

    Lunar craters provide ample opportunities to study and understand crater morphology because of their vast numbers. This paper focuses on the topographical mapping of 33 Mare craters (Flat- and Round-floor) of ˜2 km diameter, using the SELENE DTM. Each crater was analyzed individually for its slope, regional topography and rim signature. The crater slope analysis revealed a small slope variation between the flat- and round-floor craters, in a similar diameter range, with some overlap between them. In the regional topographical analysis, the impact craters formed on the flat- and sloped-surface were analyzed in detail. The crater profile extracted through the rim crest was compared with its corresponding regional topographic profile (obtained over ˜3 crater radii). Four types of crater occurrences were observed: type i, ii and iv craters were formed on sloped surface, whereas type iii craters are formed on a flat surface with an equally raised rim. The occurrences of the rim crest on type i and ii craters are on the topographically elevated side of the terrain. But in type iv craters, the rim crest occurs on the topographically lower side of the terrain. The type iv craters uplifted the topographically lower terrain, which depicts the alteration that had taken place due to the impact. This topographical analysis suggests that the surrounding topography should also be considered for understanding the craters. Finally, from the crater rim signature analysis, it was evident that the prominent V-shaped incisions on the rim are caused due to landslide/slumping and by small impactors. This DTM based simple lunar crater analysis revealed information about the crater association with their surrounding topography and their morphological variations on flat- and sloped- surface.

  2. Venus - Impact Crater in Eastern Navka Region

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    This Magellan image, which is 50 kilometers (31 miles) in width and 80 kilometers (50 miles) in length, is centered at 11.9 degrees latitude, 352 degrees longitude in the eastern Navka Region of Venus. The crater, which is approximately 8 kilometers (5 miles) in diameter, displays a butterfly symmetry pattern. The ejecta pattern most likely results from an oblique impact, where the impactor came from the south and ejected material to the north.

  3. Meteoritic material at four Canadian impact craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolf, R.; Woodrow, A. B.; Grieve, R. A. F.

    1980-01-01

    Eleven impact melt and six basement rock samples from four craters were analyzed by neutron activation for Au, Co, Cr, Fe, Ge, Ir, Ni, Os, Pd, Re and Se. Wanapitei Lake, Ontario: the impact melts show uniform enrichments corresponding to 1-2% C1-chondrite material. Interelement ratios (Co/Cr, Ni/Cr, Ni/Ir) suggest that the impacting body was a C1-, C2-, or LL-chondrite. Nicholson Lake, North West Territory: Ni, Cr and Co are distinctly more enriched than Ir and Au which tentatively suggests an olivine-rich achondrite (nakhlite or ureilite). Gow Lake, Saskatchewan and Mistastin, Labrador: small enrichments in Ir and Ni; both the low Ir/Ni ratios and low Cr content suggest iron meteorites, but the signals are too weak for conclusive identification. A tentative comparison of meteoritic signatures at 10 large, greater than or equal to 4 km craters and their presumed celestial counterparts (13 Apollo and Amor asteroids) shows more irons and achondrites among known projectile types, and a preponderance of S-type objects, having no known meteoritic equivalent, among asteroids. It is not yet clear that these differences are significant, in view of the tentative nature of the crater identifications and the limited statistics.

  4. Ejecta thickness and structural rim uplift measurements of Martian impact craters: Implications for the rim formation of complex impact craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sturm, Sebastian; Kenkmann, Thomas; Hergarten, Stefan

    2016-06-01

    The elevated rim in simple craters results from the structural uplift of preimpact target rocks and the deposition of a coherent proximal ejecta blanket at the outer edge of the transient cavity. Given the considerable, widening of the transient cavity during crater modification and ejecta thickness distributions, the cause of elevated crater rims in complex craters is less obvious. The thick, proximal ejecta in complex impact craters is deposited well inside the final crater rim and target thickening should rapidly diminish with increasing distance from the transient cavity rim. Our study of 10 complex Martian impact craters ranging from 8.2 to 53.0 km in diameter demonstrates that the mean structural rim uplift at the final crater rim makes 81% of the total rim elevation, while the mean ejecta thickness contributes 19%. Thus, the structural rim uplift seems to be the dominant factor to build up the total amount of the raised crater rim of complex craters. To measure the widening of the transient cavity during modification and the distance between the rim of the final crater and that of the transient cavity, we constructed balanced cross section restorations to estimate the transient cavity of nine complex Martian impact craters. The final crater radii are ~1.38-1.87 times the transient cavity radii. We propose that target uplift at the position of the final crater rim was established during the excavation stage.

  5. Impact cratering and spall failure of gabbro

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lange, M. A.; Ahrens, T. J.; Boslough, M. B.

    1984-01-01

    Both hypervelocity impact and dynamic spall experiments were carried out on a series of well-indurated samples of gabbro. The impact experiments carried out with 0.04 to 0.2 g, 5-6 km/sec projectiles produced deci-centimeter-sized craters and demonstrated crater efficiencies of 6/10 to the -9 g/erg, and order of magnitude greater than in metal and some two to three times that of previous experiments on less strong igneous rocks. Most of the crater volume (some 60 to 80 percent) is due to spall failure. Distribution of cumulative fragment number, as a function of mass of fragments with masses greater than 0.1 gram yield values of b = d(log10N sub f)dlog10(m) of -0.5 to -0.6, where N sub f is the cumulate number of fragments and m is the mass of fragments. These values are in agreement or slightly higher than those obtained for less strong rocks and indicate that a large fraction of the ejecta resides in a few large fragments.

  6. Impact cratering and spall failure at gabbro

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lange, M. A.; Ahrens, T. J.; Boslough, M. B.

    1983-01-01

    Both hypervelocity impact and dynamic spall experiments were carried out on a series of well-indurated samples of gabbro. The impact experiments carried out with 0.04 to 0.2g, 5-6 km/sec projectiles produced deci-centimeter-sized craters and demonstrated crater efficiencies of 6/10 to the - 9 g/erg, and order of magnitude greater than in metal and some two to three times that of previous experiments on less strong igneous rocks. Most of the crater volume (some 60 to 80%) is due to spall failure. Distribution of cumulative fragment number, as a function of mass of fragments with masses greater than 0.1 gram yield values of b = d(log10N sub f)dlog10(m)of -0.5 to -0.6, where N sub f is the cumulate number of fragments and m is the mass of fragments. These values are in agreement or slightly higher than those obtained for less strong rocks and indicate that a large fraction of the ejectra resides in a few large fragments.

  7. Central ring structure identified in one of the world's best-preserved impact craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gebhardt, A. C.; Niessen, F.; Kopsch, C.

    2006-03-01

    Seismic refraction and reflection data were acquired in 2000 and 2003 to study the morphology and sedimentary fill of the remote El'gygytgyn crater (Chukotka, northeastern Siberia; diameter 18 km). These data allow a first insight into the deeper structure of this unique impact crater. Wide-angle data from sonobuoys reveal a five-layer model: a water layer, two lacustrine sedimentary units that fill a bowl-shaped apparent crater morphology consisting of an upper layer of fallback breccia with P-wave velocities of ˜3000 m/s, and a lower layer of brecciated bedrock (velocities >3600 m/s). The lowermost layer shows a distinct anticline structure that, by analogy with other terrestrial and lunar craters of similar size, can be interpreted as a central ring structure. The El'gygytgyn crater exhibits a well-expressed morphology that is typical of craters formed in crystalline target rocks.

  8. The Microstructure of Lunar Micrometeorite Impact Craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Noble, S. K.; Keller, L. P.; Christoffersen, R.; Rahman, Z.

    2016-01-01

    The peak of the mass flux of impactors striking the lunar surface is made up of objects approximately 200 micrometers in diameter that erode rocks, comminute regolith grains, and produce agglutinates. The effects of these micro-scale impacts are still not fully understood. Much effort has focused on evaluating the physical and optical effects of micrometeorite impacts on lunar and meteoritic material using pulsed lasers to simulate the energy deposited into a substrate in a typical hypervelocity impact. Here we characterize the physical and chemical changes that accompany natural micrometeorite impacts into lunar rocks with long surface exposure to the space environment (12075 and 76015). Transmission electron microscope (TEM) observations were obtained from cross-sections of approximately 10-20 micrometers diameter craters that revealed important micro-structural details of micrometeorite impact processes, including the creation of npFe (sup 0) in the melt, and extensive deformation around the impact site.

  9. Crater annihilation on silver by cluster ion impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henriksson, K. O. E.; Nordlund, K.; Keinonen, J.

    2007-02-01

    Using the MD/MC-CEM potential we have investigated the impacts of 20 keV Ag 13 cluster ions on (0 0 1) silver surfaces having one initial crater. This one was made in the zeroth ion impact. The degree of annihilation of the initial crater was investigated as a function of the lateral distance ri between the crater and the ion. The impact points were selected randomly inside a circular area with a radius of 75 Å centered on the crater. To reduce the total number of simulations, the circular area was divided into annuli. The initial and final atomic positions in the impact simulations were analyzed and the degree of annihilation of the initial crater was determined. The results indicate that for r ≲ 60 Å there is a net growth of the initial crater, and for distances r ∈ (60, 80) Å there is a small net filling of the crater.

  10. Standardizing the nomenclature of Martian impact crater ejecta morphologies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barlow, Nadine G.; Boyce, Joseph M.; Costard, Francois M.; Craddock, Robert A.; Garvin, James B.; Sakimoto, Susan E.H.; Kuzmin, Ruslan O.; Roddy, David J.; Soderblom, Laurence A.

    2000-01-01

    The Mars Crater Morphology Consortium recommends the use of a standardized nomenclature system when discussing Martian impact crater ejecta morphologies. The system utilizes nongenetic descriptors to identify the various ejecta morphologies seen on Mars. This system is designed to facilitate communication and collaboration between researchers. Crater morphology databases will be archived through the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, where a comprehensive catalog of Martian crater morphologic information will be maintained.

  11. Impact spallation processes on the Moon: A case study from the size and shape analysis of ejecta boulders and secondary craters of Censorinus crater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krishna, N.; Kumar, P. Senthil

    2016-01-01

    have subdued ejecta (rayless craters), while some possess bright-rayed ejecta (bright-rayed craters). The CSFD of rayless craters show a steep power-law slope with a b-value of -4.0, similar to the secondary craters produced by the impact of ejecta from primary craters. We therefore interpret the rayless craters as the secondary craters of Censorinus. On the other hand, the CSFD of bright-rayed craters have smaller power-law slope (b value -2.7) which is a characteristic of primary craters, and thus provide 3 Ma age for Censorinus crater. When the characteristics of Censorinus boulders are compared with the theoretical spallation models that are sensitive to the petrophysical properties of the target (lunar highland), the models generally agree with the Censorinus boulders. However, the observed shape and size characteristics of the Censorinus boulders are found to be more complex than the theoretical spallation models. The ejecta boulders suffered more complex fragmentation and asymmetric distribution in response to the oblique impact. The spallation models accounting oblique impacts have not yet been developed. Therefore, our Censorinus boulder observations can be used to develop and validate the new theoretical spallation models for the effects of oblique impacts.

  12. The two Suvasvesi impact structures, Finland: Argon isotopic evidence for a "false" impact crater doublet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmieder, Martin; Schwarz, Winfried H.; Trieloff, Mario; Buchner, Elmar; Hopp, Jens; Tohver, Eric; Pesonen, Lauri J.; Lehtinen, Martti; Moilanen, Jarmo; Werner, Stephanie C.; Öhman, Teemu

    2016-05-01

    The two neighboring Suvasvesi North and South impact structures in central-east Finland have been discussed as a possible impact crater doublet produced by the impact of a binary asteroid. This study presents 40Ar/39Ar geochronologic data for impact melt rocks recovered from the drilling into the center of the Suvasvesi North impact structure and melt rock from glacially transported boulders linked to Suvasvesi South. 40Ar/39Ar step-heating analysis yielded two essentially flat age spectra indicating a Late Cretaceous age of ~85 Ma for the Suvasvesi North melt rock, whereas the Suvasvesi South melt sample gave a Neoproterozoic minimum (alteration) age of ~710 Ma. Although the statistical likelihood for two independent meteorite strikes in close proximity to each other is rather low, the remarkable difference in 40Ar/39Ar ages of >600 Myr for the two Suvasvesi impact melt samples is interpreted as evidence for two temporally separate, but geographically closely spaced, impacts into the Fennoscandian Shield. The Suvasvesi North and South impact structures are, thus, interpreted as a "false" crater doublet, similar to the larger East and West Clearwater Lake impact structures in Québec, Canada, recently shown to be unrelated. Our findings have implications for the reliable recognition of impact crater doublets and the apparent rate of binary asteroid impacts on Earth and other planetary bodies in the inner solar system.

  13. Crater morphology in sandstone targets: The MEMIN impact parameter study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dufresne, Anja; Poelchau, Michael H.; Kenkmann, Thomas; Deutsch, Alex; Hoerth, Tobias; SchńFer, Frank; Thoma, Klaus

    2013-01-01

    Hypervelocity (2.5-7.8 km s-1) impact experiments into sandstone were carried out to investigate the influence of projectile velocity and mass, target pore space saturation, target-projectile density contrast, and target layer orientation on crater size and shape. Crater size increases with increasing projectile velocity and mass as well as with increasing target pore space saturation. Craters in water-saturated porous targets are generally shallower and larger in volume and in diameter than craters from equivalent impacts into dry porous sandstone. Morphometric analyses of the resultant craters, 5-40 cm in diameter, reveal features that are characteristic of all of our experimental craters regardless of impact conditions (I) a large central depression within a fragile, light-colored central part, and (II) an outer spallation zone with areas of incipient spallation. Two different mechanical processes, grain fragmentation and intergranular tensile fracturing, are recorded within these crater morphologies. Zone (I) approximates the shape of the transient crater formed by material compression, displacement, comminution, and excavation flow, whereas (II) is the result of intergranular tensile fracturing and spallation. The transient crater dimensions are reconstructed by fitting quadric parabolas to crater profiles from digital elevation models. The dimensions of this transient and of the final crater show the same trends: both increase in volume with increasing impact energy, and with increasing water saturation of the target pore space. The relative size of the transient crater (in percent of the final crater volume) decreases with increasing projectile mass and velocity, signifying a greater contribution of spallation on the final crater size when projectile mass and velocity are increased.

  14. Differential impact cratering of Saturn's satellites by heliocentric impactors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirata, Naoyuki

    2016-02-01

    Saturnian satellites are thought to have been struck by two different types of impactors: those with heliocentric origins and those with planetocentric origins. Many of the impacts are suggested to come from planetocentric debris, while many crater count studies assume an ecliptic comet origin when determining the ages of the surfaces. To assess the contribution of planetocentric impactors, this study examines the global distribution and apex-antapex asymmetry of impact craters on Rhea and Iapetus. The results demonstrate that the craters of Rhea (more than 20 km in diameter) and Iapetus (more than 30 km in diameter) show an apex-antapex asymmetry. This suggests that most of the large craters are formed from heliocentric impacts. In contrast, the craters less than 20 km in diameter seem to show no asymmetry. Possible explanations for this are either planetocentric impactor origins or saturation with impact craters.

  15. Impact craters on Venus: An overview from Magellan observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schaber, G. G.; Strom, R. G.; Moore, H. J.; Soderblom, L. A.; Kirk, R. L.; Chadwick, D. J.; Dawson, D. D.; Gaddis, L. R.; Boyce, J. M.; Russell, J.

    1992-01-01

    Magellan has revealed an ensemble of impact craters on Venus that is unique in many important ways. We have compiled a database describing 842 craters on 89 percent of the planet's surface mapped through orbit 2578 (the craters range in diameter from 1.5 to 280 km). We have studied the distribution, size-frequency, morphology, and geology of these craters both in aggregate and, for some craters, in more detail. We have found the following: (1) the spatial distribution of craters is highly uniform; (2) the size-density distribution of craters with diameters greater than or equal to 35 km is consistent with a 'production' population having a surprisingly young age of about 0.5 Ga (based on the estimated population of Venus-crossing asteroids); (3) the spectrum of crater modification differs greatly from that on other planets--62 percent of all craters are pristine, only 4 percent volcanically embayed, and the remainder affected by tectonism, but none are severely and progressively depleted based on size-density distribution extrapolated from larger craters; (4) large craters have a progression of morphologies generally similar to those on other planets, but small craters are typically irregular or multiple rather than bowl shaped; (5) diffuse radar-bright or -dark features surround some craters, and about 370 similar diffuse 'splotches' with no central crater are observed whose size-density distribution is similar to that of small craters; and (6) other features unique to Venus include radar-bright or -dark parabolic arcs opening westward and extensive outflows originating in crater ejecta.

  16. Modeling Low Velocity Impacts: Predicting Crater Depth on Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bray, V. J.; Schenk, P.

    2014-12-01

    The New Horizons mission is due to fly-by the Pluto system in Summer 2015 and provides the first opportunity to image the Pluto surface in detail, allowing both the appearance and number of its crater population to be studied for the first time. Bray and Schenk (2014) combined previous cratering studies and numerical modeling of the impact process to predict crater morphology on Pluto based on current understanding of Pluto's composition, structure and surrounding impactor population. Predictions of how the low mean impact velocity (~2km/s) of the Pluto system will influence crater formation is a complex issue. Observations of secondary cratering (low velocity, high angle) and laboratory experiments of impact at low velocity are at odds regarding how velocity controls depth-diameter ratios: Observations of secondary craters show that these low velocity craters are shallower than would be expected for a hyper-velocity primary. Conversely, gas gun work has shown that relative crater depth increases as impact velocity decreases. We have investigated the influence of impact velocity further with iSALE hydrocode modeling of comet impact into Pluto. With increasing impact velocity, a projectile will produce wider and deeper craters. The depth-diameter ratio (d/D) however has a more complex progression with increasing impact velocity: impacts faster than 2km/s lead to smaller d/D ratios as impact velocity increases, in agreement with gas-gun studies. However, decreasing impact velocity from 2km/s to 300 m/s produced smaller d/D as impact velocity was decreased. This suggests that on Pluto the deepest craters would be produced by ~ 2km/s impacts, with shallower craters produced by velocities either side of this critical point. Further simulations to investigate whether this effect is connected to the sound speed of the target material are ongoing. The complex relationship between impact velocity and crater depth for impacts occurring between 300m/s and 10 km/s suggests

  17. Impact cratering and ejection of material on porous asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Housen, K.; Sweet, W.

    2014-07-01

    The manner in which an impact crater and its ejecta blanket are created involves an interplay between gravity and the strength properties of the target material. Gravity is important because the overburden stress at depth in an asteroid determines the material shear strength, which affects the mechanics of crater and ejecta formation. This has important implications when attempting to use lab experiments to simulate large-crater formation on asteroids. The only way to perform small-scale experimental simulations of cratering events on asteroids is to adjust the ambient ''gravity'', g, such that the experiment has the same product of gL as the actual impact event being simulated, where L is an important length scale, such as the projectile or crater size [1]. In this way, the lab crater has the same overburden stress (and shear strength) and ejecta ballistics as a much larger cratering event on an asteroid. Even though asteroids have weak gravity fields, the overburden stress of a multiple-km crater is larger than can be reproduced in the lab at 1 G. Therefore, simulation of large impacts on asteroids requires that the ''gravity'' of the experiment is greater than 1 G. Here we report on a series of impact experiments conducted at elevated gravity on a geotechnical centrifuge. These experimental craters are subscale replicas of the much larger craters they simulate; larger G-levels simulate larger craters. Using the Boeing 600-G centrifuge, we directly simulate the formation of asteroid (g˜0.001 G) craters as large as several tens of km. The target materials are cohesionless with porosity ranging from 35 % to 95 %. Cratering experiments in soils with small or moderate porosity (<30 %) show a decrease in cratering efficiency (crater volume/impactor volume) with increasing size scale or, equivalently, increasing G in a centrifuge experiment. This well-known gravity-regime behavior is due to the fact that the shear strength of the target material goes up due to the

  18. Calculational investigation of impact cratering dynamics - Material motions during the crater growth period

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Austin, M. G.; Thomsen, J. M.; Ruhl, S. F.; Orphal, D. L.; Schultz, P. H.

    1980-01-01

    The considered investigation was conducted in connection with studies which are to provide a better understanding of the detailed dynamics of impact cratering processes. Such an understanding is vital for a comprehension of planetary surfaces. The investigation is the continuation of a study of impact dynamics in a uniform, nongeologic material at impact velocities achievable in laboratory-scale experiments conducted by Thomsen et al. (1979). A calculation of a 6 km/sec impact of a 0.3 g spherical 2024 aluminum projectile into low strength (50 kPa) homogeneous plasticene clay has been continued from 18 microseconds to past 600 microseconds. The cratering flow field, defined as the material flow field in the target beyond the transient cavity but well behind the outgoing shock wave, has been analyzed in detail to see how applicable the Maxwell Z-Model, developed from analysis of near-surface explosion cratering calculations, is to impact cratering

  19. The distribution and modes of occurrence of impact melt at lunar craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hawke, B. Ray; Head, J. W.

    1992-01-01

    Numerous studies of the returned lunar samples as well as geologic and remote-sensing investigations have emphasized the importance of impact melts on the surface of the Moon. Information concerning the distribution and relative volumes is important for (1) an improved understanding of cratering processes, (2) kinetic energy estimates and energy partitioning studies, (3) the proper interpretation of melt-bearing lunar samples, and (4) comparative planetology studies. The identification of major flows of fluidized material associated with impact craters on the surface of Venus has increased interest in impact melt flows on the other terrestrial planets. For a number of years, we have been investigating the distribution, modes of occurrence, and relative and absolute amounts of impact melt associated with lunar craters as well as the manner in which melt volumes vary as a function of crater size, morphology, and target characteristics. The results of this effort are presented.

  20. Mexican site for K/T impact crater?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pope, K. O.; Ocampo, A. C.; Duller, C. E.

    1991-05-01

    Research throughout the Caribbean suggests that the geophysical anomalies in the Yucatan first noted by Penfield and Camargo (1981) and called the Chicxulub crater could be the site of the impact purported to have caused the K/T extinctions. A semicircular ring of sink holes, known locally as cenotes, which correlates with the geophysical anomalies has been identified, and it is argued that the origin of the cenote ring is related to postimpact subsidence of the Chicxulub crater rim. If there is indeed a crater, the region within the cenote ring corresponds to its floor and the crater rim diameter is probably larger than 200 km. If confirmed as a site of impact, the Chicxulub crater would be the largest terrestrial impact crater known, which is consistent with the uniqueness of the K/T global catastrophe.

  1. Mexican site for K/T impact crater?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pope, Kevin O.; Ocampo, Adriana C.; Duller, Charles E.

    1991-01-01

    Research throughout the Caribbean suggests that the geophysical anomalies in the Yucatan first noted by Penfield and Camargo (1981) and called the Chicxulub crater could be the site of the impact purported to have caused the K/T extinctions. A semicircular ring of sink holes, known locally as cenotes, which correlates with the geophysical anomalies has been identified, and it is argued that the origin of the cenote ring is related to postimpact subsidence of the Chicxulub crater rim. If there is indeed a crater, the region within the cenote ring corresponds to its floor and the crater rim diameter is probably larger than 200 km. If confirmed as a site of impact, the Chicxulub crater would be the largest terrestrial impact crater known, which is consistent with the uniqueness of the K/T global catastrophe.

  2. Impact Diamonds in the Craters of the Ukrainian Shield

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurov, E. P.; Gurova, E. P.; Rakitskaya, R. B.

    1995-09-01

    The impact diamonds discovery and investigations in the rocks of the Popigay crater [1,2] stimulated the search of the carbon high pressure phases in the craters of the Ukrainian shield. Seven impact craters are located on the territory of the Ukrainian Shield and its North-Eastern slope. Impact diamonds were discovered in the rocks of the Ilyinets, Zapadnaya, Obolon craters and some other impact structures. The highest concentration of impact diamonds was determined in the Zapadnaya crater. The Zapadnaya impact crater, about 3 km in diameter, is located in the Western part of the Ukrainian shield. The target of the crater is presented by granites and gneisses of the Precambrian crystalline basement. The Zapadnaya crater is represented the intensively eroded astrobleme of a complex structure. The inner crater with the conelike central uplift preserves only at the recent erosional level [3,4]. The allochthonous rocks complex in the crater is presented by the suevites, breccia and impactites. The allochthonous breccia forms the lowermost layer in the crater. The suevites with the glass content from 10-15 to 40-50% compose the upper annular layer around the central uplift. The massive impactites form the dykelike veins in the brecciated rocks of the subcrater basement. The impact diamonds occur in suevites and massive impactites of the crater. The diamonds are represented with the tabular grains from tens of micron up to 0.4-0.5 mm in diameter. The colour of the diamond grains changes from colourless, white and yellowish to grey, dark grey and black. The diamonds are anisotropic, their birefringence is up to 0.015. The impact diamonds phase composition was investigated with X-ray methods. The diamond grains are represented by the submicroscopic aggregates of cubic and hexagonal phases. The cubic phase prevalents in all investigated diamonds; the hexagonal phase content in the diamonds from the Zapadnaya crater changes from 5-10 to 40-50%. The direct dependence of the

  3. Seismic interpretation of the sedimentation systems, structural geology and stratigraphic of the Chicxulub crater, carbonate platform of Yucatan, Mexico.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iza, Canales-Garcia; Jaime, Urrutia-Fucugauchi; Joaquin Eduardo, Aguayo-Camargo; Angel, Alatorre-Mendieta Miguel

    2016-04-01

    In order to describe the structural and stratigraphic features of the Chicxulub crater, was performed the present work of seismic interpretation, seismic attributes and generation of 3D surfaces. Load data it was performed in SEG-Y format, to display a total of 19 seismic reflection profiles were worked at domain time; the corresponding interpretation was carried out by separating five packages with textural differences, for this separation were used five horizons with seismic response representing the base of these packages, the correlation of horizons was made for all lines, creating composed lines so that all profiles were interpret together at intersections for form a grid. Multiple fault zones, were interpreted with the help of seismic attributes, like RMS amplitude, complex trace analysis, gradient of the trace and cosine phase. Was obtained the structural and stratigraphic interpretation , 3D models of the surfaces interpreted with which it is possible to observe the morphology of the base of the basin, it is controlled by the effect of the impact that formed the crater, has the features as a multi-ring crater. Shallower horizons shows that the topography of the base of the crater continues to affect the upper relief, which tends to be horizontal as it approaches the surface but is modeled by themselves sedimentary processes of the carbonate platform of Yucatán; packages below the base of the crater show the characteristics that own carbonated breccia, product the rupture of the material at impact, the material was deposited in a chaotic way, at this level we found the faults and fractures zone.

  4. Ganymede - Ancient Impact Craters in Galileo Regio

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    Ancient impact craters shown in this image of Jupiter's moon Ganymede taken by NASA's Galileo spacecraft testify to the great age of the terrain, dating back several billion years. At the margin at the left, half of a 19-kilometer-diameter (12-mile) crater is visible. The dark and bright lines running from lower right to upper left and from top to bottom are deep furrows in the ancient crust of dirty water ice. The origin of the dark material is unknown, but it may be accumulated dark fragments from many meteorites that hit Ganymede. In this view, north is to the top, and the sun illuminates the surface from the lower left about 58 degrees above the horizon. The area shown is part of Ganymede's Galileo Regio region at latitude 18 degrees north, longitude 147 degrees west; it is about 46 by 64 kilometers (29 by 38 miles) in extent. Resolution is about 80 meters (262 feet) per pixel. The image was taken June 27 at a range of 7.563 kilometers (4,700 miles). The Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science.

  5. Ringed impact craters on Venus: An analysis from Magellan images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alexopoulos, Jim S.; Mckinnon, William B.

    1992-01-01

    We have analyzed cycle 1 Magellan images covering approximately 90 percent of the venusian surface and have identified 55 unequivocal peak-ring craters and multiringed impact basins. This comprehensive study (52 peak-ring craters and at least 3 multiringed impact basins) complements our earlier independent analysis of Arecibo and Venera images and initial Magellan data and that of the Magellan team.

  6. Ancient impact and aqueous processes at Endeavour Crater, Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Squyres, S. W.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bell, J.F., III; Calef, F.J., III; Clark, B. C.; Cohen, B. A.; Crumpler, L.A.; de Souza, P. A., Jr.; Farrand, W. H.; Gellert, Ralf; Grant, J.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Hurowitz, J.A.; Johnson, J. R.; Jolliff, B.L.; Knoll, A.H.; Li, R.; McLennan, S.M.; Ming, D. W.; Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Parker, T.J.; Paulsen, G.; Rice, M.S.; Ruff, S.W.; Schröder, C.; Yen, A. S.; Zacny, K.

    2012-01-01

    The rover Opportunity has investigated the rim of Endeavour Crater, a large ancient impact crater on Mars. Basaltic breccias produced by the impact form the rim deposits, with stratigraphy similar to that observed at similar-sized craters on Earth. Highly localized zinc enrichments in some breccia materials suggest hydrothermal alteration of rim deposits. Gypsum-rich veins cut sedimentary rocks adjacent to the crater rim. The gypsum was precipitated from low-temperature aqueous fluids flowing upward from the ancient materials of the rim, leading temporarily to potentially habitable conditions and providing some of the waters involved in formation of the ubiquitous sulfate-rich sandstones of the Meridiani region.

  7. Ancient impact and aqueous processes at Endeavour Crater, Mars.

    PubMed

    Squyres, S W; Arvidson, R E; Bell, J F; Calef, F; Clark, B C; Cohen, B A; Crumpler, L A; de Souza, P A; Farrand, W H; Gellert, R; Grant, J; Herkenhoff, K E; Hurowitz, J A; Johnson, J R; Jolliff, B L; Knoll, A H; Li, R; McLennan, S M; Ming, D W; Mittlefehldt, D W; Parker, T J; Paulsen, G; Rice, M S; Ruff, S W; Schröder, C; Yen, A S; Zacny, K

    2012-05-01

    The rover Opportunity has investigated the rim of Endeavour Crater, a large ancient impact crater on Mars. Basaltic breccias produced by the impact form the rim deposits, with stratigraphy similar to that observed at similar-sized craters on Earth. Highly localized zinc enrichments in some breccia materials suggest hydrothermal alteration of rim deposits. Gypsum-rich veins cut sedimentary rocks adjacent to the crater rim. The gypsum was precipitated from low-temperature aqueous fluids flowing upward from the ancient materials of the rim, leading temporarily to potentially habitable conditions and providing some of the waters involved in formation of the ubiquitous sulfate-rich sandstones of the Meridiani region. PMID:22556248

  8. Fresh lunar impact craters - Review of variations with size

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howard, K. A.

    1974-01-01

    Thirty-three morphologic characteristics are reviewed for fresh lunar impact craters wider than 1 km. Bar graphs express the way each characteristic varies with crater size. The features are grouped as crater structure, ejecta, and downhill flow features. Major structural transitions occur at diameters of about 15 and 200 km. Details of the ejecta blanket, which include several kinds of lineations, dunelike ridges, troughs, and lobes, reflect different transport regimes in the ejecta. Some materials at larger craters flowed downhill in lavalike fashion after the ejecta was deposited; the lavalike materials are probably impact melt.

  9. Mapping and interpretation of Sinlap crater on Titan using Cassini VIMS and RADAR data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Le, Mouelic S.; Paillou, P.; Janssen, M.A.; Barnes, J.W.; Rodriguez, S.; Sotin, C.; Brown, R.H.; Baines, K.H.; Buratti, B.J.; Clark, R.N.; Crapeau, M.; Encrenaz, P.J.; Jaumann, R.; Geudtner, D.; Paganelli, F.; Soderblom, L.; Tobie, G.; Wall, S.

    2008-01-01

    Only a few impact craters have been unambiguously detected on Titan by the Cassini-Huygens mission. Among these, Sinlap is the only one that has been observed both by the RADAR and VIMS instruments. This paper describes observations at centimeter and infrared wavelengths which provide complementary information about the composition, topography, and surface roughness. Several units appear in VIMS false color composites of band ratios in the Sinlap area, suggesting compositional heterogeneities. A bright pixel possibly related to a central peak does not show significant spectral variations, indicating either that the impact site was vertically homogeneous, or that this area has been recovered by homogeneous deposits. Both VIMS ratio images and dielectric constant measurements suggest the presence of an area enriched in water ice around the main ejecta blanket. Since the Ku-band SAR may see subsurface structures at the meter scale, the difference between infrared and SAR observations can be explained by the presence of a thin layer transparent to the radar. An analogy with terrestrial craters in Libya supports this interpretation. Finally, a tentative model describes the geological history of this area prior, during, and after the impact. It involves mainly the creation of ballistic ejecta and an expanding plume of vapor triggered by the impact, followed by the redeposition of icy spherules recondensed from this vapor plume blown downwind. Subsequent evolution is then driven by erosional processes and aeolian deposition. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.

  10. The depths of the largest impact craters on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ivanov, B. A.; Ford, P. G.

    1993-01-01

    The largest impact craters on Venus may be used as evidence of various geological processes within the Venusian crust. We are continuing to construct a data base for the further investigation of large craters on Venus (LCV). We hope to find evidence of crater relaxation that might constrain the thickness and thermal gradient of the crust, as was proposed in an earlier work. The current work concentrates on 27 impact craters with diameters (d) larger than 70 km, i.e., large enough that the footprint of the Magellan altimeter has a good chance of sampling the true crater bottom. All altimeter echoes from points located within (d/2)+70 km from the crater center have been inspected.

  11. Craters produced on metals by single ion impacts.

    SciTech Connect

    Birtcher, R. C.

    1998-12-23

    Single ion impacts have been observed using in-situ transmission electron microscopy during irradiation. In addition to internal defects, single-ion impacts create surface craters as large as 12 nm on In, Ag, Pb and Au. Crater formation rates have been determined from video recordings with a time-resolution of 33 milliseconds. The cratering rate for Xe ions increases linearly with increasing target mass density above a threshold density of approximately 7 gm/cm{sup 3}. The cratering rate increases as the ion mass is increased. These results suggest that cratering requires a high energy-density, near-surface displacement cascade. TRIM calculations have been made in an effort to establish a near-surface energy-density criterion for cratering.

  12. Auto-Detection of Impact Crater Statistics and Crater Morphologies in Mars THEMIS Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plesko, C. S.; Brumby, S. P.; Asphaug, E.

    2003-12-01

    One of the challenges of planetary science is the development of tools adequate to provide automated crater statistics, for use in chronology, geomorphology and a variety of other investigations. We will present the current results of an ongoing effort to develop new tools for culling THEMIS imagery for crater statistics. Our eventual goal is to generate crater density and age maps of Mars. We are also developing tools to probe the morphologies and near-surface compositions of type-class craters. One crater type of particular significance is the rampart crater, which is unique to Mars. These are widely believed to be the result of impacts into volatile-rich surface materials. We will present the results of our examination of the spectral and morphological properties of several rampart craters in THEMIS IR images as a demonstration of image processing and automated feature extraction techniques. Using techniques developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory, we are able to obtain an automated count of craters in an image, their centroids and radii, extract spectra and compare them to spectral libraries of known reference minerals.

  13. Hypervelocity impact cratering - A catastrophic terrestrial geologic process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grieve, Richard A. F.

    It is possible to infer a 5.4 x 10 to the 15th/sq km per year terrestrial impact cratering rate for hypervelocity impact structures with diameters greater than 20 km. These craters often contain such shock-metamorphic effects as shatter cones, tectosilicate microscopic planar features, diapleptic solid-state glasses, and impact melting. Impact melt rocks may contain siderophile anomalies indicative of siderophile material admixtures. Hypervelocity impacts have gained recognition as catastrophes with potentially severe biological effects; the cratering record is such as to suggest that the earth may be subjected to periodic cometary showers.

  14. Dimensional scaling for impact cratering and perforation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watts, Alan J.; Atkinson, Dale

    1995-01-01

    POD Associates have revisited the issue of generic scaling laws able to adequately predict (within better than 20 percent) cratering in semi-infinite targets and perforations through finite thickness targets. The approach used was to apply physical logic for hydrodynamics in a consistent manner able to account for chunky-body impacts such that the only variables needed are those directly related to known material properties for both the impactor and target. The analyses were compared and verified versus CTH hydrodynamic code calculations and existing data. Comparisons with previous scaling laws were also performed to identify which (if any) were good for generic purposes. This paper is a short synopsis of the full report available through the NASA Langley Research Center, LDEF Science Office.

  15. Scaling of liquid-drop impact craters in granular media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Runchen; Zhang, Qianyun; Tjugito, Hendro; Gao, Ming; Cheng, Xiang

    Granular impact cratering by liquid drops is a ubiquitous phenomenon, directly relevant to many important natural and industrial processes such as soil erosion, drip irrigation, and dispersion of micro-organisms in soil. Here, by combining the high-speed photography with high precision laser profilometry, we investigate the liquid-drop impact dynamics on granular surfaces and monitor the morphology of resulting craters. Our experiments reveal novel scaling relations between the size of granular impact craters and important control parameters including the impact energy, the size of impinging drops and the degree of liquid saturation in a granular bed. Interestingly, we find that the scaling for liquid-drop impact cratering in dry granular media can be quantitatively described by the Schmidt-Holsapple scaling originally proposed for asteroid impact cratering. On the other hand, the scaling for impact craters in wet granular media can be understood by balancing the inertia of impinging drops and the strength of impacted surface. Our study sheds light on the mechanism governing liquid-drop impacts on dry/wet granular surfaces and reveals a remarkable analogy between familiar phenomena of raining and catastrophic asteroid strikes. Scaling of liquid-drop impact craters in granular media.

  16. Chicxulub's Cretaceous-Tertiary Boundary Twin Crater. Was There a Double Impact in the Yucatan Peninsula?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camargo, A. Z.; Juarez, J. S.

    2004-05-01

    In 1980, Alvarez and co-authors proposed that the K/T extinctions were caused by the effects of a celestial body falling on Earth. After a long search for the impact site, the 1981 work by Penfield and Camargo on a 170 km structure in the Yucatan Peninsula got the attention of the specialists, and it was later proved that it was the crater created by the impact of that celestial body. New data suggests the existence of a second impact crater close to Chicxulub, both being of the same age and created by two fragments of the same celestial boby. A new magnetic map plotted as a color-coded shaded relief surface, reveals a feature not evident before: two interlaced ringed anomalies of about 100 and 50 km diameters, the larger one related to the magnetic signature of the Chicxulub Crater, and the second located at its E-SE edge. The 50 km anomaly, with morphology similar to Chicxulub's, is interpreted as also corresponding to an impact crater, centered at about 89 Deg. Long. W and 21 Deg. Lat. N, close to the city of Izamal. The anomaly size indicates that the diameter of the IZAMAL CRATER is about 85 km. The Chicxulub Crater, being buried under several hundred meters of Tertiary carbonate rocks, is not visible from the surface or from space; although some surface expression of its morphology has been reported. The best known is the ring of cenotes (sink holes) at the crater's rim, visible on satellite images and photographs. The JPL/NASA image PIA03379, is a color-coded shaded relief image of terrain elevation in which the topography was exagerated to highlight the Chicxulub Crater rim. On this image, a semi circular arc of dark spots is also visible immediately to the E-SE of the Chicxulub Crater rim. These spots are interpreted as large irregular karstic depressions, similar to the ones along the cenote ring of Chicxulub. On the evidence of the spatial relationship of the magnetic anomalies and the satellite image features, we tested how well the proposed Izamal

  17. Grazing Impacts Upon Earth's Surface: Towards an Understanding of the Rio Cuarto Crater Field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beech, Martin

    2014-10-01

    The origin of the Rio Cuarto crater field, Argentina has been widely debated since the early 1990s when it was first brought to public attention. In a binary on-off sense, however, the craters are either of a terrestrial origin or they formed via a large asteroid impact. While there are distinct arguments in favour of the former option being the correct interpretation, it is the latter possibility that is principally investigated here, and five distinct impact formation models are described. Of the impact scenarios it is found that the most workable model, although based upon a set of fine-tuned initial conditions, is that in which a large, 100-150-m initial diameter asteroid, entered Earth's atmosphere on a shallow angle path that resulted in temporary capture. In this specific situation a multiple-thousand kilometer long flight path enables the asteroid to survive atmospheric passage, without suffering significant fragmentation, and to impact the ground as a largely coherent mass. Although the odds against such an impact occurring are extremely small, the crater field may nonetheless be interpreted as having potentially formed via a very low-angle, smaller than 5° to the horizon, impact with a ground contact speed of order 5 km/s. Under this scenario, as originally suggested by Schultz and Lianza (Nature 355:234, 1992), the largest of the craters (crater A) in the Rio Cuarto structure was produced in the initial ground impact, and the additional, smaller craters are interpreted as being formed through the down-range transport of decapitated impactor material and crater A ejecta.

  18. Determining long-term regional erosion rates using impact craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hergarten, Stefan; Kenkmann, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    More than 300,000 impact craters have been found on Mars, while the surface of Moon's highlands is even saturated with craters. In contrast, only 184 impact craters have been confirmed on Earth so far with only 125 of them exposed at the surface. The spatial distribution of these impact craters is highly inhomogeneous. Beside the large variation in the age of the crust, consumption of craters by erosion and burial by sediments are the main actors being responsible for the quite small and inhomogeneous crater record. In this study we present a novel approach to infer long-term average erosion rates at regional scales from the terrestrial crater inventory. The basic idea behind this approach is a dynamic equilibrium between the production of new craters and their consumption by erosion. It is assumed that each crater remains detectable until the total erosion after the impact exceeds a characteristic depth depending on the crater's diameter. Combining this model with the terrestrial crater production rate, i.e., the number of craters per unit area and time as a function of their diameter, allows for a prediction of the expected number of craters in a given region as a function of the erosion rate. Using the real crater inventory, this relationship can be inverted to determine the regional long-term erosion rate and its statistical uncertainty. A limitation by the finite age of the crust can also be taken into account. Applying the method to the Colorado Plateau and the Deccan Traps, both being regions with a distinct geological history, yields erosion rates in excellent agreement with those obtained by other, more laborious methods. However, these rates are formally exposed to large statistical uncertainties due to the small number of impact craters. As higher crater densities are related to lower erosion rates, smaller statistical errors can be expected when large regions in old parts of the crust are considered. Very low long-term erosion rates of less than 4

  19. Large impact crater histories of Mars: The effect of different model crater age techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robbins, Stuart J.; Hynek, Brian M.; Lillis, Robert J.; Bottke, William F.

    2013-07-01

    Impact events that produce large craters primarily occurred early in the Solar System's history because the largest bolides were remnants from planetary formation. Determining when large impacts occurred on a planetary surface such as Mars can yield clues to the flux of material in the early inner Solar System which, in turn, can constrain other planetary processes such as the timing and magnitude of resurfacing and the history of the martian core dynamo. We have used a large, global planetary database in conjunction with geomorphologic mapping to identify craters superposed on the rims of 78 larger craters with diameters D ⩾ 150 km on Mars, ≈78% of which have not been previously dated in this manner. The densities of superposed craters with diameters larger than 10, 16, 25, and 50 km, as well as isochron fits were used to derive model crater ages of these larger craters and basins from which we derived an impact flux. In discussing these ages, we point out several internal inconsistencies of crater-age modeling techniques and chronology systems and, all told, we explain why we think isochron-fitting is the most reliable indicator of an age. Our results point to a mostly obliterated crater record prior to ˜4.0 Ga with the oldest preserved mappable craters on Mars dating to ˜4.3-4.35 Ga. We have used our results to constrain the cessation time of the martian core dynamo which we found to have occurred between the formation of Ladon and Prometheus basins, approximately 4.06-4.09 Ga. We also show that, overall, surfaces on Mars older than ˜4.0-4.1 Ga have experienced >1 km of resurfacing, while those younger than ˜3.8-3.9 Ga have experienced significantly less.

  20. Low-velocity impact craters in ice and ice-saturated sand with implications for Martian crater count ages.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Croft, S.K.; Kieffer, S.W.; Ahrens, T.J.

    1979-01-01

    We produced a series of decimeter-sized impact craters in blocks of ice near 0oC and -70oC and in ice-saturated sand near -70oC as a preliminary investigation of cratering in materials analogous to those found on Mars and the outer solar satellites. Crater diameters in the ice-saturated sand were 2 times larger than craters in the same energy and velocity range in competent blocks of granite, basalt and cement. Craters in ice were c.3 times larger. Martian impact crater energy versus diameter scaling may thus be a function of latitude. -from Authors

  1. Martian subsurface properties and crater formation processes inferred from fresh impact crater geometries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stewart, Sarah T.; Valiant, Gregory J.

    2006-10-01

    The geometry of simple impact craters reflects the properties of the target materials, and the diverse range of fluidized morphologies observed in Martian ejecta blankets are controlled by the near-surface composition and the climate at the time of impact. Using the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data set, quantitative information about the strength of the upper crust and the dynamics of Martian ejecta blankets may be derived from crater geometry measurements. Here, we present the results from geometrical measurements of fresh craters 3-50 km in rim diameter in selected highland (Lunae and Solis Plana) and lowland (Acidalia, Isidis, and Utopia Planitiae) terrains. We find large, resolved differences between the geometrical properties of the freshest highland and lowland craters. Simple lowland craters are 1.5-2.0 times deeper (≥5σo difference) with >50% larger cavities (≥2σo) compared to highland craters of the same diameter. Rim heights and the volume of material above the preimpact surface are slightly greater in the lowlands over most of the size range studied. The different shapes of simple highland and lowland craters indicate that the upper ˜6.5 km of the lowland study regions are significantly stronger than the upper crust of the highland plateaus. Lowland craters collapse to final volumes of 45-70% of their transient cavity volumes, while highland craters preserve only 25-50%. The effective yield strength of the upper crust in the lowland regions falls in the range of competent rock, approximately 9-12 MPa, and the highland plateaus may be weaker by a factor of 2 or more, consistent with heavily fractured Noachian layered deposits. The measured volumes of continuous ejecta blankets and uplifted surface materials exceed the predictions from standard crater scaling relationships and Maxwell's Z model of crater excavation by a factor of 3. The excess volume of fluidized ejecta blankets on Mars cannot be explained by concentration of ejecta through

  2. Liquid drop impact cratering on a granular layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katsuragi, H.

    2010-12-01

    Granular impact cratering has been studied both in terms of planetary science and fundamental granular physics. Recent studies have revealed morphological scaling and dynamics of the granular impact cratering phenomenon. In all these studies, solid impactors have been used. However, the actual geophysical scale impactors might be melt. To mimic what happens when the impactor is melt, we performed simple drop granular impact experiment. A small (millimeter scale) water drop was dropped onto a granular layer (abrasives of micrometer grain size) at low impact speed (about meter/second). Then, various kinds of novel crater shapes were discovered depending on the experimental conditions. For instance, "sink type", "flat type", "ring type", and "bump type" craters were observed. We measured the characteristic time scale and length scale of the cratering, using a high speed camera and a laser profilometry system. From the experimental data, a simple scaling of the crater radius is proposed. The obtained scaling exponent is same as that of usual solid impact cratering. In the solid impactor case, the scaling exponent is derived from energy balance between impactor and ejecta. However, we found that the liquid drop deformation determines the scaling exponent in this experiment. We have also used glycerol and ethanol and their aqueous solutions, in order to examine the effect of viscosity and capillary force of liquid drops. A picture of the impacting drop is shown below. A water drop impacting onto a layer of abrasive.

  3. Characterizing the geomorphology of fresh impact craters on Mercury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnouin, O. S.; Ernst, C. M.; Neumann, G. A.; Chabot, N. L.; Murchie, S. L.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.; Solomon, S. C.

    2011-12-01

    Topographic data acquired by the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) and images from the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) on the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft are used to investigate the geomorphology of several fresh impact craters on Mercury. This analysis expands on previous efforts with Mariner 10 data to understand how craters on Mercury compare to similarly sized craters on other planets and moons. In particular, comparisons to craters on Mars, which has a surface gravitational acceleration nearly identical to that of Mercury, yield insights into the effects of surface properties, especially target strength, on crater morphology. Establishing the geomorphology of typical fresh craters on Mercury also will provide a baseline for assessing the modification of less well-preserved craters by volcanism, tectonics, and subsequent impacts. Hokusai crater, whose rays envelop much of the planet, is one of the freshest on the surface of Mercury. High-resolution MDIS images (~36 m/pixel) reveal few superposed craters on this 100-km-diameter crater, and several MLA profiles that pass through its center indicate that it is ~2 km deep from rim crest to crater floor, making it extremely deep for a crater of its diameter on Mercury. Impact melt fills the interior of Hokusai this crater, embaying a semi-circular central peak structure. The melt possesses small cracks that are likely due to cooling. Small variations in brightness seen in the melt deposit seem to be associated with small undulations in the topography as measured by MLA, possibly due to the underlying terrain. Some of the impact melt lies in local depressions within the terraces of the crater wall, and some in patches located throughout the crater ejecta. Hokusai crater also possesses intriguing topographic features in its near-rim ejecta field. The MLA data indicate that the thickness of ejecta beyond the crater rim is not well modeled by a power-law function

  4. IS THE LARGE CRATER ON THE ASTEROID (2867) STEINS REALLY AN IMPACT CRATER?

    SciTech Connect

    Morris, A. J. W.; Price, M. C.; Burchell, M. J.

    2013-09-01

    The large crater on the asteroid (2867) Steins attracted much attention when it was first observed by the Rosetta spacecraft in 2008. Initially, it was widely thought to be unusually large compared to the size of the asteroid. It was quickly realized that this was not the case and there are other examples of similar (or larger) craters on small bodies in the same size range; however, it is still widely accepted that it is a crater arising from an impact onto the body which occurred after its formation. The asteroid (2867) Steins also has an equatorial bulge, usually considered to have arisen from redistribution of mass due to spin-up of the body caused by the YORP effect. Conversely, it is shown here that, based on catastrophic disruption experiments in laboratory impact studies, a similarly shaped body to the asteroid Steins can arise from the break-up of a parent in a catastrophic disruption event; this includes the presence of a large crater-like feature and equatorial bulge. This suggests that the large crater-like feature on Steins may not be a crater from a subsequent impact, but may have arisen directly from the fragmentation process of a larger, catastrophically disrupted parent.

  5. Impact cratering experiments in Bingham materials and the morphology of craters on Mars and Ganymede

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fink, J. H.; Greeley, R.; Gault, D. E.

    1982-01-01

    Results from a series of laboratory impacts into clay slurry targets are compared with photographs of impact craters on Mars and Ganymede. The interior and ejecta lobe morphology of rampart-type craters, as well as the progression of crater forms seen with increasing diameter on both Mars and Ganymede, are equalitatively explained by a model for impact into Bingham materials. For increasing impact energies and constant target rheology, laboratory craters exhibit a morphologic progression from bowl-shaped forms that are typical of dry planetary surfaces to craters with ejecta flow lobes and decreasing interior relief, characteristic of more volatile-rich planets. A similar sequence is seen for uniform impact energy in slurries of decreasing yield strength. The planetary progressions are explained by assuming that volatile-rich or icy planetary surfaces behave locally in the same way as Bingham materials and produce ejecta slurries with yield strenghs and viscosities comparable to terrestrial debris flows. Hypothetical impact into Mars and Ganymede are compared, and it is concluded that less ejecta would be produced on Ganymede owing to its lower gravitational acceleration, surface temperature, and density of surface materials.

  6. Scaling Impact-Melt and Crater Dimensions: Implications for the Lunar Cratering Record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cintala , Mark J.; Grieve, Richard A. F.

    1997-01-01

    The consequences of impact on the solid bodies of the solar system are manifest and legion. Although the visible effects on planetary surfaces, such as the Moon's, are the most obvious testimony to the spatial and temporal importance of impacts, less dramatic chemical and petrographic characteristics of materials affected by shock abound. Both the morphologic and petrologic aspects of impact cratering are important in deciphering lunar history, and, ideally, each should complement the other. In practice, however, a gap has persisted in relating large-scale cratering processes to petrologic and geochemical data obtained from lunar samples. While this is due in no small part to the fact that no Apollo mission unambiguously sampled deposits of a large crater, it can also be attributed to the general state of our knowledge of cratering phenomena, particularly those accompanying large events. The most common shock-metamorphosed lunar samples are breccias, but a substantial number are impact-melt rocks. Indeed, numerous workers have called attention to the importance of impact-melt rocks spanning a wide range of ages in the lunar sample collection. Photogeologic studies also have demonstrated the widespread occurrence of impact-melt lithologies in and around lunar craters. Thus, it is clear that impact melting has been a fundamental process operating throughout lunar history, at scales ranging from pits formed on individual regolith grains to the largest impact basins. This contribution examines the potential relationship between impact melting on the Moon and the interior morphologies of large craters and peaking basins. It then examines some of the implications of impact melting at such large scales for lunar-sample provenance and evolution of the lunar crust.

  7. Low-velocity impact cratering experiments in a wet sand target.

    PubMed

    Takita, Haruna; Sumita, Ikuro

    2013-08-01

    Low-velocity impact cratering experiments were conducted in a wet sand target. With the addition of interstitial water, the sand stiffens and the yield stress σ(y) increases by a factor of 10 and we observe a significant change in the resulting crater shape. A small water saturation (S~0.02) is sufficient to inhibit the crater wall collapse, which causes the crater diameter d to decrease and the crater depth to increase, and results in the steepening of the crater wall. With a further addition of water (S~0.04), the collapse is completely inhibited such that cylindrical craters form and the impactor penetration depth δ and ejecta dispersal are suppressed. However, for S>0.7, the wet sand becomes fluidized such that both d and δ increase thereafter. Comparing the relevant stresses, we find that cylindrical craters form when the yield stress is more than about three times larger than the gravitational stress such that it can withstand collapse. Experiments with different impactor sizes D and velocities indicate that for S≤0.02, gravity-regime scaling applies for d. However, the scaling gradually fails as S increases. In contrast, we find that δ/D can be scaled by the inertial stress normalized by the yield stress, for a wide range of S. This difference in the scaling is interpreted as arising from d being affected by whether or not the crater wall collapses, whereas δ is determined by the penetration process that occurs prior to collapse. The experimental parameter space in terms of dimensionless numbers indicates that our experiments may correspond to impact cratering in small asteroids. PMID:24032824

  8. Impact cratering and regolith dynamics. [on moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoerz, F.

    1977-01-01

    The most recent models concerning mechanical aspects of lunar regolith dynamics related to impact cratering use probabilistic approaches to account for the randomness of the meteorite environment in both space and time. Accordingly the absolute regolith thickness is strictly a function of total bombardment intensity and absolute regolith growth rate in nonlinear through geologic time. Regoliths of increasing median thickness will have larger and larger proportions of more and more deep seated materials. An especially active zone of reworking on the lunar surface of about 1 mm depth has been established. With increasing depth, the probability of excavation and regolith turnover decreases very rapidly. Thus small scale stratigraphy - observable in lunar core materials - is perfectly compatible with regolith gardening, though it is also demonstrated that any such stratigraphy does not necessarily present a complete record of the regolith's depositional history. At present, the lifetimes of exposed lunar rocks against comminution by impact processes can be modeled; it appears that catastrophic rupture dominates over single particle abrasion.

  9. Searching for impact craters using space shuttle photography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, C. A.; Dailey, C.; Daley, W.; Wells, G.

    1984-01-01

    Extrapolation of impact cratering rates derived from Canada and Europe suggests that in the cratonic regions of Australia, India, Africa, and Brazil, 14-15 impact craters 20 km diameter should have formed during the last 120 my, and survived erosional erasure. In fact, in these areas, only 2 craters are known that approximately qualify: (1) Gosses Bluff, 22 km, 130 + or - 6 my old, and; Strangways, 24 km and 150 + or - 70 my old. It is therefore likely that about a dozen relatively large and preserved impact craters await discovery in these less explored cratons. A larger number of younger and smaller craters must also exist. An informal search is reported for impact craters using photographs obtained by Shuttle astronauts. Photographs taken with the 250 mm lens on Hassalblad cameras have a resolution of 25 m and cover a nominal area of 50x60 sq km. A larger format Linhof camera with similar resolution but 4 times larger area was flown March 1984, and will fly again in the future. Shuttle imagery has numerous advantages in looking for impact craters and for other types of Earth observations.

  10. Experimental investigation of the relationship between impact crater morphology and impacting particle velocity and direction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mackay, N. G.; Green, S. F.; Gardner, D. J.; Mcdonnell, J. A. M.

    1995-01-01

    Interpretation of the wealth of impact data available from the Long Duration Exposure Facility, in terms of the absolute and relative populations of space debris and natural micrometeoroids, requires three dimensional models of the distribution of impact directions, velocities and masses of such particles, as well as understanding of the impact processes. Although the stabilized orbit of LDEF provides limited directional information, it is possible to determine more accurate impact directions from detailed crater morphology. The applicability of this technique has already been demonstrated but the relationship between crater shape and impactor direction and velocity has not been derived in detail. We present the results of impact experiments and simulations: (1) impacts at micron dimensions using the Unit's 2MV Van de Graaff accelerator; (2) impacts at mm dimensions using a Light Gas Gun; and (3) computer simulations using AUTODYN-3D from which an empirical relationship between crater shape and impactor velocity, direction and particle properties we aim to derive. Such a relationship can be applied to any surface exposed to space debris or micrometeoroid particles for which a detailed pointing history is available.

  11. Experimental investigation of the relationship between impact crater morphology and impacting particle velocity and direction

    SciTech Connect

    Mackay, N.G.; Green, S.F.; Gardner, D.J.; Mcdonnell, J.A.M.

    1995-02-01

    Interpretation of the wealth of impact data available from the Long Duration Exposure Facility, in terms of the absolute and relative populations of space debris and natural micrometeoroids, requires three dimensional models of the distribution of impact directions, velocities and masses of such particles, as well as understanding of the impact processes. Although the stabilized orbit of LDEF provides limited directional information, it is possible to determine more accurate impact directions from detailed crater morphology. The applicability of this technique has already been demonstrated but the relationship between crater shape and impactor direction and velocity has not been derived in detail. The authors present the results of impact experiments and simulations: (1) impacts at micron dimensions using the Unit`s 2MV Van de Graaff accelerator; (2) impacts at mm dimensions using a Light Gas Gun; and (3) computer simulations using AUTODYN-3D from which they hope to derive an empirical relationship between crater shape and impactor velocity, direction and particle properties. Such a relationship can be applied to any surface exposed to space debris or micrometeoroid particles for which a detailed pointing history is available.

  12. Impact craters on Venus: Initial analysis from Magellan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Phillips, R.J.; Arvidson, R. E.; Boyce, J.M.; Campbell, D.B.; Guest, J.E.; Schaber, G.G.; Soderblom, L.A.

    1991-01-01

    Magellan radar images of 15 percent of the planet show 135 craters of probable impact origin. Craters more than 15 km across tend to contain central peaks, multiple central peaks, and peak rings. Many craters smaller than 15 km exhibit multiple floors or appear in clusters; these phenomena are attributed to atmospheric breakup of incoming meteoroids. Additionally, the atmosphere appears to have prevented the formation of primary impact craters smaller than about 3 km and produced a deficiency in the number of craters smaller than about 25 km across. Ejecta is found at greater distances than that predicted by simple ballistic emplacement, and the distal ends of some ejecta deposits are lobate. These characteristics may represent surface flows of material initially entrained in the atmosphere. Many craters are surrounded by zones of low radar albedo whose origin may have been deformation of the surface by the shock or pressure wave associated with the incoming meteoroid. Craters are absent from several large areas such as a 5 million square kilometer region around Sappho Patera, where the most likely explanation for the dearth of craters is volcanic resurfacing, There is apparently a spectrum of surface ages on Venus ranging approximately from 0 to 800 million years, and therefore Venus must be a geologically active planet.

  13. Martian impact cratering rate over the last 3 billions years derived from layered ejecta craters dating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lagain, Anthony; Bouley, Sylvain; Costard, François; Baratoux, David

    2016-04-01

    All chronology models used in dating planetary surfaces are based on the lunar chronology system. The cratering density of the Moon has been calibrated with absolute ages from Apollo lunar samples. However, there are no lunar samples between 3 Gy and 800 My and only four samples have been dated between 800 My and present. Therefore, the evolution of the cratering rate after the LHB and before 3 Gy is well constrained. The cratering rate between 3 Gy and present has been assumed to be constant [1, 2]. Nevertheless, this assumption is challenged by the analysis of the geological record, such as the frequency of landslide on Mars as a function of time [3, 4]. It is therefore necessary to re-examine the validity of this assumption and place constraints on the cratering rate since the last 3 Gy. For this purpose, we study the rate of impact cratering using small craters on a set of 53 layered ejecta craters larger than 5 km in diameter in Acidalia Planitia, Mars. LECs larger than 5km have large enough surfaces to date their formation by counting craters larger than 100m present on their blankets. Furthermore, limits of their ejecta blankets are clearly defined by a terminal bead. In order to determine the crater emplacement ages, we have applied the methodology dating described in our previous study [6] on all ejecta layers. Errors on measured ages were calculated following [7]. The age of the study area is 2.8±0.2 Gy. Our crater counts on distal ejecta blankets reveal ages younger than the age of the surrounding surface, as expected. It is essential to take into account errors on measured ages. The statistical sample used to build this emplacement frequency distribution and our dating methodology are sufficiently reliable to deduce that a constant impact cratering rate over the last 3 Gy is not a correct approximation. The excessive number of craters emplaced 1Gy ago compared to the cratering rate used suggests a decreased impact cratering rate over the last 1Gy and

  14. The age of the Pretoria Saltpan impact crater, South Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Storzer, Dieter; Koeberl, Christian; Reimold, Wolf Uwe

    1993-01-01

    The Pretoria Saltpan impact crater, situated about 40 km NNW of Pretoria, South Africa, has a diameter of about 1.13 km. The structure was formed in 2.05 Ga Nebo granite of the Bushveld Complex. The impact origin of the crater was recently established by the discovery of characteristic shock-metamorphic features in breccias found in drill cores at depths greater than 90 m. Impact glass fragments were recovered by standard magnetic separation techniques and handpicking from the melt breccias. As no reliable crater age was known so far, several hundred sub-millimeter-sized glass fragments were studied for fission tracks. The results show that the Saltpan impact crater has an age of 220 +/- 52 ka. This is in agreement with field geological observations.

  15. Impact Craters on Comets from a Granular Material Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Niem, D.; Kührt, E.

    2015-02-01

    The contribution applies an algorithm for finite-deformation elasticity and plasticity to demonstrate new results for the behaviour of granular materials during impact crater formation in a low-gravity environment.

  16. Experimental Impact Cratering into Sandstone: A MEMIN-Progress Report

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poelchau, M. H.; Deutsch, A.; Kenkmann, T.; Hoerth, T.; Schäfer, F.; Thoma, K.; Memin Team

    2011-03-01

    The MEMIN Project is currently focused on impact experiments into sandstone. First results are presented here, including the evaluation of high-speed cameras, ejecta catchment devices, crater morphology, and chemical projectile-target interaction.

  17. Topography of the Martian Impact Crater Tooting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mouginis-Mark, P. J.; Garbeil, H.; Boyce, J. M.

    2009-01-01

    Tooting crater is approx.29 km in diameter, is located at 23.4degN, 207.5degE, and is classified as a multi-layered ejecta crater [1]. Our mapping last year identified several challenges that can now be addressed with HiRISE and CTX images, but specifically the third dimension of units. To address the distribution of ponded sediments, lobate flows, and volatile-bearing units within the crater cavity, we have focused this year on creating digital elevation models (DEMs) for the crater and ejecta blanket from stereo CTX and HiRISE images. These DEMs have a spatial resolution of approx.50 m for CTX data, and 2 m for HiRISE data. Each DEM is referenced to all of the available individual MOLA data points within an image, which number approx.5,000 and 800 respectively for the two data types

  18. Bilateral symmetry elements of the Zhamanshin impact crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Masaytis, V. L.

    1988-01-01

    The internal structure of the Zhamanshin impact structure and the nature of rocks developed within it are studied to establish the impact structure parameters. It is found that the diameter of the visible crater is about 13 km. The small annular structures observed are found to not be secondary craters, and no correlation is found between the asymmetrical distribution of ejecta material and the arrangement of these annular forms.

  19. Acoustic fluidization and the scale dependence of impact crater morphology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Melosh, H. J.; Gaffney, E. S.

    1983-01-01

    A phenomenological Bingham plastic model has previously been shown to provide an adequate description of the collapse of impact craters. This paper demonstrates that the Bingham parameters may be derived from a model in which acoustic energy generated during excavation fluidizes the rock debris surrounding the crater. Experimental support for the theoretical flow law is presented. Although the Bingham yield stress cannot be computed without detailed knowledge of the initial acoustic field, the Bingham viscosity is derived from a simple argument which shows that it increases as the 3/2 power of crater diameter, consistent with observation. Crater collapse may occur in material with internal dissipation Q as low as 100, comparable to laboratory observations of dissipation in granular materials. Crater collapse thus does not require that the acoustic field be regenerated during flow.

  20. Fluvial erosion of impact craters: Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, V. R.

    1984-04-01

    Geomorphic studies of impact structures in central Australia are being used to understand the complexities of fluvial dissection in the heavily cratered terrains of Mars. At Henbury, Northern Territory, approximately 12 small meteorite craters have interacted with a semiarid drainage system. The detailed mapping of the geologic and structural features at Henbury allowed this study to concentrate on degradational landforms. The breaching of crater rims by gullies was facilitated by the northward movement of sheetwash along an extensive pediment surface extending from the Bacon Range. South-facing crater rims have been preferentially breached because gullies on those sides were able to tap the largest amounts of runoff. At crater 6 a probable rim-gully system has captured the headward reaches of a pre-impact stream channel. The interactive history of impacts and drainage development is critical to understanding the relationships in the heavily cratered uplands of Mars. Whereas Henbury craters are younger than 4700 yrs. B.P., the Gosses Bluff structure formed about 130 million years ago. The bluff is essentially an etched central peak composed of resistant sandstone units. Fluvial erosion of this structure is also discussed.

  1. Fluvial erosion of impact craters: Earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, V. R.

    1984-01-01

    Geomorphic studies of impact structures in central Australia are being used to understand the complexities of fluvial dissection in the heavily cratered terrains of Mars. At Henbury, Northern Territory, approximately 12 small meteorite craters have interacted with a semiarid drainage system. The detailed mapping of the geologic and structural features at Henbury allowed this study to concentrate on degradational landforms. The breaching of crater rims by gullies was facilitated by the northward movement of sheetwash along an extensive pediment surface extending from the Bacon Range. South-facing crater rims have been preferentially breached because gullies on those sides were able to tap the largest amounts of runoff. At crater 6 a probable rim-gully system has captured the headward reaches of a pre-impact stream channel. The interactive history of impacts and drainage development is critical to understanding the relationships in the heavily cratered uplands of Mars. Whereas Henbury craters are younger than 4700 yrs. B.P., the Gosses Bluff structure formed about 130 million years ago. The bluff is essentially an etched central peak composed of resistant sandstone units. Fluvial erosion of this structure is also discussed.

  2. A Method of Estimating Transient-Cavity Diameters for Impact Craters Formed in Dry Sand

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cintala, M. J.; Barnouin-Jha, O. S.; Hoerz, F.

    2003-01-01

    Analyses of impact craters formed in laboratory experiments historically have been the source of many fundamental observations and interpretations of the impact-cratering process itself. Due to its ready availability, ease of handling, and lack of strength, dry sand of various types has been the target material of choice in the majority of such experiments. A consequence of its lack of intrinsic strength, however, is dry sand's inability to maintain slopes above its angle of repose. Evidence from field observations of simple terrestrial craters and laboratory craters formed in more cohesive granular media suggests that transient cavities are similar to paraboloids in shape. Cross-sections of craters formed in dry sand, however, are nearly conical with the wall slopes at or near the angle of repose, indicating that the original crater form has been modified by one or more processes, among which is simple slope failure. Because the dimensions and shape of the transient cavity reflect the detailed conditions of a given impact event, its characterization has long been a desired goal in experimentation. A means of estimating the position of the transient cavity's rim is suggested below, relying on determination of velocities of material ejected from the growing cavity.

  3. Hydrothermal Processes and Mobile Element Transport in Martian Impact Craters - Evidence from Terrestrial Analogue Craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newsom, H. E.; Nelson, M. J.; Shearer, C. K.; Dressler, B. L.

    2005-01-01

    Hydrothermal alteration and chemical transport involving impact craters probably occurred on Mars throughout its history. Our studies of alteration products and mobile element transport in ejecta blanket and drill core samples from impact craters show that these processes may have contributed to the surface composition of Mars. Recent work on the Chicxulub Yaxcopoil-1 drill core has provided important information on the relative mobility of many elements that may be relevant to Mars. The Chicxulub impact structure in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico is one of the largest impact craters identified on the Earth, has a diameter of 180-200 km, and is associated with the mass extinctions at the K/T boundary. The Yax-1 hole was drilled in 2001 and 2002 on the Yaxcopoil hacienda near Merida on the Yucatan Peninsula. Yax-1 is located just outside of the transient cavity, which explains some of the unusual characteristics of the core stratigraphy. No typical impact melt sheet was encountered in the hole and most of the Yax-1 impactites are breccias. In particular, the impact melt and breccias are only 100 m thick which is surprising taking into account the considerably thicker breccia accumulations towards the center of the structure and farther outside the transient crater encountered by other drill holes.

  4. A first-order model for impact crater degradation on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Izenberg, Noam R.; Arvidson, Raymond E.; Phillips, Roger J.

    1993-01-01

    A first-order impact crater aging model is presented based on observations of the global crater population of Venus. The total population consists of 879 craters found over the approximately 98 percent of the planet that has been mapped by the Magellan spacecraft during the first three cycles of its mission. The model is based upon three primary aspects of venusian impact craters: (1) extended ejecta deposits (EED's); (2) crater rims and continuous ejecta deposits; and (3) crater interiors and floors.

  5. 100 New Impact Crater Sites Found on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kennedy, M. R.; Malin, M. C.

    2009-12-01

    Recent observations constrain the formation of 100 new impact sites on Mars over the past decade; 19 of these were found using the Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC), and the other 81 have been identified since 2006 using the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Context Camera (CTX). Every 6 meter/pixel CTX image is examined upon receipt and, where they overlap images of 0.3-240 m/pixel scale acquired by the same or other Mars-orbiting spacecraft, we look for features that may have changed. New impact sites are initially identified by the presence of a new dark spot or cluster of dark spots in a CTX image. Such spots may be new impact craters, or result from the effect of impact blasts on the dusty surface. In some (generally rare) cases, the crater is sufficiently large to be resolved in the CTX image. In most cases, however, the crater(s) cannot be seen. These are tentatively designated as “candidate” new impact sites, and the CTX team then creates an opportunity for the MRO spacecraft to point its cameras off-nadir and requests that the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team obtain an image of ~0.3 m/pixel to confirm whether a crater or crater cluster is present. It is clear even from cursory examination that the CTX observations are areographically biased to dusty, higher albedo areas on Mars. All but 3 of the 100 new impact sites occur on surfaces with Lambert albedo values in excess of 23.5%. Our initial study of MOC images greatly benefited from the initial global observations made in one month in 1999, creating a baseline date from which we could start counting new craters. The global coverage by MRO Mars Color Imager is more than a factor of 4 poorer in resolution than the MOC Wide Angle camera and does not offer the opportunity for global analysis. Instead, we must rely on partial global coverage and global coverage that has taken years to accumulate; thus we can only treat impact rates statistically. We subdivide the total data

  6. Geophysical Signature of the Lake Bosumtwi Impact Crater from Pre-drilling Site Surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banour, S.; Pohl, J.; Menyeh, A.; Milkereit, B.; Boadu, F.

    2006-12-01

    The Bosumtwi impact crater located near Kumasi, Ghana was formed by a meteorite impact about one million years ago and has a diameter of about 10.5 km. Geophysical investigations involving gravity and magnetic measurements were carried out at the Bosumtwi crater to determine the geophysical signature of the crater with the aim of understanding the impact process. Gravity data was acquired on land at 163 locations around the crater area, as well as on the shore of the lake. The separation between the gravity stations was 500 m for profiles which ran radially toward the lake, and 700 1000 m along roads and footpaths which ran parallel to the shore. In addition, marine gravity and magnetic surveys were carried out along 14 north-south and 15 east- west profiles on the lake with a line spacing of 800 m using a Garmin 235 Echo Sounder/GPS as a navigational tool. Results from gravity modelling showed that the gravity signature of the crater is characterized by a negative Bouguer anomaly with an amplitude roughly equal to 18 mgal. The results also indicated a central uplift at 250 m depth below the lake, thus confirming it as a complex impact crater. Magnetic modelling yielded a model for the causative body, which is located north of the central uplift. The model has a magnetic susceptibility of 0.03 SI and extends from 200 to 610 m depth below the lake surface. The causative body has been interpreted as magnetized bodies consisting of thin sheets of suevitic impact formations. These results serve as a contribution to the understanding of the impact process of this young crater.

  7. Martian Polar Impact Craters: A Preliminary Assessment Using Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sakimoto, S. E. H.; Garvin, J. B.

    1999-01-01

    Our knowledge of the age of the layered polar deposits and their activity in the volatile cycling and climate history of Mars is based to a large extent on their apparent ages as determined from crater counts. Interpretation of the polar stratigraphy (in terms of climate change) is complicated by reported differences in the ages of the northern and southern layered deposits. The north polar residual ice deposits are thought to be relatively young, based on the reported lack of any fresh impact craters in Viking Orbiter Images. Herkenhoff et al., report no craters at all on the North polar layered deposits or ice cap, and placed an upper bound on the surface age (or, alternatively, the vertical resurfacing rate) of 100 thousand years to 10 million years, suggesting that the north polar region is an active resurfacing site. In contrast, the southern polar region was found to have at least 15 impact craters in the layered deposits and cap. Plaut et al, concluded that the surface was less than or = 120 million years old. This reported age difference factor of 100 to 1000 increases complexity in climate and volatile modeling. Recent MOLA results for the topography of the northern polar cap document a handful or more of possible craters, which could result in revised age or resurfacing estimates for the northern cap. This study is a preliminary look at putative craters in both polar caps. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  8. A Sharper View of Impact Craters from Clementine Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pieters, C. M.; Staid, M. I.; Fischer, E. M.; Tompkins, S.; He, G.

    1994-12-01

    The ultraviolet-visible camera on the Clementine spacecraft obtained high-spatial resolution images of the moon in five spectral channels. Impact craters mapped with these multispectral images show a scale of lithologic diversity that varies with crater size and target stratigraphy. Prominent lithologic variations (feldspathic versus basaltic) occur within the south wall of Copernicus (93 kilometers in diameter) on the scale of 1 to 2 kilometers. Lithologic diversity at Tycho (85 kilometers in diameter) is less apparent at this scale, although the impact melt of these two large craters is remarkably similar in this spectral range. The lunar surface within and around the smaller crater Giordano Bruno (22 kilometers in diameter) is largely dominated by the mixing of freshly excavated material with surrounding older soils derived from a generally similar feldspathic lithology.

  9. Unified force law for granular impact cratering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katsuragi, Hiroaki; Durian, Douglas J.

    2007-06-01

    Experiments on the low-speed impact of solid objects into granular media have been used both to mimic geophysical events and to probe the unusual nature of the granular state of matter. Observations have been interpreted in terms of conflicting stopping forces: product of powers of projectile depth and speed; linear in speed; constant, proportional to the initial impact speed; and proportional to depth. This is reminiscent of high-speed ballistics impact in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when a plethora of empirical rules were proposed. To make progress, we developed a means to measure projectile dynamics with 100nm and 20μs precision. For a 1-inch-diameter steel sphere dropped from a wide range of heights into non-cohesive glass beads, we reproduce previous observations either as reasonable approximations or as limiting behaviours. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the interaction between the projectile and the medium can be decomposed into the sum of velocity-dependent inertial drag plus depth-dependent friction. Thus, we achieve a unified description of low-speed impact phenomena and show that the complex response of granular materials to impact, although fundamentally different from that of liquids and solids, can be simply understood.

  10. Surficial geology of the Chicxulub impact crater, Yucatan, Mexico

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pope, Kevin O.; Ocampo, Adriana C.; Duller, Charles E.

    1993-01-01

    The Chicxulub impact crater in northwestern Yucatan, Mexico is the primary candidate for the proposed impact that caused mass extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous Period. The crater is buried by up to a kilometer of Tertiary sediment and the most prominent surface expression is a ring of sink holes, known locally as cenotes, mapped with Landsat imagery. This 165 +/- 5 km diameter Cenote Ring demarcates a boundary between unfractured limestones inside the ring, and fractured limestones outside. The boundary forms a barrier to lateral ground water migration, resulting in increased flows, dissolution, and collapse thus forming the cenotes. The subsurface geology indicates that the fracturing that created the Cenote Ring is related to slumping in the rim of the buried crater, differential thicknesses in the rocks overlying the crater, or solution collapse within porous impact deposits. The Cenote Ring provides the most accurate position of the Chicxulub crater's center, and the associated faults, fractures, and stratigraphy indicate that the crater may be approximately 240 km in diameter.

  11. Surficial geology of the Chicxulub impact crater, Yucatan, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Pope, K O; Ocampo, A C; Duller, C E

    1993-01-01

    The Chicxulub impact crater in northwestern Yucatan, Mexico is the primary candidate for the proposed impact that caused mass extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous Period. The crater is buried by up to a kilometer of Tertiary sediment and the most prominent surface expression is a ring of sink holes, known locally as cenotes, mapped with Landsat imagery. This 165 +/- 5 km diameter Cenote Ring demarcates a boundary between unfractured limestones inside the ring, and fractured limestones outside. The boundary forms a barrier to lateral ground water migration, resulting in increased flows, dissolution, and collapse thus forming the cenotes. The subsurface geology indicates that the fracturing that created the Cenote Ring is related to slumping in the rim of the buried crater, differential thicknesses in the rocks overlying the crater, or solution collapse within porous impact deposits. The Cenote Ring provides the most accurate position of the Chicxulub crater's center, and the associated faults, fractures, and stratigraphy indicate that the crater may be approximately 240 km in diameter. PMID:11539441

  12. Surficial geology of the Chicxulub impact crater, Yucatan, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pope, Kevin O.; Ocampo, Adriana C.; Duller, Charles E.

    1993-11-01

    The Chicxulub impact crater in northwestern Yucatan, Mexico is the primary candidate for the proposed impact that caused mass extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous Period. The crater is buried by up to a kilometer of Tertiary sediment and the most prominent surface expression is a ring of sink holes, known locally as cenotes, mapped with Landsat imagery. This 165 +/- 5 km diameter Cenote Ring demarcates a boundary between unfractured limestones inside the ring, and fractured limestones outside. The boundary forms a barrier to lateral ground water migration, resulting in increased flows, dissolution, and collapse thus forming the cenotes. The subsurface geology indicates that the fracturing that created the Cenote Ring is related to slumping in the rim of the buried crater, differential thicknesses in the rocks overlying the crater, or solution collapse within porous impact deposits. The Cenote Ring provides the most accurate position of the Chicxulub crater's center, and the associated faults, fractures, and stratigraphy indicate that the crater may be approximately 240 km in diameter.

  13. Surficial Geology of the Chicxulub Impact Crater, Yucatan, Mexico

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pope, Kevin O.; Ocampo, Adriana C.; Duller, Charles E.

    1993-01-01

    The Chicxulub impact crater in northwestern Yucatan, Mexico is the primary candidate for the proposed impact that caused mass extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous Period. The crater is buried by up to a kilometer of Tertiary sediment and the most prominent surface expression is a ring of sink holes, known locally as cenotes, mapped with Landsat imagery. This 165 +/- 5 km diameter Cenote Ring demarcates a boundary between unfractured limestones inside the ring, and fractured limestones outside. The boundary forms a barrier to lateral ground water migration, resulting in increased flows, dissolution, and collapse thus forming the cenotes. The subsurface geology indicates that the fracturing that created the Cenote Ring is related to slumping in the rim of the buried crater, differential thicknesses in the rocks overlying the crater, or solution collapse within porous impact deposits. The Cenote Ring provides the most accurate position of the Chicxulub crater's center, and the associated faults, fractures, and stratigraphy indicate that the crater may be approx. 240 km in diameter.

  14. A Numerical Investigation into Low-Speed Impact Cratering Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwartz, Stephen; Richardson, D. C.; Michel, P.

    2012-10-01

    Impact craters are the geological features most commonly observed on the surface of solid Solar System bodies. Crater shapes and features are crucial sources of information regarding past and present surface environments, and can provide indirect information about the internal structures of these bodies. In this study, we consider the effects of low-speed impacts into granular material. Studies of low-speed impact events are suitable for understanding the cratering process leading, for instance, to secondary craters. In addition, upcoming asteroid sample return missions will employ surface sampling strategies that use impacts into the surface by a projectile. An understanding of the process can lead to better sampling strategies. We use our implementation of the Soft-Sphere Discrete Element Method (SSDEM) (Schwartz et al. 2012, Granular Matter 14, 363-380) into the parallel N-body code PKDGRAV (cf. Richardson et al. 2011, Icarus 212, 427-437) to model the impact cratering process into granular material. We consider the effects of boundary conditions on the ejecta velocity profile and discuss how results relate to the Maxwell Z-Model during the crater growth phase. Cratering simulations are compared to those of Wada et al. 2006 (Icarus 180, 528-545) and to impact experiments performed in conjunction with Hayabusa 2. This work is supported in part by grants from the National Science Foundation under grant number AST1009579 and from the Office of Space Science of NASA under grant number NNX08AM39G. Part of this study resulted from discussions with the International Team (#202) sponsored by ISSI in Bern (Switzerland). Some simulations were performed on the YORP cluster administered by the Center for Theory and Computation of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Maryland in College Park and on the SIGGAM computer cluster hosted by the Côte d'Azur Observatory in Nice (France).

  15. Kalkkop crater, Eastern Cape: A new impact crater in South Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reimold, W. U.; Leroux, F. G.; Koeberl, C.; Shirey, S. B.

    1993-01-01

    Reimold et al. suggested that the 640 m diameter Kalkkop crater, at 32 deg 43 min S/24 deg 34 min E in the Eastern Cape Province (South Africa), could possibly be of impact origin. This idea was based on the circularity of this structure, its regional uniqueness, lack of recent igneous activity in the region, and descriptions of drillcore indicating that the crater is not underlain by a salt dome and is partially filled with a breccia layer of a thickness which would agree with the dimensions expected for an impact structure of this size. Unfortunately the old drillcore was no longer available for detailed study, and in the absence of sufficient surface exposure only drilling could provide the evidence needed to solve the problem of the origin of Kalkkop. For this reason and to study the crater fill from a paleoenvironmental point of view, the S. African Geological Survey decided to sponsor a new research drilling project at the Kalkkop site. First petrographic and isotopic results from Kalkkop drill core studies confirming, without doubt, that this crater is of impact origin are presented.

  16. A discussion of 'Anomalous quartz from the Roter Kamm impact crater, Namibia - Evidence for post-impact hydrothermal activity?'

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roedder, Edwin

    1990-11-01

    This paper presents arguments against the statement made by Koeberl et al. (1989) to the effect that various differences between the quartz of the three quartz pebbles from the Roter Kamm impact crater (Namibia) and the quartz of the pegmatites present in the basement rocks of this crater can be best interpreted as evidence that the pebbles were formed (or 'recrystallized') by a post-impact hydrothermal system. Arguments are presented that suggest that the three quartz pebbles are, most likely, fragments of a preimpact vein quartz of hydrothermal origin.

  17. A discussion of 'Anomalous quartz from the Roter Kamm impact crater, Namibia - Evidence for post-impact hydrothermal activity?'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roedder, Edwin

    1990-01-01

    This paper presents arguments against the statement made by Koeberl et al. (1989) to the effect that various differences between the quartz of the three quartz pebbles from the Roter Kamm impact crater (Namibia) and the quartz of the pegmatites present in the basement rocks of this crater can be best interpreted as evidence that the pebbles were formed (or 'recrystallized') by a post-impact hydrothermal system. Arguments are presented that suggest that the three quartz pebbles are, most likely, fragments of a preimpact vein quartz of hydrothermal origin.

  18. Martian impact craters: Continuing analysis of lobate ejecta sinuosity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barlow, Nadine G.

    1990-01-01

    The lobate ejecta morphology surrounding most fresh Martian impact craters can be quantitatively analyzed to determine variations in ejecta sinuosity with diameter, latitude, longitude, and terrain. The results of such studies provide another clue to the question of how these morphologies formed: are they the results of vaporization of subsurface volatiles or caused by ejecta entrainment in atmospheric gases. Kargel provided a simple expression to determine the degree of non-circularity of an ejecta blanket. This measure of sinuosity, called 'lobateness', is given by the ratio of the ejecta perimeter to the perimeter of a circle with the same area as that of the ejecta. The Kargel study of 538 rampart craters in selected areas of Mars led to the suggestion that lobateness increased with increasing diameter, decreased at higher latitude, and showed no dependence on elevation or geologic unit. Major problems with the Kargel analysis are the limited size and distribution of the data set and the lack of discrimination among the different types of lobate ejecta morphologies. Bridges and Barlow undertook a new lobateness study of 1582 single lobe (SL) and 251 double lobe (DL) craters. The results are summarized. These results agree with the finding of Kargel that lobateness increases with increasing diameter, but found no indication of a latitude dependence for SL craters. The Bridges and Barlow study has now been extended to multiple lobe (ML) craters. Three hundred and eighty ML craters located across the entire Martian surface were studied. ML craters provide more complications to lobateness studies than do SL and DL craters - in particular, the ejecta lobes surrounding the crater are often incomplete. Since the lobateness formula compares the perimeter of the ejecta lobe to that of a circle, the analysis was restricted only to complete lobes. The lobes are defined sequentially starting with the outermost lobe and moving inward.

  19. Impact craters of Venus - A continuation of the analysis of data from the Venera 15 and 16 Spacecraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bazilevskii, A. T.; Burba, G. A.; Chernaia, I. M.; Kriuchkov, V. P.; Ivanov, B. A.

    1987-11-01

    This paper describes and interprets data on about 150 impact craters on the northern quarter of the Venusian surface, approximately 115,000,000 sq km, which was surveyed by the Venera 15/16 spacecraft. The craters were found to display the size-dependent variations in morphology which are well known from other planets. Assuming a crater production rate based on estimates by Hartmann et al. (1981), their areal density indicates an age for the total population of approximately 1 billion yr. The analysis of areal and size frequency distribution of a number of circular features of unclear origin has indicated that some of them may be highly degraded impact craters corresponding to a population of about 3 billion years of age. A table listing the craters, their positions, diameters, class, and the terrain is presented.

  20. MGS Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter Topographic Profile of Impact Crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Among the myriad of interesting landforms sampled by MOLA on its first traverse across the Red Planet on 15 September 1997 is this 13-mile (21-kilometer) diameter impact crater located at 48oN. The figure shows the topography, the computed position of the spacecraft groundtrack (solid line) and the track adjusted to correct for image location error (dashed line). The topographic profile provides some of the first indications of how landscape modification has operated in Martian geologic history. The relief of the crater rim, in combination with the steepness (over 20o) of the inner crater wall, are intriguing in that most craters of this size are much more subdued. The shape of the outer ejecta blanket of the crater likely indicates impact into an H2O rich crust. Issues concerning how craters such as this can be used to understand the properties of the uppermost crust of Mars in regions where the role of water and other volatiles may be important can be addressed with the high spatial and vertical resolution topographic profiles that will be acquired by MOLA once it starts its detailed mapping of the Red Planet in March of 1998.

  1. Melting and its relationship to impact crater morphology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Okeefe, John D.; Ahrens, Thomas J.

    1992-01-01

    Shock-melting features occur on planets at scales that range from micrometers to megameters. It is the objective of this study to determine the extent of thickness, volume geometry of the melt, and relationship with crater morphology. The variation in impact crater morphology on planets is influenced by a broad range of parameters: e.g., planetary density, thermal state, strength, impact velocity, gravitational acceleration. We modeled the normal impact of spherical projectiles on a semi-infinite planet over a broad range of conditions using numerical techniques.

  2. Low-velocity impact craters in ice and ice-saturated sand with implications for Martian crater count ages

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Croft, S. K.; Kieffer, S. W.; Ahrens, T. J.

    1979-01-01

    The paper reports on a series of low-velocity impact experiments performed in ice and ice-saturated sand. It is found that crater diameters in ice-saturated sand were about 2 times larger than in the same energy and velocity range in competent blocks of granite, basalt and cement, while craters in ice were 3 times larger. It is shown that if this dependence of crater size on strength persists to large hypervelocity impact craters, then surface of geologic units composed of ice or ice-saturated soil would have greater crater count ages than rocky surfaces with identical influx histories. Among the conclusions are that Martian impact crater energy versus diameter scaling may also be a function of latitude.

  3. Impact Craters on Earth: Lessons for Understanding Martian Geological Materials and Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osinski, G. R.

    2015-12-01

    Impact cratering is one of the most ubiquitous geological processes in the Solar System and has had a significant influence on the geological evolution of Mars. Unlike the Moon and Mercury, the Martian impact cratering record is notably diverse, which is interpreted to reflect interactions during the impact process with target volatiles and/or the atmosphere. The Earth also possesses a volatile-rich crust and an atmosphere and so is one of the best analogues for understanding the effects of impact cratering on Mars. Furthermore, fieldwork at terrestrial craters and analysis of samples is critical to ground-truth observations made based on remote sensing data from Martian orbiters, landers, and rovers. In recent years, the effect of target lithology on various aspects of the impact cratering process has emerged as a major research topic. On Mars, volatiles have been invoked to be the primary factor influencing the morphology of ejecta deposits - e.g., the formation of single-, double- and multiple-layered ejecta deposits - and central uplifts - e.g., the formation of so-called "central pit" craters. Studies of craters on Earth have also shown that volatiles complicate the identification of impactites - i.e., rocks produced and/or affected by impact cratering. Identifying impactites on Earth is challenging, often requiring intensive and multi-technique laboratory analysis of hand specimens. As such, it is even more challenging to recognize such materials in remote datasets. Here, observations from the Haughton (d = 23 km; Canada), Ries (d = 24 km; Germany), Mistastin (d = 28 km; Canada), Tunnunik, (d = 28 km; Canada), and West Clearwater Lake (d = 36 km; Canada) impact structures are presented. First, it is shown that some impactites mimic intrusive, volcanic, volcanoclastic and in some cases sedimentary clastic rocks. Care should, therefore, be taken in the identification of seemingly unusual igneous rocks at rover landing sites as they may represent impact melt

  4. Raindrop impact on sand: dynamic and crater formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Song-Chuan; de Jong, Rianne; van der Meer, Devaraj

    2015-03-01

    Droplet impact on a granular bed is very common in nature, industry, and agriculture and extends from raindrops falling on earth to wet granulation in the production process of many pharmaceuticals. In contrast to more traditionally studied impact phenomena, such as a droplet impact on solid substrate and solid object impact on fluid-like substrate, raindrop impact on sand induces more complicated interactions. First, both the intruder and the target deform during impact; second, the liquid composing the droplet may penetrate into the substrate during the impact and may, in the end, completely merge with the grains. These complex interactions between the droplet intruder and the granular target create the very diverse crater morphologies that has been described in the literature. An appealing and natural question is how the craters are formed. To gain insight in the mechanism of crater formation, we resolve the dynamics with high-speed laser profilometry and study the dependence of the dynamics on impact speed and packing fraction of the granular substrate. Finally, we establish a dynamical model to explain the various crater morphologies.

  5. An interpretation of volcanic and structural features of crater Aitken. [from Apollo 17 panoramic photography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bryan, W. B.; Adams, M.-L.

    1974-01-01

    Detailed observations from the study of Apollo 17 panoramic photography of the Aitken crater are reported which suggest that there has been significant late-stage compressional deformation of the crater and its adjacent highlands. A speculative interpretation of eruptive activity and drain-back events within Aitken is presented, which leads to the conclusion that hummocky topography within certain cones represents collapsed lava rather than extrusive domes. That is, eruptive activity within Aitken probably commenced with an explosive cone-building stage, followed by lava eruptions from cones and fissures, and ended with drain-back restricted to the relatively deep lava ponded in the vents.

  6. Geophysical Signature of the Lake Bosumtwi Impact Crater, Ghana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karp, T.; Milkereit, B.; Janle, P.; Danuor, S. K.; Berckhemer, H.; Pohl, J.; Scholz, C. A.

    2001-12-01

    The Bosumtwi impact structure in Ghana has an age of 1.07 Ma, a rim-to-rim diameter of 10.5 km, and is the youngest large impact crater on earth. It is the source crater of the Ivory Coast tectites (Koeberl et al., Geoch. Cosmoch. Acta 61, 1997). The central part of the structure is filled by Lake Bosumtwi. Marine seismic studies were conducted to investigate crater morphology (thickness of post-impact sediments, depth and shape of central uplift). Refraction seismic (OBH and PDAS seismometer) and multichannel reflection data were collected to image the complex subsurface crater structure. Results from integrated modelling reveal low P-wave velocities in the young post-impact sediments (less than 1.8 km/s) and a prominent central uplift structure about 120 m high. The total thickness of the sediments does not exceed 350 m. Gravity and magnetic surveys complement regional airborne geophysical data across the structure (Plado et al., Meteor. & Planet. Sc., 35, 2000). Gravity data from 160 stations on land around the lake show the expected minimum resulting from the sedimentary filling of the lake, low density impact formations, brecciated and fragmented basement. In the fall of 2001 additional gravity measurements will be carried out on the lake to better delineate prominent anomalies associated with the central structure. The magnetic anomalies are attributed to remanent magnetization of melt, breccias and footwall complex. Further integration of different data sets will help to develop a detailed lithological model of the crater's subsurface structure. The geophysical data confirm that the Lake Bosumtwi structure provides an ideal setting for drilling of a young and large impact crater.

  7. Fractal dimensions of rampart impact craters on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ching, Delwyn; Taylor, G. Jeffrey; Mouginis-Mark, Peter; Bruno, Barbara C.

    1993-01-01

    Ejecta blanket morphologies of Martian rampart craters may yield important clues to the atmospheric densities during impact, and the nature of target materials (e.g., hard rock, fine-grained sediments, presence of volatiles). In general, the morphologies of such craters suggest emplacement by a fluidized, ground hugging flow instead of ballistic emplacement by dry ejecta. We have quantitatively characterized the shape of the margins of the ejecta blankets of 15 rampart craters using fractal geometry. Our preliminary results suggest that the craters are fractals and are self-similar over scales of approximately 0.1 km to 30 km. Fractal dimensions (a measure of the extent to which a line fills a plane) range from 1.06 to 1.31. No correlations of fractal dimension with target type, elevation, or crater size were observed, though the data base is small. The range in fractal dimension and lack of correlation may be due to a complex interplay of target properties (grain size, volatile content), atmospheric pressure, and crater size. The mere fact that the ejecta margins are fractals, however, indicates that viscosity and yield strength of the ejecta were at least as low as those of basalts, because silicic lava flows are not generally fractals.

  8. Impact cratering and catastrophic disruption of porous targets through hypervelocity impact experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferri, F.; Giacomuzzo, C.; Pavarin, D.; Francesconi, A.; Bettella, A.; Flamini, E.; Angrilli, F.

    We present an experimental study of impact cratering and fragmentation processes onto low density materials by means of high velocity impact experiments using a two-stage light-gas gun, the impact facility of CISAS "G. Colombo" of the University of Padova (http://cisas.unipd.it/lgg/lgg.html). The goal of our experiments is to obtain a better comprehension of the impact processes on different materials in order to analyze the evolution of the surface of the solid bodies and the collisional evolution of the minor bodies of the Solar System. The results of this research are also aimed to contribute to the data interpretation of the ground- and space-based observations, in particular in view of space missions such as Smart1, MarsExpress, VenusExpress, BepiColombo, Cassini-Huygens, Rosetta, Dawn. Porosity is an important physical characteristic of the minor bodies, affecting their behaviour during cratering and greatly lengthening the collisional lifetimes of porous asteroids. Porous targets are likely to have average sound velocity lower than those of nonporous targets composed of same material; compaction of initially porous materials can produce rapid attenuation of the shock, thus affecting energy propagation during collisions. Therefore we focus on the study of impact processes on porous targets both by experimental and theoretical approach in order to complement and extend the available data to ranges of velocity and physical conditions not yet explored. In order to simulate porous asteroids, comets, icy satellites, we have manufactured and used targets of different material, e.g. glass ceramic foam, natural pumices, water ice, and different porosity (with density ranging from 0.35 to 1.07 g/cm3 ). Impact test campaign have been performed on the different samples varying the impact kinetic energy (by changing projectile mass and velocity) in order to study the craterization up to catastrophic disruption. The impact and shattering events are observed by high speed

  9. Genesis and fluid source in Arabia crater mounds: mapping, fractal analysis, and impact simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pozzobon, R.; Mazzarini, F.; Rossi, A.; Lucchetti, A.; Pondrelli, M.; Marinangeli, L.; Martellato, E.; Cremonese, G.; Massironi, M.

    2013-12-01

    Arabia Terra is dominated by heavily cratered terrains, and some peculiar landforms can be found mostly in craters interior. With high-resolution images from HiRISE (25 cm/px) and CTX (6 m/px) cameras pitted cones, mounds and knobs can be easily recognized. Those mounds are interpreted to have worked as pathways for subsurface fluid. It is commonly hypothesized that Arabia Terra is an area of past fluid activity, being crater central bulges a place of sulfate precipitation. In this work we investigate the presence, origin and timing of their formation as well as the the depth of the mounds fluid source. The spatial distribution of monogenic eruptive structures within volcanic areas on Earth has been linked to fracture systems that allowed an efficient hydraulic connection between surface and crustal or subcrustal magma reservoirs. Self-similarity in vent distribution is described by a power law distribution with fractal exponent D and defined over a range of lengths comprised between a lower limit (lower cutoff, Lco) and an upper limit (upper cutoff, Uco). On Earth, volcanic vents as well as mud volcanoes have shown that the Uco of their fractal distribution scales with the depth of pressurized fluid reservoirs. The same approach has been this applied to mounds mapped at Firsoff and Crommelin craters. 431 mounds were mapped on Firsoff Crater's floor, and 160 on Crommelin Crater's floor. The reslulting Uco for both craters are similar giving a source depth of 2.3 ×0.3 km from Firsoff Crater's ground floor and 2.6 ×0.5 km from Crommelin's floor. Hence it is possible to hypothesize a common regional-scale pressurized fluid level at 2.5 km of depth from craters floor. Morphogic and stratigraphical analyses of the high-resolution imagery and topography of those mounds allowed us to discern from actual mud volcano candidates and stratigraphic erosional remnants. We also studied the craters formation by simulating the impact with the hydrocode. We used iSALE shock code

  10. Geologic signatures of atmospheric effects on impact cratering on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    Highlights of the research include geologic signatures of impact energy and atmospheric response to crater formation. Laboratory experiments were performed at the NASA Ames Vertical Gun Range (AVGR) to assess the interaction between disrupted impactor and atmosphere during entry, and to assess the energy coupling between impacts and the surrounding atmosphere. The Schlieren imaging at the AVGR was used in combination with Magellan imaging and theoretical studies to study the evolution of the impactor following impact. The Schlieren imaging documented the downrange blast front created by vaporization during oblique impacts. Laboratory experiments allowed assessing the effect of impact angle on coupling efficiency with an atmosphere. And the impact angle's effect on surface blasts and run-out flows allowed the distinction of crater clusters created by simultaneous impacts from those created by isolated regions of older age.

  11. Fluid mechanical scaling of impact craters in unconsolidated granular materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miranda, Colin S.; Dowling, David R.

    2015-11-01

    A single scaling law is proposed for the diameter of simple low- and high-speed impact craters in unconsolidated granular materials where spall is not apparent. The scaling law is based on the assumption that gravity- and shock-wave effects set crater size, and is formulated in terms of a dimensionless crater diameter, and an empirical combination of Froude and Mach numbers. The scaling law involves the kinetic energy and speed of the impactor, the acceleration of gravity, and the density and speed of sound in the target material. The size of the impactor enters the formulation but divides out of the final empirical result. The scaling law achieves a 98% correlation with available measurements from drop tests, ballistic tests, missile impacts, and centrifugally-enhanced gravity impacts for a variety of target materials (sand, alluvium, granulated sugar, and expanded perlite). The available measurements cover more than 10 orders of magnitude in impact energy. For subsonic and supersonic impacts, the crater diameter is found to scale with the 1/4- and 1/6-power, respectively, of the impactor kinetic energy with the exponent crossover occurring near a Mach number of unity. The final empirical formula provides insight into how impact energy partitioning depends on Mach number.

  12. Impact cratering and the surface age of Venus: The Pre-Magellan controversy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schaber, Gerald G.; Shoemaker, E. M.; Shoemaker, C. S.; Kozak, Richard C.

    1989-01-01

    The average surface age of a planet is a major indicator of the level of its geologic activity and thus of the dynamics of its interior. Radar images obtained by Venera 15/16 from the northern quarter of the Venus (lat 30 to 90 degs) reveal about 150 features that resemble impact craters, and they were so interpreted by Soviet investigators B. A. Ivanov, A. T. Basilevsky, and their colleagues. These features range in diameter from about 10 to 145 km. Their areal density is remarkably similar to the density of impact structures found on the American and European continental shields. The basic difference between the Soviet and American estimates of the average surface age of Venus's northern quarter is due to which crater-production rate is used for the Venusian environment. Cratering rates based on the lunar and terrestrial cratering records, as well as statistical calculations based on observed and predicted Venus-crossing asteroids and comets, have been used in both the Soviet and American calculations. The single largest uncertainty in estimating the actual cratering rates near Venus involves the shielding effect of the atmosphere.

  13. Karakul: a young complex impact crater in the Pamir, Tajikistan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouley, S.; Baratoux, D.; Baratoux, L.; Colas, F.; Dauvergne, J.; Losiak, A.; Vaubaillon, J.; Bourdeille, C.; Jullien, A.; Ibadinov, K.

    2011-12-01

    A fascinating controversy has been recently renewed about the origin of the Karakul depression in the Pamir (Tajikistan, 39°1'N, 73°27'E), about 4000 m above sea level. Based on the work of E. Gurov reporting breccia and shock features in minerals, the circular depression was mentioned in the Earth Impact Database as one of the largest complex craters, about 50 km in diameter. However, recent studies have suggested that the basin is actually a NW-SE extensional rift. We report the preliminary results of a new expedition in the Karakul area that successfully took place in June 2011. Different types of rocks have been observed, including metamorphosed sediments, granite, limestone, and rare occurrence. The granite appears to be the youngest rock predating the crater, with an age of 230-190 My2. The most exciting preliminary result is the finding of shatter cones in metamorphosed sediments in the northern part of the peninsula. Breccias (not necessary impact-breccia) occur as floats on the central island, and were also found in the northern part of the rim. Thin sections are in preparation at the time of writing, and the report on the search for shock features in granite and breccias will be presented at the conference. The age of the crater is unknown, but is necessarily younger than the India-Asia collision, 55 - 60 My ago. On the basis of the oldest sediments filling the depression, the crater has been tentatively attributed to Neogene, or Pliocene, and would be then younger than 23 My. Consequences of the formation of a large complex crater in the recent geological history of the Pamir have yet to be explored. In a context of elevated convergence rate and rapid exhumation, the site offers the possibility to investigate the possible interactions between impact cratering and tectonic activity. The formation of a 50 km crater has considerable effects on the environment, at least at the regional scale, suggesting the search for such effects in the sediment record

  14. Z-model analysis of impact cratering - An overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Austin, M. G.; Thomsen, J. M.; Ruhl, S. F.; Orphal, D. L.; Borden, W. F.; Larson, S. A.; Schultz, P. H.

    1981-01-01

    The Maxwell Z-Model has been applied to two continuum mechanics computer calculations: (1) a laboratory-scale impact of an aluminum projectile into plasticene clay, and (2) a planetary-scale impact of an iron meteor into gabbroic anorthosite. The material flow in the cratering flow field may be well approximated by incompressible flow for most of the excavation stage of crater growth. The center of the flow field is located beneath, not at, the surface. Soon after energy partitioning is complete, Z can assume values less than 2.0 associated with the initial directedness of the projectile's momentum. The Z-Model parameters are time dependent during a significant portion of the crater growth time, and Z increases steadily with time from about 2.0 or slightly less at the beginning of the excavation stage to level off at values in the neighborhood of about 3.0 before the excavation stage is half-over.

  15. Lessons from studies of impact crater hydrothermal processes in terrestrial analogs and their implications for impact craters on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newsom, H. E.

    2011-12-01

    Studying hydrothermal processes in terrestrial impact craters as martian analogs has sometimes been fraught with objections, including the Earth's greater abundance of water, the neutral instead of acidic aqueous environments and the composition of the targets. Although recent discoveries have dispelled many objections, some misconceptions remain. For example, the relevance of the Chicxulub crater as a martian analog is sometimes questioned because the target was covered with sediments, including carbonates and sulfates. However the impactites at the Yaxcopoil-1 drill site are derived from the underlying silicate basement. Comparisons can also be difficult because of scale issues, as many terrestrial craters with evidence of hydrothermal activity, e.g. Lonar, Haughton, Ries etc., are smaller than the Martian craters with phyllosilicate signatures (Ehlmann et al., 2010). Summarizing, the results of many studies of terrestrial craters show that: 1) Most terrestrial craters larger than 1.8 km diameter have at least some evidence of aqueous or hydrothermal processes in the form of alteration minerals (e.g., Naumov, 2005). 2) Impact melts in crater fill and ejecta blankets provide heat that can produce hydrothermal alteration if water is available (Newsom, 1980). 3) The uplifted geothermal gradient can be as important a heat source as shock effects. 4) Mineralogical evidence for high-temperature fluids (> 350 oC) is present in the central uplift of the Manson structure, and in the ejecta from the Chicxulub impact, where precipitation of phyllosilicates from hydrothermal fluids has also been described (Newsom et al., 2010). 5) Impact deposits begin hot, but have an extended cooling period during which alteration phases can back react to low temperature phases with corresponding stable isotope signatures. 5) Hydrothermal fluids can travel long distances from their sources (e.g., Chicxulub, Yaxcopoil site) and are often localized to faults or porous breccias (e.g. Sudbury

  16. The fractured Moon: Production and saturation of porosity in the lunar highlands from impact cratering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soderblom, Jason M.; Evans, Alexander J.; Johnson, Brandon C.; Melosh, H. Jay; Miljković, Katarina; Phillips, Roger J.; Andrews-Hanna, Jeffrey C.; Bierson, Carver J.; Head, James W.; Milbury, Colleen; Neumann, Gregory A.; Nimmo, Francis; Smith, David E.; Solomon, Sean C.; Sori, Michael M.; Wieczorek, Mark A.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2015-09-01

    We have analyzed the Bouguer anomaly (BA) of ~1200 complex craters in the lunar highlands from Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory observations. The BA of these craters is generally negative, though positive BA values are observed, particularly for smaller craters. Crater BA values scale inversely with crater diameter, quantifying how larger impacts produce more extensive fracturing and dilatant bulking. The Bouguer anomaly of craters larger than 93-19+47 km in diameter is independent of crater size, indicating that there is a limiting depth to impact-generated porosity, presumably from pore collapse associated with either overburden pressure or viscous flow. Impact-generated porosity of the bulk lunar crust is likely in a state of equilibrium for craters smaller than ~30 km in diameter, consistent with an ~8 km thick lunar megaregolith, whereas the gravity signature of larger craters is still preserved and provides new insight into the cratering record of even the oldest lunar surfaces.

  17. Formation of complex impact craters - Evidence from Mars and other planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pike, R. J.

    1980-01-01

    An analysis of the depth vs diameter data of Arthur (1980), is given along with geomorphic data for 73 Martian craters. The implications for the formation of complex impact craters on solid planets is discussed. The analysis integrates detailed morphological observations on planetary craters with geologic data from terrestrial meteorite and explosion craters. The simple to complex transition for impact craters on Mars appears at diameters in the range of 3 to 8 km. Five features appear sequentially with increasing crater size, flat floors, central peaks and shallower depths, scalloped rims, and terraced walls. This order suggests that a shallow depth of excavation and a rebound mechanism have produced the central peaks, not centripetal collapse and deep sliding. Simple craters are relatively uniform in shape from planet to planet, but complex craters vary considerably. Both the average onset diameter for complex impact craters on Mars and the average depth of complex craters vary inversely with gravitational acceleration on four planets.

  18. Earth's Largest Meteorite Impact Craters discovered in South America?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kellndorfer, J. M.; Schmidt-Falkenberg, H.

    2014-12-01

    Novel analysis of high resolution InSAR-based digital elevation data from the year 2001 Shuttle Radar Topography Mission combined with a recently produced dataset of pan-tropical vegetation height from ALOS-1 SAR and IceSAT/GLAS Lidar estimates led to the quasi-bald-Earth discovery of four sizable near-perfect circle arcs in South America under dense tropical forests ranging in length from 216 km to 441 km. Terrain elevation profiles of cross-sections across the arcs show a distinct vertical rising and falling in elevations of hundreds of meters over a horizontal distance of tens of kilometers. It is hypothesized that these sizable arcs and associated rim-like topographic terrain features are remnants of huge meteorite impact craters with diameters ranging from 770 km to 1,310 km, thus forming potentially the largest known impact carter structures discovered on Earth today. The potential impact crater rim structures are located north of the eastern Amazon River, in the coastal region of Recife and Natal, and in the Brazilian, Bolivian and Paraguayan border region encompassing the Pantanal. Elevation profiles, hillshades and gray-shaded elevation maps were produced to support the geomorphologic analysis. It is also speculated whether in three of the four potential impact craters, central uplift domes or peaks, which are typical for complex impact crater structures can be identified. The worlds largest iron ore mining area of Carajás in Para, Brazil, falls exactly in the center of the largest hypothesized circular impact crater showing topographic elevations similar to the rim structure discovered 655 km to the north-north-west. Based on the topographic/geomorphologic driven hypothesis, geologic exploration of these topographic features is needed to test whether indeed meteorite impact craters could be verified, what the more exact ellipsoidal shapes of the potential impact craters might be, and to determine when during geologic times the impacts would have taken

  19. Fourier analysis of planimetric lunar crater shape - Possible guide to impact history and lunar geology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eppler, D. T.; Nummedal, D.; Ehrlich, R.

    1977-01-01

    If the lithology of lunar crust influences impact crater morphology, a method of analysis that is sensitive to small-scale changes in crater shape is required. In the present paper, it is shown that Fourier analysis in closed form can provide detailed information regarding planimetric crater shape. Preliminary analysis of the rim crest outline of 247 nearside lunar craters (larger than 18 km in diam) led to the following information: Imbrian and pre-Imbrian craters are more elongate than younger craters, possibly as a result of widespread crustal deformation early in the moon's history. Crater size does not affect the planimetric shape of craters. Highland craters are less circular than mare craters, probably due to the greater structural and lithologic complexity of the highland crust. Craters comprising each shape family of the eleventh harmonic typically are located in the same general geographic region of the moon.

  20. Impact craters at falling of large asteroids in Ukraine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vidmachenko, A. P.

    2016-05-01

    Catastrophes of different scale that are associated with the fall of celestial bodies to the Earth - occurred repeatedly in its history. But direct evidence of such catastrophes has been discovered recently. Thus, in the late 1970s studies of terrestrial rocks showed that in layers of the earth's crust that corresponded to the period of 65 million years before the present, marked by the mass extinction of some species of living creatures, and the beginning of the rapid development of others. It was then - a large body crashed to Earth in the Gulf of Mexico in Central America. The consequence of this is the Chicxulub crater with a diameter of ~170 km on Yucatan Peninsula. Modern Earth's surface retains many traces of collisions with large cosmic bodies. To indicate the craters with a diameter of more than 2 km using the name "astrobleme". Today, it found more than 230. The largest astroblems sizes exceeding 200 km. Ukraine also has some own astroblems. In Ukraine, been found nine large impact craters. Ukrainian crystalline shield, because of its stability for a long time (more than 1.5 billion years), has the highest density of large astroblems on the Earth's surface. The largest of the Ukrainian astroblems is Manevytska. It has a diameter of 45 km. There are also Ilyinetskyi (7 km), Boltysh (25 km), Obolon' (20 km), Ternivka (12-15 km), Bilylivskyi (6 km), Rotmystrivka (3 km) craters. Zelenohayska astrobleme founded near the village Zelenyi Gay in Kirovograd region and consists of two craters: larger with diameter 2.5-3.5 km and smaller - with diameter of 800 m. The presence of graphite, which was the basis for the research of the impact diamond in astroblems of this region. As a result, the diamonds have been found in rocks of Ilyinetskyi crater; later it have been found in rocks in the Bilylivska, Obolon' and other impact structures. The most detailed was studied the geological structure and the presence of diamonds in Bilylivska astrobleme

  1. The role of impact cratering for Mars sample return

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schultz, P. H.

    1988-01-01

    The preserved cratering record of Mars indicates that impacts play an important role in deciphering Martian geologic history, whether as a mechanism to modify the lithosphere and atmosphere or as a tool to sample the planet. The various roles of impact cratering in adding a broader understanding of Mars through returned samples are examined. Five broad roles include impact craters as: (1) a process in response to a different planetary localizer environment; (2) a probe for excavating crustal/mantle materials; (3) a possible localizer of magmatic and hydrothermal processes; (4) a chronicle of changes in the volcanic, sedimentary, atmospheric, and cosmic flux history; and (5) a chronometer for extending the geologic time scale to unsampled regions. The evidence for Earth-like processes and very nonlunar styles of volcanism and tectonism may shift the emphasis of a sampling strategy away from equally fundamental issues including crustal composition, unit ages, and climate history. Impact cratering not only played an important active role in the early Martian geologic history, it also provides an important tool for addressing such issues.

  2. Impact Cratering: Bridging the Gap Between Modeling and Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    This volume contains abstracts that have been accepted for presentation at the workshop on Impact Cratering: Bridging the Gap Between Modeling and Observations, February 7-9, 2003, in Houston, Texas. Logistics, onsite administration, and publications for this workshop were provided by the staff of the Publications and Program Services Department at the Lunar and Planetary Institute.

  3. Results of Prospecting of Impact Craters in Morocco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaabout, S.; Chennaoui Aoudjehane, H.; Reimold, W. U.; Baratoux, D.

    2014-09-01

    This work is based to use satellite images of Google Earth and Yahoo-Maps scenes; we examined the surface of our country to be able to locate the structures that have a circular morphology such as impact craters, which potentially could be.

  4. Impact Crater Experiments for Introductory Physics and Astronomy Laboratories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Claycomb, J. R.

    2009-01-01

    Activity-based collisional analysis is developed for introductory physics and astronomy laboratory experiments. Crushable floral foam is used to investigate the physics of projectiles undergoing completely inelastic collisions with a low-density solid forming impact craters. Simple drop experiments enable determination of the average acceleration,…

  5. Single impact crater functions for ion bombardment of silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Kalyanasundaram, N.; Ghazisaeidi, M.; Freund, J. B.; Johnson, H. T.

    2008-03-31

    The average effect of a single 500 eV incident argon ion on a silicon surface is studied using molecular dynamics simulations. More than 10{sup 3} ion impacts at random surface points are averaged for each of seven incidence angles, from 0 deg. to 28 deg. off normal, to determine a local surface height change function, or a crater function. The crater shapes are mostly determined by mass rearrangement; sputtering has a relatively small effect. Analytical fitting functions are provided for several cases, and may serve as input into kinetic Monte Carlo calculations or stability analyses for surfaces subjected to ion bombardment.

  6. Constraining geologic properties and processes through the use of impact craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barlow, Nadine G.

    2015-07-01

    Impact cratering is the one geologic process which is common to all solar system objects. Impact craters form by the resulting explosion between a solar system body and hypervelocity objects. Comparison with craters formed by chemical and nuclear explosions reveals that crater diameter is related to other morphometric characteristics of the crater, such as depth and rim height. These relationships allow scientists to use impact craters to probe the subsurface structure within the upper few kilometer of a planetary surface and to estimate the amounts and types of degradational processes which have affected the planet since crater formation. Crater size-frequency distribution analysis provides the primary mechanism for determining ages of planetary terrains and constraining the timing of resurfacing episodes. Thus, impact craters provide many important insights into the evolution of planetary surfaces.

  7. Morphology correlation of craters formed by hypervelocity impacts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crawford, Gary D.; Rose, M. Frank; Zee, Ralph H.

    1993-01-01

    Dust-sized olivine particles were fired at a copper plate using the Space Power Institute hypervelocity facility, simulating micrometeoroid damage from natural debris to spacecraft in low-Earth orbit (LEO). Techniques were developed for measuring crater volume, particle volume, and particle velocity, with the particle velocities ranging from 5.6 to 8.7 km/s. A roughly linear correlation was found between crater volume and particle energy which suggested that micrometeoroids follow standard hypervelocity relationships. The residual debris analysis showed that for olivine impacts of up to 8.7 km/s, particle residue is found in the crater. By using the Space Power Institute hypervelocity facility, micrometeoroid damage to satellites can be accurately modeled.

  8. Hypervelocity impact study: The effect of impact angle on crater morphology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crawford, Gary; Hill, David; Rose, Frank E.; Zee, Ralph; Best, Steve; Crumpler, Mike

    1993-01-01

    The Space Power Institute (SPI) of Auburn University has conducted preliminary tests on the effects of impact angle on crater morphology for hypervelocity impacts. Copper target plates were set at angles of 30 deg and 60 deg from the particle flight path. For the 30 deg impact, the craters looked almost identical to earlier normal incidence impacts. The only difference found was in the apparent distribution of particle residue within the crater, and further research is needed to verify this. The 60 deg impacts showed marked differences in crater symmetry, crater lip shape, and particle residue distribution. Further research on angle effects is planned, because the particle velocities for these shots were relatively slow (7 km/s or less).

  9. Foraminiferal repopulation of the late Eocene Chesapeake Bay impact crater

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Poag, C. Wylie

    2012-01-01

    The Chickahominy Formation is the initial postimpact deposit in the 85km-diameter Chesapeake Bay impact crater, which is centered under the town of Cape Charles, Virginia, USA. The formation comprises dominantly microfossil-rich, silty, marine clay, which accumulated during the final ~1.6myr of late Eocene time. At cored sites, the Chickahominy Formation is 16.8-93.7m thick, and fills a series of small troughs and subbasins, which subdivide the larger Chickahominy basin. Nine coreholes drilled through the Chickahominy Formation (five inside the crater, two near the crater margin, and two ~3km outside the crater) record the stratigraphic and paleoecologic succession of 301 indigenous species of benthic foraminifera, as well as associated planktonic foraminifera and bolboformids. Two hundred twenty of these benthic species are described herein, and illustrated with scanning electron photomicrographs. Absence of key planktonic foraminiferal and Bolboforma species in early Chickahominy sediments indicates that detrimental effects of the impact also disturbed the upper oceanic water column for at least 80-100kyr postimpact. After an average of ~73kyr of stressed, rapidly fluctuating paleoenvironments, which were destabilized by after-effects of the impact, most of the cored Chickahominy subbasins maintained stable, nutrient-rich, low-oxygen bottom waters and interstitial microhabitats for the remaining ~1.3myr of late Eocene time.

  10. Chesapeake Bay Crater, Virginia: Confirmation of Impact Origin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koeberl, C.; Reimold, W. U.; Brandt, D.; Poag, C. W.

    1995-09-01

    Poag et al. [1] identified a late Eocene boulder bed in drill cores from southeast Virginia, and interpreted it as an impact-generated tsunami deposit. Seismic studies and other geophysical evidence indicated the existence of a possible impact structure centered at Chesapeake Bay (37 degrees x 15' N and 76 degrees x 04' W), which may be 85-90 km in diameter [2]. Four drill cores have penetrated into the breccia, although none is available from the center of the structure, or reaches basement. A central peak-ring of crystalline rocks with about 25 km diameter is surrounded by a 30 km-wide annular trough and terrace terrane. The trough is filled with polymictic breccia composed mainly of autochthonous sedimentary clasts in a sandy matrix with some angular clasts of granitic and metasedimentary basement rocks [2]. The Chesapeake Bay crater is of special interest, because it is close to the region identified as the possible source region for the North American tektites, is of about the expected size, and has an age identical to that of the tektites [3]. While the source craters for the Central European and Ivory Coast tektite strewn fields are known, the source crater of the North American tektites has remained elusive. A variety of locations were suggested, including Popigai (Siberia), Wanapitei (Canada), Mistastin (Canada), and Bee Bluff (Texas), but all were later discounted. The distribution of the tektites and microtektites in the strewn field suggests that the North American tektite source crater is likely to be located at or near the eastern coast of the North American continent, maybe underwater [4,5]. The location of the Chesapeake Bay structure is in agreement with the area suggested before [4,5]. We have started a petrological and geochemical study of target rocks and breccias from the Chesapeake Bay structure. We analyzed the major and trace element composition of 17 mainly sedimentary samples, for comparison with North American tektite values. 14 of these

  11. Mars: New Determination of Impact Crater Production Function Size Distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartmann, William K.

    2006-12-01

    Several authors have questioned our knowledge of Martian impact crater production function size-frequency distribution (PFSFD), especially at small diameters D. Plescia (2005) questioned whether any area of Mars shows size distributions used for estimating crater retention ages on Mars. McEwen et al. (2005) and McEwen and Bierhaus (2006) suggested existing PFSFD’s are hopelessly confused by the presence of secondaries, and that my isochrons give primary crater densities off by factors of several thousand at small D. In 2005, I addressed some of these concerns, noting my curves do not estimate primary crater densities per se, but show total numbers of primaries + semi-randomly “distant secondaries” (negating many McEwen et al. critiques). In 2006 I have conducted new crater counts on a PFSFD test area suggested by Ken Tanaka. This area shows young lava flows of similar crater density, west of Olympus Mons (around 30 deg N, 100 deg W). Multiple crater counts were made on several adjacent Odyssey THEMIS images and MGS MOC images, giving the SFD over a range of 11mcrater retention model age (using the “2004” iteration), is 150 My, reaffirming Martian meteorite evidence for young volcanism. The uncertainty in fitting the counts to the isochron shape is probably <40% the uncertainty in absolute age is probably a factor 2-4 due mostly to uncertainties in the Mars/moon cratering rate and in the accumulation rate of globally scattered background secondaries (Hartmann 2005). References: Hartmann, W.K., 2005, Icarus 174, 294-320. McEwen, A.S., Bierhaus, E.B., 2006, Ann. Rev. Earth. Planet. Sci. 34, 535-567. McEwen, A.S., 2005, Icarus 176, 351-381. Plescia, J.B. 2005, LPSC 36, 2171.

  12. Geochemical aspect of impact cratering: Studies in Vernadsky Institute

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yakovlev, O. I.; Basilevsky, A. T.

    1992-01-01

    Studies of the geochemical effects of impact cratering at the Vernadsky Institute in collaboration with the Institute of Dynamics of Geospheres, Moscow State University, Leningrad State University, and some other institutions were fulfilled by several approaches. At the initial stage, three approaches were used: (1) experimental studies of high-temperature vaporization of geological materials (basalts, granites, and so on) in vacuum that was considered as a model of behavior of impact melt and vapor; (2) search of impact-induced geochemical effects in the rock from terrestrial impact craters; and (3) studies of samples of lunar regolith. The next stage of the studies included experiments on quasi-equilibrium vaporization of geological material in Knudsen cells. The results of this investigation are discussed.

  13. Fake Statistically Valid Isotopic Ages in Impact Crater Geochronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jourdan, F.; Schmieder, M.; McWilliams, M. M.; Buchner, E.

    2009-05-01

    Precise dating of impact structures is crucial in several fundamental aspects, such as correlating effects on the bio- and geosphere caused by these catastrophic processes. Among the 176 listed impact structures [1], only 25 have a stated age precision better than ± 2%. Statistical investigation of these 25 ages showed that 11 ages are accurate, 12 are at best ambiguous, and 2 are not well characterized [2]. In this study, we show that even with statistically valid isotope ages, the age of an impact can be "missed" by several hundred millions of years. We present a new 40Ar/39Ar plateau age of 444 ± 4 Ma for the Acraman structure (real age ˜590 Ma [3]) and four plateau ages ranging from 81.07 ± 0.76 Ma to 74.6 ± 1.5 Ma for the Brent structure (estimated real age ˜453 Ma [4]). In addition, we discuss a 40Ar/39Ar plateau age of 994 ± 11, recently obtained by [5] on the Dhala structure (real age ˜2.0 Ga [5]). Despite careful sample preparations (single grain handpicking and HF leaching, in order to remove alteration phases), these results are much younger than the impact ages. Petrographic observations show that Acraman and Dhala grain separates all have an orange color and show evidence of alteration. This suggests that these ages are the results of hydrothermal events that triggered intensive 40Ar* loss and crystallization of secondary phases. More intriguing are the Brent samples (glassy melt rocks obtained from a drill core) that appeared very fresh under the microscope. The Brent glass might be a Cretaceous pseudotachylite generated by a late adjustment of the structure and/or by a local earthquake. Because we know the approximate age of the craters with stratigraphic evidences, these outliers are easy to identify. However, this is a red flag for any uncritical interpretation of isotopic ages (including e.g., 40Ar/39Ar, U/Pb, or U-Th/He [6]). In this paper, we encourage a multi-technique approach (i.e., isotopic, stratigraphic, paleogeographic [7,8]) and

  14. Geomechanical models of impact cratering: Puchezh-Katunki structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ivanov, B. A.

    1992-01-01

    Impact cratering is a complex natural phenomenon that involves various physical and mechanical processes. Simulating these processes may be improved using the data obtained during the deep drilling at the central mound of the Puchezh-Katunki impact structure. A research deep drillhole (named Vorotilovskaya) has been drilled in the Puchezh-Katunki impact structure (European Russia, 57 deg 06 min N, 43 deg 35 min E). The age of the structure is estimated at about 180 to 200 m.y. The initial rim crater diameter is estimated at about 40 km. The central uplift is composed of large blocks of crystalline basement rocks. Preliminary study of the core shows that crystalline rocks are shock metamorphosed by shock pressure from 45 GPa near the surface to 15-20 GPa at a depth of about 5 km. The drill core allows the possibility of investigating many previously poorly studied cratering processes in the central part of the impact structure. As a first step one can use the estimates of energy for the homogeneous rock target. The diameter of the crater rim may be estimated as 40 km. The models elaborated earlier show that such a crater may be formed after collapse of a transient cavity with a radius of 10 km. The most probable range of impact velocities from 11.2 to 30 km/s may be inferred for the asteroidal impactor. For the density of a projectile of 2 g/cu cm the energy of the impact is estimated as 1E28 to 3E28 erg. In the case of vertical impact, the diameter of an asteroidal projectile is from 1.5 to 3 km for the velocity range from 11 to 30 km/s. For the most probable impact angle of 45 deg, the estimated diameter of an asteroid is slightly larger: from 2 to 4 km. Numerical simulation of the transient crater collapse has been done using several models of rock rheology during collapse. Results show that the column at the final position beneath the central mound is about 5 km in length. This value is close to the shock-pressure decay observed along the drill core. Further

  15. Zumba crater, Daedalia Planum, Mars: Geologic investigation of a young, rayed impact crater and its secondary field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chuang, Frank C.; Crown, David A.; Tornabene, Livio L.

    2016-05-01

    Zumba is a ∼2.9 km diameter rayed crater on Mars located on extensive lava plains in Daedalia Planum to the southwest of Arsia Mons. It is a well-preserved young crater with large ejecta rays that extend for hundreds of kilometers from the impact site. The rays are thermally distinct from the background lava flows in THEMIS daytime and nighttime thermal infrared data, a unique characteristic among martian rayed craters. Concentrated within the rays are solitary or dense clusters of secondary craters with associated diffuse dark-toned deposits along with fewer secondary craters lacking dark-toned deposits. Using CTX images, we have mapped secondary craters with dark-toned deposits, collectively termed "secondary fields", to investigate their distribution as a function of distance from the impact site. The mapped secondary field was then used to investigate various aspects of the crater-forming event such as the surface angle and direction of the projectile, the effect of secondary craters on surface age estimates, and the number of secondary craters produced by the impact event. From our mapping, a total of 13,064 secondary fields were documented out to a 200 km radial distance beyond a 15 km-wide non-secondary zone around Zumba crater. Results show that the highest areal coverage of secondary fields occurs within 100 km of Zumba and within its rays, decreasing radially with distance to a background scattering of small secondary fields that are <10 km2 in size (∼91.9% of the total population). The strong east-west asymmetry of crater rays and low areal coverage of fields to the south of Zumba correlate well with studies of Zumba impact melt deposits, indicating a moderately oblique impact projectile coming from the south. Using primary craters in a ∼101 km2 sample region and all craters (primaries and secondaries) from 43 select secondary fields in two map sectors in the study area, we obtain ages of ∼580 ± 100 Ma and ∼650 ± 70 Ma, respectively, for the

  16. The MEMIN research unit: First results from impact cratering experiments into quartzite and tuff

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poelchau, M. H.; Hoerth, T.; Schäfer, F.; Deutsch, A.; Thoma, K.; Kenkmann, T.

    2012-09-01

    The MEMIN research unit is focused on performing and evaluating impact cratering experiments into geological materials. As a research unit, MEMIN uses a multidisciplinary approach, with different subprojects analyzing various aspects of the same cratering experiments, including crater morphology, ejecta dynamics, subsurface deformation, etc., along with numerical simulations of the impact process. A series of impact cratering experiments into quartzite and tuff targets is planned for June 2012. We intend to have completed a preliminary evaluation of these experiments for the EPSC conference.

  17. Impact cratering as a major process in planet formation: Projectile identification of meteorite craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, G.; Kratz, K.

    2009-12-01

    Ancient surfaces of solid planets show that impact cratering is a major process in planet formation. Understanding origin and influence of impactors on the chemical composition of planets (core, mantle and crust) it is important to know the relative abundances of highly siderophile elements (Os, Ir, Ru, Pt, Rh, Pd) in the silicate mantle and crust of planets and meteorites. Refractory highly siderophile elements, such as Os and Ir, are abundant in most meteorites but depleted in crustal rocks (low target/meteorite ratios) and thus the most reliable elements for projectile identification. However, target/meteorite ratios are high if target rocks consist of mantle rocks. In such cases elements are enriched in impactites due to relatively high abundances (ng/g level) in target rocks to make the identification of projectile types difficult (e.g., Gardnos impact structure in Norway). The Ru/Ir ratio is the most reliable key ratio that rules out Earth primitive upper mantle (PUM) derived refractory highly siderophile element components in impactites. The well established Ru/Ir ratio of the Earth mantle of 2.0 ± 0.1 (e.g. Schmidt and Kratz 2004) is significantly above the chondritic ratios varying from 1.4 to 1.6. On Earth Rh/Ir, Ru/Ir, Pd/Ir, and Pt/Os derived from PUM match the ratios of group IV irons with fractionated trace element patterns. The question raise if HSE in mantle rocks are added to the accreting Earth by a late bombardment of pre-differentiated objects or the cores of these objects (magmatic iron meteorites as remnants of the first planetesimals, e.g. Kleine et al. 2009) or some unsampled inner solar system materials from the Mercury-Venus formation region, not sampled through meteorite collections (Schmidt 2009). The PGE and Ni systematics of the upper continental crust (UCC) closely resembles group IIIAB iron meteorites with highly fractionated refractory trace element patterns, pallasites, and the evolved suite of Martian meteorites (representing

  18. Impact and explosion crater ejecta, fragment size, and velocity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Okeefe, J. D.; Ahrens, T. J.

    1983-01-01

    A model was developed for the mass distribution of fragments that are ejected at a given velocity for impact and explosion craters. The model is semi-empirical in nature and is derived from (1) numerical calculations of cratering and the resultant mass versus ejection velocity, (2) observed ejecta blanket particle size distributions, (3) an empirical relationship between maximum ejecta fragment size and crater diameter and an assumption on the functional form for the distribution of fragements ejected at a given velocity. This model implies that for planetary impacts into competent rock, the distribution of fragments ejected at a given velocity are nearly monodisperse, e.g., 20% of the mass of the ejecta at a given velocity contain fragments having a mass less than 0.1 times a mass of the largest fragment moving at that velocity. Using this model, the largest fragment that can be ejected from asteroids, the moon, Mars, and Earth is calculated as a function of crater diameter. In addition, the internal energy of ejecta versus ejecta velocity is found. The internal energy of fragments having velocities exceeding the escape velocity of the moon will exceed the energy required for incipient melting for solid silicates and thus, constrains the maximum ejected solid fragment size.

  19. Gale Crater: Formation and post-impact hydrous environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwenzer, S. P.; Abramov, O.; Allen, C. C.; Bridges, J. C.; Clifford, S. M.; Filiberto, J.; Kring, D. A.; Lasue, J.; McGovern, P. J.; Newsom, H. E.; Treiman, A. H.; Vaniman, D. T.; Wiens, R. C.; Wittmann, A.

    2012-09-01

    Gale Crater, the landing site of the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory mission, formed in the Late Noachian. It is a 150 km diameter complex impact structure with a central mound (Mount Sharp), the original features of which may be transitional between a central peak and peak ring impact structure. The impact might have melted portions of the substrate to a maximum depth of ˜17 km and produced a minimum of 3600 km3 of impact melt, half of which likely remained within the crater. The bulk of this impact melt would have pooled in an annular depression surrounding the central uplift, creating an impact melt pool as thick as 0.5-1 km. The ejecta blanket surrounding Gale may have been as thick as ˜600 m, which has implications for the amount of erosion that has occurred since Gale Crater formed. After the impact, a hydrothermal system may have been active for several hundred thousand years and a crater lake with associated sediments is likely to have formed. The hydrothermal system, and associated lakes and springs, likely caused mineral alteration and precipitation. In the presence of S-rich host rocks, the alteration phases are modelled to contain sheet silicates, quartz, sulphates, and sulphides. Modelled alteration assemblages may be more complex if groundwater interaction persisted after initial alteration. The warm-water environment might have provided conditions supportive of life. Deep fractures would have allowed for hydraulic connectivity into the deep subsurface, where biotic chemistry (and possibly other evidence of life) may be preserved.

  20. The Zhamanshin impact feature: A new class of complex crater?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garvin, J. B.; Schnetzler, C. C.

    1992-01-01

    The record of 10-km-scale impact events of Quaternary age includes only two 'proven' impact structures: the Zhamanshin Impact Feature (ZIF) and the Bosumtwi Impact Crater (BIC). What makes these impact landforms interesting from the standpoint of recent Earth history is their almost total lack of morphologic similarity, in spite of similar absolute ages and dimensions. The BIC resembles pristine complex craters on the Moon to first order (i.e., 'U'-shaped topographic cross section with preserved rim), while the ZIF displays virtually none of the typical morphologic elements of a 13- to 14-km-diameter complex crater. Indeed, this apparent lack of a craterlike surficial topographic expression initially led Soviet geologists to conclude that the structure was only 5.5 to 6 km in diameter and at least 4.5 Ma in age. However, more recent drilling and geophysical observations at the ZIF have indicated that its pre-erosional diameter is at least 13.5 km, and that its age is most probably 0.87 Ma. Why the present topographic expression of a 13.5-km complex impact crater less than 1 m.y. old most closely resembles heavily degraded Mesozoic shield craters such as Lappajarvi is a question of considerable debate. Hypotheses for the lack of a clearly defined craterlike form at the ZIF include a highly oblique impact, a low-strength 'cometary' projectile, weak or water-saturated target materials, and anomalous erosion patterns. The problem remains unresolved because typical erosion rates within the arid sedimentary platform environment of central Kazakhstan in which the ZIF is located are typically low; it would require at least a factor of 10 greater erosion at the ZIF in order to degrade the near-rim ejecta typical of a 13.5-km complex crater by hundreds of meters in only 0.87 Ma, and to partially infill an inner cavity with 27 cu km (an equivalent uniform thickness of infill of 166 m). Our analysis of the degree of erosion and infill at the ZIF calls for rates in the 0.19 to

  1. The Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater: An Educational Investigation for Students into the Planetary Impact Process and its Environmental Consequences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levine, Arlene S.

    2008-01-01

    , VDEQ, HRPDC and WM on the principles of geology, the formation of impact craters, the consequences of the impacting body on the atmosphere, ocean, surface and sub-surface, the geological, chemical and biological analyses of the core and the cataloguing and storage of the core segments, etc. After the briefings, the Girl Scouts visited the drilling site where they inspected the core drilling rig, examined the core samples and discussed the drilling procedures, cores and interpretation of the cores with scientists and educators from the organizations conducting the core drilling. Demonstrations at the drilling site included demonstrations of impacting objects hitting multi-colored layered mud targets at different angles of entry. The multi-colored layers of mud were instructive in mapping out the distribution of impact-ejected material around the impact crater. The presentation will include a series of photographs of the Girl Scout participating in activities at the Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater drill site, including retrieving cores from the drilling rig, inspecting the core samples and participating in the impact-crater formation demonstrations.

  2. Roter Kamm impact crater, Namibia: Geochemistry of basement rocks and breccias

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reimold, Wolf Uwe; Koeberl, Christian; Bishop, Janice

    1994-06-01

    The Roter Kamm crater in the southern Namib Desert has previously been identified as an impact structure on the basis of crater morphology and the presence of impact melt breccias which contain shock metamorphosed quartz and lithic clasts. To better define the variety of target rocks and breccias, we studied the petrography and chemical composition of a new suite of twenty-eight basement and breccia samples from the Roter Kamm crater. Based on chemical data for target lithologies and breccias we suggest that the crater was formed in a two-layer target region: an upper layer of Gariep metasediments (schist, marble, ± quartzite and sandstone) overlying the crystalline basement of the Namaqualand Metamorphic Complex. The basement was also heavily intruded by coarse-grained quartz veins and quartz- and quartz-feldspar pegmatites. The clast population in the melt breccias indicates that impact-induced melting involved mainly metasedimentary target rocks, with rarely detected contributions from pegmatite and granite/granodiorite. Three varieties of melt breccias can be defined: (1) "schistose," (2) quartzitic melt breccias, (3) "true" impact melt breccias. These melt breccia types are chemically heterogeneous, and even the impact melt breccias may have been produced in situ and not from a coherent melt body. The shapes of the schistose melt breccias, previously thought to be ejected impact breccias, are most likely caused by erosion, and these breccias are now interpreted to be locally derived. The crater basement as exposed at the rim was structurally severely affected and, at least locally, considerable thermal energy was generated during formation of large volumes of cataclastic, mylonitic, and pseudotachylitic breccias. Analyses of mylonite and pseudotachylites from the crater rim, as well as their respective host rocks, show that these breccias were mainly formed from local material. Analyses of pseudotachylite-like breccias indicate that these possible friction

  3. The Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T) impact: One or more source craters?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koeberl, Christian

    1992-01-01

    The Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T) boundary is marked by signs of a worldwide catastrophe, marking the demise of more than 50 percent of all living species. Ever since Alvarez et al. found an enrichment of IR and other siderophile elements in rocks marking the K/T boundary and interpreted it as the mark of a giant asteroid (or comet) impact, scientists have tried to understand the complexities of the K/T boundary event. The impact theory received a critical boost by the discovery of shocked minerals that have so far been found only in association with impact craters. One of the problems of the K/T impact theory was, and still is, the lack of an adequate large crater that is close to the maximum abundance of shocked grains in K/T boundary sections, which was found to occur in sections in Northern America. The recent discovery of impact glasses from a K/T section in Haiti has been crucial in establishing a connection with documented impact processes. The location of the impact-glass findings and the continental nature of detritus found in all K/T sections supports at least one impact site near the North American continent. The Manson Impact Structure is the largest recognized in the United States, 35 km in diameter, and has a radiometric age indistinguishable from that of the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T) boundary. Although the Manson structure may be too small, it may be considered at least one element of the events that led to the catastrophic loss of life and extinction of many species at that time. A second candidate for the K/T boundary crater is the Chicxulub structure, which was first suggested to be an impact crater more than a decade ago. Only recently, geophysical studies and petrological (as well as limited chemical) analyses have indicated that this buried structure may in fact be of impact origin. At present we can conclude that the Manson crater is the only confirmed crater of K/T age, but Chicxulub is becoming a strong contender; however, detailed geochemical

  4. The Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T) impact: One or more source craters?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koeberl, Christian

    The Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T) boundary is marked by signs of a worldwide catastrophe, marking the demise of more than 50 percent of all living species. Ever since Alvarez et al. found an enrichment of IR and other siderophile elements in rocks marking the K/T boundary and interpreted it as the mark of a giant asteroid (or comet) impact, scientists have tried to understand the complexities of the K/T boundary event. The impact theory received a critical boost by the discovery of shocked minerals that have so far been found only in association with impact craters. One of the problems of the K/T impact theory was, and still is, the lack of an adequate large crater that is close to the maximum abundance of shocked grains in K/T boundary sections, which was found to occur in sections in Northern America. The recent discovery of impact glasses from a K/T section in Haiti has been crucial in establishing a connection with documented impact processes. The location of the impact-glass findings and the continental nature of detritus found in all K/T sections supports at least one impact site near the North American continent. The Manson Impact Structure is the largest recognized in the United States, 35 km in diameter, and has a radiometric age indistinguishable from that of the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T) boundary. Although the Manson structure may be too small, it may be considered at least one element of the events that led to the catastrophic loss of life and extinction of many species at that time. A second candidate for the K/T boundary crater is the Chicxulub structure, which was first suggested to be an impact crater more than a decade ago. Only recently, geophysical studies and petrological (as well as limited chemical) analyses have indicated that this buried structure may in fact be of impact origin. At present we can conclude that the Manson crater is the only confirmed crater of K/T age, but Chicxulub is becoming a strong contender; however, detailed geochemical

  5. Calculation of Planetary Impact Cratering to Late Times

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahrens, Thomas J.; OKeefe, John D.; Stewart, Sarah T.

    2003-01-01

    Simulation of impact cratering on planetary materials is crucially dependent on adequate description of shock processing of surface materials. Two recent examples of the importance of these processes is demonstrated by the simulation of impact induced flow from the impact of a ca. 10 km bolide at 20 km/sec onto the Earth. This has been inferred to have occurred along the Yucatan (Mexican) coast, 65 million years ago. This impact is inferred to have triggered global climatic change, induced by the impact devolatilization of the marine anhydrite (CaSiO4) and gypsum (CaSO42H2O) deposits of the target rocks. These calculations conducted with Sandia's CTH code de-pend crucially upon utilizing a rock damage model which reduced crustal rock strength from 100 MPa to 1 MPa over a volume some 102 times that of the bolide in about 1 minute and gives rise to a 100 km diameter central peak, flat-floored crater with overturned target flap some 8 minutes after impact. Comparison of calculated post-impact deformation compares favorably with seismic profiling and drill-core data. A second example is the formation of ejecta blankets giving rise to rampart Martian craters by fluidization with liquid water by a new impact cratering simulation and recent shock wave data on H2O ice. We demonstrate that ground ice is melted by the impact shock within a hemisphere of radius equal to the final crater radius, resulting in excavation of a mixture of liquid water and brecciated rock into the continuous ejecta blanket. Our shock wave experiments demonstrate that ice at Mars temperature, 150 to 275 K, will begin to melt when shocked above 2.2 to 0.6 GPa, respectively, lower than previously expected. Hence, the presence of liquid water near the pre-impacted surface is not required to form fluidized ejecta. The amount of ice melted and incorporated into the ejecta blanket debris flow is within a factor of two of the subsurface ice content; therefore, debris flow modeling of fluidized ejecta

  6. UNAM Scientific Drilling Program of Chicxulub Impact Structure-Evidence for a 300 kilometer crater diameter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J.; Marin, L.; Trejo-Garcia, A.

    As part of the UNAM drilling program at the Chicxulub structure, two 700 m deep continuously cored boreholes were completed between April and July, 1995. The Peto UNAM-6 and Tekax UNAM-7 drilling sites are ˜150 km and 125 km, respectively, SSE of Chicxulub Puerto, near the crater's center. Core samples from both sites show a sequence of post-crater carbonates on top of a thick impact breccia pile covering the disturbed Mesozoic platform rocks. At UNAM-7, two impact breccia units were encountered: (1) an upper breccia, mean magnetic susceptibility is high (˜55 × 10-6 SI units), indicating a large component of silicate basement has been incorporated into this breccia, and (2) an evaporite-rich, low susceptibility impact breccia similar in character to the evaporite-rich breccias observed at the PEMEX drill sites further out. The upper breccia was encountered at ˜226 m below the surface and is ˜125 m thick; the lower breccia is immediately subjacent and is >240 m thick. This two-breccia sequence is typical of the suevite-Bunte breccia sequence found within other well preserved impact craters. The suevitic upper unit is not present at UNAM-6. Instead, a >240 m thick evaporite-rich breccia unit, similar to the lower breccia at UNAM-7, was encountered at a depth of ˜280 m. The absence of an upper breccia equivalent at UNAM-6 suggests some portion of the breccia sequence has been removed by erosion. This is consistent with interpretations that place the high-standing crater rim at 130-150 km from the center. Consequently, the stratigraphic observations and magnetic susceptibiity records on the upper and lower breccias (depth and thickness) support a ˜300 km diameter crater model.

  7. The Ries impact crater described as an analogue for a Martian double-layered ejecta crater on Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sturm, Sebastian; Wulf, Gerwin; Jung, Dietmar; Kenkmann, Thomas

    2014-05-01

    The Ries impact crater (~26 km-diameter) is described as a relatively pristine, complex impact crater in southern Germany. The oblique impact occurred during the Miocene (14.9 Ma) and hit into a two-layered target material that consists of ~650 m partly water-saturated and subhorizontally layered sediments (limestones, sandstones, shales) of Triassic to Tertiary ages underlain by crystalline basement rocks (mainly gneisses, granites and amphibolites) [1, 2, 3, 4]. The continuous and well-preserved ejecta blanket reaches up to a distance of 45 km from the crater center. It is built up by so called Bunte Breccia material that is described as a polymict lithic breccia. Bunte Breccia mainly consists of unshocked to weakly shocked sedimentary target clasts including a minority of crystalline basement clasts and reworked surfical sediments (e.g., Upper Freshwater Molasses or Upper Seawater Molasses) [5, 6]. Here we present our final interpolation results of the morphology of the paleo-surface and the thickness variations of the continuous ejecta blanket (Bunte Breccia) with radial range outside of the Ries impact crater. Our results were then compared with ejecta distribution characteristics of Martian complex double-layered ejecta craters (DLE) [7]. We combined digital elevation data (ASTER DEM) and geologic information of the recent geologic map [8], in addition with nine NASA Drillings [6], and up to 40 Bavarian Environment Agency drillings in ArcGIS (ESRI) and RockWorks14 (RockWare) to interpolate the elevation of the lower contact plane ("paleo-surface") and the contact between the Bunte breccia and the overlain Suevite deposits to reconstruct the Bunte Breccia thickness variation outside of the Ries impact crater [7]. Our final interpolation results of the paleo-surface and Bunte Breccia top surface provide an increasing Bunte breccia thickness with increasing distance from the crater center. The ejecta thickness distribution clearly deviates from a steady decrease

  8. Fragment shapes in impact experiments ranging from cratering to catastrophic disruption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michikami, Tatsuhiro; Hagermann, Axel; Kadokawa, Tokiyuki; Yoshida, Akifumi; Shimada, Akira; Hasegawa, Sunao; Tsuchiyama, Akira

    2016-01-01

    Laboratory impact experiments have found that impact fragments tend to be elongated. Their shapes, as defined by axes a, b and c, these being the maximum dimensions of the fragment in three mutually orthogonal planes (a ⩾ b ⩾ c), are distributed around mean values of the axial ratios b/a ∼ 0.7 and c/a ∼ 0.5. This corresponds to a:b:c in the simple proportion 2:√2:1. The shape distributions of some boulders on Asteroid Eros, the small- and fast-rotating asteroids (diameter <200 m and rotation period <1 h), and asteroids in young families, are similar to those of laboratory fragments created in catastrophic disruptions. Catastrophic disruption is, however, a process that is different from impact cratering. In order to systematically investigate the shapes of fragments in the range from impact cratering to catastrophic disruption, impact experiments for basalt targets 5-15 cm in size were performed. A total of 28 impact experiments were carried out by firing a spherical nylon projectile (diameter 7.14 mm) perpendicularly into the target surface at velocities of 1.60-7.13 km/s. More than 12,700 fragments with b ⩾ 4 mm generated in the impact experiments were measured. We found that the mean value of c/a in each impact decreases with decreasing impact energy per unit target mass. For instance, the mean value of c/a in an impact cratering event is nearly 0.2, which is considerably smaller than c/a in a catastrophic disruption (∼0.5). The data presented here can provide important evidence to interpret the shapes of asteroids and boulders on asteroid surfaces, and can constrain current interpretations of asteroid formation. As an example, by applying our experimental results to the boulder shapes on Asteroid Itokawa's surface, we can infer that Itokawa's parent body must have experienced a catastrophic disruption.

  9. Impact Cratering, Mantle Removal, and Catastrophic Disruption of Differentiated Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asphaug, E.; Agnor, C.

    2005-08-01

    We present results from impact simulations, applying a version of the SPH hydrocode (Benz 1990) used in recent planetary collisional studies (e.g. Canup & Asphaug, Nature 2001; Agnor & Asphaug, Ap.J. 2004) to examine the impact evolution of differentiated asteroids. We use 4 Vesta as an archetype to connect this research to previous modeling (Asphaug M&PS 1997). We also extend our simulations to larger (1000 km) and smaller (200 km) targets, and span velocity regimes from subsonic (0.5 km/s) to hypervelocity (10 km/s), in order to complement previous impact studies by Benz & Asphaug (Icarus 1999), who focused on the catastrophic disruption threshold (Q*D) of non-differentiated spheres of rock and ice at fixed impact velocity. The ˜ 520 km diameter asteroid Vesta is the first Dawn mission target (Russell et al., P&SS 2004). It is a riddle not only for the unique survival of its basaltic crust, but also for the existence of a southern-hemispheric crater of diameter 450 km (Thomas et al., Icarus 1997) and its taxonomic and dynamical connection to the family of V-class asteroids (Binzel & Xu, Science 1993). It also represents an important end-member in the mechanics of complex cratering, given that its giant crater forms in a gravity field ˜ 1/30 that of Earth. Our focus on large differentiated asteroids addresses four questions: (1) How do the largest craters on such asteroids form; (2) under what conditions can high-velocity impacts remove a significant fraction of the mantle, possibly exposing core materials in the manner proposed for M-class asteroids like Psyche (Davis et al., Icarus 1999); (3) what mechanical and thermodynamical processing occurs in the shock acceleration of this escaping mantle material, in the context of meteorite petrogenesis, and (4) what processing occurs to the surviving target asteroid. This work is funded by NASA PG&G ``Small Bodies and Planetary Collisions".

  10. Pwyll Impact Crater: Perspective View of Topographic Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This computer-generated perspective view of the Pwyll impact crater on Jupiter's moon Europa was created using images taken by NASA's Galileo spacecraft camera when the spacecraft flew past that moon on Feb. 20 and Dec. 16, 1997 during its 6th and 12th orbits of Jupiter. Images of the crater taken from different angles on the different orbits have been combined to generate a model of the topography of Pwyll and its surroundings. This simulated view is from the southwest at a 45 degree angle, with the vertical exaggerated four times the natural size. The colors represent different elevation levels with blue being the lowest and red the highest. Pwyll, about 26 kilometers (16 miles) across, is unusual among craters in the solar system, because its floor is at about the same elevation as the surrounding terrain. Moreover, its central peak, standing approximately 600 meters (almost 2,000 feet) above the floor, is much higher than its rim. This may indicate that the crater was modified shortly after its formation by the flow of underlying warm ice.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/ galileo.

  11. Identification of buried lunar impact craters from GRAIL data and implications for the nearside maria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Alexander J.; Soderblom, Jason M.; Andrews-Hanna, Jeffrey C.; Solomon, Sean C.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2016-03-01

    Gravity observations from the dual Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft have revealed more than 100 quasi-circular mass anomalies, 26-300 km in diameter, on the lunar nearside. These anomalies are interpreted to be impact craters filled primarily by mare deposits, and their characteristics are consistent with those of impact structures that formed prior to, and during, intervals of flooding of feldspathic terrane by mare basalt lavas. We determine that mare deposits have an average density contrast of 850-200+300 kg m-3 relative to the surrounding crust. The presence of a large population of volcanically buried craters with minimal topographic expression and diameters up to 300 km requires an average nearside mare thickness of at least 1.5 km and local lenses of mare basalt as thick as ~7 km.

  12. Ice-Associated Impact Craters on Mars: Implications from MOLA Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garvin, J. B.; Sakimoto, S. E. H.

    1998-01-01

    Impact features adjacent to the permanent North Polar Cap on Mars provide a unique perspective on the crater formation and modification process. Little attention has been previously paid to the dozen's of ice-associated or 'frost-filled' craters north of 70N on Mars. We have examined Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) cross-sections of 13 of these features between 7ON and 82N in an effort to understand cavity modification processes potentially associated with the advance and retreat of the North Polar ice cap. Here we treat the general geometric properties of these impact features and focus attention on one almost entirely filled example (i.e., 32 km diameter, located at 77N, 89E) for which high resolution Viking Orbiter images (50 m per pixel) provide key constraints for interpreting MOLA's meter-precision topographic measurements.

  13. Suevites from the Rochechouart Impact Crater, France, and the Lake Mien Impact Crater, Sweden: The Search for Robust Carbon Minerals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hough, R. M.; Langenhorst, F.; Stoffler, D.; Pillinger, C. T.; Gilmour, I.

    1995-09-01

    Suevite from the 24km Ries crater in southern Germany has recently been shown to contain diamond, lonsdaleite and silicon carbide (1). These minerals are of impact, not meteoritic, origin and probably formed by a combination of shock and plasma processes with the contribution due to each mechanism yet to be resolved (1). Diamonds are increasingly becoming an accepted impact signature and have been reported for several Ukranian impact craters including Zapadnaya (2) and also for the Popigai impact crater in Siberia (3). We have also found diamonds associated with the K/T boundary event 65 Ma ago in North America (4) and Mexico (5). The genesis of suevite at the Ries is thought to be within a fireball at very high temperatures and travelling at high velocities. Shocked minerals are associated with the suevite as are the high pressure polymorphs of quartz namely coesite and stishovite (6). Such an extreme temperature and pressure history for the suevite make it an ideal rock type to search for impact diamonds, we are therefore endeavouring to study other suevites from further impact craters, including Rochechouart and Mien. The 165-200 Ma Rochechouart impact crater in the Massif Central, France, is thought to have originally been some 20 km across and therefore is very similar in size to the Ries (7). The basement material of gneisses and granites is also akin to the Ries and as such makes it an ideal candidate for diamond poltypes and possibly silicon carbide. Lake Mien in Sweden has no outcrops of suevite breccia but does have glacial erratic blocks of suevite. The impact crater is only some 7-9 km in size and has an age of 120 Ma (8). It affords a useful method of investigating the importance of size as a controlling factor in formation of carbon impact minerals. The samples were treated with an acid demineralization procedure first developed for the extraction of diamond from meteorites and modified for the particular needs of studying terrestrial samples

  14. EVIDENCE IN CRATER AGES FOR PERIODIC IMPACTS ON THE EARTH

    SciTech Connect

    Alvarez, W.; Muller, R.A.

    1984-01-01

    Recent evidence has indicated that the impact of a comet or asteroid may have been responsible for mass extinction at the ends of both the Cretaceous and the Eocene. Quantitative analysis by Raup and Sepkoski showed that mass extinctions occur with a 26-Myr period, similar to the period seen in qualitative pelagic records by Fischer and Arthur. To account for the possibility of periodic comet showers, Davis et al. proposed that such showers could be triggered by an unseen solar companion star as it passes through perihelion on a moderately eccentric orbit. To test a prediction implicit in this model we examined records of large impact craters on the Earth. We report here that most of the craters occur in a 28.4-Myr cycle. Within measurement errors, this period and its phase are the same as those found in the fossil mass extinctions. The probability that such agreement is accidental is 1 in 10.

  15. Geological remote sensing signatures of terrestrial impact craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garvin, J. B.; Schnetzler, C.; Grieve, R. A. F.

    1988-01-01

    Geological remote sensing techniques can be used to investigate structural, depositional, and shock metamorphic effects associated with hypervelocity impact structures, some of which may be linked to global Earth system catastrophies. Although detailed laboratory and field investigations are necessary to establish conclusive evidence of an impact origin for suspected crater landforms, the synoptic perspective provided by various remote sensing systems can often serve as a pathfinder to key deposits which can then be targetted for intensive field study. In addition, remote sensing imagery can be used as a tool in the search for impact and other catastrophic explosion landforms on the basis of localized disruption and anomaly patterns. In order to reconstruct original dimensions of large, complex impact features in isolated, inaccessible regions, remote sensing imagery can be used to make preliminary estimates in the absence of field geophysical surveys. The experienced gained from two decades of planetary remote sensing of impact craters on the terrestrial planets, as well as the techniques developed for recognizing stages of degradation and initial crater morphology, can now be applied to the problem of discovering and studying eroded impact landforms on Earth. Preliminary results of remote sensing analyses of a set of terrestrial impact features in various states of degradation, geologic settings, and for a broad range of diameters and hence energies of formation are summarized. The intention is to develop a database of remote sensing signatures for catastrophic impact landforms which can then be used in EOS-era global surveys as the basis for locating the possibly hundreds of missing impact structures. In addition, refinement of initial dimensions of extremely recent structures such as Zhamanshin and Bosumtwi is an important objective in order to permit re-evaluation of global Earth system responses associated with these types of events.

  16. Thermoluminescence dating of the Kamil impact crater (Egypt)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sighinolfi, Gian Paolo; Sibilia, Emanuela; Contini, Gabriele; Martini, Marco

    2015-02-01

    Thermoluminescence (TL) dating has been used to determine the age of the meteorite impact crater at Gebel Kamil (Egyptian Sahara). Previous studies suggested that the 45 m diameter structure was produced by a fall in recent times (less than 5000 years ago) of an iron meteorite impactor into quartz-arenites and siltstones belonging to the Lower Cretaceous Gilf Kebir Formation. The impact caused the complete fragmentation of the impactor, and the formation of a variety of impactites (e.g., partially vitrified dark and light materials) present as ejecta within the crater and in the surrounding area. After a series of tests to evaluate the TL properties of different materials including shocked intra-crater target rocks and different types of ejecta, we selected a suite of light-colored ejecta that showed evidence of strong thermal shock effects (e.g., partial vitrification and the presence of high-temperature and -pressure silica phases). The abundance of quartz in the target rocks, including the vitrified impactites, allowed TL dating to be undertaken. The variability of radioactivity of the intracrateric target rocks and the lack of direct in situ dosimetric evaluations prevented precise dating; it was, however, possible to constrain the impact in the 2000 BC-500 AD range. If, as we believe, the radioactivity measured in the fallback deposits is a reliable estimate of the mean radioactivity of the site, the narrower range 1600-400 BC (at the 2σ confidence level) can be realistically proposed.

  17. Impact-generated Hydrothermal Activity at the Chicxulub Crater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kring, D. A.; Zurcher, L.; Abramov, O.

    2007-05-01

    Borehole samples recovered from PEMEX exploration boreholes and an ICDP scientific borehole indicate the Chicxulub impact event generated hydrothermal alteration throughout a large volume of the Maya Block beneath the crater floor and extending across the bulk of the ~180 km diameter crater. The first indications of hydrothermal alteration were observed in the crater discovery samples from the Yucatan-6 borehole and manifest itself in the form of anhydrite and quartz veins. Continuous core from the Yaxcopoil-1 borehole reveal a more complex and temporally extensive alteration sequence: following a brief period at high temperatures, impact- melt-bearing polymict breccias and a thin, underlying unit of impact melt were subjected to metasomatism, producing alkali feldspar, sphene, apatite, and magnetite. As the system continued to cool, smectite-series phyllosilicates appeared. A saline solution was involved. Stable isotopes suggest the fluid was dominated by a basinal brine created mostly from existing groundwater of the Yucatan Peninsula, although contributions from down-welling water also occurred in some parts of the system. Numerical modeling of the hydrothermal system suggests circulation occurred for 1.5 to 2.3 Myr, depending on the permeability of the system. Our understanding of the hydrothermal system, however, is still crude. Additional core recovery projects, particularly into the central melt sheet, are needed to better evaluate the extent and duration of hydrothermal alteration.

  18. Impact cratering on granular beds: From the impact of raindrops to the strike of hailstones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordillo, Leonardo; Wang, Junping; Japardi, Fred; Teddy, Warren; Gao, Ming; Cheng, Xiang

    Impact craters generated by the impact of a spherical object onto a granular bed strongly depend on the material properties of impactors. As an example, impact cratering by liquid drops and by solid spheres exhibits qualitatively different power-law scalings for the size of resulting impact craters. While the basic energy conservation and dimensional analysis provide simple guiding rules, the detailed dynamics governing the relation between these power-law scalings is still far from clear. To analyze the transition between liquid-drop and solid-sphere impact cratering, we investigate impact cratering by liquid drops for a wide range of viscosities over 7 decades. Using high-speed photography and laser profilometry, we delineate the liquid-to-solid transition and show the emergence of the two asymptotic behaviors and their respective power laws. We find that granular avalanches triggered by impacts are crucial in understanding the energy partition between impacted surfaces and impactors, which directly determines the observed scaling relations. A simple model is constructed for the initial stage of the impact that explains the energy partition during crater formation. We ackowledge the support of NSF CAREER DMR-1452180. LG acknowledges fundings from CONICYT/BECAS CHILE 74160007.

  19. Spall velocity measurements from laboratory impact craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Polanskey, Carol A.; Ahrens, Thomas J.

    1986-01-01

    Spall velocities were measured for a series of impacts into San Marcos gabbro. Impact velocities ranged from 1 to 6.5 km/sec. Projectiles varied in material and size with a maximum mass of 4g for a lead bullet to a minimum of 0.04 g for an aluminum sphere. The spall velocities were calculated both from measurements taken from films of the events and from estimates based on range measurements of the spall fragments. The maximum spall velocity observed was 27 m/sec, or 0.5 percent of the impact velocity. The measured spall velocities were within the range predicted by the Melosh (1984) spallation model for the given experimental parameters. The compatability between the Melosh model for large planetary impacts and the results of these small scale experiments is considered in detail. The targets were also bisected to observe the internal fractures. A series of fractures were observed whose location coincided with the boundary of the theoretical near surface zone predicted by Melosh. Above this boundary the target material should receive reduced levels of compressive stress as compared to the more highly shocked region below.

  20. Delineating Bukit Bunuh impact crater boundary by geophysical and geotechnical investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azwin, I. N.; Rosli, S.; Mokhtar, S.; Nordiana, M. M.; Ragu, R. R.; Mark, J.

    2015-03-01

    Evidences of crater morphology and shock metamorphism in Bukit Bunuh, Lenggong, Malaysia were found during the archaeological research conducted by the Centre for Global Archaeological Research Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia. In order to register Bukit Bunuh as one of the world meteorite impact site, detailed studies are needed to verify the boundary of the crater accordingly. Geophysical study was conducted utilising the seismic refraction and 2-D electrical resistivity method. Seismic refraction survey was done using ABEM MK8 24 channel seismograph with 14Hz geophones and 40kg weight drop while 2-D electrical resistivity survey was performed using ABEM SAS4000 Terrameter and ES10-64C electrode selector with pole-dipole array. Bedrock depths were digitized from the sections obtained. The produced bedrock topography map shows that there is low bedrock level circulated by high elevated bedrock and interpreted as crater and rim respectively with diameter approximately 8km. There are also few spots of high elevated bedrock appear at the centre of the crater which interpreted as rebounds zone. Generally, the research area is divided into two layers where the first layer with velocity 400-1100 m/s and resistivity value of 10-800 Om predominantly consists of alluvium mix with gravel and boulders. Second layer represents granitic bedrock with depth of 5-50m having velocity >2100 m/s and resistivity value of >1500 Om. This research is strengthen by good correlation between geophysical data and geotechnical borehole records executed inside and outside of the crater, on the rim, as well as at the rebound area.

  1. Delineating Bukit Bunuh impact crater boundary by geophysical and geotechnical investigation

    SciTech Connect

    Azwin, I. N. Rosli, S.; Nordiana, M. M.; Ragu, R. R.; Mark, J.; Mokhtar, S.

    2015-03-30

    Evidences of crater morphology and shock metamorphism in Bukit Bunuh, Lenggong, Malaysia were found during the archaeological research conducted by the Centre for Global Archaeological Research Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia. In order to register Bukit Bunuh as one of the world meteorite impact site, detailed studies are needed to verify the boundary of the crater accordingly. Geophysical study was conducted utilising the seismic refraction and 2-D electrical resistivity method. Seismic refraction survey was done using ABEM MK8 24 channel seismograph with 14Hz geophones and 40kg weight drop while 2-D electrical resistivity survey was performed using ABEM SAS4000 Terrameter and ES10-64C electrode selector with pole-dipole array. Bedrock depths were digitized from the sections obtained. The produced bedrock topography map shows that there is low bedrock level circulated by high elevated bedrock and interpreted as crater and rim respectively with diameter approximately 8km. There are also few spots of high elevated bedrock appear at the centre of the crater which interpreted as rebounds zone. Generally, the research area is divided into two layers where the first layer with velocity 400-1100 m/s and resistivity value of 10-800 Om predominantly consists of alluvium mix with gravel and boulders. Second layer represents granitic bedrock with depth of 5-50m having velocity >2100 m/s and resistivity value of >1500 Om. This research is strengthen by good correlation between geophysical data and geotechnical borehole records executed inside and outside of the crater, on the rim, as well as at the rebound area.

  2. The MEMIN research unit: Scaling impact cratering experiments in porous sandstones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poelchau, Michael H.; Kenkmann, Thomas; Thoma, Klaus; Hoerth, Tobias; Dufresne, Anja; SchńFer, Frank

    2013-01-01

    The MEMIN research unit (Multidisciplinary Experimental and Modeling Impact research Network) is focused on analyzing experimental impact craters and experimental cratering processes in geological materials. MEMIN is interested in understanding how porosity and pore space saturation influence the cratering process. Here, we present results of a series of impact experiments into porous wet and dry sandstone targets. Steel, iron meteorite, and aluminum projectiles ranging in size from 2.5 to 12 mm were accelerated to velocities of 2.5-7.8 km s-1, yielding craters with diameters between 3.9 and 40 cm. Results show that the target's porosity reduces crater volumes and cratering efficiency relative to nonporous rocks. Saturation of pore space with water to 50% and 90% increasingly counteracts the effects of porosity, leading to larger but flatter craters. Spallation becomes more dominant in larger-scale experiments and leads to an increase in cratering efficiency with increasing projectile size for constant impact velocities. The volume of spalled material is estimated using parabolic fits to the crater morphology, yielding approximations of the transient crater volume. For impacts at the same velocity these transient craters show a constant cratering efficiency that is not affected by projectile size.

  3. Space Radar Image of the Yucatan Impact Crater Site

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    This is a radar image of the southwest portion of the buried Chicxulub impact crater in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. The radar image was acquired on orbit 81 of space shuttle Endeavour on April 14, 1994 by the Spaceborne Imaging Radar C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR). The image is centered at 20 degrees north latitude and 90 degrees west longitude. Scientists believe the crater was formed by an asteroid or comet which slammed into the Earth more than 65 million years ago. It is this impact crater that has been linked to a major biological catastrophe where more than 50 percent of the Earth's species, including the dinosaurs, became extinct. The 180-to 300-kilometer-diameter (110- to 180-mile)crater is buried by 300 to 1,000 meters (1,000 to 3,000 feet) of limestone. The exact size of the crater is currently being debated by scientists. This is a total power radar image with L-band in red, C-band in green, and the difference between C-band L-band in blue. The 10-kilometer-wide (6-mile) band of yellow and pink with blue patches along the top left (northwestern side) of the image is a mangrove swamp. The blue patches are islands of tropical forests created by freshwater springs that emerge through fractures in the limestone bedrock and are most abundant in the vicinity of the buried crater rim. The fracture patterns and wetland hydrology in this region are controlled by the structure of the buried crater. Scientists are using the SIR-C/X-SAR imagery to study wetland ecology and help determine the exact size of the impact crater. Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C and X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) is part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth. The radars illuminate Earth with microwaves allowing detailed observations at any time, regardless of weather or sunlight conditions. SIR-C/X-SAR uses three microwave wavelengths: L-band (24 cm), C-band (6 cm) and X-band (3 cm). The multi-frequency data will be used by the international scientific community

  4. Liquefaction of sedimentary rocks during impact crater development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hippertt, J. P.; Lana, C.; Weinberg, R. F.; Tohver, E.; Schmieder, M.; Scholz, R.; Gonçalves, L.; Hippertt, J. F.

    2014-12-01

    Impact crater development on every planetary body requires catastrophic movement of large volumes of crustal rocks. The process produces well-known features such as brecciation and frictional melting, but a mechanism that explains how rocks accommodate the strain during the cratering flow remains unclear. Here, we investigate target rocks from the Araguainha impact crater (central Brazil) that typify what happens to a consolidated, fluid-saturated sedimentary rock at ˜ 2 km below the surface prior to the impact event. Sandstone units record a pattern of chaotic large-scale folds and pervasive microscopic (grain-to-grain) brecciation that result from rock strength degradation triggered by the impact. Field mapping and extensive textural observations indicate that these sandstones experienced initial microstructural damage from the shock wave and that this process may have weakened grain-to-grain bonds and started the process of pervasive microbrecciation. Accompanying heating and decompression lead to vaporization and expansion of fluids in the sandstone pores, magnifying the process of brecciation by effectively liquefying the rock mass and allowing for chaotic folding (at a range of scales up to blocks 100 m in length) in the central uplift. This is a vaporization-assisted microbrecciation, and it may have inhibited the formation of pseudotachylites, because energy was dissipated by pervasive microcracking, vaporization of pore fluids, and large scale chaotic folding, rather than localized displacement on brittle faults and frictional heating. We suggest that impact liquefaction of sedimentary rocks depends on whether the presence of pore-fluids and related micro-brecciation are sufficient to dissipate most of the impact energy.

  5. Internal structure of the Chicxulub Impact crater imaged with magnetotelluric exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campos, O.; Unsworth, M.; Bedrosian, P.; Belmonte, S.; Arzate, J.; Lazorek, M.; Zimmer, U.

    2001-12-01

    The magnetotelluric technique allows remote sensing of the Earth's subsurface structure using natural, low frequency radio waves. It measures the electrical resistivity, a parameter that contains information about the lithology and fluid content of subsurface rock units. In January 2001, magnetotelluric (MT) data were collected on two radial profiles across the Chicxulub impact crater in Yucatan, Mexico. Each profile extended from the centre of the crater near Puerto Chicxulub to beyond the cenote ring. The MT data were processed and then combined with data collected in previous years by UNAM. The combined data set was then inverted to give a two-dimensional image of the subsurface resistivity structure of the crater. The following features can be resolved in the subsurface resistivity model. The Tertiary sedimentary sequence that fills the crater has a resistivity of 1-3 ohm-m and is approximately 2 km deep. In the basement a zone of high resistivity is imaged from the centre of the impact structure to a radius of approximately 45 km. This high resistivity at shallow depth can be interpreted as uplifted basement rocks of the structural high in the centre of the crater. Between radial distances of 50 and 70 km is a zone of lower resistivities in the upper 5-10 km of the crust. This coincides with the observed low in the Bouguer gravity anomaly. The coincidence of these two anomalies suggests a common origin. This is most probably due to a region of breccia that exhibits both low electrical resistivity and density.

  6. The MEMIN Research Unit: New results from impact cratering experiments into geological materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poelchau, M. H.; Deutsch, A.; Thoma, K.; Kenkmann, T.

    2013-09-01

    The MEMIN research unit (Multidisciplinary Experimental and Modeling Impact research Network) is focused on performing hypervelocity impact experiments, analyzing experimental impact craters and modeling cratering rocesses in geological materials. The main goal of the MEMIN project is to comprehensively quantify impact processes by conducting stringently controlled experimental impact cratering campaigns on the mesoscale with a multidisciplinary analytical approach. As a unique feature we use two-stage light gas guns capable of producing impact craters in thedecimeter size-range in solid rocks that, in turn, allow detailed spatial analysis of petrophysical, structural, and geochemical changes in target rocks and ejecta.

  7. Tectonic-karstic origin of the alleged "impact crater" of Lake Isli (Imilchil district, High Atlas, Morocco)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ibouh, Hassan; Michard, André; Charrière, André; Benkaddour, Abdelfattah; Rhoujjati, Ali

    2014-03-01

    The scenic lakes Tislit and Isli of the Imilchil area in the central High Atlas of Morocco have been recently promoted to the rank of "dual impact crater" by a group of geoscientists. This was promptly denied by a group of meteorite specialists, but the first team reiterated their impact crater interpretation, now restricted to Lake Isli. This alleged 40-kyr-old impact crater would be associated with the Agoudal meteorite recognized further in the southeast. Here, we show that the lake formed during the Lowe-Middle Pleistocene in a small Pliocene (?) pull-apart basin through additional collapsing due to karst phenomena in the underlying limestones. This compares with the formation of a number of lakes of the Atlas Mountains. None of the "proofs" produced in support of a meteoritic origin of Lake Isli coincides with the geology of the area.

  8. Morphometry of impact craters on Mercury from MESSENGER altimetry and imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Susorney, Hannah C. M.; Barnouin, Olivier S.; Ernst, Carolyn M.; Johnson, Catherine L.

    2016-06-01

    Data acquired by the Mercury Laser Altimeter and the Mercury Dual Imaging System on the MESSENGER spacecraft in orbit about Mercury provide a means to measure the geometry of many of the impact craters in Mercury's northern hemisphere in detail for the first time. The combination of topographic and imaging data permit a systematic evaluation of impact crater morphometry on Mercury, a new calculation of the diameter Dt at which craters transition with increasing diameter from simple to complex forms, and an exploration of the role of target properties and impact velocity on final crater size and shape. Measurements of impact crater depth on Mercury confirm results from previous studies, with the exception that the depths of large complex craters are typically shallower at a given diameter than reported from Mariner 10 data. Secondary craters on Mercury are generally shallower than primary craters of the same diameter. No significant differences are observed between the depths of craters within heavily cratered terrain and those of craters within smooth plains. The morphological attributes of craters that reflect the transition from simple to complex craters do not appear at the same diameter; instead flat floors first appear with increasing diameter in craters at the smallest diameters, followed with increasing diameter by reduced crater depth and rim height, and then collapse and terracing of crater walls. Differences reported by others in Dt between Mercury and Mars (despite the similar surface gravitational acceleration on the two bodies) are confirmed in this study. The variations in Dt between Mercury and Mars cannot be adequately attributed to differences in either surface properties or mean projectile velocity.

  9. Cleopatra crater on Venus - Venera 15/16 data and impact/volcanic origin controversy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basilevsky, A. T.; Ivanov, B. A.

    1990-02-01

    The morphology and morphometry of the 100-km diameter, 2.4-km deep Cleopatra crater on Venus are examined using Venera 15/16 images. The Cleopatra crater is compared to circular structures on Venus, Mercury, Mars, the earth and the moon. Consideration is given to the possible causes for the genesis of the Cleopatra crater. It is concluded that Cleopatra has a clear impact basin morphology with an anomalous crater depth.

  10. A newly discovered impact crater in Titan's Senkyo: Cassini VIMS observations and comparison with other impact features

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Buratti, B.J.; Sotin, C.; Lawrence, K.; Brown, R.H.; Le, Mouelic S.; Soderblom, J.M.; Barnes, J.; Clark, R.N.; Baines, K.H.; Nicholson, P.D.

    2012-01-01

    Senkyo is an equatorial plain on Titan filled with dunes and surrounded by hummocky plateaus. During the Titan targeted flyby T61 on August 25, 2009, the Cassini Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) onboard the Cassini spacecraft observed a circular feature, centered at 5.4?? N and 341??W, that superimposes the dune fields and a bright plateau. This circular feature, which has been named Paxsi by the International Astronomical Union, is 120??10 km in diameter (measured from the outer edge of the crater rim) and exhibits a central bright area that can be interpreted as the central peak or pit of an impact crater. Although there are only a handful of certain impact craters on Titan, there are two other craters that are of similar size to this newly discovered feature and that have been studied by VIMS: Sinlap (Le Mou??lic et al, 2008) and Selk (Soderblom et al, 2010). Sinlap is associated with a large downwind, fan-like feature that may have been formed from an impact plume that rapidly expanded and deposited icy particles onto the surface. Although much of the surrounding region is covered with dunes, the plume region is devoid of dunes. The formation process of Selk also appears to have removed (or covered up) dunes from parts of the adjacent dune-filled terrain. The circular feature on Senkyo is quite different: there is no evidence of an ejecta blanket and the crater itself appears to be infilled with dune material. The rim of the crater appears to be eroded by fluvial processes; at one point the rim is breached. The rim is unusually narrow, which may be due to mass wasting on its inside and subsequent infill by dunes. Based on these observations, we interpret this newly discovered feature to be a more eroded crater than both Sinlap and Selk. Paxsi may have formed during a period when Titan was warmer and more ductile than it is currently. ?? 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.