Science.gov

Sample records for large meteorite impacts

  1. 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).

  2. Large Meteorite Impacts and Planetary Evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    The present volume of abstracts of conference papers discusses topics associated with the role of meteorite impacts on the Earth, the moon, and Titan. Particular attention is given to the description of the impact damage and the description of the actual craters. Attention is also given to the Sudbury structure, and the Chicxulub crater. Mineralogical, geophysical, petrographic, seismic and image data are described and discussed.

  3. International Conference on Large Meteorite Impacts and Planetary Evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    The papers that were accepted for the International Conference on Large Meteorite Impacts and Planetary Evolution, 31 Aug. - 2 Sep. 1992, are presented. One of the major paper topics was the Sudbury project.

  4. Large Meteorite Impacts and Planetary Evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Topics considered include: Petrography, geochemistry and geochronology; impact-induced hydrothermal base metal mineralization; nickel-and platinum group element -enriched quartz norite in the latest jurassic morokweng impact structure, south Africa; extraterrestrial helium trapped in fullerenes in the sudbury; synthetic aperture radar characteristics of a glacially modified meltsheet; the chicxulub seismic experiment; chemical compositions of chicxulub impact breccias; experimental investigation of the chemistry of vaporization of targets in relation to the chicxulub impact; artificial ozone hole generation following a large meteoroid impact into an oceanic site; three dimensional modeling of impactite bodies of popigai impact crater, Russia.

  5. International Conference on Large Meteorite Impacts and Planetary Evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-01-01

    The papers that were accepted for the International Conference on Large Meteorite Impacts and Planetary Evolution, 31 Aug. - 2 Sep. 1992, are presented. One of the major paper topics was the Sudbury project. Separate abstracts were prepared for papers from this report.

  6. Large meteorite impacts: The K/T model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bohor, B. F.

    1992-01-01

    The Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary event represents probably the largest meteorite impact known on Earth. It is the only impact event conclusively linked to a worldwide mass extinction, a reflection of its gigantic scale and global influence. Until recently, the impact crater was not definitively located and only the distal ejecta of this impact was available for study. However, detailed investigations of this ejecta's mineralogy, geochemistry, microstratigraphy, and textures have allowed its modes of ejection and dispersal to be modeled without benefit of a source crater of known size and location.

  7. LSU scientists discover evidence of large meteorite impacts on the early earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lowe, Donald R.; Byerly, Gary R.

    1988-01-01

    Recent discoveries by scientists at Lousiana State University are examined which may provide a window through which early planetary accretion is viewed and studied and the role of large meteorite impacts on the evolution of life and the earth's surface evaluated.

  8. Do oblique impacts produce Martian meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nyquist, L. E.

    1983-11-01

    It is pointed out that several achondritic meteorites, classified as shergottites, nakhlites, and chassignites, have a number of unusual characteristics. Following the suggestion of Wood and Ashwal (1981) these meteorites are collectively referred to as SNC meteorites. The major element compositions of the SNC meteorites are, in general, distinct from those of other meteorites and lunar samples, and similar to certain terrestrial rocks. The geochemical and geochronological characteristics of the SNC meteorites strongly imply that their parent body was on the order of lunar size or larger and geologically active. Serious attention must be given to the hypothesis of a Martian origin of the SNC meteorites and to dynamic processes capable of delivering Martian meteorites to earth. In connection with the present investigation, it is suggested that oblique impacts of large meteoroids can produce ejecta which is entrained with the ricocheting projectile and accelerated to velocities in excess of Martian escape velocity.

  9. 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

  10. Meteoritic Microfossils in Eltanin Impact Deposits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kyte, Frank T.; Gersonde, Rainer; Kuhn, Gerhard

    2006-01-01

    We report the unique occurrence of microfossils composed largely of meteoritic ejecta particles from the late Pliocene (2.5 Ma) Eltanin impact event. These deposits are unique, recording the only known km-sized asteroid impact into a deep-ocean (5 km) basin. First discovered as in Ir anomaly in sediment cores that were collected in 1965, the deposits contain nun-sized shock-melted asteroidal material, unmelted meteorite fragments (named the Eltanin meteorite), and trace impact spherules. Two oceanographic expeditions by the FS Polarstern in 1995 and 2001 explored approximately 80,000 sq-km. of the impact region, mapping the distribution of meteoritic ejecta, disturbance of seafloor sediments by the impact, and collected 20 new cores with impact deposits in the vicinity of the Freeden Seamounts (57.3S, 90.5W). Analyses of sediment cores show that the impact disrupted sediments on the ocean floor, redepositing them as a chaotic jumble of sediment fragments overlain by a sequence of laminated sands, silts and clays deposited from the water column. Overprinted on this is a pulse of meteoritic ejecta, likely transported ballistically, then settled through the water column. At some localities, meteoritic ejecta was as much as 0.4 to 2.8 g/cm2. This is the most meteorite-rich locality known on Earth.

  11. Do oblique impacts produce Martian meteorites?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nyquist, L. E.

    Geochronological and geochemical characteristics of several achondritic meteorites match those expected of Martian rocks. Several authors have suggested that these meteorites might have originated on Mars, but no satisfactory explanation has been given of how they may have been ejected from the Martian surface. It is suggested that the oblique impact of large meteoroids may produce ejecta which is entrained with the ricocheting projectile and accelerated to velocities in excess of Martian escape velocity. This suggestion is based on earlier experimental studies of oblique impacts and on the observation of several large Martian craters with the characteristic 'butterfly' ejecta pattern produced by low angle impacts. Several acceleration mechanisms may act on the Martian ejecta. The considerations suggest that a Martian origin of the shergottite meteorites is dynamically possible.

  12. Exotic minerals in 3,500 million year old rocks: Evidence for large meteorite impacts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Byerly, G. R.; Lowe, D. R.; Asaro, F.

    1988-01-01

    A relatively small area of mountainous terrain in southern Africa provides scientists from all over the world a look at what the surface of the earth was like three and a half billion years ago. The Barberton Mountains lie astride the borders of the Republic of South Africa, Mozambique, and the Kingdom of Swaziland. The discovery of several widely distributed deposits that were likely formed by major terrestrial impacts of large extraterrestrial bodies during this early period of earth's history is reported. The Barberton impact deposits are being studied by electron microscopy. The impact deposits were examined for minerals that show the effects of shock metamorphism or compositions unusual in terrestrial rocks.

  13. Amino Acid Degradation after Meteoritic Impact Simulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bertrand, M.; Westall, F.; vanderGaast, S.; Vilas, F.; Hoerz, F.; Barnes, G.; Chabin, A.; Brack, A.

    2008-01-01

    Amino acids are among the most important prebiotic molecules as it is from these precursors that the building blocks of life were formed [1]. Although organic molecules were among the components of the planetesimals making up the terrestrial planets, large amounts of primitive organic precursor molecules are believed to be exogenous in origin and to have been imported to the Earth via micrometeorites, carbonaceous meteorites and comets, especially during the early stages of the formation of the Solar System [1,2]. Our study concerns the hypothesis that prebiotic organic matter, present on Earth, was synthesized in the interstellar environment, and then imported to Earth by meteorites or micrometeorites. We are particularly concerned with the formation and fate of amino acids. We have already shown that amino acid synthesis is possible inside cometary grains under interstellar environment conditions [3]. We are now interested in the effects of space conditions and meteoritic impact on these amino acids [4-6]. Most of the extraterrestrial organic molecules known today have been identified in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites [7]. One of the components of these meteorites is a clay with a composition close to that of saponite, used in our experiments. Two American teams have studied the effects of impact on various amino acids [8,9]. [8] investigated amino acids in saturated solution in water with pressure ranges between 5.1 and 21 GPa and temperature ranges between 412 and 870 K. [9] studied amino acids in solid form associated with and without minerals (Murchison and Allende meteorite extracts) and pressure ranges between 3 and 30 GPa. In these two experiments, the amino acids survived up to 15 GPa. At higher pressure, the quantity of preserved amino acids decreases quickly. Some secondary products such as dipeptides and diketopiperazins were identified in the [8] experiment.

  14. Cosmogenic Nuclides Study of Large Iron Meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hutzler, A.; Smith, T.; Rochette, P.; Bourles, D. L.; Leya, I.; Gattacceca, J.

    2014-09-01

    Six large iron meteorites were selected (Saint-Aubin, Mont-Dieu, Caille, Morasko, Agoudal, and Gebel Kamil). We measured stable and radiogenic cosmogenic nuclides, to study pre-atmospheric size, cosmic-ray exposure ages and terrestrial ages.

  15. Effects of Moderate Size Meteorite Impact in Unconsolidated Sediments — Interdisciplinary Project on "Morasko" Meteorite Impact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szczuciński, W.; Makohonienko, M.; Muszyński, A.; Wünneman, K.; Project scientific party

    2015-09-01

    We present interdisciplinary approach to study a meteorite impact of moderate size including studies of the meteorites, craters and ejecta, sedimentary record in lake sediments as well as numerical modeling to reconstruct its environmental effects.

  16. 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.

  17. Impact ages of meteorites: A synthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bogard, D.

    1995-05-01

    Isotopic ages of meteorites that indicate chronometer resetting due to impact heating are . Most of the ages were obtained by the 39Ar-40Ar technique, but several Rb-Sr, Pb-Pb, and Sm-Nd ages also suggest some degree of impact resetting. Considerations of experimental data on element diffusion in silicates suggest that various isotopic chronometers ought to differ in their ease of resetting during shock heating in the order K-Ar (easiest), Rb-Sr, Pb-Pb, and Sm-Nd, which is approximately the order observed in meteorites. Partial rather than total chronometer resetting by impacts appears to be the norm; consequently, interpretation of the event age is not always straightforward. Essentially all 39Ar-40Ar ages of eucrites and howardites indicate partial to total resetting in the relatively narrow time interval of 3.44.1 Ga ago (1 Ga = l09 years). Several disturbed Rb-Sr ages appear consistent with this age distribution. This grouping of ages and the brecciated nature of many eucrites and all howardites argues for a large-scale impact bombardment of the HED parent body during the same time period that the Moon received its cataclysmic bombardment. Other meteorite parent bodies such as those of mesosiderites, some chondrites, and HE irons also may have experienced this bombardment. These data suggest that the early bombardment was not lunar specific but involved much of the inner Solar System, and may have been caused by breakup of a larger planetismal. Although a few chondrites show evidence of age resetting ˜3.5-3.9 Ga ago, most impact ages of chondrites tend to fall below 1.3 Ga in age. A minimum of ˜4 impact events, including events at 0.3, 0.5, 1.2, and possibly 0.9 Ga appear to be required to explain the younger ages of H, L, and LL chondrites, although additional events are possible. Most L chondrites show evidence of shock, and the majority of 39Ar40Ar ages of L chondrites fall near 0.5 Ga. The L chondrite parent body apparently experienced a major impact at

  18. The Large Crater Origin of SNC Meteorites.

    PubMed

    Vickery, A M; Melosh, H J

    1987-08-14

    A large body of evidence strongly suggests that the shergottite, nakhlite, and Chassigny (SNC) meteorites are from Mars. Various mechanisms for the ejection of large rocks at martian escape velocity (5 kilometers per second) have been investigated, but none has proved wholly satisfactory. This article examines a number of possible ejection and cosmic-ray exposure histories to determine which is most plausible. For each possible history, the Melosh spallation model is used to estimate the size of the crater required to produce ejecta fragments of the required size with velocities >/=5 kilometers per second and to produce a total mass of solid ejecta consistent with the observed mass flux of SNC meteorites. Estimates of crater production rates on Mars are then used to evaluate the probability that sufficiently large craters have formed during the available time. The results indicate that the SNC meteorites were probably ejected from a very large crater (> 100 kilometers in diameter) about 200 million years ago, and that cosmic-ray exposure of the recovered meteorites was initiated after collisional fragmentation of the original ejecta in space at much later times (0.5 to 10 million years ago). PMID:17751563

  19. The Meteoritic Component in Impact Deposits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kyte, Frank T.

    2003-01-01

    This proposal requested support for a broad-based research program designed to understand the chemical and mineralogical record of accretion of extraterrestrial matter to the Earth. The primary goal of this research is to study the accretion history of the Earth, to understand how this accretion history reflects the long-term flux of comets, asteroids, and dust in the inner solar system and how this flux is related to the geological and biological history of the Earth. This goal is approached by seeking out the most significant projects that can be attacked utilizing the expertise of the PI and potential collaborators. The greatest expertise of the PI is the analysis of meteoritic components in terrestrial sediments. This proposal identifies three primary areas of research, involving impact events in the early Archean (3.2 Ga), the late Eocene (35 Ma) and the late Pliocene (2 Ma). In the early Archean we investigate sediments that contain the oldest recorded impacts on Earth. These are thick spherule beds, three of which were deposited within 20 m.y. If these are impact deposits the flux of objects to Earth at this time was much greater than predicted by current models. Earlier work used Cr isotopes to prove that one of these contain extraterrestrial matter, from a projectile with Cr isotopes similar to CV chondrites. We planned to expand this work to other spherule beds and to search for additional evidence of other impact events. With samples from D. Lowe (Stanford Univ.) the PI proposed to screen samples for high Ir and Cr so that appropriate samples can be provided to A. Shukolyukov for Cr-isotopic analyses. This work was expected to provide evidence that at least one interval in the early Archean was a period of intense bombardment and to characterize the composition of objects accreted. The late Eocene is also a period of intense bombardment with multiple spherule deposits and two large craters. Farley et al. (1998) demonstrated an increased (3)He flux to

  20. Launch of martian meteorites in oblique impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artemieva, Natalia; Ivanov, Boris

    2004-09-01

    A high-velocity oblique impact into the martian surface accelerates solid target material to escape velocity. A fraction of that material eventually falls as meteorites on Earth. For a long time they were called the SNC meteorites (Shergotty, Nakhla, and Chassigny). We study production of potential martian meteorites numerically within the frame of 3D hydrodynamic modeling. The ratio of the volume of escaping solid ejecta to projectile volume depends on the impact angle, impact velocity and the volatile content in the projectile and in the target. The size distribution of ejected fragments appears to be of crucial importance for the atmosphere-ejecta interaction in the case of a relatively small impact (with final crater size <3 km): 10-cm-sized particles are decelerated efficiently, while 30-50% of larger fragments could escape Mars. The results of numerical modeling are compared with shock metamorphic features in martian meteorites, their burial depth, and preatmospheric mass. Although it is impossible to accelerate ejected fragments to escape velocity without substantial compression (above 10 GPa), the maximum temperature increase in dunite (Chassigny) or ortopyroxenite (ALH84001) may be lower than 200 degree. This result is consistent with the observed chaotic magnetization of ALH84001. The probability of microbes' survival may be rather high even for the extreme conditions during the ejection process.

  1. Ejecta Blanket from the Morasko Meteorite Impact — First Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szokaluk, M.; Jagodziński, R.; Muszyński, A.; Szczuciński, W.

    2015-09-01

    Morasko in the northern part of Poznań (western Poland) has witnessed the largest known iron meteorite shower in the central Europe. Apart from the thousands of iron meteorite pieces, the impact has left also at least seven meteorite impact craters.

  2. Meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenniskens, Peter

    2015-08-01

    Meteorites have long been known to offer a unique window into planetary formation processes at the time of solar system formation and into the materials that rained down on Earth at the time of the origin of life. Their material properties determine the impact hazard of Near Earth Asteroids. Some insight into how future laboratory studies of meteorites and laboratory astrophysics simulations of relevant physical processes can help address open questions in these areas and generate new astronomical observations, comes from what was learned from the recent laboratory studies of freshly fallen meteorites. The rapid recovery of Almahata Sitta (a polymict Ureilite), Sutter's Mill (a CM chondrite regolith breccia), Novato (an L6 chondrite), and Chelyabinsk (an LL5 chondrite) each were followed by the creation of a meteorite consortium, which grew to over 50 researchers in the case of Chelyabinsk. New technologies were used to probe the organic content of the meteorites as well as their magnetic signatures, isotopic abundances, trapped noble gasses, and cosmogenic radio nucleides, amongst others. This has resulted in fascinating insight into the nature of the Ureilite parent body, the likely source region of the CM chondrites in the main asteroid belt, and the collisional environment of the CM parent body. This work has encouraged follow-up in the hope of catching more unique materials. Rapid response efforts are being developed that aim to recover meteorites as pristinely as possible from falls for which the approach orbit was measured. A significant increase in the number of known approach orbits for different meteorite types will help tie meteorite types to their asteroid family source regions. Work so far suggests that future laboratory studies may recognize multiple source regions for iron-rich ordinary chondrites, for example. Hope is that these source regions will give insight into the material properties of impacting asteroids. At least some future laboratory

  3. Survivability of Meteorite Projectiles - Results from Impact Experiments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bland, P. A.; Cintala, M. J.; Hoerz, F.; Cressey, G.

    2001-01-01

    An experimental impact study investigating the fragmentation of various projectiles, including meteorite, at speeds up to 1.8 km/s. The results have implications for the survivability of meteorites impacting planetary and asteroidal surfaces. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  4. Meteorite Impact Lakes: Difficulties of the Evidence for Origin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sapelko, Tatyana; Naumenko, Mikhail; Kuznetsov, Denis

    2014-05-01

    In addition to volcanic and tectonic activity on the border of the Late Pleistocene and Holocene occurred and other disastrous events that are reflected in the history of the lakes. The recognition of meteorite impact crater lakes is impeded by difficulties in finding evidence of an impact origin. Such lakes have been recognized (Hartung and Koeberl, 1994) by their circular shape, their occurrence outside of areas where other mechanisms for circular depression formation are readily apparent, and the preservation of meteorite or ejected glass fragments (Cohen. 2003). Meteorite impact Lake appeared not only in early periods (like Lake El'gygytgyn and Lake Yanisyarvi in Russia), but in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene as well. One of these lakes is located in the Nizhny Novgorod region of Russia. Svetloyar (56º49' N; 45º05'E; 109 m a.s.l.) - lake with a small area of 0.15 km2 and a great depth of the lake up to 35 m., a circular shape, surrounded on three sides by hills , reaching 15 m above the lake level. On the lake we have carried out paleolimnological and hydrological investigations.Interdisciplinary researches included sedimentological, geochemical, pollen, diatom, radiocarbon and other analyses of lake sediments. Based on field measurements, we created a digital morphometric model of the bottom depths and slopes of the lake. Using the all results we are reconstruct the Lake's history and climatic changes. We establish a long hiatus after the disappearance of large lake on the border of the late Pleistocene and Holocene. For comparison we were have studied three of the morphometric similar lakes in the Nizhny Novgorod region. According to preliminary data the history of any of these lakes is not similar the Lake Svetloyar history. We discuss our results and have compared with data on the meteorite Lake Kaali , Estonia (Rasmussen et al., 2000; Raukas et.al,1995; 2002; Veski et.al, 2001, 2002, 2004).

  5. Seismic detectability of meteorite impacts on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsuji, Daisuke; Teanby, Nicholas

    2016-04-01

    Europa, the second of Jupiter's Galilean satellites, has an icy outer shell, beneath which there is probably liquid water in contact with a rocky core. Europa, may thus provide an example of a sub-surface habitable environment so is an attractive object for future lander missions. In fact, the Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer (JUICE) mission has been selected for the L1 launch slot of ESA's Cosmic Vision science programme with the aim of launching in 2022 to explore Jupiter and its potentially habitable icy moons. One of the best ways to probe icy moon interiors in any future mission will be with a seismic investigation. Previously, the Apollo seismic experiment, installed by astronauts, enhanced our knowledge of the lunar interior. For a recent mission, NASA's 2016 InSight Mars lander aims to obtain seismic data and will deploy a seismometer directly onto Mars' surface. Motivated by these works, in this study we show how many meteorite impacts will be detected using a single seismic station on Europa, which will be useful for planning the next generation of outer solar system missions. To this end, we derive: (1) the current small impact flux on Europa from Jupiter impact rate models; (2) a crater diameter versus impactor energy scaling relation for ice by merging previous experiments and simulations; (3) scaling relations for seismic signals as a function of distance from an impact site for a given crater size based on analogue explosive data obtained on Earth's icy surfaces. Finally, resultant amplitudes are compared to the noise level of a likely seismic instrument (based on the NASA InSight mission seismometers) and the number of detectable impacts are estimated. As a result, 0.5-3.0 local/regional small impacts (i.e., direct P-waves through the ice crust) are expected to be detected per year, while global-scale impact events (i.e., PKP-waves refracted through the mantle) are rare and unlikely to be detected by a short duration mission. We note that our results are

  6. Martian soil component in impact glasses in a Martian meteorite

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rao, M. N.; Borg, L. E.; McKay, D. S.; Wentworth, S. J.

    1999-01-01

    Chemical compositions of impact melt glass veins, called Lithology C (Lith C) in Martian meteorite EET79001 were determined by electron microprobe analysis. A large enrichment of S, and significant enrichments of Al, Ca, and Na were observed in Lith C glass compared to Lithology A (Lith A). The S enrichment is due to mixing of plagioclase- enriched Lith A material with Martian soil, either prior to or during impact on Mars. A mixture of 87% Lith A, 7% plagioclase, and 6% Martian soil reproduces the average elemental abundances observed in Lith C. Shock melting of such a mixture of plagioclase-enriched, fine-grained Lith A host rock and Martian soil could yield large excesses of S (observed in this study) and Martian atmospheric noble gases (found by Bogard et al., 1983) in Lith C. These mixing proportions can be used to constrain the elemental abundance of phosphorus in Martian soil.

  7. Dating the Moon-forming impact event with asteroidal meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bottke, W. F.; Vokrouhlický, D.; Marchi, S.; Swindle, T.; Scott, E. R. D.; Weirich, J. R.; Levison, H.

    2015-04-01

    The inner solar system’s biggest and most recent known collision was the Moon-forming giant impact between a large protoplanet and proto-Earth. Not only did it create a disk near Earth that formed the Moon, it also ejected several percent of an Earth mass out of the Earth-Moon system. Here, we argue that numerous kilometer-sized ejecta fragments from that event struck main-belt asteroids at velocities exceeding 10 kilometers per second, enough to heat and degas target rock. Such impacts produce ~1000 times more highly heated material by volume than do typical main belt collisions at ~5 kilometers per second. By modeling their temporal evolution, and fitting the results to ancient impact heating signatures in stony meteorites, we infer that the Moon formed ~4.47 billion years ago, which is in agreement with previous estimates.

  8. The meteorite impact-induced tsunami hazard.

    PubMed

    Wünnemann, K; Weiss, R

    2015-10-28

    When a cosmic object strikes the Earth, it most probably falls into an ocean. Depending on the impact energy and the depth of the ocean, a large amount of water is displaced, forming a temporary crater in the water column. Large tsunami-like waves originate from the collapse of the cavity in the water and the ejecta splash. Because of the far-reaching destructive consequences of such waves, an oceanic impact has been suggested to be more severe than a similar-sized impact on land; in other words, oceanic impacts may punch over their weight. This review paper summarizes the process of impact-induced wave generation and subsequent propagation, whether the wave characteristic differs from tsunamis generated by other classical mechanisms, and what methods have been applied to quantify the consequences of an oceanic impact. Finally, the impact-induced tsunami hazard will be evaluated by means of the Eltanin impact event. PMID:26392614

  9. Meteorite Falls and Cosmic Impacts in Australian Aboriginal Mythology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamacher, Duane W.

    2009-09-01

    The witness and cultural impact of meteorite falls and cosmic impacts has been studied extensively in some world cultures, including cultures of Europe, China, and the Middle East. However, ethnographic records and oral traditions of meteorite falls in Aboriginal culture remain relatively unknown to the scientific community. Various Aboriginal stories from across Australia describe meteorite falls with seemingly accurate detail, frequently citing a specific location, including Wilcannia, NSW; Meteor Island, WA; Hermannsburg, NT; McGrath Flat, SA; and Bodena, NSW among others. Most of these falls and impact sites are unknown to Western science. In addition, some confirmed impact structures are described in Aboriginal lore as having cosmic origins, including the Gosse's Bluff and Wolfe Creek craters. This paper attempts to analyse and synthesize the plethora of fragmented historic, archaeological, and ethnographic data that describe meteorite falls and cosmic impacts in the mythologies and oral traditions spanning the 300+ distinct Aboriginal groups of Australia. Where applicable, coordinates of the reputed falls and impacts are cited in order for future inspections of these sights for evidence of meteoritic masterial or impact cratering.

  10. Mixing of the lunar regolith. [by meteoritic impact

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gault, D. E.; Hoerz, F.; Brownlee, D. E.; Hartung, J. B.

    1974-01-01

    A probabilistic model for mixing and turnover rates for the lunar regolith due to meteoritic impact is presented and evaluated using results from laboratory impact experiments and estimated meteoritic fluxes. The upper millimeter of the lunar surface is shown to be the primary mixing zone in the regolith and an important source for impact melts and vapors. Below this 'mixing layer' the rate of mixing and turnover decreases very rapidly with increasing depth, consistent with well-preserved stratigraphy and resident times deduced from deep drill core tube samples.

  11. Unusual large chromite crystals in the Saint Aubin iron meteorite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fehr, Karl Thomas; Carion, Alain

    2004-08-01

    In the Saint Aubin octahedrite, chromite crystals of up to 3 cm occur enclosed in the metal phase. They are twinned along [111] according to the spinel law and display pseudohexagonal shapes in cross-sections. The crystals are homogeneous and exhibit compositions close to pure chromite endmember. Vanadium is the only additional element observed in appreciable amounts of up to 0.73 wt%. Chromite in the Saint Aubin meteorite crystallized from liquids with very low amounts of Cr and O close to the Fe-FeS join as indicated by its composition and phase relations. The growth of large chromite crystals implies stable supersaturated conditions for a long period in the meteorite parent body of Saint Aubin.

  12. The Origin and Impact History of Lunar Meteorite Yamato 86032

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yamaguchi, A.; Takeda, H.; Nyquist, L. E.; Bogard, D. D.; Ebihara, M.; Karouji, Y.

    2004-01-01

    Yamato (Y) 86032 is a feldspathic lunar highland breccia having some characteristics of regolith breccia. The absence of KREEP components in the matrix in Y86032 indicates that these meteorites came from a long distance from Mare Imbrium, perhaps from the far-side of the moon. One ferroan anorthosite (FAN) clast in Y86032 has a very old Ar-Ar age of approximately 4.35-4.4 Ga. The negative Nd of this clast may suggest a direct link with the primordial magma ocean. The facts indicate that Y86032 contains components derived from a protolith of the original lunar crust. Detailed petrologic characterization of each component in this breccia is essential to understand the early impact history and origin of the lunar highland crust. We made a large slab (5.2 x 3.6 cm x 3-5 mm) of Y86032 to better understand the relationship of various lithologies and their petrologic origin.

  13. Spherule beds 3.47-3.24 billion years old in the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa: a record of large meteorite impacts and their influence on early crustal and biological evolution.

    PubMed

    Lowe, Donald R; Byerly, Gary R; Kyte, Frank T; Shukolyukov, Alexander; Asaro, Frank; Krull, Alexandra

    2003-01-01

    Four layers, S1-S4, containing sand-sized spherical particles formed as a result of large meteorite impacts, occur in 3.47-3.24 Ga rocks of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa. Ir levels in S3 and S4 locally equal or exceed chondritic values but in other sections are at or only slightly above background. Most spherules are inferred to have formed by condensation of impact-produced rock vapor clouds, although some may represent ballistically ejected liquid droplets. Extreme Ir abundances and heterogeneity may reflect element fractionation during spherule formation, hydraulic fractionation during deposition, and/or diagenetic and metasomatic processes. Deposition of S1, S2, and S3 was widely influenced by waves and/or currents interpreted to represent impact-generated tsunamis, and S1 and S2 show multiple graded layers indicating the passage of two or more wave trains. These tsunamis may have promoted mixing within a globally stratified ocean, enriching surface waters in nutrients for biological communities. S2 and S3 mark the transition from the 300-million-year-long Onverwacht stage of predominantly basaltic and komatiitic volcanism to the late orogenic stage of greenstone belt evolution, suggesting that regional and possibly global tectonic reorganization resulted from these large impacts. These beds provide the oldest known direct record of terrestrial impacts and an opportunity to explore their influence on early life, crust, ocean, and atmosphere. The apparent presence of impact clusters at 3.26-3.24 Ga and approximately 2.65-2.5 Ga suggests either spikes in impact rates during the Archean or that the entire Archean was characterized by terrestrial impact rates above those currently estimated from the lunar cratering record. PMID:12804363

  14. Spherule Beds 3.47-3.24 Billion Years Old in the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa: A Record of Large Meteorite Impacts and Their Influence on Early Crustal and Biological Evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lowe, Donald R.; Byerly, Gary R.; Kyte, Frank T.; Shukolyukov, Alexander; Asaro, Frank; Krull, Alexander

    2003-01-01

    Four layers, S1-S4, containing sand-sized spherical particles formed as a result of large meteorite impacts, occur in 3.47-3.24 Ga rocks of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa. Ir levels in S3 and S4 locally equal or exceed chondritic values but in other sections are at or only slightly above background. Most spherules are inferred to have formed by condensation of impact-produced rock vapor clouds, although some may represent ballistically ejected liquid droplets. Extreme Ir abundances and heterogeneity may reflect element fractionation during spherule formation, hydraulic fractionation during deposition, and/or diagenetic and metasomatic processes. Deposition of S1, S2, and S3 was widely influenced by waves and/or currents interpreted to represent impact-generated tsunamis, and S1 and S2 show multiple graded layers indicating the passage of two or more wave trains. These tsunamis may have promoted mixing within a globally stratified ocean, enriching surface waters in nutrients for biological communities. S2 and S3 mark the transition from the 300-million-year-long Onverwacht stage of predominantly basaltic and komatiitic volcanism to the late orogenic stage of greenstone belt evolution, suggesting that regional and possibly global tectonic reorganization resulted from these large impacts. These beds provide the oldest known direct record of terrestrial impacts and an opportunity to explore their influence on early life, crust, ocean, and atmosphere. The apparent presence of impact clusters at 3.26-3.24 Ga and approx. 2.65-2.5 Ga suggests either spikes in impact rates during the Archean or that the entire Archean was characterized by terrestrial impact rates above those currently estimated from the lunar cratering record.

  15. The Tissint Martian meteorite as evidence for the largest impact excavation.

    PubMed

    Baziotis, Ioannis P; Liu, Yang; DeCarli, Paul S; Melosh, H Jay; McSween, Harry Y; Bodnar, Robert J; Taylor, Lawrence A

    2013-01-01

    High-pressure minerals in meteorites provide clues for the impact processes that excavated, launched and delivered these samples to Earth. Most Martian meteorites are suggested to have been excavated from 3 to 7 km diameter impact craters. Here we show that the Tissint meteorite, a 2011 meteorite fall, contains virtually all the high-pressure phases (seven minerals and two mineral glasses) that have been reported in isolated occurrences in other Martian meteorites. Particularly, one ringwoodite (75 × 140 μm(2)) represents the largest grain observed in all Martian samples. Collectively, the ubiquitous high-pressure minerals of unusually large sizes in Tissint indicate that shock metamorphism was widely dispersed in this sample (~25 GPa and ~2,000 °C). Using the size and growth kinetics of the ringwoodite grains, we infer an initial impact crater with ~90 km diameter, with a factor of 2 uncertainty. These energetic conditions imply alteration of any possible low-T minerals in Tissint. PMID:23360995

  16. Where's the Beaverhead beef?. [meteorite impact structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hargraves, R. B.

    1992-01-01

    Only rare quartz grains with single-set planar (1013) deformation features (PDF's) are present in breccia dikes found in association with uniformly oriented shatter cones that occur over an area 8 x 25 km. This suggests that the Beaverhead shocked rocks come from only the outer part of the central uplift of what must have been a large (greater than 100 km diameter) complex impact structure. An impact event of this magnitude on continental crust (thought to have occurred in late Precambrian or ealy Paleozoic time) could be expected to punctuate local geologic history. Furthermore, although it may now be covered, its scar should remain despite all the considerable subsequent erosion/deposition and tectonism since the impact. The following are three large-scale singularities or anomalies that may reflect the event and mark its source. (1) The Lemhi Arch is a major structural uplift that occurred in late Proterozoic-early Paleozoic time in East Central Idaho and caused the erosion of at least 4 km of sedimentary cover. This may be directly related to the impact. (2) Of the many thrust sheets comprising the Cordilleran belt, the Cabin plate that carries the shocked rocks is unique in that it alone intersected the crystalline basement. It also now marks the apex of the Southwest Montana Recess in the Sevier front. The basement uplift remaining from the impact may have constituted a mechanical obstacle to the advancing thrust sheets in Cretaceous time, causing the recess. (3) What could be interpreted as a roughly circular aeromagnetic anomaly approx. 70 km in diameter can be discerned in the state aeromagnetic map centered about 20 km southeast of Challis, Idaho, in the Lost River range. It is in approximately the right place, and ignoring the possibility that the anomalies have diverse causes and the circular pattern is coincidental, it may mark what remains of the buried central uplift structure.

  17. Experimental studies of oblique impact. [of meteorites on planetary surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gault, D. E.; Wedekind, J. A.

    1978-01-01

    Meteoritic materials most probably impact planetary bodies along oblique trajectories inclined less than 45 deg above their surfaces. Laboratory studies of hypervelocity impacts against rock and particulate media are presented that indicate important effects of obliquity on crater size, shape, and ejecta distribution. The effects are particularly important to crater size-frequency analyses and geologic interpretations of crater formations. Impacts at shallow incidence, which are not uncommon, lead to ricochet of the impacting object accompanied with some entrained excavated materials at velocities only slightly reduced from the pre-impact value.

  18. Survivability and reactivity of glycine and alanine in early oceans: effects of meteorite impacts.

    PubMed

    Umeda, Yuhei; Fukunaga, Nao; Sekine, Toshimori; Furukawa, Yoshihiro; Kakegawa, Takeshi; Kobayashi, Takamichi; Nakazawa, Hiromoto

    2016-01-01

    Prebiotic oceans might have contained abundant amino acids, and were subjected to meteorite impacts, especially during the late heavy bombardment. It is so far unknown how meteorite impacts affected amino acids in the early oceans. Impact experiments were performed under the conditions where glycine was synthesized from carbon, ammonia, and water, using aqueous solutions containing (13)C-labeled glycine and alanine. Selected amino acids and amines in samples were analyzed with liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC/MS). In particular, the (13)C-labeled reaction products were analyzed to distinguish between run products and contaminants. The results revealed that both amino acids survived partially in the early ocean through meteorite impacts, that part of glycine changed into alanine, and that large amounts of methylamine and ethylamine were formed. Fast decarboxylation was confirmed to occur during such impact processes. Furthermore, the formation of n-butylamine, detected only in the samples recovered from the solutions with additional nitrogen and carbon sources of ammonia and benzene, suggests that chemical reactions to form new biomolecules can proceed through marine impacts. Methylamine and ethylamine from glycine and alanine increased considerably in the presence of hematite rather than olivine under similar impact conditions. These results also suggest that amino acids present in early oceans can contribute further to impact-induced reactions, implying that impact energy plays a potential role in the prebiotic formation of various biomolecules, although the reactions are complicated and depend upon the chemical environments as well. PMID:26369758

  19. Reactivity and survivability of glycolaldehyde in simulated meteorite impact experiments.

    PubMed

    McCaffrey, V P; Zellner, N E B; Waun, C M; Bennett, E R; Earl, E K

    2014-02-01

    Sugars of extraterrestrial origin have been observed in the interstellar medium (ISM), in at least one comet spectrum, and in several carbonaceous chondritic meteorites that have been recovered from the surface of the Earth. The origins of these sugars within the meteorites have been debated. To explore the possibility that sugars could be generated during shock events, this paper reports on the results of the first laboratory impact experiments wherein glycolaldehyde, found in the ISM, as well as glycolaldehyde mixed with montmorillonite clay, have been subjected to reverberated shocks from ~5 to >25 GPa. New biologically relevant molecules, including threose, erythrose and ethylene glycol, were identified in the resulting samples. These results show that sugar molecules can not only survive but also become more complex during impact delivery to planetary bodies. PMID:24934564

  20. Laboratory Simulations of Martian Meteorite Impacts and Their Seismic Signatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kedar, S.; Richardson, J. E.; Harvey, N. E.; Perry, D. C.; Bowling, T. J.; Kanamori, H.; Webb, F.; Li, M.; Garnero, E. J.

    2012-12-01

    Recent satellite images have revealed that meteorites regularly impact the Martian surface. Such impacts provide a constant background of planet-wide seismicity, and add a substantial number of seismic sources to an otherwise seismically quiet planet, with a natural quake rate estimated to be ~1000 times lower than on Earth. This is a potentially rich and relatively unexplored source of seismic activity that may be used to answer fundamental questions about the planet's internal structure, such as the size and nature of the core, the composition and layering of the mantle, and the planets crustal thickness and variability. Determining whether meteoritic impacts can be used as seismic sources for studying the Martian interior depends directly upon two fundamental parameters: (1) the rate of transfer of momentum to the elastic medium as defined by an impact's source-time function (or its power spectrum); and (2) the efficiency with which the kinetic energy of the impacting body is transferred to seismic energy. However, uncertainty of the impact source time function, combined with the wide range of impact seismic efficiency factors observed in various settings, makes it very difficult to determine the efficacy of natural impacts for seismic exploration. To overcome these challenges, we have begun a campaign combining impact laboratory experiments and numerical simulations with the goal of determining how well the observed meteoritic impact distribution on Mars can be used to resolve the Martian interior structure. To simulate the seismic signals expected from meteorite impacts on the Martian surface, we carried out a series of high velocity impact experiments at the NASA Ames Vertical Gun Range (AVGR) facility. The experiments spanned a variety of projectile impact velocities and angles, and were carried out in near vacuum conditions to mimic Martian atmospheric conditions. Seismic sensors were embedded in target material analogous to the Martian surface and were

  1. Meteorites and projectiles in terrestrial impact craters: implications for the composition of the asteroid belt.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tagle, R.; Claeys, Ph.

    The main asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter contain over 670 000 asteroids larger than 1km [1]. Their orbits are affected by a variety of resonances mainly responsible for the transport of asteroidal material, such as meteorites, to Earth. The number of meteorites known, representing different parent bodies (asteroids), is estimated between 100 and 150 from which most of them are iron meteorites [2]. The majority of the meteorites reaching Earth are ordinary chondrites (OC), they form ~74% of observed falls [3]. However, OC most likely represent samples from only 3 different parent bodies. Therefore it was argued that ordinary chondrites are not common in the asteroid belt [4]. Based on the abundance of S-type asteroids, suggested to be related to OC, OC appear to be common in the asteroid belt, in contradiction to the results of meteorite studies. The spectrum of S-type asteroids is influenced by "space weathering" what affects their spectra and hampers a definite assignment to OC [e.g. 5]. Taking into consideration the large number of asteroids, it is questionable if meteorites in collections are representative of the composition of asteroid belt, or if they merely correspond to the actual population, as almost all meteorites have relatively young terrestrial ages (<<1m.y.). The identification of projectiles in impact craters of Earth and Moon provides the opportunity to study ancient material flux from the asteroid belt. Methodical and analytical improvements in the last years allow to identify the projectile component to a unprecedented level of detail. Preliminary results from the identification of projectiles in impact structures show that OC and non-magmatic iron meteorites (NMI) are highly common in the impactor population. The large amount of projectiles with OC composition might suggest that OC are indeed common in the asteroid belt, supporting the S-type/OC relation. The abundance of OC can be bias due to the effective transport of

  2. The Survival of Meteorite Organic Compounds with Increasing Impact Pressure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, George; Horz, Friedrich; Oleary, Alanna; Chang, Sherwood; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The majority of carbonaceous meteorites studied today are thought to originate in the asteroid belt. Impacts among asteroidal objects generate heat and pressure that may have altered or destroyed pre-existing organic matter in both targets and projectiles to a greater or lesser degree depending upon impact velocities. Very little is known about the shock related chemical evolution of organic matter relevant to this stage of the cosmic history of biogenic elements and compounds. The present work continues our study of the effects of shock impacts on selected classes of organic compounds utilizing laboratory shock facilities. Our approach was to subject mixtures of organic compounds, embedded in a matrix of the Murchison meteorite, to a simulated hypervelocity impact. The molecular compositions of products were then analyzed to determine the degree of survival of the original compounds. Insofar as results associated with velocities < 8 km/sec may be relevant to impacts on planetary surfaces (e.g., oblique impacts, impacts on small outer planet satellites) or grain-grain collisions in the interstellar medium, then our experiments will be applicable to these environments as well.

  3. Pancam Visible/Near-Infrared Spectra of Large Fe-Ni Meteorites at Meridiani Planum, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, J. R.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Bell, J. F.; Farrand, W. H.; Ashley, J.; Weitz, C.; Squyres, S. W.

    2010-03-01

    The MER Opportunity rover imaged three large Fe-Ni meteorites in 2009. Pancam reflectance spectra of coatings on the rocks are consistent with ferric oxides (e.g., np-hematite), suggestive of chemical weathering on portions of the meteorite surfaces.

  4. The fate of amino acids during simulated meteoritic impact.

    PubMed

    Bertrand, Marylène; van der Gaast, Sjerry; Vilas, Faith; Hörz, Friedrich; Haynes, Gerald; Chabin, Annie; Brack, Andre; Westall, Frances

    2009-12-01

    Delivery of prebiotic molecules, such as amino acids and peptides, in meteoritic/micrometeoritic materials to early Earth during the first 500 million years is considered to be one of the main processes by which the building blocks of life arrived on Earth. In this context, we present a study in which the effects of impact shock on amino acids and a peptide in artificial meteorites composed of saponite clay were investigated. The samples were subjected to pressures ranging from 12-28.9 GPa, which simulated impact velocities of 2.4-5.8 km/s for typical silicate-silicate impacts on Earth. Volatilization was determined by weight loss measurement, and the amino acid and peptide response was analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. For all compounds, degradation increased with peak pressure. At the highest shock pressures, amino acids with an alkyl side chain were more resistant than those with functional side chains. The peptide cleaved into its two primary amino acids. Some chiral amino acids experienced partial racemization during the course of the experiment. Our data indicate that impact shock may act as a selective filter to the delivery of extraterrestrial amino acids via carbonaceous chondrites. PMID:20041747

  5. Reconstructing the Shock Wave From the Wolfe Creek Meteorite Impact.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heine, C.; O'Neill, C. J.

    2003-12-01

    The Wolfe Creek meteorite crater is an 800m diameter impact structure located in the Tanami Desert near Hall's Creek, Western Australia. The crater formed <300000 years ago, and is the 2nd largest crater from which fragments of the impacting meteorite (a medium octahedrite) have been recovered. We present the results of new ground based geophysical (magnetics and gravity) surveys conducted over the structure in July-August, 2003. The results highlight the simple structure of the crater under the infilling sediments, and track the extent of deformation and the ejecta blanket under the encroaching sanddunes. The variations in the dip of the foliations around the crater rim confirm that the crater approached from East-Northeast, as deduced from the ejecta distribution, and provide constraints on the kinetic energy and angle of the impactor. We also use the distribution of shocked quartz in the target rock (Devonian sandstones) to reconstruct the shock loading conditions of the impact using the Grieve and Robertson (1976) criterion. We also use a Simplified Arbitrary Langrangian-Eulerian hydrocode (SALE 2) to simulate the propagation of shock waves through a material described by a Tillotson equation of state. Using the deformational and PT constraints of the Wolfe-Creek crater, we can estimate the partitioning of kinetic energy as a result of this medium-size impact.

  6. Cometary and meteorite swarm impact on planetary surfaces

    SciTech Connect

    O'Keefe, J.D.; Ahrens, T.J.

    1982-08-10

    The velocity flow fields, energy partitioning, and ejecta distributions resulting from impact of porous (fragmented) icy cometary nuclei with silicate planetary surfaces at speeds from 5 to 45 km/s are different than those resulting from the impact of solid ice or silicate meteorites. The impact of 1 g/cm/sup 3/ ice spheres onto an atmosphereless anorthosite planetary surface cratering flows that appear similar to those induced by normal density anorthosite meteorite impact. Both of these impactors lead to deep transient crater cavities for final crater diameters less than approx.1 to approx.10 km and for escape velocities < or approx. =10/sup 5/ cm/s. Moreover the fraction of internal energy partitioned into the planetary surface at the cratering site is 0.6 for both ice and anorthosite impactors at 15 km/s. As the assumed density of the hypothetical cometary nucleus or fragment cloud from a nucleus decreases to 0.01 g/cm/sup 3/, the fraction of the impact energy partitioned into planetary surface energy decreases to less than 0.01, and the flow field displays a toroidal behavior in which the apparent source of the flow appears to emanate from a disc or ringlike region rather than from a single point, as in the explosive cratering case. The edges of the crater region are in several cases depressed and flow downward, whereas the center of the crater region is uplifted. Moreover, the resultant postimpact particle velotity flow in some cases indicates the formation of concentric ridges, a central peak, and a distinct absence of a deep transient cavity. In contrast, transient cavities are a ubiquitous feature of nearly all previous hypervelocity impact calculations.

  7. Nd-isotopic evidence for the origin of the Sudbury complex by meteoritic impact

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Faggart, B. E.; Basu, A. R.; Tatsumoto, M.

    1985-01-01

    A Neodymium isotopic investigation was undertaken in order to determine the possibility that the Sudbury geological structure in Ontario, Canada was formed by meteoritic impact. Conclusive evidence points to the melting of crustal rocks by way of meteoritic impact in the forming of the Sudbury structure.

  8. 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

  9. Applications of twin analysis to studying meteorite impact structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schedl, Andrew

    2006-04-01

    This paper describes a technique, twin analysis of dolomite and calcite, which was used to estimate the level of erosion of an impact crater. If the age of impact is known, the level of erosion gives the amount of sediments present at that time. The estimate of the level of erosion, and the presence or absence of tectonic strains in calcite constrains the age of impact. This technique might also be useful in identifying deeply eroded impact structures. Twin analysis gives the greatest shortening direction, ɛ1. Tilt corrected ɛ1 directions converge at or above the present day surface, if a shallow gas explosion or meteorite impact explains the structure, rather than a deep gas or cryptovolcanic explosion. The energy density recorded by twinning distinguishes an impact from a shallow gas explosion for structures ≤ 100 m diameter. At Serpent Mound, a well-established impact structure, ɛ1 directions converge at 1400 ± 390 m (95% confidence interval of the mean) above the present day structure and the sample closest to the center of the structure records an energy density of 1.7 × 10 7 J/m 3. These results are consistent with previous studies showing that Serpent Mound is an impact (e.g., [R.W. Carlton, C. Koeberl, M.T. Baranoski, G.A. Schumacker, Discovery of microscopic evidence for shock metamorphism at the Serpent Mound structure, south-central Ohio: confirmation of an origin by impact, Earth and Planet. Sci. Lett. 162 (1998) 177-185]). The level of erosion and other data suggests that Serpent Mound formed between 290 and 256 Ma and was originally 8.5 to 11 km in diameter. Dolomite twinning is not observed at Serpent Mound suggesting that this technique may only be useful for studying larger, more deeply eroded structures.

  10. Laboratory experiments on the impact disruption of iron meteorites at temperature of near-Earth space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katsura, Takekuni; Nakamura, Akiko M.; Takabe, Ayana; Okamoto, Takaya; Sangen, Kazuyoshi; Hasegawa, Sunao; Liu, Xun; Mashimo, Tsutomu

    2014-10-01

    Iron meteorites and some M-class asteroids are generally understood to be fragments that were originally part of cores of differentiated planetesimals or part of local melt pools on primitive bodies. The parent bodies of iron meteorites may have formed in the terrestrial planet region, from which they were then scattered into the main belt (Bottke, W.F., Nesvorný, D., Grimm, R.E., Morbidelli, A., O'Brien, D.P. [2006]. Nature 439, 821-824). Therefore, a wide range of collisional events at different mass scales, temperatures, and impact velocities would have occurred between the time when the iron was segregated and the impact that eventually exposed the iron meteorites to interplanetary space. In this study, we performed impact disruption experiments of iron meteorite specimens as projectiles or targets at room temperature to increase understanding of the disruption process of iron bodies in near-Earth space. Our iron specimens (as projectiles or targets) were almost all smaller in size than their counterparts (as targets or projectiles, respectively). Experiments of impacts of steel specimens were also conducted for comparison. The fragment mass distribution of the iron material was different from that of rocks. In the iron fragmentation, a higher percentage of the mass was concentrated in larger fragments, probably due to the ductile nature of the material at room temperature. The largest fragment mass fraction f was dependent not only on the energy density but also on the size d of the specimen. We assumed a power-law dependence of the largest fragment mass fraction to initial peak pressure P0 normalized by a dynamic strength, Y, which was defined to be dependent on the size of the iron material. A least squares fit to the data of iron meteorite specimens resulted in the following relationship: f∝∝d, indicating a large size dependence of f. Additionally, the deformation of the iron materials in high-velocity shots was found to be most significant when the

  11. Variations in impact effects among IIIE iron meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Breen, John P.; Rubin, Alan E.; Wasson, John T.

    2016-09-01

    Group-IIIE iron meteorites can be ordered into four categories reflecting increasing degrees of shock alteration. Weakly shocked samples (Armanty, Colonia Obrera, Coopertown, Porto Alegre, Rhine Villa, Staunton, and Tanokami Mountain) have haxonite within plessite, unrecrystallized kamacite grains containing Neumann lines or possessing the ɛ structure, and sulfide inclusions typically consisting of polycrystalline troilite with daubréelite exsolution lamellae. The only moderately shocked sample is NWA 4704, in which haxonite has been partially decomposed to graphite; the majority of the kamacite in NWA 4704 is recrystallized, and its sulfide inclusions were partly melted. Strongly shocked samples (Cachiyuyal, Kokstad, and Paloduro) contain graphite and no haxonite, suggesting that pre-existing haxonite fully decomposed. Also present in these rocks are recrystallized kamacite and melted troilite. Residual heat from the impact caused annealing and recrystallization of kamacite as well as the decomposition of haxonite into graphite. Severely shocked samples (Aliskerovo and Willow Creek) have sulfide-rich assemblages consisting of fragmental and subhedral daubréelite crystals, 1-4 vol% spidery troilite filaments, and 30-50 vol% low-Ni kamacite grains, some of which contain up to 6.0 wt% Co; haxonite in these inclusions has fully decomposed to graphite. The wide range of impact effects in IIIE irons is attributed to one or more major collision(s) on the parent asteroid that affected different group members to different extents depending on their proximity to the impact point.

  12. Variations in impact effects among IIIE iron meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Breen, John P.; Rubin, Alan E.; Wasson, John T.

    2016-07-01

    Group-IIIE iron meteorites can be ordered into four categories reflecting increasing degrees of shock alteration. Weakly shocked samples (Armanty, Colonia Obrera, Coopertown, Porto Alegre, Rhine Villa, Staunton, and Tanokami Mountain) have haxonite within plessite, unrecrystallized kamacite grains containing Neumann lines or possessing the ɛ structure, and sulfide inclusions typically consisting of polycrystalline troilite with daubréelite exsolution lamellae. The only moderately shocked sample is NWA 4704, in which haxonite has been partially decomposed to graphite; the majority of the kamacite in NWA 4704 is recrystallized, and its sulfide inclusions were partly melted. Strongly shocked samples (Cachiyuyal, Kokstad, and Paloduro) contain graphite and no haxonite, suggesting that pre-existing haxonite fully decomposed. Also present in these rocks are recrystallized kamacite and melted troilite. Residual heat from the impact caused annealing and recrystallization of kamacite as well as the decomposition of haxonite into graphite. Severely shocked samples (Aliskerovo and Willow Creek) have sulfide-rich assemblages consisting of fragmental and subhedral daubréelite crystals, 1-4 vol% spidery troilite filaments, and 30-50 vol% low-Ni kamacite grains, some of which contain up to 6.0 wt% Co; haxonite in these inclusions has fully decomposed to graphite. The wide range of impact effects in IIIE irons is attributed to one or more major collision(s) on the parent asteroid that affected different group members to different extents depending on their proximity to the impact point.

  13. Formation of a small impact structure discovered within the Agoudal meteorite strewn field, Morocco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorenz, C. A.; Ivanova, M. A.; Artemieva, N. A.; Sadilenko, D. A.; Chennaoui Aoudjehane, H.; Roschina, I. A.; Korochantsev, A. V.; Humayun, M.

    2015-01-01

    A relic impact structure was recognized within the strewn field of the Agoudal iron meteorite. The heavily eroded structure has preserved shatter cones in a limestone basement, and remnants of autochthonous and allochthonous breccias. Fragments of iron incorporated into the allochthonous breccia have a chemical composition (Ni = 5.16 wt%, Ir = 0.019 ppm) similar to that of the Agoudal meteorite, supporting a syngenetic origin of the strewn field and the impact structure. The total recovered mass of Agoudal meteorite fragments is estimated at approximately 500 kg. The estimated size of the SE-NW-oriented strewn field is 6 × 2 km. Model calculations with minimal preatmospheric size show that a similar meteorite strewn field plus one small crater with observed shock effects could be formed by fragmentation of a meteoroid approximately 1.4 m in diameter with an impact angle of approximately 60° from the horizontal. However, the most probable is an impact of a larger, 3-4 m diameter meteoroid, resulting a strewn field with approximately 10 craters, 10-30 m in diameter each, plus numerous meteorite fragments. The calculated scattering area of meteorite shrapnel ejected from these impact craters could completely cover the observed strewn field of the Agoudal meteorite.

  14. Traces of Catastrophe: A Handbook of Shock-Metamorphic Effects in Terrestrial Meteorite Impact Structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    French, Bevan M.

    1998-01-01

    This handbook of Shock-Metamorphic Effects in Terrestrial Meteorite Impact Structures emphasizes terrestrial impact structures, field geology, and particularly the recognition and petrographic study of shock-metamorphic effects in terrestrial rocks. Individual chapters include: 1) Landscapes with Craters: Meteorite Impacts, Earth, and the Solar System; 2) Target Earth: Present, Past and Future; 3) Formation of Impact Craters; 4) Shock-Metamorphic Effects in Rocks and Minerals; 5) Shock-Metamorphosed Rocks (Impactities) in Impact Structures; 6) Impact Melts; 7) How to Find Impact Structures; and 8) What Next? Current Problems and Future Investigations.

  15. Nucleobase and amino acid formation through impacts of meteorites on the early ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furukawa, Yoshihiro; Nakazawa, Hiromoto; Sekine, Toshimori; Kobayashi, Takamichi; Kakegawa, Takeshi

    2015-11-01

    The emergence of life's building blocks on the prebiotic Earth was the first crucial step for the origins of life. Extraterrestrial delivery of intact amino acids and nucleobases is the prevailing hypothesis for their availability on prebiotic Earth because of the difficulties associated with the production of these organics from terrestrial carbon and nitrogen sources under plausible prebiotic conditions. However, the variety and amounts of these intact organics delivered by meteorites would have been limited. Previous shock-recovery experiments have demonstrated that meteorite impact reactions could have generated organics on the prebiotic Earth. Here, we report on the simultaneous formation of nucleobases (cytosine and uracil) found in DNA and/or RNA, various proteinogenic amino acids (glycine, alanine, serine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, valine, leucine, isoleucine, and proline), non-proteinogenic amino acids, and aliphatic amines in experiments simulating reactions induced by extraterrestrial objects impacting on the early oceans. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the formation of nucleobases from inorganic materials by shock conditions. In these experiments, bicarbonate was used as the carbon source. Bicarbonate, which is a common dissolved carbon species in CO2-rich atmospheric conditions, was presumably the most abundant carbon species in the early oceans and in post-impact plumes. Thus, the present results expand the possibility that impact-induced reactions generated various building blocks for life on prebiotic Earth in large quantities through the use of terrestrial carbon reservoirs.

  16. Lunar formation. Dating the Moon-forming impact event with asteroidal meteorites.

    PubMed

    Bottke, W F; Vokrouhlický, D; Marchi, S; Swindle, T; Scott, E R D; Weirich, J R; Levison, H

    2015-04-17

    The inner solar system's biggest and most recent known collision was the Moon-forming giant impact between a large protoplanet and proto-Earth. Not only did it create a disk near Earth that formed the Moon, it also ejected several percent of an Earth mass out of the Earth-Moon system. Here, we argue that numerous kilometer-sized ejecta fragments from that event struck main-belt asteroids at velocities exceeding 10 kilometers per second, enough to heat and degas target rock. Such impacts produce ~1000 times more highly heated material by volume than do typical main belt collisions at ~5 kilometers per second. By modeling their temporal evolution, and fitting the results to ancient impact heating signatures in stony meteorites, we infer that the Moon formed ~4.47 billion years ago, which is in agreement with previous estimates. PMID:25883354

  17. A tungsten isotope approach to search for meteoritic components in terrestrial impact rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moynier, Frederic; Koeberl, Christian; Quitté, Ghylaine; Telouk, Philippe

    2009-08-01

    The identification of meteorite impact structures on Earth is based on two main criteria: the presence of shock-metamorphic effects in the crater rock ejecta and/or the confirmation of an extraterrestrial (meteoritic) component in breccias or melt rocks. For the latter, both high elemental abundances of siderophile elements (especially the platinum group elements) with corresponding meteoritic inter-element ratios and the osmium (Os) and chromium (Cr) isotopic signatures characteristic of meteorites have been used successfully. Inspired by earlier suggestions of a meteoritic component in Archean rocks based on tungsten (W) isotope anomalies, here we explore the possible use of 182W, which has been produced by the decay of now extinct 182Hf ( T1/2 = 8.9 Ma), as a tracer of meteoritic component in terrestrial material. Each group of meteorites has W isotopic compositions that are distinct from each other and from the terrestrial crust. 182W has already been used to try to identify the impactor at the K/T boundary by analyzing the sediments and Ni-rich spinel. In the present study, we broaden the field of investigation by choosing a different approach, namely analyzing a variety of known impact rocks. We measured the W isotope composition in four samples from different impact structures (Gardnos, Norway; Morokweng, South Africa; Vredefort, South Africa; Ries, Germany) as well as in two samples from a distal ejecta layer (K-T boundary samples from Gams, Austria, and Berwind Canyon, USA). All these samples are unambiguously impact-produced and in several of those materials a meteoritic component has unequivocally been identified by other geochemical proxies. In all these samples, the isotopic composition of W is identical with analytical error to that of the Earth's continental crust, and no 182W anomalies are present, even in the samples containing a significant (percent level) meteoritic component. Therefore, we conclude that, in contrast to the Cr or Os isotopes, W

  18. Geological and geochemical record of 3400-million-year-old terrestrial meteorite impacts

    SciTech Connect

    Lowe, D.R. ); Byerly, G.R. ); Asaro, F. ); Kyte, F.T. )

    1989-09-01

    Beds of sand-sized spherules in the 3400-million-year-old Fig Tree Group, Barberton Greenstone belt, South Africa, were formed by the fall of quenched liquid silicate droplets into a range of shallow- to deep-water depositional environments. The regional extent of the layers, their compositional complexity, and lack of included volcanic debris suggest that they are not products of volcanic activity. The layers are greatly enriched in iridium and other platinum group elements in roughly chondritic proportions. Geochemical modeling based on immobile element abundances suggests that the original average spherule composition can be approximated by a mixture of fractionated tholeiitic basalt, komatiite, and CI carbonaceous chondrite. The spherules are thought to be the products of large meteorite impacts on the Archean earth. 21 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  19. Geological and geochemical record of 3400-million-year-old terrestrial meteorite impacts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lowe, Donald R.; Byerly, Gary R.; Asaro, Frank; Kyte, Frank T.

    1989-01-01

    Beds of sand-sized spherules in the 3400-million-year-old Fig Tree Group, Barberton Greenstone belt, South Africa, formed by the fall of quenched liquid silicate droplets into a range of shallow- to deep-water depositional environments. The regional extent of the layers, their compositional complexity, and lack of included volcanic debris suggest that they are not products of volcanic activity. The layers are greatly enriched in iridium and other platinum group elements in roughly chondritic proportions. Geochemical modeling based on immobile element abundances suggests that the original average spherule composition can be approximated by a mixture of fractionated tholeiitic basalt, komatiite, and CI carbonaceous chondrite. The spherules are thought to be the products of large meteorite impacts on the Archean earth.

  20. Geological and geochemical record of 3400-million-year-old terrestrial meteorite impacts.

    PubMed

    Lowe, D R; Byerly, G R; Asaro, F; Kyte, F J

    1989-09-01

    Beds of sand-sized spherules in the 3400-million-year-old Fig Tree Group, Barberton Greenstone belt, South Africa, formed by the fall of quenched liquid silicate droplets into a range of shallow-to deep-water depositional environments. The regional extent of the layers, their compositional complexity, and lack of included volcanic debris suggest that they are not products of volcanic activity. The layers are greatly enriched in iridium and other platinum group elements in roughly chondritic proportions. Geochemical modeling based on immobile element abundances suggests that the original average spherule composition can be approximated by a mixture of fractionated tholeiitic basalt, komatiite, and CI carbonaceous chondrite. The spherules are thought to be the products of large meteorite impacts on the Archean earth. PMID:17780536

  1. Discovery of a probable meteorite impact crater off the W coast of South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaw-Kahle, B.; Smith, G.; Mhlambi, S.; Kahle, R. L.

    2015-12-01

    We describe a probable submarine meteorite impact crater, discovered offshore the west coast of South Africa, using industry 3D seismic data. The feature is roughly circular, with a diameter of about 10 km; it has some depth extent and disrupts underlying strata. Two major possibilities exist for its origin: that it is an igneous diatreme or that it is a meteorite impact crater. We assess both possibilities through a detailed description of its morphology and seismic characteristics. Although a line of known alkaline volcanic pipes does project towards the coast, comparison of this feature with similar structures worldwide leads us to suggest that the crater is more likely to have formed through the impact of a meteorite. Using simple scaling relationships, we estimate the likely size of the impactor and attempt to arrive at an age limit by extrapolating the ages of mapped horizons from a borehole, located at a distance of approximately 5.5 km.

  2. Tracing the effects of an enormous meteorite impact 3 billion years ago

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wendel, JoAnna

    2014-07-01

    The most well-known and popularized meteorite impact occurred 65 million years ago and left behind the Chicxulub crater, a feature more than 110 miles in diameter. Dust kicked up by the impact, which lingered in the atmosphere for years, may have helped kill all the nonavian dinosaurs along with three quarters of the world's plant and animal species.

  3. Late Coupled Evolution of Venus' Atmosphere and the Effects of Meteoritic Impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillmann, C.; Tackley, P. J.; Golabek, G.

    2013-12-01

    We investigate what mechanisms and events could have led to the divergent evolution of Venus and Earth. We propose develop our investigation of the post-magma-ocean history of the atmosphere and surface conditions on Venus through a coupled model of mantle/atmosphere evolution by including meteoritic impacts in our previous work. Our main focuses are mechanisms that deplete or replenish the atmosphere: volcanic degassing, atmospheric escape and impacts. Atmospheric escape modeling involves two different aspects. During the first few hundreds of million years, hydrodynamic escape is dominant. A significant portion of the early atmosphere can be thus removed. For later evolution, on the other hand, non-thermal escape becomes the main process as observed by the ASPERA instrument and modeled in various recent numerical studies. The atmosphere is replenished by volcanic degassing, using an adapted version of the StagYY mantle dynamics model (Armann and Tackley, 2012) and including episodic lithospheric overturn. The evolving surface temperature is calculated from CO2 and water in the atmosphere with a gray radiative-convective atmosphere model. This surface temperature in turn acts as a boundary condition for the mantle dynamics model and has an influence on the convection, volcanism and subsequent degassing. We take into account the effects of meteorites in our simulations by adapting each relevant part of the model. They can bring volatiles as well as erode the atmosphere. Mantle dynamics are modified since the impact itself can also bring large amounts of energy to the mantle. A 2D distribution of the thermal anomaly due to the impact is used and can lead to melting. Volatile evolution due to impacts (especially the large ones) is heavily debated so we test a broad range of impactor parameters (size, velocity, timing) and test different assumptions related to impact erosion going from large eroding power (Ahrens 1993) to recent parameterization (Shuvalov, 2009, 2010

  4. An historical perspective on the suspected meteorite impact sites of Tennessee. 2: The Howell Structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, J. R. H.; Orchiston, Wayne; Clendening, Ron

    2015-03-01

    The Howell Structure is a suspected meteorite impact site in Tennessee, USA, and came to the attention of geologists during the 1930s. It was first investigated by Born and Wilson in 1937, and the few subsequent investigations that have occurred at this extensively eroded site have revealed the presence of breccias and the possible existence of shatter cones. However, cores drilled in the 1960s have recently been analyzed, and these provide evidence of shock metamorphism, suggesting that the Howell Structure is the eroded scar of a meteorite impact.

  5. Educating the Public about Meteorites and Impacts through Virtual Field Trips and Classroom Experience Boxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashcraft, Teresa; Hines, R.; Minitti, M.; Taylor, W.; Morris, M. A.; Wadhwa, M.

    2014-01-01

    With specimens representing over 2,000 individual meteorites, the Center for Meteorite Studies (CMS) at Arizona State University (ASU) is home to the world's largest university-based meteorite collection. As part of our mission to provide educational opportunities that expand awareness and understanding of the science of meteoritics, CMS continues to develop new ways to engage the public in meteorite and space science, including the opening of a new Meteorite Gallery, and expansion of online resources through upgrades to the CMS website, meteorites.asu.edu. In 2008, CMS was the recipient of a philanthropic grant to improve online education tools and develop loanable modules for educators. These modules focus on the origin of meteorites, and contain actual meteorite specimens, media resources, a user guide, and lesson plans, as well as a series of engaging activities that utilize hands-on materials geared to help students develop logical thinking, analytical skills, and proficiency in STEM disciplines. In 2010, in partnership with the ASU NASA Astrobiology Institute team, CMS obtained a NASA EPOESS grant to develop Virtual Field Trips (VFTs) complemented by loanable “Experience Boxes” containing lesson plans, media, and hands-on objects related to the VFT sites. One VFT-Box pair focuses on the record of the oldest multicellular organisms on Earth. The second VFT-Box pair focuses on the Upheaval Dome (UD) structure, a meteorite impact crater in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park. UD is widely accepted as the deeply eroded remnant of a ~5 kilometer impact crater (e.g. Kriens et al., 1999). The alternate hypothesis that the Dome was formed by the upwelling of salt from a deposit underlying the region (e.g. Jackson et al., 1998) makes UD an ideal site to learn not only about specific scientific principles present in the Next Generation Science Standards, but also the process of scientific inquiry. The VFTs are located on an interactive website dedicated to VFTs, vft

  6. Abstracts for the International Workshop on Meteorite Impact on the Early Earth

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-09-01

    This volume contains abstracts that were accepted for presentation at the International Workshop on Meteorite Impact on the Early Earth, September 21-22, 1990, in Perth, Western Australia. The effects these impacts had on the young Earth are emphasized and a few of the topics covered are as follows: impact induced hot atmosphere, crater size and distribution, late heavy bombardment, terrestrial mantle and crust, impact damage, continental growth, volcanism, climate catastrophes, shocked quartz, and others.

  7. Abstracts for the International Workshop on Meteorite Impact on the Early Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This volume contains abstracts that were accepted for presentation at the International Workshop on Meteorite Impact on the Early Earth, September 21-22, 1990, in Perth, Western Australia. The effects these impacts had on the young Earth are emphasized and a few of the topics covered are as follows: impact induced hot atmosphere, crater size and distribution, late heavy bombardment, terrestrial mantle and crust, impact damage, continental growth, volcanism, climate catastrophes, shocked quartz, and others.

  8. Soil Components in Heterogeneous Impact Glass in Martian Meteorite EETA79001

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schrader, C. M.; Cohen, B. A.; Donovan, J. J.; Vicenzi, E. P.

    2010-01-01

    Martian soil composition can illuminate past and ongoing near-surface processes such as impact gardening [2] and hydrothermal and volcanic activity [3,4]. Though the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) have analyzed the major-element composition of Martian soils, no soil samples have been returned to Earth for detailed chemical analysis. Rao et al. [1] suggested that Martian meteorite EETA79001 contains melted Martian soil in its impact glass (Lithology C) based on sulfur enrichment of Lithology C relative to the meteorite s basaltic lithologies (A and B) [1,2]. If true, it may be possible to extract detailed soil chemical analyses using this meteoritic sample. We conducted high-resolution (0.3 m/pixel) element mapping of Lithology C in thin section EETA79001,18 by energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS). We use these data for principal component analysis (PCA).

  9. Probing Mars' interior using seismic signals from small high-frequency meteorite impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teanby, Nicholas A.; Wookey, James

    2014-11-01

    In 2016 NASA will launch the InSight Discovery-class mission to Mars. This is the first geophysics-led planetary mission and will provide a wealth of new information about Mars’ interior and sub-surface. Instruments include two seismometers, a heat probe, and environmental sensors. Science return from the seismometers will critically depend on the occurrence of natural seismic sources, of which meteorite impacts will play a key role. Seismic recording of impact events will also allow the current cratering rate to be estimated, providing important new constraints on crater-based chronologies.In a recent study it was found that large globally detectable events require impacts to produce craters of order 100m in diameter (Teanby and Wookey, 2011). Such events are rare and only a few such events are predicted during the InSight mission. Here we extend this study to consider the much more frequent smaller events. While not producing as much seismic energy, these small events are much more numerous, as evidenced by recent observations of over 200 new impact craters (Dauber et al, 2013). Therefore, the probability of a small impact happening close to the InSight landing site is much higher. Importantly, these local events will not suffer as much crustal attenuation as distant events so may in fact be more detectable. They will also have a much higher frequency content, providing important information on the Mars' crustal structure.We calculate the seismic amplitudes from small impacts using ray tracing calibrated by impacts recorded on the Earth and Moon, allowing us to determine the number of events that will be detectable with InSight's seismometers. In particular, we focus on the short period seismometer, which is ideally suited to studying their higher frequency content.Daubar, I. J.; McEwen, A. S.; Byrne, S.; Kennedy, M. R. & Ivanov, B. (2013), 'The current martian cratering rate', Icarus 225, 506-516.Teanby, N. A. & Wookey, J. (2011), 'Seismic detection of

  10. Large amounts of extinct Al-26 in interstellar grains from the Murchison meteorite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zinner, E.; Amari, S.; Anders, E.; Lewis, R.

    1991-01-01

    It is reported here that interstellar graphite and SiC grains recovered from the Murchison CM2 chondritic meteorite have large abundances of Mg-26 from the decay of extinct Al-26. The deduced initial Al-26/Al-27 ratios range up to 0.06 in graphite and 0.2 in SiC. This is 1200 to 4000 times the maximum values found in refractory inclusions in primitive meteorites. All proposed stellar sources of carbonaceous dust also produced Al-26, but the highest Al-26/Al-27 ratios found in these grains seem to rule out Wolf-Rayet stars and supernovae. The aluminum abundance correlates with that of nitrogen, suggesting that the aluminum condensed as aluminum nitride.

  11. Coesite and stishovite in a shocked lunar meteorite, Asuka-881757, and impact events in lunar surface.

    PubMed

    Ohtani, E; Ozawa, S; Miyahara, M; Ito, Y; Mikouchi, T; Kimura, M; Arai, T; Sato, K; Hiraga, K

    2011-01-11

    Microcrystals of coesite and stishovite were discovered as inclusions in amorphous silica grains in shocked melt pockets of a lunar meteorite Asuka-881757 by micro-Raman spectrometry, scanning electron microscopy, electron back-scatter diffraction, and transmission electron microscopy. These high-pressure polymorphs of SiO(2) in amorphous silica indicate that the meteorite experienced an equilibrium shock-pressure of at least 8-30 GPa. Secondary quartz grains are also observed in separate amorphous silica grains in the meteorite. The estimated age reported by the (39)Ar/(40)Ar chronology indicates that the source basalt of this meteorite was impacted at 3,800 Ma ago, time of lunar cataclysm; i.e., the heavy bombardment in the lunar surface. Observation of coesite and stishovite formed in the lunar breccias suggests that high-pressure impact metamorphism and formation of high-pressure minerals are common phenomena in brecciated lunar surface altered by the heavy meteoritic bombardment. PMID:21187434

  12. Coesite and stishovite in a shocked lunar meteorite, Asuka-881757, and impact events in lunar surface

    PubMed Central

    Ohtani, E.; Ozawa, S.; Miyahara, M.; Ito, Y.; Mikouchi, T.; Kimura, M.; Arai, T.; Sato, K.; Hiraga, K.

    2011-01-01

    Microcrystals of coesite and stishovite were discovered as inclusions in amorphous silica grains in shocked melt pockets of a lunar meteorite Asuka-881757 by micro-Raman spectrometry, scanning electron microscopy, electron back-scatter diffraction, and transmission electron microscopy. These high-pressure polymorphs of SiO2 in amorphous silica indicate that the meteorite experienced an equilibrium shock-pressure of at least 8–30 GPa. Secondary quartz grains are also observed in separate amorphous silica grains in the meteorite. The estimated age reported by the 39Ar/40Ar chronology indicates that the source basalt of this meteorite was impacted at 3,800 Ma ago, time of lunar cataclysm; i.e., the heavy bombardment in the lunar surface. Observation of coesite and stishovite formed in the lunar breccias suggests that high-pressure impact metamorphism and formation of high-pressure minerals are common phenomena in brecciated lunar surface altered by the heavy meteoritic bombardment. PMID:21187434

  13. Experimental Simulation of Shock Reequilibration of Fluid Inclusions During Meteorite Impact

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Madden, M. E. Elwood; Hoerz, R. J.; Bodnar, R. J.

    2003-01-01

    Fluid inclusions are microscopic volumes of fluid trapped within minerals as they precipitate. Fluid inclusions are common in terrestrial minerals formed under a wide array of geological settings from surface evaporite deposits to kimberlite pipes. While fluid inclusions in terrestrial rocks are the rule rather than the exception, only few fluid inclusion-bearing meteorites have been documented. The rarity of fluid inclusions in meteoritic material may be explained in two ways. First, it may reflect the absence of fluids (water?) on meteorite parent bodies. Alternatively, fluids may have been present when the rock formed, but any fluid inclusions originally trapped on the parent body were destroyed by the extreme P-T conditions meteorites often experience during impact events. Distinguishing between these two possibilities can provide significant constraints on the likelihood of life on the parent body. Just as textures, structures, and compositions of mineral phases can be significantly altered by shock metamorphism upon hypervelocity impact, fluid inclusions contained within component minerals may be altered or destroyed due to the high pressures, temperatures, and strain rates associated with impact events. Reequilibration may occur when external pressure-temperature conditions differ significantly from internal fluid isochoric conditions, and result in changes in fluid inclusion properties and/or textures. Shock metamorphism and fluid inclusion reequilibration can affect both the impacted target material and the meteoritic projectile. By examining the effects of shock deformation on fluid inclusion properties and textures we may be able to better constrain the pressure-temperature path experienced by shocked materials and also gain a clearer understanding of why fluid inclusions are rarely found in meteoritic samples.

  14. Oblique impact: A process for providing meteorite samples of other planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

    Cratering flow calculations for a series of oblique to normal impacts of silicate projectiles onto a silicate halfspace were carried out to determine whether the gas produced upon shock vaporizing both projectile and planetary material could entrain and accelerate surface rocks and thus provide a mechanism for propelling SNC meteorites from the Martian surface. The difficult constraints that the impact origin hypothesis for SNC meteorites has to satisfy are that these meteorites are lightly to moderately shocked and yet were accelerated to speeds in excess of the Martian escape velocity. Two dimensional finite difference calculations demonstrate that at highly probable impact velocities, vapor plume jets are produced at oblique impact angles of 25 deg to 60 deg and have speeds as great as 20 km/sec. These plumes flow nearly parallel to the planetary surface. It is shown that upon impact of projectiles having radii of 0.1 to 1 km, the resulting vapor jets have densities of 0.1 to 1 g/cu.cm. These jets can entrain Martian surface rocks and accelerate them to velocities 5 km/sec. It is suggested that this mechanism launches SNC meteorites to Earth.

  15. The Geochronology of Terrestrial Meteorite and Cometary Impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelley, S. P.

    2003-12-01

    Geochronology has become a crucial part of the debate over the influx of extraterrestrial material and its long term importance to terrestrial life. Many of the known terrestrial craters have ages attached to them, but all too often the ages are imprecise and unfortunately some are inaccurate. Despite these problems the database of measured ages has been used to support hypotheses of clustering and periodicity in the impact record, and compare ages with those for mass extinctions in the fossil record. Over 170 craters have been identified on the Earth's surface, but the ages of less than half are known to better than 10 million years. The crucial question of peak eruption ages for large igneous provinces (LIPs) formed during the Palaeozoic, such as Deccan and the Siberian Traps, has been resolved using radiometric dating techniques such as Ar-Ar and U-Pb dating. The precision of measured ages for LIPs is better than 1% in most cases, but the precision and accuracy of ages determined for impact events is very variable. The ages of the largest 5 known terrestrial impact craters (>100 km diameter) have been established using radiometric dating techniques such as Ar-Ar and U-Pb and are known to precisions of better than 1%. However, the ages of many smaller craters, even some over 50 km in diameter, are less well constrained. It is the record of these smaller impacts which is littered with low precision ages, inaccurate ages and impacts whose age is constrained only by the age of the target rock and the youngest overlying sediments. Why is the record of smaller impacts so poorly constrained? The main reason is the scarcity of samples and post impact alteration. The largest impacts form significant quantities of melt and which remain liquid for sufficiently long to coalesce and form conventional igneous bodies. It is these bodies which have been dated using radiometric dating techniques, often U-Pb dating of zircon crystallized from the melt. Smaller impacts form little

  16. Evidence for a ˜ 200 100 ka meteorite impact in the Western Desert of Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osinski, Gordon R.; Schwarcz, Henry P.; Smith, Jennifer R.; Kleindienst, Maxine R.; Haldemann, Albert F. C.; Churcher, Charles S.

    2007-01-01

    In this study, we present evidence, in the form of unusual silicate glasses, for a meteorite impact event ˜ 200-100 ka in the Dakhleh Oasis, Western Desert, Egypt. These glasses, known locally as Dakhleh Glass, were derived from the shock melting of a series of unconsolidated sediments underlain by interbedded carbonates, sandstones and phosphate-rich lithologies. Hypervelocity impact in to a volatile-rich target resulted in the production of impact glasses with CaO and Al 2O 3 contents of up to ˜ 25 and 18 wt.%, respectively. Other notable properties include the presence of globules of immiscible calcite and pyrrhotite melt phases, shattered quartz grains, and fragments of silicified plant matter. Dating of geoarchaeological artefacts associated with the Dakhleh Glass support preliminary 40Ar/ 39Ar data, indicating a ˜ 200-100 ka age for the impact event. Geoarchaeological evidence indicates that archaic Homo sapiens and early modern humans continually inhabited this region of the Western Desert during this period. While it is unclear at present whether the Dakhleh Glass was formed during a cratering event or a large aerial burst, the effect on the environment and inhabitants of Dakhleh would have been catastrophic.

  17. Meteorite impact ejecta - Dependence of mass and energy lost on planetary escape velocity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1977-01-01

    The amounts of material and energy which escape a planet in a meteorite impact event is calculated as functions of impact and escape velocities. Results are obtained from the computed flow induced by the impact of iron and gabbroic anorthosite spheres onto a half-space of anorthosite at impact velocities of 5 to 45 km/sec. The impact-induced flows were determined by a numerical method using the mass, momentum, and energy conservation relations in finite-difference approximation, within an Eulerian computational grid. The impact velocities at which ejecta losses equal meteorite mass gains are found to be approximately 20, 35, and 45 km/sec for anorthosite objects and approximately 25, 35, and 40 km/sec for iron objects striking anorthosite surfaces for the gravity fields of the moon, Mercury and Mars.

  18. Large isotopic anomalies of Si, C, N and noble gases in interstellar silicon carbide from the Murray meteorite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zinner, E.; Ming, T.; Anders, E.

    1987-12-01

    Primitive meteorites contain several noble gas components with anomalous isotopic compositions which imply that they - and their solid 'carrier' phases - are of exotic, pre-solar origin. The authors found that minor fractions of the Murray meteorite contain two minerals not previously seen in meteorites: silicon carbide and an amorphous Si-O phase. They report ion microprobe analyses of these phases which reveal very large isotopic anomalies in silicon, nitrogen and carbon, exceeding the highest anomalies previously measured by factors of up to ≡50. It is concluded that these phases are circumstellar grains from carbon-rich stars, whose chemical inertness allowed them to survive in exceptionally well-preserved form.

  19. Mass Estinctions Caused by Large Bolide Impacts

    SciTech Connect

    Lavarez, Luis W.

    1987-01-01

    In this talk, I will describe the wealth of evidence that has forced my colleagues and me to conclude that the great mass extinctions, 65 million years ago, were caused by a large bolide impact on the earth. Bolide is a new word to most people, and it means any piece of solar system debris, such as a meteorite, asteroid, or comet nucleus. As I will show, the bolide responsible for the extinction of most of the then existing species, including the dinosaurs, was about 10 kilometers in diameter.

  20. Chondrule-like particles provide evidence of early Archean meteorite impacts, South Africa and western Australia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lowe, D. R.; Byerly, G. R.

    1985-01-01

    The evolution of the Earth and the Earth crust was studied. Two layers, that contain abundant unusual spherical particles which closely resemble chondroules were identified. Chondrules occur on small quantities in lunar soil, however, they are rare in terrestrial settings. Some chondrules in meteorites were formed on the surfaces of planet sized bodies during impact events. Similar chondrule like objects are extremely rare in the younger geologic record and these abundances are unknown in ancient deposits, except in meteorites. It is suggested that a part of the Earth's terminal bombardment history, and conditions favoring chondrule formation existed on the early Earth.

  1. Meteorite impact - A suggestion for the origin of some stream channels on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maxwell, T. A.; Otto, E. P.; Picard, M. D.; Wilson, R. C.

    1973-01-01

    The appearance of many streamlike features on Mars indicates the formation of channels through erosion by liquid water. We suggest that streams originating at meteorite crater boundaries are the result of impact which released subsurface water trapped below the Martian surface by a layer of permafrost. Features indicating surface erosion are the presence of alluvial plains at the downstream ends of channels, an increase in stream width with distance from the meteorite craters, and a direct correlation among several examples between crater diameter and stream length. Water released from the subsurface is preferred over rainfall as a mechanism for the origin of stream channels originating from craters on Mars.

  2. Simulated meteorite impacts and volcanic explosions: Ejecta analyses and planetary implications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gratz, A. J.; Nellis, W. J.

    1992-01-01

    Past cratering studies have focused primarily on crater morphology. However, important questions remain about the nature of crater deposits. Phenomena that need to be studied include the distribution of shock effects in crater deposits and crater walls; the origin of mono- and polymict breccia; differences between local and distal ejecta; deformation induced by explosive volcanism; and the production of unshocked, high-speed ejecta that could form the lunar and martian meteorites found on the Earth. To study these phenomena, one must characterize ejecta and crater wall materials from impacts produced under controlled conditions. New efforts at LLNL simulate impacts and volcanism and study resultant deformation. All experiments use the two-stage light-gas gun facility at LLNL to accelerate projectiles to velocities of 0.2 to 4.3 km/s, including shock pressures of 0.9 to 50 GPa. We use granite targets and novel experimental geometries to unravel cratering processes in crystalline rocks. We have thus far conducted three types of simulations: soft recovery of ejecta, 'frozen crater' experiments, and an 'artificial volcano. Our ejecta recovery experiments produced a useful separation of impactites. Material originally below the projectile remained trapped there, embedded in the soft metal of the flyer plate. In contrast, material directly adjacent to the projectile was jetted away from the impact, producing an ejecta cone that was trapped in the foam recovery fixture. We find that a significant component of crater ejecta shows no signs of strong shock; this material comes from the near-surface 'interference zone' surrounding the impact site. This phenomenon explains the existence of unshocked meteorites on the Earth of lunar and martian origin. Impact of a large bolide on neighboring planets will produce high-speed, weakly shocked ejecta, which may be trapped by the Earth's gravitational field. 'Frozen crater' experiments show that the interference zone is highly

  3. Were Ocean Impacts an Important Mechanism to Deliver Meteoritic Organic Matter to the Early Earth? Some Inferences from Eltanin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kyte, Frank T.; Gersonde, Rainer; Kuhn. Gerhard

    2002-01-01

    Several workers have addressed the potential for extraterrestrial delivery of volatles, including water and complex organic compounds, to the early Earth. For example, Chyba and Sagan (1992) argued that since impacts would destroy organic matter, most extraterrestrial organics must be delivered in the fine-fractions of interplanetary dust. More recent computer simulations (Pierazzo and Chyba, 1999), however, have shown that substantial amounts of amino acids may survive the impacts of large (km-sized) comets and that this may exceed the amounts derived from IDPs or Miller-Urey synthesis in the atmosphere. Once an ocean developed on the early Earth, impacts of small ,asteroids and comets into deep-ocean basins were potentially common and may have been the most likely events to deliver large amounts of organics. The deposits of the late Pliocene impact of the Eltanin asteroid into the Bellingshausen Sea provide the only record of a deep-ocean (approx. 5 km) impact that can be used to constrain models of these events. This impact was first discovered in 1981 as an Ir anomaly in sediment cores collected by the USNS Eltanin in 1965 (Kyte et al., 1981). In 1995, Polarstem expedition ANT XII/4 made the first geological survey of the suspected impact region. Three sediment cores sampled around the San Martin seamounts (approx. 57.5S, 91 W) contained well-preserved impact deposits that include disturbed ocean sediments and meteoritic impact ejecta (Gersonde et al., 1997). The latter is composed of shock- melted asteroidal materials and unmelted meteorites. In 2001, the FS Polarstem returned to the impact area during expedition ANT XVIII/5a. At least 16 cores were recovered that contain ejecta deposits. These cores and geophysical data from the expedition can be used to map the effects of the impact over a large region of the ocean floor.

  4. Meteorite - Impact Melt Mixing: PGE and Re-Os Evidence from the Morokweng Impact, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hart, R.; Andreoli, M.; Cloete, M.; McDonald, I.; Carlson, R. W.; Tredoux, M.

    2001-12-01

    Preserved within the 870m thick impact melt sheet of the 144 Ma Morokweng impact structure, South Africa (1,2) are small (mm-cm) inclusions that are interpreted to be remnants of the impactor. Inclusions are disseminated throughout the melt sheet and consist of ultramafic silicate clasts with segregations of Ni-rich sulfides and oxides. The silicate component in the inclusions displays remnant fabric and, where unaltered, has mineral compositions consistent with ordinary chondrites (3). The sulfide-oxide component of the inclusions is Ni-rich, has high PGE contents (Ir = 16.7 x chondrite) and fractionated PGE ratios compared to chondrites and to the bulk impact melt which reflects the signature of the ordinary chondrite impactor (4). Specifically, the oxides show depletion in Pd, while the sulfide is slightly enriched in Rh and Pt and strongly enriched in Pd relative to Ir and Ru. Significantly, Ru and Ir (the high temperature PGE's) are not fractionated from one another. Initial Os isotopic compositions of the inclusion sulfides and oxides (0.1335 - 0.1358) are slightly more radiogenic than found in the melt rock (0.1301 - 0.1324), but both are substantially less radiogenic than a sample of the basement granite (0.259). The 1/Os vs 187Os/188Os correlation displayed by the bulk melt rocks is consistent with the presence of 1-3 wt% chondritic impactor in the crustal melt. The more radiogenic Os found in the inclusion minerals indicates that the inclusions contain a larger crustal PGE component than the melt rock. Though Os concentration is well correlated with Os isotopic composition in the melt rock, Re concentration is not. Thus, simple binary mixing between crustal melt and meteorite cannot explain the Re-Os systematics. The Re-Os and PGE fractionation observed in inclusion minerals suggests that meteorite-impact melt mixing occurred first through chemical exchange between oxidized melt and reduced, metal or sulfur-rich, impactor. Lithophile elements (e.g. Fe

  5. Ionospheric effects during first 2 hours after the "Chelyabinsk" meteorite impact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berngardt, Oleg; Kurkin, Vladimir; Zherebtsov, Gelii; Grigorieva, Svetlana; Kusonski, Oleg

    In this paper, we analyzed the ionospheric effects within the 100-1500 km ranges from the Chelyabinsk meteorite explosion site from the ISTP SB RAS EKB radar data, and from the IG UB RAS PARUS ionosonde data. Both instruments are located at the Arti Observatory, approximately 200 km north of the supposed explosion location. The ionospheric disturbance caused by the meteorite flyby, explosion, and impact had high dynamics and amplitude. Essential effects, however, were observed at more than 100-200 km from the explosion site, and farther, up to 1500 km. Almost simultaneously with the explosion and for 3 minutes (03:20-03:23 UT), there was a motion away from the radar 400 km southwest of the latter (and approximately 200 km west of the explosion site) at the E-layer height with the characteristic velocities 200 m/s and high spectral width. A short delay of the detected effect at a significant distance from the explosion site also testifies to the hypothesis of a large short-living irregularity formations at the heights of the lower E-layer, with the transversal size of several hundreds of kilometers. The first disturbance in the F-layer was observed 15 minutes after the explosion, and it propagated away from the radar almost radially. The radial disturbances were observed up to about 80-100 minutes. The main disturbances in the F-layer were nearly radial waves with the center close to the explosion site. Analyzing the experimental data allowed us to determine the equivalent ionospheric velocities for individual travel mode. The work was done under financial support of RFBR grant #14-05-00514-a.

  6. Possible relationship between the Farmington meteorite and a seismically detected swarm of meteoroids impacting the moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oberst, Jurgen

    1989-01-01

    The Farmington ordinary L5 chondrite with its uniquely short cosmic-ray exposure age of less than 25,000 years may have been a member of a large meteoroid swarm which was detected by the Apollo seismic network when it encountered the moon in June 1975. The association implies that the parent body of the Farmington meteorite was in an earth-crossing orbit at the time the swarm was formed. This supports the idea that at least some meteorites are derived from the observable population of earth-crossing asteroids.

  7. Isotopic fractionation of germanium in iron meteorites: Significance for nebular condensation, core formation and impact processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luais, Béatrice

    2007-10-01

    The siderophile and volatile nature of germanium allow Ge isotopes to be used to investigate the early history of planetesimals, by tracing processes of core formation and impact through the study of magmatic and non-magmatic iron meteorites. Germanium isotopic compositions were measured using a hexapole-collision cell MC-ICPMS, with an external reproducibility of 0.06‰/amu. Iron meteorites display heavy Ge isotopic compositions ( δ74Ge = δ74Ge/ 70Ge = - 0.27 to + 1.92‰) with respect to a JMC Ge standard, which contrast with the light isotopic compositions of the studied terrestrial materials (Aldrich Ge standard: δ74Ge = - 1.68 - - 1.72 ± 0.22‰; sphalerite: δ74Ge = - 0.69‰). All the data fall on the theoretical mass fractionation line, indicating no isotopic anomalies. The samples from magmatic irons (IIA-IIB, IIIAB, IIC) have relatively homogeneous Ge isotopic compositions of δ74Ge = 1.77 ± 0.22‰ (2 σ) for a large range of Ge contents (36-189 ppm). In contrast, the samples of the non-magmatic groups (IAB, IIE) have lower and more variable Ge isotopic compositions, with δ74Ge = 1.15 ± 0.20‰ for IAB Group (Ge = 254-493 ppm), δ74Ge = - 0.27 to + 0.43‰ for IIE Old group (Ge = 63-69 ppm), and δ74Ge = + 1.40 ± 0.22‰ for the Watson sample (Ge = 50 ppm) from the IIE Young group. Except for IIE samples, no within-group correlation of δ74Ge with Ir or Ge contents is observed, demonstrating that fractional crystallization or crystal segregation do not fractionate Ge isotopes. The lack of inter-group correlation between the Ge isotopic composition of magmatic irons and Ni content, an indicator of redox processes, suggests that if Ge isotopes are fractionated by redox-induced diffusion during metal-silicate segregation, isotopic equilibration towards the initial composition must also occur during isotopic exchange at high temperature. Thus the average δ74Ge value of 1.77 ± 0.22‰ should be representative of their parent body precursors. The

  8. Laser-Ablation ICP-MS Analyses of Meteoritic Metal Grains in Lunar Impact-Melt Breccias

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Korotev, R. L.; Jolliff, B. L.; Campbell, A. J.; Humayun, M.

    2003-01-01

    Lunar impact-melt breccias contain metal grains from the meteorites that formed the breccias. Because the breccias contain clastic material that may derive from older breccias, metal grains from earlier impacts may be present, too. The large subset of moderately mafic (8 - 12% FeO), KREEP-rich ("LKFM") melt breccias is particularly important because: (1) these are the melt breccias most likely to have been produced in basin-forming impacts, (2) it is from these breccias that many of the approx. 3.9 Gyr ages that are so common in lunar samples derive, (3) the breccias contain large proportions of FeNi metal, more than 1% in some types of Apollo 16 breccias, and (4) the metal potentially provides information about the impactors causing the apparent cataclysm at 3.9 Gyr.

  9. The Agoudal (High Atlas Mountains, Morocco) shatter cone conundrum: A recent meteorite fall onto the remnant of an impact site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chennaoui Aoudjehane, Hasnaa; El Kerni, Houda; Reimold, Wolf Uwe; Baratoux, David; Koeberl, Christian; Bouley, Sylvain; Aoudjehane, Mohamed

    2016-08-01

    Associations between impact structures and meteorite occurrences are rare and restricted to very young structures. Meteorite fragments are often disrupted in the atmosphere, and in most cases, meteorite falls that have been decelerated by atmospheric drag do not form a crater. Furthermore, meteorites are rapidly weathered. In this context, the finding of shatter cones in Jurassic marly limestone in the same location as a recent (105 ± 40 ka) iron meteorite fall near the village of Agoudal (High Atlas Mountains, Morocco) is enigmatic. The shatter cones are the only piece of evidence of a meteorite impact in the area. The overlap of a meteorite strewn field with the area of occurrence of shatter cones led previous researchers to consider that the meteorite fall was responsible for the formation of shatter cones in the context of formation of one or several small (<100 m) impact craters that had since been eroded. Shatter cones are generally not reported in association with subkilometer-diameter impact craters. Here, we present new field observations and an analysis of the distribution and characteristics of shatter cones, breccia, and meteorites in the Agoudal area. Evidence for local deformation not related to the structural High Atlas tectonics has been observed, such as a vertical to overturned stratum trending N150-N160. New outcrops with exposures of shatter cones are reported and extend the previously known area of occurrence. The area of in situ shatter cones (~0.15 km2) and the strewn field of meteorites are distinct, although they show some overlap. The alleged impact breccia is revealed as calcrete formations. No evidence for a genetic relationship between the shatter cones and the meteorites can be inferred from field observations. The extent of the area where in situ shatter cones and macrodeformation not corresponding to Atlas tectonic deformation are observed suggest that the original diameter of an impact structure could have been between at least 1

  10. The Agoudal (High Atlas Mountains, Morocco) shatter cone conundrum: A recent meteorite fall onto the remnant of an impact site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chennaoui Aoudjehane, Hasnaa; El Kerni, Houda; Reimold, Wolf Uwe; Baratoux, David; Koeberl, Christian; Bouley, Sylvain; Aoudjehane, Mohamed

    2016-05-01

    Associations between impact structures and meteorite occurrences are rare and restricted to very young structures. Meteorite fragments are often disrupted in the atmosphere, and in most cases, meteorite falls that have been decelerated by atmospheric drag do not form a crater. Furthermore, meteorites are rapidly weathered. In this context, the finding of shatter cones in Jurassic marly limestone in the same location as a recent (105 ± 40 ka) iron meteorite fall near the village of Agoudal (High Atlas Mountains, Morocco) is enigmatic. The shatter cones are the only piece of evidence of a meteorite impact in the area. The overlap of a meteorite strewn field with the area of occurrence of shatter cones led previous researchers to consider that the meteorite fall was responsible for the formation of shatter cones in the context of formation of one or several small (<100 m) impact craters that had since been eroded. Shatter cones are generally not reported in association with subkilometer-diameter impact craters. Here, we present new field observations and an analysis of the distribution and characteristics of shatter cones, breccia, and meteorites in the Agoudal area. Evidence for local deformation not related to the structural High Atlas tectonics has been observed, such as a vertical to overturned stratum trending N150-N160. New outcrops with exposures of shatter cones are reported and extend the previously known area of occurrence. The area of in situ shatter cones (~0.15 km2) and the strewn field of meteorites are distinct, although they show some overlap. The alleged impact breccia is revealed as calcrete formations. No evidence for a genetic relationship between the shatter cones and the meteorites can be inferred from field observations. The extent of the area where in situ shatter cones and macrodeformation not corresponding to Atlas tectonic deformation are observed suggest that the original diameter of an impact structure could have been between at least 1

  11. Ar-40-Ar-39 Age of an Impact-Melt Lithology in Lunar Meteorite Dhofar 961

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohen, Barbara; Frasl, Barbara; Jolliff, Brad; Korotev, Randy; Zeigler, Ryan

    2016-01-01

    The Dhofar 961 lunar meteorite was found in 2003 in Oman. It is texturally paired with Dhofar 925 and Dhofar 960 (though Dhofar 961 is more mafic and richer in incompatible elements). Several lines of reasoning point to the South Pole-Aitken Basin (SPA) basin as a plausible source (Figure 2): Mafic character of the melt-breccia lithic clasts consistent the interior of SPA, rules out feldspathic highlands. Compositional differences from Apollo impact-melt groups point to a provenance that is separated and perhaps far distant from the Procellarum KREEP Terrane SPA "hot spots" where Th concentrations reach 5 ppm and it has a broad "background" of about 2 ppm, similar to lithic clasts in Dhofar 961 subsamples If true, impact-melt lithologies in this meteorite may be unaffected by the Imbrium-forming event that is pervasively found in our Apollo sample collection, and instead record the early impact history of the Moon.

  12. Age of Lunar Meteorite LAP02205 and Implications for Impact-Sampling of Planetary Surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nyquist, L. E.; Shih, C.-Y.; Reese, Y.; Bogard, D. D.

    2005-01-01

    We have measured the age of lunar meteorite LAP02205 by the Rb-Sr and Ar-Ar methods. Sm-Nd analyses are in progress. The Rb-Sr and Ar-Ar ages indicate a crystallization age of approx. 3 Ga. Comparing the ages of LAP02205 and other lunar mare basaltic meteorites to mare surface ages based on the density of impact craters shows no significant bias in impact- sampling of lunar mare surfaces. Comparing the isotopic and geochemical data for LAP02205 to those for other lunar mare basalts suggests that it is a younger variant of the type of volcanism that produced the Apollo 12 basalts. Representative impact-sampling of the lunar surface

  13. Accretion timescale and impact history of Mars deduced from the isotopic systematics of martian meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borg, Lars E.; Brennecka, Gregory A.; Symes, Steven J. K.

    2016-02-01

    High precision Sm-Nd isotopic analyses have been completed on a suite of 11 martian basaltic meteorites in order to better constrain the age of silicate differentiation on Mars associated with the formation of their mantle sources. These data are used to evaluate the merits and disadvantages of various mathematical approaches that have been employed in previous work on this topic. Ages determined from the Sm-Nd isotopic systematics of individual samples are strongly dependent on the assumed Nd isotopic composition of the bulk planet. This assumption is problematic given differences observed between the Nd isotopic composition of Earth and chondritic meteorites and the fact that these materials are both commonly used to represent bulk planetary Nd isotopic compositions. Ages determined from the slope of 146Sm-142Nd whole rock isochrons are not dependent on the assumed 142Nd/144Nd ratio of the planet, but require the sample suite to be derived from complementary, contemporaneously-formed reservoirs. In this work, we present a mathematical expression that defines the age of formation of the source regions of such a suite of samples that is based solely on the slope of a 143Nd-142Nd whole rock isochron and is also independent of any a priori assumptions regarding the bulk isotopic composition of the planet. This expression is also applicable to mineral isochrons and has been used to successfully calculate 143Nd-142Nd model crystallization ages of early refractory solids as well as lunar samples. This permits ages to be obtained using only Nd isotopic measurements without the need for 147Sm/144Nd isotope dilution determinations. When used in conjunction with high-precision Nd isotopic measurements completed on martian meteorites this expression yields an age of formation of the martian basaltic meteorite source regions of 4504 ± 6 Ma. Because the Sm-Nd model ages for the formation of martian source regions are commonly interpreted to record the age at which large scale

  14. Evidence for a Meteoritic Component in Impact Melt Rock from the Chicxulub Structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koeberl, Christian; Sharpton, Virgil L.; Schuraytz, Benjamin C.; Shirey, Steven B.; Blum, Joel D.; Marin, Luis E.

    1994-01-01

    The Chicxulub structure in Yucatan, Mexico, has recently been recognized as a greater then 200-km-diameter multi-ring impact crater of K-T boundary age. Crystalline impact melt rocks and breccias from within the crater, which have compositions similar to those of normal continental crustal rocks and which show shock metamorphic effects, have been studied for trace element and Re-Os isotope compositions. Re-Os isotope systematics allow the sensitive and selective determination of an extraterrestrial component in impact-derived rocks. A melt rock sample shows elevated iridium concentrations, an osmium concentration of 25 ppb, and a low Os-187/Os-188 ratio of 0.113, which are incompatible with derivation from the continental crust. Even though the Os-187/Os-188 ratio is slightly lower than the range so far measured in meteorites, a mantle origin seems unlikely for mass balance reasons and because the cratering event is unlikely to have excavated mantle material. The data support the hypothesis of a heterogeneously distributed meteoritic component in the Chicxulub melt rock. A sample of impact glass from the Haitian K-T boundary at Beloc yielded about 0.1 ppb osmium and an Os-187/0s-188 ratio of 0.251, indicating the presence of a small meteoritic component in the impact ejecta as well.

  15. The Rock Elm meteorite impact structure, Wisconsin: Geology and shock-metamorphic effects in quartz

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    French, B.M.; Cordua, W.S.; Plescia, J.B.

    2004-01-01

    The Rock Elm structure in southwest Wisconsin is an anomalous circular area of highly deformed rocks, ???6.5 km in diameter, located in a region of virtually horizontal undeformed sedimentary rocks. Shock-produced planar microstructures (PMs) have been identified in quartz grains in several lithologies associated with the structure: sandstones, quartzite pebbles, and breccia. Two distinct types of PMs are present: P1 features, which appear identical to planar fractures (PFs or cleavage), and P2 features, which are interpreted as possible incipient planar deformation features (PDFs). The latter are uniquely produced by the shock waves associated with meteorite impact events. Both types of PMs are oriented parallel to specific crystallographic planes in the quartz, most commonly to c(0001), ??112??2, and r/z101??1. The association of unusual, structurally deformed strata with distinct shock-produced microdeformation features in their quartz-bearing rocks establishes Rock Elm as a meteorite impact structure and supports the view that the presence of multiple parallel cleavages in quartz may be used independently as a criterion for meteorite impact. Preliminary paleontological studies indicate a minimum age of Middle Ordovician for the Rock Elm structure. A similar age estimate (450-400 Ma) is obtained independently by combining the results of studies of the general morphology of complex impact structures with estimated rates of sedimentation for the region. Such methods may be applicable to dating other old and deeply eroded impact structures formed in sedimentary target rocks.

  16. 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

  17. Sedimentary Record of Morasko Meteorite Impact in Lake Sediments from the Region of Poznań (Poland) — First Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pleskot, K.; Szczuciński, W.; Makohonienko, M.; Tjallingii, R.; Apolinarska, K.; Woszczyk, M.

    2015-09-01

    Our studies are focused on the influence of the Morasko meteorite impact on adjacent areas. Investigations are based on sedimentological archives of lakes located in the vicinity of the Morasko craters.

  18. Hematite formed from pyroxene on Mars by meteoritic impact

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, Richard V.; Bell, James F., III; Lauer, H. V., Jr.

    1994-01-01

    In earlier work, we showed using Mossbauer data that the mineralogy of iron-bearing phases in impact melt rocks from Manicouagan Crater (Quebec, Canada) is to a first approximation hematite and pyroxene. The visible and near-IR reflectivity data for these impact melt rocks show a continuous trend in band position from approximately 850 to approximately 1000 nm, which corresponds to the positions for the hematite and pyroxene endmembers, respectively. The oxidation is thought to occur shortly after the impact when oxidizing vapors and/or solutions reacted with the impact melt which was below its solidus temperature but still relatively hot. The reflectance data have important implications for Mars because band positions which occur between approximately 850 and 1000 nm bands observed for Mars can be attributed to hematite-pyroxene assemblages and not necessarily to different ferric mineralogy. Because oxidation of impact melt rocks at Manicouagan is thought to occur subsolidus, precursors for the hematite include oxides such as magnetite and ilmenite and silicates such as pyroxene and olivine. To determine if the Manicouagan impact-melt rocks are related to each other by simple thermal subsolidus oxidation, we calcined in air a relatively unoxidized Manicouagan impact-melt rock (MAN-74-608A). Previous work has shown that np-Hm (nanophase hematite) particles can be derived by calcination of iron-bearing silicates.

  19. Petrology and geochemistry of feldspathic impact-melt breccia Abar al' Uj 012, the first lunar meteorite from Saudi Arabia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MéSzáRos, Marianna; Hofmann, Beda A.; Lanari, Pierre; Korotev, Randy L.; Gnos, Edwin; Greber, Nicolas D.; Leya, Ingo; Greenwood, Richard C.; Jull, A. J. Timothy; Al-Wagdani, Khalid; Mahjoub, Ayman; Al-Solami, Abdulaziz A.; Habibullah, Siddiq N.

    2016-08-01

    Abar al' Uj (AaU) 012 is a clast-rich, vesicular impact-melt (IM) breccia, composed of lithic and mineral clasts set in a very fine-grained and well-crystallized matrix. It is a typical feldspathic lunar meteorite, most likely originating from the lunar farside. Bulk composition (31.0 wt% Al2O3, 3.85 wt% FeO) is close to the mean of feldspathic lunar meteorites and Apollo FAN-suite rocks. The low concentration of incompatible trace elements (0.39 ppm Th, 0.13 ppm U) reflects the absence of a significant KREEP component. Plagioclase is highly anorthitic with a mean of An96.9Ab3.0Or0.1. Bulk rock Mg# is 63 and molar FeO/MnO is 76. The terrestrial age of the meteorite is 33.4 ± 5.2 kyr. AaU 012 contains a ~1.4 × 1.5 mm2 exotic clast different from the lithic clast population which is dominated by clasts of anorthosite breccias. Bulk composition and presence of relatively large vesicles indicate that the clast was most probably formed by an impact into a precursor having nonmare igneous origin most likely related to the rare alkali-suite rocks. The IM clast is mainly composed of clinopyroxenes, contains a significant amount of cristobalite (9.0 vol%), and has a microcrystalline mesostasis. Although the clast shows similarities in texture and modal mineral abundances with some Apollo pigeonite basalts, it has lower FeO and higher SiO2 than any mare basalt. It also has higher FeO and lower Al2O3 than rocks from the FAN- or Mg-suite. Its lower Mg# (59) compared to Mg-suite rocks also excludes a relationship with these types of lunar material.

  20. Maskelynite in asteroidal, lunar and planetary basaltic meteorites: An indicator of shock pressure during impact ejection from their parent bodies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubin, Alan E.

    2015-09-01

    Maskelynite is a diaplectic glass that forms from plagioclase at shock pressures of ∼20-30 GPa, depending on the Ca concentration. The proportion of maskelynite-rich samples in a basaltic meteorite group correlates with the parent-body escape velocity and serves as a shock indicator of launching conditions. For eucrites (basalts widely presumed to be from Vesta; vesc = 0.36 km s-1), ∼5% of the samples are maskelynite rich. For the Moon (vesc = 2.38 km s-1), ∼30% of basaltic meteorites are maskelynite rich. For Mars (vesc = 5.03 km s-1), ∼93% of basaltic meteorites are maskelynite rich. In contrast, literature data show that maskelynite is rare (∼1%) among mare basalts and basaltic fragments in Apollo 11, 12, 15 and 17 soils (which were never ejected from the Moon). Angrites are unbrecciated basaltic meteorites that are maskelynite free; they were ejected at low-to-moderate shock pressures from an asteroid smaller than Vesta. Because most impacts that eject materials from a large (⩾100 km) parent body are barely energetic enough to do that, a collision that has little more than the threshold energy required to eject a sample from Vesta will not be able to eject identical samples from the Moon or Mars. There must have been relatively few impacts, if any, that launched eucrites off their parent body that also imparted shock pressures of ∼20-30 GPa in the ejected rocks. More-energetic impacts were required to launch basalts off the Moon and Mars. On average, Vesta ejecta were subjected to lower shock pressures than lunar ejecta, and lunar ejecta were subjected to lower shock pressures than martian ejecta. H and LL ordinary chondrites have low percentages of shock-stage S5 maskelynite-bearing samples (∼1% and ∼4%, respectively), probably reflecting shock processes experienced by these rocks on their parent asteroids. In contrast, L chondrites have a relatively high proportion of samples containing maskelynite (∼11%), most likely a result of

  1. Meteorite Impact at the Bedout High, NW Australian Margin, and Seismic Velocities: is There a Connection?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goncharov, A.; Kennard, J.; Becker, L.

    2004-12-01

    The Bedout High in the Roebuck Basin at the NW Australian Margin (NWAM) appears to be a good candidate for a massive impact structure associated with the global Permian/Triassic extinction event. On a regional and crustal scale, the NWAM is one of the best studied offshore areas of Australia: ocean-bottom seismograph (OBS) survey supplemented by deep reflection seismic studies in the region has enabled co-interpretation of conventional deep seismic reflection data and accurate seismic velocity models on several transects, including one across the Bedout High. The purpose of this research is to investigate if there is any manifestation of the meteorite impact on a crustal scale, and also on a finer scale of seismic velocity variation in the basement. The impact of the suggested magnitude may have significantly modified the crustal structure in the region. Depth conversion of reflection seismic data indicates that depth to basement at the top of the Bedout High is approximately 3.9 km, and that the High stands more than 4 km above the surrounding sedimentary basins. The basement and crust in the Roebuck Basin have a number of features that distinguish it from other basins at the NWAM. Rapid crustal thinning outboard of the Bedout High and the presence of a thick layer of magmatic underplating in the lower crust are among these features. The meteorite impact may have been one of the possible causes to have triggered upper mantle melting and generation of a voluminous layer of underplated material. On a finer scale, OBS-derived seismic velocity variation along the basement is speculatively interpreted to be consistent with impact-related effects. However, existing seismic and potential field data do not allow accurate estimates of the extent of the crust affected by the meteorite impact, and effects that it may have had on the subsequent rifting, thermal, sedimentation and hydrocarbon maturation regimes in the area. Further multidisciplinary research is necessary to

  2. Meteorite Impacts and Planetary Habitability: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osinski, G. R.

    2012-12-01

    It is now widely accepted that meteorite impacts negatively affect life on a planet, as evidenced by the deleterious effects associated with the formation of the Chicxulub impact structure, Mexico, 65 Myr. ago and its link to the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction event. This impact event had a profound affect on the evolution of life on Earth by ending the age of the dinosaurs and paving the way for mammals to ascend to dominance. In terms of the origin of life, despite the controversy over when exactly life appeared on Earth, it is likely that it did so during one of the harshest, most inhospitable times in Earth history: the Late Heavy Bombardment Period ~4.0-3.8 Ga. During this time, asteroid and comet impacts were ~10-20 times as frequent as they are at the present day. This may seem counterintuitive until one considers that these cataclysmic, initially destructive impact events may also have had beneficial effects with respect to life. This contribution will present a synthesis of information concerning the role that meteorite impacts may have played in the origin and evolution of life on Earth and, by analogy, with other planetary bodies throughout the Universe. It will hopefully be demonstrated that impact events do not just frustrate life, but that impact craters, once formed, may represent protected niches where life can survive and evolve and, potentially, where life may have originated. It is proposed that the geological, biological, and environmental changes known to be caused by an impact allow for the formulation of key cross-cutting hypotheses concerning the potential deleterious and beneficial effects of meteorite impact events. Most notably, it is proposed that impact events produce new, unique habitats for life and, therefore, can have an overall positive effect on planetary habitability. Habitats include: 1) impact-generated hydrothermal systems, which could provide habitats for thermophilic and hyperthermophilic microorganisms, 2) impact

  3. Chiral changes of simple amino acids in early Earth's ocean by meteorite impacts: Experimental simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takase, A.; Sekine, T.; Furukawa, Y.; Kakegawa, T.

    2012-12-01

    It has been recognized that meteorite impacts on early Earth ocean may have contributed significantly for molecules related to the origin of life to originate and evolve. We have already established the formation of simple biomolecules from inorganic materials through oceanic impacts that may have occurred at late heavy bombardment. These simple molecules including amino acids need to be subjected to further developments to initiate life on the Earth. The chirality of terrestrial amino acids constructing proteins is only L-type. In order to make clear the the point that biomolecules are formed by oceanic impacts of meteorites, it wll be crucial to determine how they select the chirality. In order to investigate the basic chemistry on chirality of simple amino acids, we tried to simulate experimentally the chiral change of some amino acids present in ocean at that time under shock loading. Each aqueous solution (0.1 M) of L- and D-valine was prepared and used as mixtures of olivine powders and solutions in sealed steel containers. We performed shock recovery experiments at an impact condition where samples were compressed at ~5 GPa. The analytical results of shock recovered solutions indicate that valine survives significantly (~10%) and that L- and D-valines transform partially to D- and L-valine, respectively. The transformation rate varied with the chemical species present in solutions. These results imply that meteorite impacts as well as the surrounding conditions play important roles to control the chirality of simple amino acids that may have been formed at that time.

  4. The convincing identification of terrestrial meteorite impact structures: What works, what doesn't, and why

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    French, Bevan M.; Koeberl, Christian

    2010-01-01

    In the geological sciences it has only recently been recognized how important the process of impact cratering is on a planetary scale, where it is commonly the most important surface-modifying process. On the Moon and other planetary bodies that lack an appreciable atmosphere, meteorite impact craters are well preserved, and they can commonly be recognized from morphological characteristics, but on Earth complications arise as a consequence of the weathering, obliteration, deformation, or burial of impact craters and the projectiles that formed them. These problems made it necessary to develop diagnostic criteria for the identification and confirmation of impact structures on Earth. Diagnostic evidence for impact events is often present in the target rocks that were affected by the impact. The conditions of impact produce an unusual group of melted, shocked, and brecciated rocks, some of which fill the resulting crater, and others which are transported, in some cases to considerable distances from the source crater. Only the presence of diagnostic shock-metamorphic effects and, in some cases, the discovery of meteorites, or traces thereof, is generally accepted as unambiguous evidence for an impact origin. Shock deformation can be expressed in macroscopic form (shatter cones) or in microscopic forms (e.g., distinctive planar deformation features [PDFs] in quartz). In nature, shock-metamorphic effects are uniquely characteristic of shock levels associated with hypervelocity impact. The same two criteria (shock-metamorphic effects or traces of the impacting meteorite) apply to distal impact ejecta layers, and their presence confirms that materials found in such layers originated in an impact event at a possibly still unknown location. As of 2009 about 175 impact structures have been identified on Earth based on these criteria. A wide variety of shock-metamorphic effects has been identified, with the best diagnostic indicators for shock metamorphism being features

  5. Early Thermal Evolution of Planetesimals and Its Impact on Processing and Dating of Meteoritic Material

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gail, H.-P.; Trieloff, M.; Breuer, D.; Spohn, T.

    Radioisotopic ages for meteorites and their components provide constraints on the evolution of small bodies: timescales of accretion, thermal and aqueous metamorphism, differentiation, cooling, and impact metamorphism. Realizing that the decay heat of short-lived nuclides (e.g., 26Al, 60Fe) was the main heat source driving differentiation and metamorphism, thermal modeling of small bodies is of the utmost importance to set individual meteorite age data into the general context of the thermal evolution of their parent bodies, and to derive general conclusions about the nature of planetary building blocks in the early solar system. As a general result, modeling easily explains that iron meteorites are older than chondrites, as early formed planetesimals experienced a higher concentration of short-lived nuclides and more severe heating. However, core formation processes may also extend to 10 million years (m.y.) after the formation of calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs). A general effect of the porous nature of the starting material is that relatively small bodies (less than a few kilometers) will also differentiate if they form within 2 m.y. after CAIs. A particular interesting feature to be explored is the possibility that some chondrites may derive from the outer undifferentiated layers of asteroids that are differentiated in their interiors. This could explain the presence of remnant magnetization in some chondrites due to a planetary magnetic field.

  6. Impact melting of the largest known enstatite meteorite: Al Haggounia 001, a fossil EL chondrite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubin, Alan E.

    2016-09-01

    Al Haggounia 001 and paired specimens (including Northwest Africa [NWA] 2828 and 7401) are part of a vesicular, incompletely melted, EL chondrite impact melt rock with a mass of ~3 metric tons. The meteorite exhibits numerous shock effects including (1) development of undulose to weak mosaic extinction in low-Ca pyroxene; (2) dispersion of metal-sulfide blebs within silicates causing "darkening"; (3) incomplete impact melting wherein some relict chondrules survived; (4) vaporization of troilite, resulting in S2 bubbles that infused the melt; (5) formation of immiscible silicate and metal-sulfide melts; (6) shock-induced transportation of the metal-sulfide melt to distances >10 cm (7) partial resorption of relict chondrules and coarse silicate grains by the surrounding silicate melt; (8) crystallization of enstatite in the matrix and as overgrowths on relict silicate grains and relict chondrules; (9) crystallization of plagioclase from the melt; and (10) quenching of the vesicular silicate melt. The vesicular samples lost almost all of their metal during the shock event and were less susceptible to terrestrial weathering; in contrast, the samples in which the metal melt accumulated became severely weathered. Literature data indicate the meteorite fell ~23,000 yr ago; numerous secondary phases formed during weathering. Both impact melting and weathering altered the meteorite's bulk chemical composition: e.g., impact melting and loss of a metal-sulfide melt from NWA 2828 is responsible for bulk depletions in common siderophile elements and in Mn (from alabandite); weathering of oldhamite caused depletions in many rare earth elements; the growth of secondary phases caused enrichments in alkalis, Ga, As, Se, and Au.

  7. Impact melting of the largest known enstatite meteorite: Al Haggounia 001, a fossil EL chondrite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubin, Alan E.

    2016-07-01

    Al Haggounia 001 and paired specimens (including Northwest Africa [NWA] 2828 and 7401) are part of a vesicular, incompletely melted, EL chondrite impact melt rock with a mass of ~3 metric tons. The meteorite exhibits numerous shock effects including (1) development of undulose to weak mosaic extinction in low-Ca pyroxene; (2) dispersion of metal-sulfide blebs within silicates causing "darkening"; (3) incomplete impact melting wherein some relict chondrules survived; (4) vaporization of troilite, resulting in S2 bubbles that infused the melt; (5) formation of immiscible silicate and metal-sulfide melts; (6) shock-induced transportation of the metal-sulfide melt to distances >10 cm (7) partial resorption of relict chondrules and coarse silicate grains by the surrounding silicate melt; (8) crystallization of enstatite in the matrix and as overgrowths on relict silicate grains and relict chondrules; (9) crystallization of plagioclase from the melt; and (10) quenching of the vesicular silicate melt. The vesicular samples lost almost all of their metal during the shock event and were less susceptible to terrestrial weathering; in contrast, the samples in which the metal melt accumulated became severely weathered. Literature data indicate the meteorite fell ~23,000 yr ago; numerous secondary phases formed during weathering. Both impact melting and weathering altered the meteorite's bulk chemical composition: e.g., impact melting and loss of a metal-sulfide melt from NWA 2828 is responsible for bulk depletions in common siderophile elements and in Mn (from alabandite); weathering of oldhamite caused depletions in many rare earth elements; the growth of secondary phases caused enrichments in alkalis, Ga, As, Se, and Au.

  8. Impact ejection, spallation, and the origin of meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Melosh, H. J.

    1984-01-01

    A model for the ejection of material from an impact crater which links ejection velocity, fragment size, and shock pressure through a simplified stress-wave propagation and reflection scheme is presented. It is shown that a small amount of material (0.01 to 0.05 projectile mass) may be ejected at high velocity without suffering petrologically detectable shock pressures. The largest fragments ejected at any velocity are spalls that originate from the target planet's surface. The spall size is proportional to the radius of the primary impactor and the target tensile strength and inversely proportional to ejection velocity. The shock level in the spalls is low, typically half of the dynamic crushing strength of the rock. The model also predicts the aspect ratio of the spalled fragments, the angle of ejection, and the sizes and shock level of other fragments originating deeper in the target. Comparison with observational and experimental data shows generally good agreement.

  9. Chemical and mineralogical size segregation in the impact disruption of anhydrous stone meteorites

    SciTech Connect

    Flynn, G.J.; Durda, D.D.

    2005-02-02

    We performed impact disruption experiments on pieces from eight different anhydrous chondritic meteorites - four weathered ordinary chondrite finds from North Africa (NWA791, NWA620, NWA869 and MOR001), three almost unweathered ordinary chondrite falls (Mbale, Gao, and Saratov), and an almost unweathered carbonaceous chondrite fall (Allende). In each case the impactor was a small (1/8 or 1/4 in) aluminum sphere fired at the meteorite target at {approx} 5 km/s, comparable to the mean collision speed in the main-belt. Some of the {approx}5 to {approx} 150 {micro}m debris from each disruption was collected in aerogel capture cells, and the captured particles were analyzed by in situ synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence. For each meteorite, many of the smallest particles (< 10 {micro}m up to 35 {micro}m in size, depending on the meteorite) exhibit very high Ni/Fe ratios compared to the Ni/Fe ratios measured in the larger particles (> 45 {micro}m), a composition consistent with the smallest debris being dominated by matrix material while the larger debris is dominated by fragments from olivine chondrules. These results may explain why the {approx} 10 {micro}m interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) collected from the Earth's stratosphere are C-rich and volatile-rich compared to the presumed solar nebula composition. The {approx} 10 {micro}m IDPs may simply sample the matrix of an inhomogeneous parent body, structurally and mineralogically similar to the chondritic meteorites, which are inhomogeneous assemblages of compact, strong, C- and volatile-poor chondrules that are distributed in a more porous, C- and volatile-rich matrix. In addition, these results may explain why the micrometeorites, which are {approx} 50 {micro}m to millimeters in size, recovered from the polar ices are Ni- and S-poor compared to chondritic meteorites, since these polar micrometeorites may preferentially sample fragments from the Ni- and S-poor olivine chondrules. These results indicate that the

  10. Fossil Meteorite Unearthed From Crater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martel, L. M. V.

    2006-06-01

    A team of scientists lead by Wolf Maier (University of Quebec, Canada and University of Pretoria, South Africa and soon at University of Western Australia, Perth) and Marco Andreoli (University of the Witwatersrand and South African Nuclear Energy Corp.) and colleagues who also hail from Canada, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States, have announced the discovery of a 25-centimeter-wide chondritic meteorite unearthed from the 145-million-year-old Morokweng impact crater in South Africa. Found within the crater's impact melt sheet about 770 meters (half a mile) down a drilling borehole, the hefty meteorite's existence would seem improbable given its low chance of surviving the high shock pressures and temperatures normally associated with large impact events. Its unusual composition could mean it is a sample from a previously unknown part of the LL chondrite parent body or maybe it is from an entirely different asteroid population than other known meteorites.

  11. The 1993 Zimbabwe impact crater and meteorite expedition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reimold, W. U.; Master, S.; Koeberl, C.; Robertson, D.

    1994-07-01

    In September 1993 our expedition visited four strucutres in Zimbabwe that had been selected because of circular outlines or because of unusual aeromagnetic anomalies. The first one, the 1.1-km-diameter Thuli structure was identified as a well-preserved volcanic caldera formed by a series of basaltic, gabbroic, and dioritic instrusions. Preliminary results of magnetic traverses are consistent with the model of a volcanic pipe. The 600- and 800-m-wide Save craters near the Mozambican border closely resemble young, well-preserved impact craters such as the Pretoria Saltpan crater in South Africa. However, detailed geological traverses revealed only volcanic rocks intruded into sandstone forming the sharp rim crests. The Mucheka region is the site of the most prominent aeromagnetic anomaly in Zimbabwe. In the absence of any exposures other than Archean basement, the cause of this anomaly is still unknown. None of the basement rock specimens obtained yielded any evidence for shock metamorphism. In 1985 German geologists reportedly noted a circular structure in the Highbury area on Landsat images. An approximately 25-km-wide circular structure is visible on a SPOT satellite image as well. The regional geological map revealed the presence of a slight elevation near the center of this otherwise flat area. The flat floor of this structure is formed by fertile soils overlying locally exposed Deweras arkose and metadolomites, in turn surrounded by hills of Lomagundi sandstones and slates. Near the geographical center a small hill of sandstone and quartzite was indeed detected. Reconnaissance sampling in 'rim' and 'central uplift' provided several specimens with significant numbers of quartz grains with single or multiple sets of planar deformation features (PDFs). A strongly hematized sample from the 'central uplift' contains shocked quartz and relics of glass.

  12. Confirmation of a meteoritic component in impact-melt rocks of the Chesapeake Bay impact structure, Virginia, USA - Evidence from osmium isotopic and PGE systematics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, S.R.; Horton, J.W., Jr.; Walker, R.J.

    2006-01-01

    The osmium isotope ratios and platinum-group element (PGE) concentrations of impact-melt rocks in the Chesapeake Bay impact structure were determined. The impact-melt rocks come from the cored part of a lower-crater section of suevitic crystalline-clast breccia in an 823 m scientific test hole over the central uplift at Cape Charles, Virginia. The 187Os/188Os ratios of impact-melt rocks range from 0.151 to 0.518. The rhenium and platinum-group element (PGE) concentrations of these rocks are 30-270?? higher than concentrations in basement gneiss, and together with the osmium isotopes indicate a substantial meteoritic component in some impact-melt rocks. Because the PGE abundances in the impact-melt rocks are dominated by the target materials, interelemental ratios of the impact-melt rocks are highly variable and nonchondritic. The chemical nature of the projectile for the Chesapeake Bay impact structure cannot be constrained at this time. Model mixing calculations between chondritic and crustal components suggest that most impact-melt rocks include a bulk meteoritic component of 0.01-0.1% by mass. Several impact-melt rocks with lowest initial 187Os/188Os ratios and the highest osmium concentrations could have been produced by additions of 0.1%-0.2% of a meteoritic component. In these samples, as much as 70% of the total Os may be of meteoritic origin. At the calculated proportions of a meteoritic component (0.01-0.1% by mass), no mixtures of the investigated target rocks and sediments can reproduce the observed PGE abundances of the impact-melt rocks, suggesting that other PGE enrichment processes operated along with the meteoritic contamination. Possible explanations are 1) participation of unsampled target materials with high PGE abundances in the impact-melt rocks, and 2) variable fractionations of PGE during syn- to post-impact events. ?? The Meteoritical Society, 2006.

  13. Origin of the Sudbury Complex by meteoritic impact: Neodymium isotopic evidence

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Faggart, B.E., Jr.; Basu, A.R.; Tatsumoto, M.

    1985-01-01

    Samarium-neodymium isotopic data on whole rocks and minerals of the Sudbury Complex in Canada gave an igneous crystallization age of 1840 ?? 21 ?? 106 years. The initial epsilon neodymium values for 15 whole rocks are similar to those for average upper continental crust, falling on the crustal trend of neodymium isotopic evolution as defined by shales. The rare earth element concentration patterns of Sudbury rocks are also similar to upper crustal averages. These data suggest that the Sudbury Complex formed from melts generated in the upper crust and are consistent with a meteoritic impact.

  14. Early impact event and fluid activity on H chondrite parent body registered in the Pułtusk meteorite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krzesinska, Agata

    2015-04-01

    Impact is one of the most important processes affecting asteroids, but it is neglected as a source for heat of these bodies. Recent modeling work show, however, that impact into warm planetesimals is able to cause global-scale temperature increase to the point of melting of silicates [1]. An obvious consequence of this fact is that the impact activity in early evolution of asteroids may promote formation of melt and its differentiation. H chondrites provide some lines of evidence for an early, 4.4 Ga impact event on their parent body. The event resulted in formation of heavily shocked and melted H chondrites with old gas retention ages [2, 3], including Portales Valley, an unique metal-rich breccia [e.g. 4]. The impact led also, very likely, to unmixing of silicate and metal-sulfide melts and to formation of silicate-iron non-magmatic IIE meteorites [5]. Additional evidence for this event, and for melting it caused, may come from highly equilibrated and recrystallized fragments of the Pułtusk meteorite containing vein-like metal accumulations [6]. In the Pułtusk, vein-like metal accumulations are kamacite-rich, and basically depleted in sulfides. They form many tendrils into the equilibrated, well recrystallized chondritic rock. Marked feature of the chondritic rock at the contact with accumulations is presence of unusually large phosphate and feldspar grains. The minerals bear record of crystallization from melt. Both vein-like metal accumulations and chondritic rock record, however, slow cooling rate. Phopshates are in the meteorite represented by merrillite and apatite, predominantly intergrown with each other. Merrillite poikilitically encloses silicate grains. It is probably of magmatic origin, since it contains detectable amount of potassium and high content of sodium. Apatite contains varying concentrations of chlorine, fluorine and missing structural component. Content of Cl and F are negatively correlated and both elements are heterogeneously distributed

  15. Laboratory Study of Titan's Surface Chemistry Induced by Meteoritic Impact Processing: Laser-Simulated Hypervelocity Impact on Ices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nna-Mvondo, D.; Khare, B. N.; McKay, C. P.

    2008-12-01

    Titan's dense atmosphere, mostly composed of nitrogen and some methane, allows easy formation of long chains of organic molecules and high-molecular-weight organic solids, known as tholins. Over geologic time, both tholins and condensates of the organic gases accumulate in substantial amounts on the surface as liquid and solid. Titan's surface is then a repository of interesting organic molecules generated in the almost complete absence of water but sitting on top of ice. Until recently, researchers have been very careful in their speculations about what might be happening after these molecules get to the surface of Titan. What kind of organic chemistry occurs on the surface? Titan's thick atmosphere protects the surface and organics from harmful cosmic rays and ultraviolet radiation. It has been suggested that these organics could have been subjected to impact processing on Titan's and participate in the formation of products relevant to life such as amino acids, carboxylic acids, purines and pyrimidines. Subsequent impacts would probably have recycled some of the organic material back into the atmosphere. Furthermore the presence of condensable agents (C2N2, HCN, etc.) along with a natural concentrating mechanism makes polymerization of amino acids or others species likely. Laboratory simulations of meteoritic impact shocks onto Titan's icy surface have not yet been carried out, but preliminary experiments have been performed for planetary icy satellites. In these previous experiments, the possible chemical production induced by micrometeorite impact shocks on ices has been studied using a high-energy pulsed Nd-YAG laser to reproduce the shock phenomena during hypervelocity micrometeorite impacts into the icy material. The results show the production of various organics and inorganics. Here we have decided to extend those experiments to a simulated Titan's environment in order to study the effect of meteoritic impacts on the organic chemistry occurring on Titan

  16. Late Quaternary seismo-stratigraphy of Lake Wanapitei, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada: Arguments for a possible meteorite impact origin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazorek, Michael; Eyles, Nick; Eyles, Carolyn; Doughty, Mike; L'Heureux, Elizabeth; Milkereit, Berndt

    2006-12-01

    Lake Wanapitei (132.75 km2) fills what has been identified as an Eocene (c. 37 Ma) meteorite impact basin in the Canadian Shield near Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. The area was glaciated many times during the Pleistocene and the basin lies immediately north of the prominent Cartier Moraine built during the last glaciation by the retreating Laurentide Ice Sheet some 11,000 years ago. Study of the deeper geophysics of the basin using magnetic and gravity techniques, and confirmation of its origin, is hampered by lack of data regarding water depths, the form of the bedrock surface and the thickness and character of glacial and postglacial sediment. To this end, more than 300 km of high-resolution single channel seismic chirp and 200 kHz bathymetric data were collected from the basin in the summer of 2002. Water depths reach a maximum of 118 m and acoustic basement is defined by a glacially scoured bedrock surface. The overlying Pleistocene sediment fill exceeds 35 m in thickness and consists of a lowermost late-glacial succession of rhythmically laminated silty clays deposited when the basin was flooded by a deep and regionally extensive ice dammed water body (Glacial Lake Algonquin). Truncation of the upper surface of this succession across large parts of the lake floor records the drainage of Lake Algonquin and the isolation of Wanapitei Lake as a separate water body. Overlying Holocene sediment is up to 10 m thick but is markedly discontinuous and commonly occurs as mounded ‘drifts’ reflecting strong bottom currents and low inputs of modern sediment. The presence of apparently undisturbed Precambrian bedrock below large portions of the lake basin places significant constraints on the dimensions of any meteorite impact structure.

  17. A Review of Lunar Meteorite Impact-Melt Clast Compositions and Ages

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohen, Barbara A.

    2008-01-01

    One of the important outstanding goals of lunar science is understanding the bombardment history of the Moon and calibrating the impact flux curve for extrapolation to the Earth and other terrestrial planets. Obtaining a sample from a carefully-characterized interior melt sheet or ring massif is a reliable way to tell a single crater's age. A different but complementary approach is to use extensive laboratory characterization (microscopic, geochemical, isotopic) of float samples to understand the integrated impact history of a region. Both approaches have their merits and limitations. In essence, the latter is the approach we have used to understand the impact history of the Feldspathic Highland Terrain (FHT) as told by lunar feldspathic meteorites.

  18. Meteorite impact ejecta: dependence of mass and energy lost on planetary escape velocity.

    PubMed

    O'keefe, J D; Ahrens, T J

    1977-12-23

    The calculated energy efficiency of mass ejection for iron and anorthosite objects striking an anorthosite planet at speeds of 5 to 45 kilometers per second decreases with increasing impact velocity at low escape velocities. At escape velocities of >10(5) and >2 x 10(4) centimeters per second, respectively, the slower impactors produce relatively less ejecta for a given impact energy. The impact velocities at which ejecta losses equal meteorite mass gains are found to be approximately 20, 35, and 45 kilometers per second for anorthosite objects and approximately 25, 35, and 40 kilometers per second for iron objects striking anorthosite surfaces for the gravity fields of the moon, Mercury, and Mars. PMID:17741703

  19. Systematic chemical variations in large 3AB iron meteorites: Clues to core crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haack, H.; Scott, E. R. D.; Rubio, G. S.; Gutierrez, D. F.; Lewis, C. F.; Wasson, J. T.; Brooks, R. R.; Guo, X.; Ryan, D. E.; Holzbecher, J.

    1993-01-01

    Analysis of numerous individual iron meteorites have shown that fractional crystallization of iron cores result in variations in chemical concentration of the solid core which span several orders of magnitude. The magnitude and direction of the resulting spatial gradients in the core can provide clues to the physical nature of the core crystallization process. We have analyzed suites of samples from three large 3AB irons (Cape York, 58t; Chupaderos, 24t; Morito, 10t) in order to estimate local chemical gradients. Initial results for the concentrations of Ge, Pd, Pt (Massey group), Ir, Au, As, Co, Os, and Rh (Dalhouse group), and P (Arizona group) show significant ranges among the Cape York and Chupaderos samples and marginally significant ranges among the Morito samples. Measurements of Au, Ir, Co, Ni, Cu, Ga, As, W, Re (from UCLA) and Ni and Co (Arizona group) are in progress. We find a spatial Ir gradient in Chupaderos with a magnitude similar to the one reported for Agpalilik (Cape York iron) by Esbensen et al.

  20. First finding of impact melt in the IIE Netschaëvo meteorite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roosbroek, N.; Pittarello, L.; Greshake, A.; Debaille, V.; Claeys, P.

    2016-02-01

    About half of the IIE nonmagmatic iron meteorites contain silicate inclusions with a primitive to differentiated nature. The presence of preserved chondrules has been reported for two IIE meteorites so far, Netschaëvo and Mont Dieu, which represent the most primitive silicate material within this group. In this study, silicate inclusions from two samples of Netschaëvo were examined. Both silicate inclusions are characterized by a porphyritic texture dominated by clusters of coarse-grained olivine and pyroxene, set in a fine-grained groundmass that consists of new crystals of olivine and a glassy appearing matrix. This texture does not correspond to the description of the previously examined pieces of Netschaëvo, which consist of primitive chondrule-bearing angular clasts. Detailed petrographic observations and geochemical analyses suggest that the investigated samples of Netschaëvo consist of quenched impact melt. This implies that Netschaëvo is a breccia containing metamorphosed and impact-melt rock (IMR) clasts and that collisions played a major role in the formation of the IIE group.

  1. Investigations of the effects of impact shock, water and oxidation on SNC (Martian) meteorites, magma petrogenesis and spectral properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minitti, Michelle Elaine

    The research contained in this thesis utilizes data from planetary missions and from the SNC (Shergotty-Nakhla- Chassigny) meteorites to answer questions about igneous processes on Mars. Two broad themes encompass the chapters: (1) investigation of the amount and role of water in Martian magmas; and (2) exploration of connections between chemical and mineralogical data from planetary missions and the SNC meteorites. The potential amount of water was investigated indirectly by studying the effects of impact shock on water loss and H isotope fractionation in hornblende. Combined results from petrography, water extraction and mass spectrometry analyses of unshocked and shocked hornblende suggest that impact shock potentially leads to losses of ˜1 wt% H2O and H isotopic fractionations of DeltaD ≈ +100‰. This finding implies that impact shock was an important factor in establishing the low water contents and H isotopic character of the SNC kaersutites. The role of water was investigated more directly by studying the effect of water on the crystallization of a SNC basalt, with the goal of understanding the origin of the andesitic "sulfur-free" rock composition established from measurements at the Mars Pathfinder landing site. We determined that water (1--1.5 wt% H2O) is required in the formation of the sulfur-free rock from a SNC parental basalt and that water facilitates extraction of such andesitic liquids. Further connections between the SNC meteorites and planetary mission data were investigated by establishing the effects of glass content and oxidation on spectra of SNC basalt compositions. We then determined if SNC basalt spectra affected by one or both of these factors could reproduce Mars remote sensing data. We found that the relative amounts of glass, pyroxene and plagioclase that change with crystallinity lead to progressive changes in spectral character of SNC basalts at both visible and near-infrared (VISNIR) and mid-infrared (mid-IR) wavelengths. We

  2. Meteorite crater impact study: a new way to study seismology at school with exciting experiments, and an example of meteorite astroblema in France (Rochechouart)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrer, Diane; Berenguer, Jean-Luc; MacMurray, Andrew

    2016-04-01

    The InSIGHT mission to Mars (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) supported by NASA, IPGP and CNES, is a great opportunity for teachers and pupils to study the Red planet, but also to study other fields of geology at school, such as seismology. With our pupils, we are following the InSight mission and we look forward to analyze seismic data registered by the SEIS seismometer , once it will be available (the InSight mission will launch in 2018 from California, and will land to Mars in 2018 or 2019). As this mission needs meteorite impacts to generate seismic waves ( to discover the Martian interior structure) , we've decided to model those meteorite strikes in the classroom. With our pupils, we've modeled meteorite impact craters with different impactors , such as tennis balls, baseballs, or pingpong balls, and used an analogue substratum made by flour and cocoa. Then, we kept on going our geophysical investigation , studying several parameters. For instance, we've studied the link between size of impactor and size of crater , the link between mass of impactor and Crater Formation, and the link between velocity of impactor and crater formation. In this geophysical approach , potential energy and kinetic energy can be introduced in terms of energy transfer as the impactor falls ( calculation of the velocity of impact and plotting that against crater diameter using v = (2gh)1/2). For each crater formation made in class by students, we have registered seismological data thanks to Audacity software, and study the seismic signal propagation. This exemple of hands-on activity with pupils, and its wide range of geophysical calculation shows how we can do simple experiment modeling meteorite crater impact and exploit registered seismological data at school. We've finaly focused our work with the very famous example of the astroblema of Rochechouart in the South-west of France ( crater formation : - 214 My) , in which it's easy to

  3. Silicon Carbide from the Canyon Diablo Meteorite and the Ewing Impact Structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leung, I. S.; Winston, R.; Abbott, D. H.

    2004-05-01

    One hundred years ago, Henri Moissan reported his discovery of silicon carbide (SiC) in the Canyon Diablo Meteorite. Since then, other researchers tried, but failed to replicate his findings. In our study of highly oxidized samples of the Canyon Diablo Meteorite, we found two carbon nodules, respectively 1 cm and 2 cm in size; the latter is no longer in the matrix which had disintegrated into rust. We found several SiC crystals in these nodules. Most of them show color zoning, planar deformation features (PDFs), black inclusions and black rims. The X-ray diffraction pattern of a 60-micron crystal showed a 6H polytype structure for the host in addition to a weak lattice, related to that of the host by a 2-degree rotation about the a-axis. We believe that the weak lattice was derived from the PDFs. We also report here the first find of SiC from deep sea sediments on the rim of the Ewing Impact Crater, located near the Equator at about 10 degrees east of the longitude of Hawaii. The SiC crystals also contain PDFs. An X-ray diffraction study showed 6H structure for the host, and 15R structure for the PDFs. Thus, 15R seems to be the high-pressure phase, a potentially useful marker for shock deformation events. Implications of our study are as follows. (1) Because all occurrences of terrestrial SiC are associated with kimberlites, SiC found at impact sites might have originated from space, or, by transformation of terrestrial materials by impact mechanisms. (2) The extreme sturdiness of SiC might enable it to resist alteration, long after other impact markers have decomposed. (3) Hence, SiC crystals, with or without PDFs, though small in size and few in number, might provide clues for deciphering possible relationships between impact events and global extinction of species.

  4. Siberian Meteorite Chelyabinsk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marov, Mikhail Ya.

    On the February 15, 2013, in 9 (h) 20 (m) LT, a spectacular phenomenon - large meteorite fall - was observed over Chelyabinsk city in Siberia, Russia. Basically, this rather routine astronomical event (though largest for the recent one hundred years) attracted great attention because occurred in the well populated area and affected environment and people. The phenomenon has been well documented and numerous fragments of the fall collected, the largest one excavated from Chebarcul lake amounting 560 kg. The meteorite was called Chelyabinsk. It was observed as very bright bolide of 18 m in size which was exploded and mostly destroyed at the heights between 23 and 29 km and formed a powerful bow shock responsible for destructions when reaching the ground. Energy release at the explosion was estimated 300 to 500 Kt of TNT. The pieces collected brought evidence that Chelyabinsk is the stony meteorite classified as typical ordinary chondrite of LL type of the 5th petrological class. Morphology and isotopic composition of the meteorite’s matter allowed us to reconstruct its history and to conclude that it represents a fragment of much larger asteroid-type body of the age close to the solar system origin and experienced a number of collisions, including the very early one during the first 30 million years after formation, which resulted to melted phase in the structure of the main matrix. The study of meteorites gives us unique opportunity to penetrate deep in the fundamental cosmochemical aspects of the solar system origin and also provide unique information concerning the processes of its thermal and dynamical early evolution. The new data contribute to the study. Besides, Chelyabinsk meteorite fall brought new important evidence that Earth is vulnerable to space hazards and raised warning how to protect our planet from asteroid-comet impacts.

  5. Microscopic Meteoritic Material Surrounding Meteorite Craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, T. R.; Hodge, P.

    1993-07-01

    Meteoritic impact-related particles around meteorite craters can have several forms: (1) ablation spherules formed from the melt layer during atmospheric entry; (2) fragments of meteoritic metal formed by the shattering of the meteorite on impact; (3) fragments of metal oxide with meteoritic Fe/Ni ratios; (4) glassy spherules made up of a mixture of target rock and meteoritic material, formed by condensation of impact vapor; and (5) fragments of vesicular material formed from the impact melt. We are investigating the nature of the particles collected from soil surrounding the following craters: Odessa (Texas), Kaalijarvi (Estonia), Boxhole, Dalgaranga, Henbury, Snelling, Veevers, and Wolfe Creek (all Australia). No impact-related particles have been identified in the Veevers or Snelling samples. The Odessa samples include both meteoritic fragments (type 3) and Fe/Ni spherules (type 1). The Henbury samples include particles of type 4 [1] and type 2. The Boxhole samples include particles of types 1 and 4 [2]. The Kaalijarvi particles, being studied cooperatively with Reet Tiimaa of the Institute of Gelogy of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, include particles of type 3 and 5. The type 3 particles from Kaalijarvi are primarily kamacite, with small amounts of taenite. They have oxidized, Ni-free surface layers, probably formed by weathering. The vesicular particles are primarily made of glass that has a bulk composition that indicates that they are about half meteorite and half target rock material. The glass suggests partial recrystallization, with dendritic patterns of slightly different composition. Inclusions of quartz grains also occur and the outer layer in some cases is pure iron oxide. Many of the bubbles have their inner walls laced with patterns of iron condensate, often dendritic and in some cases in the form of stars. References: [1] Hodge P. W. and Wright F. W. (1971) JGR, 76, 3880-3895. [2] Hodge P. W. and Wright F. W. (1973) Meteoritics, 8, 315-320.

  6. Iridium Concentrations and Abundances of Meteoritic Ejecta from the Eltanin Impact in Sediment Cores from Polarstern Expedition ANT XII/4

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kyte, Frank T.

    2002-01-01

    The abundances of meteoritic ejecta from the Eltanin asteroid impact have been examined in several sediment cores recovered by the FS Polarstern during expedition ANT XII/4 using elemental concentrations of iridium and weights of coarse ejecta debris. Three cores with well-preserved impact deposits, PS204-1, PS2708-1, and PS2709-1, each contain Ir and ejecta fluences similar to those found in USNS Eltanin core E13-4. Small Ir anomalies and traces of ejecta were found in cores PS2706-1 and PS2710-1, but since these cores lack well-defined deposits, these are considered to be reworked and not representative of the fallout. No evidence of ejecta was found in cores PS2802-1 and PS2705-1. These results confirm earlier speculation that the Eltanin impact resulted in deposits of ejecta with up to 1 gram/sq centimeter of depris over a wide area of the ocean floor. However, there are sill large uncertainties over the actual regional or global extent of this unique sediment deposit.

  7. Health impacts of large dams

    SciTech Connect

    Lerer, L.B.; Scudder, T.

    1999-03-01

    Large dams have been criticized because of their negative environmental and social impacts. Public health interest largely has focused on vector-borne diseases, such as schistosomiasis, associated with reservoirs and irrigation projects. Large dams also influence health through changes in water and food security, increases in communicable diseases, and the social disruption caused by construction and involuntary resettlement. Communities living in close proximity to large dams often do not benefit from water transfer and electricity generation revenues. A comprehensive health component is required in environmental and social impact assessments for large dam projects.

  8. End-Cretaceous extinction in Antarctica linked to both Deccan volcanism and meteorite impact via climate change

    PubMed Central

    Petersen, Sierra V.; Dutton, Andrea; Lohmann, Kyger C.

    2016-01-01

    The cause of the end-Cretaceous (KPg) mass extinction is still debated due to difficulty separating the influences of two closely timed potential causal events: eruption of the Deccan Traps volcanic province and impact of the Chicxulub meteorite. Here we combine published extinction patterns with a new clumped isotope temperature record from a hiatus-free, expanded KPg boundary section from Seymour Island, Antarctica. We document a 7.8±3.3 °C warming synchronous with the onset of Deccan Traps volcanism and a second, smaller warming at the time of meteorite impact. Local warming may have been amplified due to simultaneous disappearance of continental or sea ice. Intra-shell variability indicates a possible reduction in seasonality after Deccan eruptions began, continuing through the meteorite event. Species extinction at Seymour Island occurred in two pulses that coincide with the two observed warming events, directly linking the end-Cretaceous extinction at this site to both volcanic and meteorite events via climate change. PMID:27377632

  9. The Impact and Oxidation Survival of Selected Meteoritic Compounds: Signatures of Asteroid Organic Material on Planetary Surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, George; Horz, Fred; Oleary, Alanna; Chang, Sherwood

    2013-01-01

    Polar, non-volatile organic compounds may be present on the surfaces (or near surfaces) of multiple Solar System bodies. If found, by current or future missions, it would be desirable to determine the origin(s) of such compounds, e.g., asteroidal or in situ. To test the possible survival of meteoritic compounds both during impacts with planetary surfaces and under subsequent (possibly) harsh ambient conditions, we subjected known meteoritic compounds to relatively high impact-shock pressures and/or to varying oxidizing/corrosive conditions. Tested compounds include sulfonic and phosphonic acids (S&P), polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) amino acids, keto acids, dicarboxylic acids, deoxy sugar acids, and hydroxy tricarboxylic acids (Table 1). Meteoritic sulfonic acids were found to be relatively abundant in the Murchison meteorite and to possess unusual S-33 isotope anomalies (non mass-dependent isotope fractionations). Combined with distinctive C-S and C-P bonds, the S&P are potential signatures of asteroidal organic material.

  10. End-Cretaceous extinction in Antarctica linked to both Deccan volcanism and meteorite impact via climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petersen, Sierra V.; Dutton, Andrea; Lohmann, Kyger C.

    2016-07-01

    The cause of the end-Cretaceous (KPg) mass extinction is still debated due to difficulty separating the influences of two closely timed potential causal events: eruption of the Deccan Traps volcanic province and impact of the Chicxulub meteorite. Here we combine published extinction patterns with a new clumped isotope temperature record from a hiatus-free, expanded KPg boundary section from Seymour Island, Antarctica. We document a 7.8+/-3.3 °C warming synchronous with the onset of Deccan Traps volcanism and a second, smaller warming at the time of meteorite impact. Local warming may have been amplified due to simultaneous disappearance of continental or sea ice. Intra-shell variability indicates a possible reduction in seasonality after Deccan eruptions began, continuing through the meteorite event. Species extinction at Seymour Island occurred in two pulses that coincide with the two observed warming events, directly linking the end-Cretaceous extinction at this site to both volcanic and meteorite events via climate change.

  11. End-Cretaceous extinction in Antarctica linked to both Deccan volcanism and meteorite impact via climate change.

    PubMed

    Petersen, Sierra V; Dutton, Andrea; Lohmann, Kyger C

    2016-01-01

    The cause of the end-Cretaceous (KPg) mass extinction is still debated due to difficulty separating the influences of two closely timed potential causal events: eruption of the Deccan Traps volcanic province and impact of the Chicxulub meteorite. Here we combine published extinction patterns with a new clumped isotope temperature record from a hiatus-free, expanded KPg boundary section from Seymour Island, Antarctica. We document a 7.8±3.3 °C warming synchronous with the onset of Deccan Traps volcanism and a second, smaller warming at the time of meteorite impact. Local warming may have been amplified due to simultaneous disappearance of continental or sea ice. Intra-shell variability indicates a possible reduction in seasonality after Deccan eruptions began, continuing through the meteorite event. Species extinction at Seymour Island occurred in two pulses that coincide with the two observed warming events, directly linking the end-Cretaceous extinction at this site to both volcanic and meteorite events via climate change. PMID:27377632

  12. Jadeite in Chelyabinsk meteorite and the nature of an impact event on its parent body.

    PubMed

    Ozawa, Shin; Miyahara, Masaaki; Ohtani, Eiji; Koroleva, Olga N; Ito, Yoshinori; Litasov, Konstantin D; Pokhilenko, Nikolay P

    2014-01-01

    The Chelyabinsk asteroid impact is the second largest asteroid airburst in our recorded history. To prepare for a potential threat from asteroid impacts, it is important to understand the nature and formational history of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) like Chelyabinsk asteroid. In orbital evolution of an asteroid, collision with other asteroids is a key process. Here, we show the existence of a high-pressure mineral jadeite in shock-melt veins of Chelyabinsk meteorite. Based on the mineral assemblage and calculated solidification time of the shock-melt veins, the equilibrium shock pressure and its duration were estimated to be at least 3-12 GPa and longer than 70 ms, respectively. This suggests that an impactor larger than 0.15-0.19 km in diameter collided with the Chelyabinsk parent body at a speed of at least 0.4-1.5 km/s. This impact might have separated the Chelyabinsk asteroid from its parent body and delivered it to the Earth. PMID:24852082

  13. Jadeite in Chelyabinsk meteorite and the nature of an impact event on its parent body

    PubMed Central

    Ozawa, Shin; Miyahara, Masaaki; Ohtani, Eiji; Koroleva, Olga N.; Ito, Yoshinori; Litasov, Konstantin D.; Pokhilenko, Nikolay P.

    2014-01-01

    The Chelyabinsk asteroid impact is the second largest asteroid airburst in our recorded history. To prepare for a potential threat from asteroid impacts, it is important to understand the nature and formational history of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) like Chelyabinsk asteroid. In orbital evolution of an asteroid, collision with other asteroids is a key process. Here, we show the existence of a high-pressure mineral jadeite in shock-melt veins of Chelyabinsk meteorite. Based on the mineral assemblage and calculated solidification time of the shock-melt veins, the equilibrium shock pressure and its duration were estimated to be at least 3–12 GPa and longer than 70 ms, respectively. This suggests that an impactor larger than 0.15–0.19 km in diameter collided with the Chelyabinsk parent body at a speed of at least 0.4–1.5 km/s. This impact might have separated the Chelyabinsk asteroid from its parent body and delivered it to the Earth. PMID:24852082

  14. Compositions of large metal nodules in mesosiderites - Links to iron meteorite group IIIAB and the origin of mesosiderite subgroups

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hassanzadeh, Jamshid; Rubin, Alan E.; Wasson, John T.

    1990-01-01

    The compositions of large metal nodules in 12 mesosiderites, ranging from 3 mm to 4 cm in minimum dimensions and from 10 to 200 mg/g in silicate content, were analyzed by neutron activation; also analyzed were two additional samples (Pennyweight Point and Murchison Downs) which were originally designated iron meteorites but were later classified as Mes nodules. It was found that mesosiderites subgroups classified on the basis of metal composition are virtually the same as those based on silicate composition. The general covariation of the silicate and the metal compositional characteristics suggests that these features were established in the same process or in linked processes. A mesosiderite formation model is proposed.

  15. Comparison of Os and Cr Isotopic Methods for the Detection of Meteoritic Components in Impact Melt Rocks from the Morokweng and Vredefort Impact Structures, South Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koeberl, Christian; Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Bernhard; Reimold, Wolf Uwe; Shukolyukov, Alex; Lugmair, Guenter W.

    2000-01-01

    The verification of an extraterrestrial component in impact-derived melt rocks or breccias can be of diagnostic value to provide confirming evidence for an impact origin of a geological structure. Geochemical methods are used to determine the presence of the traces of such a component. In the absence of actual meteorite fragments, it is necessary to search for traces of meteoritic material that is mixed in with the target rocks in breccias and melt rocks. Meteoritic components have been identified for just over 40 impact structures (out of more than 160 known on Earth), which reflects also the detail in which these structures were studied. The identification of a meteoritic component can be achieved by determining the concentrations and interelement ratios of siderophile elements, especially the platinum group elements (PGE), which are several orders of magnitude more abundant in meteorites than in terrestrial upper crustal rocks. The usage of platinum group element abundances and ratios avoids some of the ambiguities that may result if only common siderophile elements (e.g., Cr, Co, Ni) are considered. However, problems may arise if the target rocks have high abundances of siderophile elements, or if the siderophile element concentrations in the impactites are very low. In such cases, the Os and Cr isotopic systems have recently been used for establishing the presence of a meteoritic component in a number of impact melt rocks and breccias. In the past it was attempted to use PGE data to determine the type or class of meteorite for the impactor, but these attempts were not always successful. It is difficult to decide between chondrite types based on PGE abundances, which has led to conflicting identifications for a number of impact structures. Clearly, the identification of a meteoritic component in impactites is not a trivial problem. In this study, we are using a combination of trace element (PGE) analyses and the results from both, Os and Cr isotopic studies, to

  16. Mechanical properties of several Fe-Ni meteorites

    SciTech Connect

    Mulford, Roberta N; El - Dasher, Bassem

    2010-10-28

    The strength and elastic constants of meteorites are of increasing interest as predictions of meteorite impacts on earth come within the realm of possibility. In addition, meteorite impacts on extraterrestrial bodies provide an excellent sampling tool for evaluation of planetary compositions and properties. Fe-Ni meteorites provide a well-defined group of materials of fairly uniform composition. Iron-nickel meteorites exhibit a unique lamellar microstructure, a Widmanstatten structure, consisting of small regions with steep-iron-nickel composition gradients. This microstructure is found in the Fe-Ni system only in meteorites, and is believed to arise as a result of slow cooling in a planetary core or other large mass. Meteorites with compositions consisting of between 5 and 17% nickel in iron are termed 'octahedrite,' and further characterized according to the width of the Ni-poor kamacite bands; 'fine,' (0.2-0.5 mm) 'medium,' (0.5-1.3 mm) and 'coarse,' (1.5-3.3 mm). Many meteorites have inclusions and structures indicating that the material has been shocked at some point early in its evolution. Several Iron-nickel meteorites have been examined using Vickers and spherical indentation, x-ray fluorescence, and EBSD. Direct observation of mechanical properties in these highly structured materials provides a valuable supplement to bulk measurements, which frequently exhibit large variation in dynamic properties, even within a single sample. Previous studies of the mechanical properties of a typical iron-nickel meteorite, a Diablo Canyon specimen, indicated that the strength of the composite was higher by almost an order of magnitude than values obtained from laboratory-prepared specimens. Additional meteorite specimens have been examined to establish a range of error on the previously measured yield, to determine the extent to which deformation upon re-entry contributes to yield, and to establish the degree to which the strength varies as a function of microstructure.

  17. Impact history of the Chelyabinsk meteorite: Electron microprobe and LA-ICP-MS study of sulfides and metals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andronikov, A. V.; Andronikova, I. E.; Hill, D. H.

    2015-12-01

    Electron microprobe and LA-ICP-MS study of sulfides and metals from two fragments of the LL5 Chelyabinsk meteorite were conducted. The fragments are impact breccias, one fragment contains both chondritic and shock vein lithologies, and the other contains shock-darkened chondritic clasts and vesicular impact melts. The chondritic lithology and shock veins display very similar opaque mineral compositions. The mineral compositions in the impact-melt breccias are distinctly different. The brecciated state of the Chelyabinsk meteorite suggests strong involvement of shock-related processes during the evolution of the parent body. Multiple heavy impact events occurred on the parent asteroid and on the Chelyabinsk meteoroid itself over the time period from ca. 4.5 Ga until ca. 1.2 Ma. The shock veins were produced in situ on the parent body. The impact-melt breccias could have formed because of the dramatic impact to the parent LL-chondrite body that could be partly disintegrated. The fragment containing shock-darkened chondritic clasts and vesicular impact melt lithologies preserves a record of melting, volatilization, partial degassing, and quenching of the molten material. The abundance and size (up to 1 mm) of the vesicles suggest that the impact melt must have been buried at some depth after formation. After impact and subsequent melting occurred, the impact-induced pressure on the shallow asteroid interior was released that caused "boiling" of volatiles and generation of S-rich bubbles. Such an impact excavated down to depths of the body generating multiple fragments with complicated histories. These fragments reaccumulated into a gravitational aggregate and formed the parental meteoroid for the Chelyabinsk meteorite.

  18. The 45th Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, P. (Compiler); Turner, L. (Compiler)

    1982-01-01

    Impact craters and shock effects, chondrite formation and evolution, meteorites, chondrules, irons, nebular processes and meteorite parent bodies, regoliths and breccias, antarctic meteorite curation, isotopic studies of meteorites and lunar samples, organics and terrestrial weathering, refractory inclusions, cosmic dust, particle irradiations before and after compaction, and mineralogic studies and analytical techniques are discussed.

  19. Comparison Between Elemental Ratios in Fusion Crusts of Stannern Eucrite, Lunar Meteorite MAC 88105 & Martian Meteorite Nakhla

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zbik, M.; Gostin, V. A.

    1996-03-01

    Impact phenomena result from the interaction of cosmic bodies that collide in space with ultra-high velocities. In small bodies, not protected by an atmospheric layer, impact phenomena are limited to interaction between solid components that shatter, melt and vaporise, spreading solid, liquid, and gaseous ejecta over the planetary surface and into space. The interaction between a meteoritic body and a large planet like Earth begins in the upper atmosphere. As the body penetrates to lower, and denser layers, lattice destruction increases and the surface layer of the meteor is heated up to many thousands of degrees, resulting in it being vaporised and melted. Under pressure from the oncoming air stream the molten matter on the surface of the meteoritic body is constantly blown off (ablated) and immediately quenched as the meteoritic body decelerates. Therefore the rapidly heated and quenched glassy fusion crust on the surface of meteorites, can be recognised as related to impact melts. Fragments of three meteorites were studied: Stannern eucrite, lunar meteorite MAC 88105 and martian meteorite Nakhla, all displayed significant fusion crusts. Polished thin and thick sections were made and were used for optical, scanning-electron microscope (SEM) and wavelength-dispersive electron microprobe studies. The chemical ratios of the outer layer of the fusion crusts for these different planetary meteorites were compared.

  20. The Portales Valley meteorite breccia: evidence for impact-induced melting and metamorphism of an ordinary chondrite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubin, Alan E.; Ulff-Møller, Finn; Wasson, John T.; Carlson, William D.

    2001-01-01

    The Portales Valley H-chondrite fall is an annealed impact-melt breccia with coarse metal interstitial to angular and subrounded silicate clasts. The large metal-rich regions exhibit a Widmanstätten structure and contain very little troilite. We were able to examine a 16.5 kg metal-rich specimen of Portales Valley. Silicates contain numerous flecks of metallic Cu and curvilinear trails of tiny metallic Fe-Ni blebs, characteristic of shocked and annealed chondrites. One silicate clast appears to have experienced little (<10%) or no melting; it is essentially identical to normal H6 chondrites. Other clasts are finer grained and have a low abundance of recognizable relict chondrules; they are significantly enriched in troilite and depleted in metallic Fe-Ni relative to typical H chondrites. Their low metal abundance indicates that they are not simply ultra-recrystallized H6 chondrites. If the silicates in these clasts started off as normal H-chondrite material and were recrystallized to the same extent as the progenitor of the H6-like clast, then their low modal abundance of chondrules indicates that they experienced significant crushing and/or impact melting. We infer that most of the metal and troilite was lost from these silicate clasts during impact melting; it appears that troilite was reintroduced into the silicates, perhaps by an S 2-rich vapor (that formed FeS by reacting with Fe vapor or residual metal). Portales Valley probably formed on a low-density, porous H-chondrite asteroid by a high-energy impact event that caused crushing and melting; the target material was buried deeply enough to undergo slow cooling. Meteorites that appear to have formed, at least in part, by analogous processes include IIE-an Netschaëvo and EL6 Blithfield.

  1. Metal/sulfide-silicate intergrowth textures in EL3 meteorites: Origin by impact melting on the EL parent body

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Niekerk, Deon; Keil, Klaus

    2011-10-01

    We document the petrographic setting and textures of Fe,Ni metal, the mineralogy of metallic assemblages, and the modal mineral abundances in the EL3 meteorites Asuka (A-) 881314, A-882067, Allan Hills 85119, Elephant Moraine (EET) 90299/EET 90992, LaPaz Icefield 03930, MacAlpine Hills (MAC) 02635, MAC 02837/MAC 02839, MAC 88136, Northwest Africa (NWA) 3132, Pecora Escarpment 91020, Queen Alexandra Range (QUE) 93351/QUE 94321, QUE 94594, and higher petrologic type ELs Dar al Gani 1031 (EL4), Sayh al Uhaymir 188 (EL4), MAC 02747 (EL4), QUE 94368 (EL4), and NWA 1222 (EL5). Large metal assemblages (often containing schreibersite and graphite) only occur outside chondrules and are usually intergrown with silicate minerals (euhedral to subhedral enstatite, silica, and feldspar). Sulfides (troilite, daubréelite, and keilite) are also sometimes intergrown with silicates. Numerous authors have shown that metal in enstatite chondrites that are interpreted to have been impact melted contains euhedral crystals of enstatite. We argue that the metal/sulfide-silicate intergrowths in the ELs we studied were also formed during impact melting and that metal in EL3s thus does not retain primitive (i.e., nebular) textures. Likewise, the EL4s are also impact-melt breccias. Modal abundances of metal in the EL3s and EL4s range from approximately 7 to 30 wt%. These abundances overlap or exceed those of EL6s, and this is consistent either with pre-existing heterogeneity in the parent body or with redistribution of metal during impact processes.

  2. The enigmatic Zerelia twin-lakes (Thessaly, Central Greece): two potential meteorite impact Craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dietrich, V. J.; Lagios, E.; Reusser, E.; Sakkas, V.; Gartzos, E.; Kyriakopoulos, K.

    2013-09-01

    Two circular permanent lakes of 150 and 250 m diameter and 6-8 m depth to an unconsolidated muddy bottom occur 250 m apart from each other in the agricultural fields SW of the town of Almiros (Thessaly, central Greece). The age of the lakes is assumed to be Late Pliocene to Early Holocene with a minimum age of approx. 7000 yr BP. The abundant polymict, quartz-rich carbonate breccia and clasts with a clay rich matrix in the shallow embankments of the lakes show weak stratification but no volcanic structures. The carbonate clasts and particles often display spheroidal shapes and consist of calcite aggregates with feathery, arborescent, variolitic to micro-sparitic textures and spheroidal fabrics, recrystallized and deformed glass-shaped fragments, calcite globules in quartz; thus indications of possible carbonate melting, quenching and devitrification. The carbonatic matrix includes small xenomorphic phases, such as chromspinel, zircon with blurred granular and skeletal textures, skeletal rutile and ilmenite, which are interpreted as relicts of partial melting and quenching under high temperatures of 1240-1800 °C. Only a few quartz fragments exhibit indistinct planar fractures. In several cases they include exotic Al-Si- and sulfur bearing Fe-phases, < 1-10 μm as globules. The modeled "Residual Gravity" profiles through the lakes indicate negative gravity anomalies of bowl-type structures down to 150 m for the eastern lake and down to 250 m for the larger western lake. Several hypotheses can be drawn upon to explain the origin of these enigmatic twin-lakes: (a) Maar-type volcanic craters; (b) hydrothermal or CO2/hydrocarbon gas explosion craters; (c) and (d) doline holes due to karstification; or (e) small meteorite impact craters, the latter being a plausible explanation due to geologic, petrologic, and geophysical evidence. The morphology and dimensions of the lakes as well as the density contrast tomography of the bedrock favor a meteorite impact hypothesis of a

  3. Large enantiomeric excesses in primitive meteorites and the diverse effects of water in cosmochemical evolution

    PubMed Central

    Pizzarello, Sandra; Schrader, Devin L.; Monroe, Adam A.; Lauretta, Dante S.

    2012-01-01

    Carbonaceous chondrites are meteoritic fragments of asteroids that avoided the geological reprocessing of larger planets and allow laboratory probing of early solar-nebula materials. Among these, Renazzo-type (CR) chondrites found in Antarctica appear remarkably pristine and are distinguished by abundant organic materials and water-soluble molecules such as amino acids and ammonia. We present a comprehensive analysis of the organic composition of selected CR meteorites of different petrographic classification and compare compounds’ abundance and distribution as they may relate to asteroidal aqueous processing and concomitant evolution of the mineral phases. We found that several CR compounds such as amino acids and sugar alcohols are fully represented in stones with no or minimal water exposure indicating a formation that, if solar, preceded parent body processes. The most pristine CRs also revealed natal enantiomeric excesses (ee) of up to 60%, much larger than ever recorded. However, aqueous alteration appears to affect CR soluble organic composition and abundances, in particular some diastereomeric amino acids may gauge its extent by the consequent racemization of their ee. PMID:22778439

  4. Fullerenes in Allende Meteorite

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Becker, L.; Bada, J. L.; Winans, R. E.; Bunch, T. E.

    1994-01-01

    The detection of fullerenes in deposits from meteor impacts has led to renewed interest in the possibility that fullerenes are present in meteorites. Although fullerenes have not previously been detected in the Murchison and Allende meteorites, the Allende meteorite is known to contain several well-ordered graphite particles which are remarkably similar in size and appearance to the fullerene-related structures carbon onions and nanotubes. We report that fullerenes are in fact present in trace amounts in the Allende meteorite. In addition to fullerenes, we detected many polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the Allende meteorite, consistent with previous reports. In particular, we detected benzofluoranthene and corannulene (C20H10), five-membered ring structures which have been proposed as precursors to the formation of fullerene synthesis, perhaps within circumstellar envelopes or other sites in the interstellar medium.

  5. Thermoluminescence of meteorites and their orbits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melcher, C. L.

    1981-01-01

    The thermoluminescence levels of 45 ordinary chondrites are measured in order to provide information on the orbital characteristics of the meteorites before impact. Glow curves of the photon emission response of powdered samples of the meteorites to temperatures up to 550 C in the natural state and following irradiation by a laboratory test dose of 110,000 rad were obtained as functions of terrestrial age and compared to those of samples of the Pribram, Lost City and Innisfree meteorites, for which accurate orbital data is available. The thermoluminescence levels in 40 out of 42 meteorites are found to be similar to those of the three control samples, indicating that the vast majority of ordinary chondrites that survive atmospheric entry have perihelia in the range 0.8-1 AU. Of the remaining two, Farmville is observed to exhibit an unusually large gradient in thermoluminescence levels with sample depth, which may be a result of a temperature gradient arising in a slowly rotating meteorite. Finally, the thermoluminescence measured in the Malakal meteorite is found to be two orders of magnitude lower than control samples, which is best explained by thermal draining by solar heating in an orbit with a perihelion distance of 0.5 to 0.6 AU.

  6. Foundations of Forensic Meteoritics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treiman, A. H.

    1992-07-01

    , soil) adhering to a meteorite are samples of the actual physical environment in which the meteorite rested. Adhesion may derive from chemical cementation (incl. rust from the meteorite), biologic activity (incl. desert varnish?), or impact processes [2]. Given the wide diversity of geological materials and processes on the Earth, adhering geological materials may be useful forensic tools. For instance, fall in a volcanic terrane may be inconsistent with adhering sediments of clean quartz sand. Biologic matter on meteorites includes animal and vegetable matter mixed with the adhering geological materials, lichens and other plants growing in place, and purposefully attached animal matter (e.g. insect eggs). The most useful biological data may be provided by pollen, which can often be referred unambiguously to genera and species of plants. For example, sediments adhering to meteorites from the central Nullabor Plain (W. Australia) are different from sediments from the Plain's margin in S. Australia. Sediment on meteorites from the central Nullabor (e.g. Mundrabilla) lacks quartz sand and consists almost entirely of clay-sized particles, consistent with derivation from the local saprolitic soil. Sediment on meteorites from the eastern Nullabor (e.g. Hughes and Cook, S.A.) contains a significant fraction of quartz sand, 1/4- to 1/2-mm grains, probably blown from the Great Victoria Desert to the north and northwest. However, sedimentologic data alone may be misleading. For instance, sediments adhering to Nuevo Mercurio stones (H5; Zacatecas, Mexico) are clay-sized and lack coarser material. But sediment on Nuevo Mercurio (b), a ureilite found in the Nuevo Mercurio strewn field, consists of quartz sand and clay pellets, 1/4 to 1/2 mm diameter. Clearly, local environments may affect the character of sediment adhering to a meteorite, and careful detailed study may be required to determine whether a meteorite has been transported. I am grateful to R. Farrell and D. New for

  7. Impact melts in the MAC88105 lunar meteorite - Inferences for the lunar magma ocean hypothesis and the diversity of basaltic impact melts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, G. J.

    1991-01-01

    The MAC88105 lunar meteorite, as represented by thin section 78, contains three major types of impact melt breccias. The most abundant type is clast-laden, fine-grained, and rich in Al2O3 (28 wt pct); these clasts constitute most of the meteorite. Their abundance and aluminous nature indicate that the MAC88105 source area was very aluminous. This is consistent with formation of the primordial lunar crust from a global magma ocean. The second type of impact melt is represented by only one clast in 78. It has a basaltic bulk composition similar to many other lunar impact melts, but is significantly richer in P2O5 than most and has a much lower MgO/(MgO + FeO). The third impact-melt type resembles a prominent melt group at Apollo 16, but has lower MgO/(MgO + FeO). These data show that basaltic impact melts are compositionally diverse. Dating samples of the Al-rich impact melts and the new types of basaltic impact melts from this meteorite can test the idea that the Moon suffered a terminal cataclysm 3.9 Ga ago.

  8. Impact melts in the MAC88105 lunar meteorite: Inferences for the lunar magma ocean hypothesis and the diversity of basaltic impact melts

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, G.J. )

    1991-11-01

    The MAC88105 lunar meteorite, as represented by thin section 78, contains three major types of impact melt breccias. The most abundant type is clast-laden, fine grained, and rich in Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} (28 wt%); these clasts constitute most of the meteorite. Their abundance and aluminous nature indicate that the MAC88105 source area was very aluminous. This is consistent with formation of the primordial lunar crust from a global magma ocean. The second type of impact melt is represented by only one clast in 78. It has a basaltic bulk composition similar to many other lunar impact melts, but is significantly richer in P{sub 2}O{sub 5} than most and has a much lower MgO/(MgO + FeO). These data show that basaltic impact melts are compositionally diverse. Dating samples of the Al-rich impact melts and the new types of basaltic impact melts from this meteorite can test that idea that the Moon suffered a terminal cataclysm 3.9 Ga ago.

  9. Search for a meteoritic component at the Beaverhead impact structure, Montana

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Pascal; Kay, Robert W.

    1992-01-01

    The Beaverhead impact structure, in southwestern Montana, was identified recently by the presence of shatter cones and impactites in outcrops of Proterozoic sandstones of the Belt Supergroup. The cones occur over an area greater than 100 sq km. Because the geologic and tectonic history of this region is long and complex, the outline of the original impact crater is no longer identifiable. The extent of the area over which shatter cones occur suggests, however, that the feature may have been at least 60 km in diameter. The absence of shatter cones in younger sedimentary units suggests that the impact event occurred in late Precambrian or early Paleozoic time. We have collected samples of shocked sandstone from the so-called 'Main Site' of dark-matrix breccias, and of impact breccias and melts from the south end of Island Butte. The melts, occurring often as veins through brecciated sandstone, exhibit a distinctive fluidal texture, a greenish color, and a cryptocrystalline matrix, with small inclusions of deformed sandstone. Samples of the same type, along with country rock, were analyzed previously for major- and trace-element abundances. It was found that, although the major-element composition as relatively uniform, trace-element composition showed variations between the melt material and the adjacent sandstone. These variations were attributed to extensive weathering and hydrothermal alteration. In a more specific search for a possible meteoritic signature in the breccia and the melt material we have conducted a new series of trace-element analyses on powders of our own samples by thermal neutron activation analysis. Our results indicate that Ir abundances in the breccia, the melts, and the adjacent sandstone clasts are no greater than about 0.1 ppb, suggesting no Ir enrichment of the breccia or the melts relative to the country rock. However, both the breccia and the melt material exhibit notable enrichments in Cr (8- and 10-fold), in U (9- and 5-fold), and in

  10. Mass and Size Frequency Distribution of the Impact Debris from Disruption of Chondritic Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    VanVeghten, T. W.; Flynn, G. J.; Durda, D. D.; Hart, S.; Asphaug, E.

    2003-01-01

    Since direct observation of the collision of asteroids in space is not always convenient for earthbound observers, we have undertaken simulations of these collisions using the NASA Ames Vertical Gun Range (AVGR). To simulate the collision of asteroids in space, and aluminum projectiles with velocities ranging from approx.1 to approx.6 km/sec were fired at 70g to approx.200 g fragments of chondritic meteorites. The target meteorite was placed in an evacuated chamber at the AVGR. Detectors, usually four, were set up around the target meteorite. These detectors consisted of aerogel and aluminum foil of varying thickness. The aerogel's purpose was to catch debris after the collision, and the aluminum foil.s purpose was to show the size of the debris particles through the size of the holes in the aluminum foil. Outside the chamber, a camera was set up to record high-speed film of the collision. This camera recorded at either 500 frames per second or 1000 frames per second. Three different types of targets were used for these tests. The first were actual meteorites, which varied in mineralogical composition, density, and porosity. The second type of target was a Hawaiian basalt, consisting of olivine phenocrysts in a porous matrix, which we thought might be similar to the chondritic meteorites, thus providing data for comparison. The final type was made out of Styrofoam. The Styrofoam was thought to simulate very low-density asteroids and comets.

  11. Petrogenesis of the SNC (shergottites, nakhlites, chassignites) meteorites - Implications for their origin from a large dynamic planet, possibly Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, M. R.; Laul, J. C.; Ma, M. S.; Huston, T.; Verkouteren, R. M.; Lipschutz, M. E.; Schmitt, R. A.

    1984-01-01

    Comprehensive chemical data are presented on the shergottites Shergotty, Zagami, Allan Hills (ALHA) 77005, and the new member Elephant Moraine (EETA) 79001 using results of sequential instrumental and radiochemical neutron activation analysis. The close relationship of the Antarctic shergotites indicates that ALHA 77005 is a residual source produced by incongruent melting of a source similar in bulk composition to EETA 79001A and that EETA 79001B and the interstitial phases in EETA 79001A are the melts produced by such melting episodes. The large ion lithophile LIL) trace element abundanced of the shergottites require variable but extensive degrees of nomodal melting of isotopically constrained parent sources. The SNG sources are consistent with their derivation by extensive fractionation of a primitive magma initially produced from a source having chondritic refractory LIL trace element abundances. Petrogenetic and age relationships among SNC meteorites suggest a single complex-provenance on a dynamic planet not unlike earth, probably Mars.

  12. Predicted detection rates of regional-scale meteorite impacts on Mars with the InSight short-period seismometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teanby, N. A.

    2015-08-01

    In 2016 NASA will launch the InSight discovery-class mission, which aims to study the detailed internal structure of Mars for the first time. Short- and long-period seismometers form a major component of InSight's payload and have the potential to detect seismic waves generated by meteorite impacts. Large globally detectable impact events producing craters with diameters of ∼ 100 m have been investigated previously and are likely to be rare (Teanby, N.A., Wookey, J. [2011]. Phys. Earth Planet. Int. 186, 70-80), but smaller impacts producing craters in the 0.5-20 m range are more numerous and potentially occur sufficiently often to be detectable on regional scales (≲1000 km). At these distances, seismic waves will have significant high frequency content and will be suited to detection with InSight's short-period seismometer SEIS-SP. In this paper I estimate the current martian crater production function from observations of new craters (Malin, M.C. et al. [2006]. Science 314, 1573-1577; Daubar, I.J. et al. [2013]. Icarus 225, 506-516), model results (Williams, J.P., Pathare, A.V., Aharonson, O. [2014]. Icarus 235, 23-36), and standard isochrons (Hartmann, W.K. [2005]. Icarus 174, 294-320). These impact rates are combined with an empirical relation between impact energy, source-receiver distance, and peak seismogram amplitude, derived from a compilation of seismic recordings of terrestrial and lunar impacts, chemical explosions, and nuclear tests. The resulting peak seismogram amplitude scaling law contains significant uncertainty, but can be used to predict impact detection rates. I estimate that for a short-period instrument, with a noise spectral density of 10-8 ms-2 Hz-1/2 in the 1-16 Hz frequency band, approximately 0.1-30 regional impacts per year should be detectable with a nominal value of 1-3 impacts per year. Therefore, small regional impacts are likely to be a viable source of seismic energy for probing Mars' crustal and upper mantle structure. This is

  13. Carbonates in fractures of Martian meteorite Allan Hills 84001: petrologic evidence for impact origin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scott, E. R.; Krot, A. N.; Yamaguchi, A.

    1998-01-01

    Carbonates in Martian meteorite Allan Hills 84001 occur as grains on pyroxene grain boundaries, in crushed zones, and as disks, veins, and irregularly shaped grains in healed pyroxene fractures. Some carbonate disks have tapered Mg-rich edges and are accompanied by smaller, thinner and relatively homogeneous, magnesite microdisks. Except for the microdisks, all types of carbonate grains show the same unique chemical zoning pattern on MgCO3-FeCO3-CaCO3 plots. This chemical characteristic and the close spatial association of diverse carbonate types show that all carbonates formed by a similar process. The heterogeneous distribution of carbonates in fractures, tapered shapes of some disks, and the localized occurrence of Mg-rich microdisks appear to be incompatible with growth from an externally derived CO2-rich fluid that changed in composition over time. These features suggest instead that the fractures were closed as carbonates grew from an internally derived fluid and that the microdisks formed from a residual Mg-rich fluid that was squeezed along fractures. Carbonate in pyroxene fractures is most abundant near grains of plagioclase glass that are located on pyroxene grain boundaries and commonly contain major or minor amounts of carbonate. We infer that carbonates in fractures formed from grain boundary carbonates associated with plagiociase that were melted by impact and dispersed into the surrounding fractured pyroxene. Carbonates in fractures, which include those studied by McKay et al. (1996), could not have formed at low temperatures and preserved mineralogical evidence for Martian organisms.

  14. Making an Impact with Public Outreach Activities on Asteroids, Comets, and Meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, V.; Gurton, S.; Berendsen, M.; Dusenbery, P.

    2010-12-01

    The Night Sky Network is a collaboration of close to 350 astronomy clubs across the US that actively engage in public outreach within their communities. Since 2004, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific has been creating outreach ToolKits filled with carefully crafted sets of physical materials designed to help these volunteer clubs explain the wonders of the night sky to the public. The effectiveness of the ToolKit activities and demonstrations is the direct result of a thorough testing and vetting process. Find out how this iterative assessment process can help other programs create useful tools for both formal and informal educators. The current Space Rocks Outreach ToolKit focuses on explaining asteroids, comets, and meteorites to the general public using quick, big-picture activities that get audiences involved. Eight previous ToolKits cover a wide range of topics from the Moon to black holes. In each case, amateur astronomers and the public helped direct the development the activities along the way through surveys, focus groups, and active field-testing. The resulting activities have been embraced by the larger informal learning community and are enthusiastically being delivered to millions of people across the US and around the world. Each ToolKit is delivered free of charge to active Night Sky Network astronomy clubs. All activity write-ups are available free to download at the website listed here. Amateur astronomers receive frequent questions from the public about Earth impacts, meteors, and comets so this set of activities will help them explain the dynamics of these phenomena to the public. The Space Rocks ToolKit resources complement the Great Balls of Fire museum exhibit produced by Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning and scheduled for release in 2011. NSF has funded this national traveling exhibition and outreach ToolKit under Grant DRL-0813528.

  15. Did Martian Meteorites Come From These Sources?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martel, L. M. V.

    2007-01-01

    Large rayed craters on Mars, not immediately obvious in visible light, have been identified in thermal infrared data obtained from the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) onboard Mars Odyssey. Livio Tornabene (previously at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and now at the University of Arizona, Tucson) and colleagues have mapped rayed craters primarily within young (Amazonian) volcanic plains in or near Elysium Planitia. They found that rays consist of numerous chains of secondary craters, their overlapping ejecta, and possibly primary ejecta from the source crater. Their work also suggests rayed craters may have formed preferentially in volatile-rich targets by oblique impacts. The physical details of the rayed craters and the target surfaces combined with current models of Martian meteorite delivery and cosmochemical analyses of Martian meteorites lead Tornabene and coauthors to conclude that these large rayed craters are plausible source regions for Martian meteorites.

  16. Impact ejection of lunar meteorites and the age of Giordano Bruno

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fritz, Jörg

    2012-11-01

    Based on literature data from lunar meteorites and orbital observations it is argued that the lunar crater Giordano Bruno (22 km ∅) formed more than 1 Ma ago and probably ejected the lunar meteorites Yamato 82192/82193/86032 at 8.5 ± 1.5 Ma ago from the Th-poor highlands of the Moon. The efficiency and time scale to deliver 3He-rich lunar material into Earth’s sediments is discussed to assess the temporal relationship between the Giordano Bruno cratering event and a 1 Ma enduring 3He-spike which is observed in 8.2 Ma old sediments on Earth.

  17. Meteorite impact, cryptoexplosion, and shock metamorphism - A perspective on the evidence at the K/T boundary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sharpton, V. L.; Grieve, R. A. F.

    1990-01-01

    A perspective on the evidence of a major impact event at the K/T boundary is proposed using field and laboratory studies of terrestrial impact craters. Recent assertions that diagnostic indications of shock metamorphism are also produced in volcanic environments are challenged. A general geological framework of impact structures is developed and the issue of volcanically induced shock metamorphism is examined. Cryptoexplosion is addressed by assessing the geology of two structures: the Slate Islands and Manson, which are often cited by advocates of an internal origin for shock metamorphism as volcanic structures. It is concluded that the link between shock metamorphism and meteorite impact is now established beyond reasonable doubt. The occurrence and worldwide distribution of shocked minerals at the K/T boundary is considered to be the conclusive evidence for a major impact event.

  18. Meteorite impact, cryptoexplosion, and shock metamorphism - A perspective on the evidence at the K/T boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharpton, V. L.; Grieve, R. A. F.

    A perspective on the evidence of a major impact event at the K/T boundary is proposed using field and laboratory studies of terrestrial impact craters. Recent assertions that diagnostic indications of shock metamorphism are also produced in volcanic environments are challenged. A general geological framework of impact structures is developed and the issue of volcanically induced shock metamorphism is examined. Cryptoexplosion is addressed by assessing the geology of two structures: the Slate Islands and Manson, which are often cited by advocates of an internal origin for shock metamorphism as volcanic structures. It is concluded that the link between shock metamorphism and meteorite impact is now established beyond reasonable doubt. The occurrence and worldwide distribution of shocked minerals at the K/T boundary is considered to be the conclusive evidence for a major impact event.

  19. Meteorite impact craters and possibly impact-related structures in Estonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plado, Jüri

    2012-10-01

    Three structures (Neugrund, Kärdla, and Kaali) of proven impact origin make Estonia the most cratered country in the world by area. In addition, several candidate impact structures exist, waiting for future studies to determine their origin. This article is an overview of these proven and possible impact structures, including some breccia layers. It summarizes the information and descriptions of the morphology; geological characteristics; and mineralogical, chemical, and geophysical data available in the literature. The overview was prepared to make information in many earlier publications in local journals (many of which had been published in Estonian or Russian) accessible to the international community. This review summarizes the facts and observations in a historical fashion, summarizing the current state of knowledge with some additional comments, and providing the references.

  20. Multibeam Mapping of Cretaceous-Paleogene Meteorite Impact Deposits on the Campeche Escarpment, YUCATÁN , MÉXICO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gwiazda, R.; Paull, C. K.; Caress, D. W.; Rebolledo-Vieyra, M.; Fucugauchi, J. U.; Canales, I.; Sumner, E. J.; Tubau Carbonell, X.; Lundsten, E. M.; Anderson, K.

    2013-12-01

    The Chicxulub crater in the Yucatán Peninsula, México, at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary, is believed to have been created by the impact of a meteorite ~65 million years ago. Ejecta from the impact were deposited beyond the crater site and are now buried under >1 km of Cenozoic carbonate sediments. Outcrops of the ejecta are believed to be exposed on the Campeche escarpment, which is the dramatically steep northern edge of the Yucatán Peninsula. A seafloor-mapping cruise aboard the R/V Falkor, equipped with Kongsberg EM302 30 kHz and EM710 70-100 kHz multibeam sonars, was conducted in March 2013 to produce a detailed map of the escarpment. Surveys were conducted along the escarpment face for 612 km, targeting the water depth range between 400 m and the escarpment base at ≤ 3,700 m. Segments with two distinctive reliefs are observed in the escarpment face: The first type of relief is a continuous slope over the entire surveyed depth, with numerous v-shaped gullies and intervening ridges. In contrast, the second type of relief is characterized by slopes of 5° above ~2-2.5 km depth with an abrupt change to 25° slopes below. As many as 80 submarine canyons are present along this relief. The canyons are topped with semicircular amphitheaters of gentler slopes above ~2-2.5 km but rimmed with 500 m high cliffs on the steep slope section below. The steep cliffs appear free from sediment drape and can be traced laterally for large segments of the escarpment, suggesting that these are horizontal units with outcropping strata. The location of the K-Pg boundary on the escarpment can be inferred from its identification on DSDP Leg 17 Site 86, drilled on a terrace at 1,462 m depth, and 200 m from the edge of the escarpment, and on DSDP Leg 17 Site 94, drilled in 1,793 m depth, 5.5 km from the edge of the platform. Based on the biostratigraphy of core cuttings recovered from both boreholes the base of the Tertiary in Site 86 is placed at between 2,016 and 2,081 m

  1. Meteorite Linked to Rock at Meridiani

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This meteorite, a basalt lava rock nearly indistinguishable from many Earth rocks, provided the first strong proof that meteorites could come from Mars. Originally weighing nearly 8 kilograms (17.6 pounds), it was collected in 1979 in the Elephant Moraine area of Antarctica. The side of the cube at the lower left in this image measures 1 centimeter (0.4 inches).

    This picture shows a sawn face of this fine-grained gray rock. (The vertical stripes are saw marks.) The black patches in the rock are melted rock, or glass, formed when a large meteorite hit Mars near the rock. The meteorite impact probably threw this rock, dubbed 'EETA79001,' off Mars and toward Antarctica on Earth. The black glass contains traces of martian atmosphere gases.

    The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has discovered that a rock dubbed 'Bounce' at Meridiani Planum has a very similar mineral composition to this meteorite and likely shares common origins. Bounce itself is thought to have originated outside the area surrounding Opportunity's landing site; an impact or collision likely threw the rock away from its primary home.

  2. Antarctic meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassidy, W. A.; Rancitelli, L. A.

    1982-04-01

    An abundance of meteorites has been discovered on two sites in the Antarctic which may assist in the study of the origins of meteorites and the history of the solar system. Characteristics particular to those meteorites discovered in this region are explained. These specimens, being well preserved due to the climate, have implications in the study of the cosmic ray flux through time, the meteoroid complex in space, and cosmic ray exposure ages. Implications for the study of the Antarctic, particularly the ice flow, are also discussed. Further discoveries of meteorites in this region are anticipated.

  3. Hexagonal diamonds in meteorites: implications.

    PubMed

    Hanneman, R E; Strong, H M; Bundy, F P

    1967-02-24

    A new polymorph of carbon, hexagonal diamond, has been discovered in the Canyon Diablo and Goalpara meteorites. This phase had been synthesized recently under specific high-pressure conditions in the laboratory. Our results: provide strong evidence that diamonds found in these meteorites were produced by intense shock pressures acting on crystalline graphite inclusions present within the meteorite before impact, rather than by disintegration of larger, statically grown diamonds, as some theories propose. PMID:17830485

  4. Proceedings of a Workshop on Antarctic Meteorite Stranding Surfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Cassidy, W.A.; Whillans, I.M.

    1990-08-01

    The discovery of large numbers of meteorites on the Antarctic Ice Sheet is one of the most exciting developments in polar science in recent years. The meteorites are found on areas of ice called stranding surfaces. Because of the sudden availability of hundreds, and then thousands, of new meteorite specimens at these sites, the significance of the discovery of meteorite stranding surfaces in Antarctica had an immediate and profound impact on planetary science, but there is also in this discovery an enormous, largely unrealized potential to glaciology for records of climatic and ice sheet changes. The glaciological interest derives from the antiquity of the ice in meteorite stranding surfaces. This exposed ice covers a range of ages, probably between zero and more than 500,000 years. The Workshop on Antarctic Meteorite Stranding Surfaces was convened to explore this potential and to devise a course of action that could be recommended to granting agencies. The workshop recognized three prime functions of meteorite stranding surfaces. They provide: (1) A proxy record of climatic change (i.e., a long record of climatic change is probably preserved in the exposed ice stratigraphy); (2) A proxy record of ice volume change; and (3) A source of unique nonterrestrial material.

  5. Proceedings of a Workshop on Antarctic Meteorite Stranding Surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cassidy, W. A. (Editor); Whillans, I. M. (Editor)

    1990-01-01

    The discovery of large numbers of meteorites on the Antarctic Ice Sheet is one of the most exciting developments in polar science in recent years. The meteorites are found on areas of ice called stranding surfaces. Because of the sudden availability of hundreds, and then thousands, of new meteorite specimens at these sites, the significance of the discovery of meteorite stranding surfaces in Antarctica had an immediate and profound impact on planetary science, but there is also in this discovery an enormous, largely unrealized potential to glaciology for records of climatic and ice sheet changes. The glaciological interest derives from the antiquity of the ice in meteorite stranding surfaces. This exposed ice covers a range of ages, probably between zero and more than 500,000 years. The Workshop on Antarctic Meteorite Stranding Surfaces was convened to explore this potential and to devise a course of action that could be recommended to granting agencies. The workshop recognized three prime functions of meteorite stranding surfaces. They provide: (1) A proxy record of climatic change (i.e., a long record of climatic change is probably preserved in the exposed ice stratigraphy); (2) A proxy record of ice volume change; and (3) A source of unique nonterrestrial material.

  6. Initial Results on the Meteoritic Component of new Sediment Cores Containing Deposits of the Eltanin Impact Event

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kyte, Frank T.; Gersonde, Rainer; Kuhn, Gerhard

    2002-01-01

    The late Pliocene impact of the Eltanin asteroid is the only known asteroid impact in a deep- ocean (-5 km) basin . This was first discovered in 1981 as an Ir anomaly in sediment cores collected by the USNS Eltanin in 1965. In 1995, Polarstern expedition ANT XII/4 made the first geological survey of the suspected impact region. Three sediment cores sampled around the San Martin seamounts (approx. 57.5 S, 91 W) contained well-preserved impact deposits that include disturbed ocean sediments and meteoritic impact ejecta. The latter is composed of shock-melted asteroidal materials and unmelted meteorites. In 2001, the FS Polarstern returned to the impact area during expedition ANT XVIIU5a. At least 16 cores were recovered that contain ejecta deposits. These cores and geophysical data from the expedition can be used to map the effects of the impact over a region of about 80,000 square km. To date we have measured Ir concentrations in sediments from seven of the new cores and preliminary data should be available for a few more by the time of the meeting. Our initial interpretation of these data is that there is a region in the vicinity of the San Martin Seamounts comprising at least 20,000 square km in which the average amount of meteoritic material deposited was more than 1 g per square cm. This alone is enough material to support a 500 m asteroid. Beyond this is a region of about 60,000 square km, mostly to the north and west, where the amount of ejecta probably averages about 0.2 g per square cm. Another 400 km to the east, USNS Eltanin core E10-2 has about 0.05 g per square cm, so we know that ejecta probably occurs across more than a million square km of ocean floor. A key to future exploration of this impact is to find evidence of the ejecta at more sites distant from the seamounts. We currently have almost no data from regions to the west or south of the San Martin seamounts.

  7. The Mason Gully Meteorite Fall in SW Australia: Fireball Trajectory, Luminosity, Dynamics, Orbit and Impact Position from Photographic Records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spurny, P.; Bland, P. A.; Borovicka, J.; Towner, M. C.; Shrbeny, L.; Bevan, A. W. R.; Vaughan, D.

    2012-05-01

    We report a new instrumentally recorded meteorite fall, named Mason Gully, which was recorded by photographic cameras of the Desert Fireball Network in SW Australia. The Mason Gully is one of the most precisely determined meteorite dropping fireball.

  8. Meteorites, Microfossils and Exobiology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    1997-01-01

    The discovery of evidence for biogenic activity and possible microfossils in a Martian meteorite may have initiated a paradigm shift regarding the existence of extraterrestrial microbial life. Terrestrial extremophiles that live in deep granite and hydrothermal vents and nanofossils in volcanic tuffs have altered the premise that microbial life and microfossils are inconsistent with volcanic activity and igneous rocks. Evidence for biogenic activity and microfossils in meteorites can no longer be dismissed solely because the meteoritic rock matrix is not sedimentary. Meteorite impact-ejection and comets provide mechanisms for planetary cross-contamination of biogenic chemicals, microfossils, and living microorganisms. Hence, previously dismissed evidence for complex indigenous biochemicals and possible microfossils in carbonaceous chondrites must be re-examined. Many similar, unidentifiable, biological-like microstructures have been found in different carbonaceous chondrites and the prevailing terrestrial contaminant model is considered suspect. This paper reports the discovery of microfossils indigenous to the Murchison meteorite. These forms were found in-situ in freshly broken, interior surfaces of the meteorite. Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM) and optical microscopy images indicate that a population of different biological-like forms are represented. Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy reveals these forms have high carbon content overlaying an elemental distribution similar to the matrix. Efforts at identification with terrestrial microfossils and microorganisms were negative. Some forms strongly resemble bodies previously isolated in the Orgueil meteorite and considered microfossils by prior researchers. The Murchison forms are interpreted to represent an indigenous population of the preserved and altered carbonized remains (microfossils) of microorganisms that lived in the parent body of this meteorite at diverse times during the past 4.5 billion

  9. High Temperature and High Pressure Mixtures of Iron Oxides from the Impact Event at the Bee Bluff Crypto-Meteorite Impact Crater of South Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graham, R. A.

    2012-10-01

    Disturbed geology within a several km diameter surface area of sedimentary Carrizo Sandstone near Uvalde, Texas, indicates the presence of a partially buried meteorite impact crater. Identification of its impact origin is supported by detailed studies but quartz grains recovered from distances of about100 km from the structure also show planar deformation features (PDFs). While PDFs are recognized as uniquely from impact processes, quantitative interpretation requires extension of Hugoniot materials models to more realistic grain-level, mixture models. Carrizo sandstone is a porous mixture of fine quartz and goethite. At impact pressures of tens of GPa, goethite separates into hematite and water vapor upon release of impact pressure. Samples from six different locations up to 50 km from the impact site preserve characteristic features resulting from mixtures of goethite, its water vapor, hematite and quartz. Spheroids resulting from local radial acceleration of mixed density, hot products are common at various sites. Local hydrodynamic instabilities cause similar effects.

  10. The Cantarell Breccia System, Southern Gulf Of Mexico: Structural Evolution And Support For An Origin Relarted To The Chixculub Meteorite Impact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricoy, V.

    2003-04-01

    The Upper Cretaceous within the Campeche Basin, southern Gulf of Mexico hosts a world class petroleum system. Cantarell is the most important reservoir that consists of a complex brecciated carbonate reservoir deposited at or around the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. Previous sedimentological studies suggests that the Upper Cretaceous Carbonate breccias found in the Cantarell oilfield system and through the Bay of Campeche, were the result of a catastrophic shelf collapse event triggered by the Chixculub meteorite impact. This work presents new evidence from structural and stratigraphic interpretation of 3D seismic and 2D lines which gives light to features that support the platform collapse model. The reservoir consists of thick (up to 300 m), heterogeneous, monomyctic and polymictic breccias developed at the K-T boundary, and widely distributed throughout the Campeche Basin. The timing, internal architecture, widespread deposition and distance to the platform margin source (over 30 kms) of the breccia unit, combined with a contorted irregular seismic reflector near the base of the Cretaceous carbonate platform, suggests that the geological processes accountable for the emplacement of the breccias relates to the massive catastrophic collapse of the Cretaceous platform as a result of the Chixculub meteorite impact. Structural interpretation of the 3D seismic data, together with well stratigraphic markers unraveled a complex Oligocene-Miocene structural deformation history of the Cantarell field, which resulted in several discrete reservoir blocks partitioned by a complex array of thrusts, normal and reverse faults. It is proposed that the structural deformation of the area controlled to a large extent the distribution of the reservoir properties found in the Cantarell area. This idea is tested using the structural model matched against the well log porosity data.

  11. Dangerous Near-Earth Asteroids and Meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mickaelian, A. M.; Grigoryan, A. E.

    2015-07-01

    The problem of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs; Astreoids and Meteorites) is discussed. To have an understanding on the probablity of encounters with such objects, one may use two different approaches: 1) historical, based on the statistics of existing large meteorite craters on the Earth, estimation of the source meteorites size and the age of these craters to derive the frequency of encounters with a given size of meteorites and 2) astronomical, based on the study and cataloging of all medium-size and large bodies in the Earth's neighbourhood and their orbits to estimate the probability, angles and other parameters of encounters. Therefore, we discuss both aspects and give our present knowledge on both phenomena. Though dangerous NEOs are one of the main source for cosmic catastrophes, we also focus on other possible dangers, such as even slight changes of Solar irradiance or Earth's orbit, change of Moon's impact on Earth, Solar flares or other manifestations of Solar activity, transit of comets (with impact on Earth's atmosphere), global climate change, dilution of Earth's atmosphere, damage of ozone layer, explosion of nearby Supernovae, and even an attack by extraterrestrial intelligence.

  12. Delivery of meteorites from the asteroid belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nolan, Michael Craig

    The process of the delivery of meteorites to the surface of the Earth from plausible source regions such as the asteroid belt is currently understood in general terms, but important uncertainties and conflicts remain to be resolved. Stochastic effects of the rare disruptions of large asteroids on the population of meteorite-sized Earth-crossing asteroids can change the flux and the proportions of compositional types in the infalling meteorite population. These changes can be significant in magnitude over timescales of 108 years. Changes of the order of 1 percent can be expected on timescales of 105-106 y, consistent with small differences between the Antarctic meteorites and modern falls. The magnitude of changes depends strongly on poorly-understood details of collisions. Asteroids 961 Gaspra and 243 Ida were recently imaged by the Galileo spacecraft. I use a numerical hydrocode model to examine the outcomes of various sire impacts into targets the sizes of these asteroids. A shock wave fractures the asteroid in advance of crater excavation flow; thus, for impactors larger than 100 m, impacting at 5.3 km s-1, tensile strength is unimportant in these bodies, whether they are initially intact or are 'rubble piles'. Because of the shock-induced fracture, impact results are controlled by gravity. Therefore these asteroids are much more resistant to catastrophic disruption than predicted by previous estimates, which had assumed that strength was controlling these processes for rock targets. Fracture of km-size asteroids is different from fracture in terrestrial experiments using few-cm targets. The composition distribution of delivered meteorites depends on the outcomes of such asteroid impacts.

  13. Search for a meteoritic component in impact-melt rocks from the Lonar crater, India - Evidence from osmium isotope systematics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulz, T.; Luguet, A.; Koeberl, C.

    2013-12-01

    Introduction: The Lonar crater in western India (Maharashtra) is a bowl-shaped simple impact structure of 1830 m diameter and a depth of 120 m below the rim crest. The crater formed 0.656 × 0.081 Ma ago on the 65 Ma old basaltic lava flows of the Deccan Traps (Jourdan et al. 2010) and is one of the few terrestrial impact structures to have formed in basaltic host-rocks. In the absence of actual meteorite fragments, the impact origin of this structure was supported by the identification of a variety of shock metamorphic features (e.g. Fredriksson et al. 1973). However, clear indications of an extraterrestrial component in impactites based on geochemical studies are absent or remained ambiguous so far (e.g. Osae et al. 2005). As the Os isotope tool has the potential to provide firm constraints on the presence or absence of even very small (<<1%) contributions of meteoritic matter to impactite lithologies (e.g. Koeberl et al. 2002), we conduct a detailed Os isotope study of a variety of unshocked host-basalts (target rocks) and impactites (impact-melt rocks) from the Lonar crater. Samples and Method: All samples analyzed in this study were collected in 2000 and 2001 and were geochemically characterized by Osae et al. (2005). Osmium (and additional PGE) analyses were performed on about 2 g whole rock powders, which were spiked with a mixed 190Os,185Re,191Ir,194Pt tracer, and digested via high pressure Asher using inverse aqua regia. Osmium solvent extraction and microdistillation were performed as described by Cohen and Waters (1996). Osmium isotopic compositions were measured using a TRITON N-TIMS at the Department of Lithospheric Research in Vienna. Results and Discussion: Osmium data on seven target and nine impact melt rocks reveal 187Os/188Os ratios ranging from ~0.38 to ~2.23 for the target rocks and from ~0.22 to ~0.59 for the nine analyzed impact melt rocks, whereas Os concentrations range from ~7.1 to ~31.6 ppt and ~7.2 to ~134 ppt, respectively. Although in

  14. Hf-W, Sm-Nd, and Rb-Sr isotopic evidence of late impact fractionation and mixing of silicates on iron meteorite parent bodies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snyder, Gregory A.; Lee, Der-Chuen; Ruzicka, Alex M.; Prinz, Martin; Taylor, Lawrence A.; Halliday, Alex N.

    2001-03-01

    We report the first Sm-Nd and Rb-Sr isotopic analyses of silicate inclusions in four IIE iron meteorites: Miles, Weekeroo Station A and B, and Watson. We also report the Hf-W isotopic composition of a silicate inclusion from Watson and 182W/ 184W of the host FeNi metal in all four IIEs. The host metal in Watson has a negative ɛW value (-2.21±0.24), similar to or higher than other iron meteorites [1,35] and consistent with segregation of metal from silicate early in solar system history. However, the large silicate inclusion in the Watson IIE iron yielded a chondritic ɛW value (-0.50±0.55), thus indicating a lack of equilibration with the FeNi host within the practical lifetime of activity of the parent 182Hf (˜50 Ma). One of the silicate inclusions in Miles is roughly chondritic in major-element composition, has a present-day ɛNd of +10.3, relatively non-radiogenic 87Sr/ 86Sr (0.714177±13), and a TCHUR age of 4270 Ma. Two silicate inclusions from Weekeroo Station and one from Watson exhibit fractionated Sm/Nd and Rb/Sr ratios, and more radiogenic 87Sr/ 86Sr (0.731639±12 to 0.791852±11) and non-radiogenic ɛNd values (-5.9 to -13.4). The silicate inclusion in Watson has a TCHUR age of 3040 Ma, in agreement with previously determined 4He and 40Ar gas retention ages, indicative of a late thermal event. A later event is implied for the two silicate inclusions in Weekeroo Station, which yield indistinguishable TCHUR ages of 698 and 705 Ma. Silicate inclusions in IIE iron meteorites formed over a period of 3 billion yr by impacts, involving an H-chondrite parent body and an FeNi metal parent body. The LILE-enriched nature of some of these silicates suggests several stages of melting, mixing, and processing. However, there is little evidence to suggest that the silicates in the IIE irons were ever in equilibrium with the host FeNi metal.

  15. A statistical dynamical study of meteorite impactors: A case study based on parameters derived from the Bosumtwi impact event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galiazzo, M. A.; Bazsó, Á.; Huber, M. S.; Losiak, A.; Dvorak, R.; Koeberl, C.

    2013-11-01

    The study of meteorite craters on Earth provides information about the dynamic evolution of bodies within the Solar System. the Bosumtwi crater is a well studied, 10.5 km in diameter, ca. 1.07 Myr old impact structure located in Ghana. (Koeberl et al., 1997a). The impactor was ˜ 1 km in diameter, an ordinary chondrite and struck the Earth with an angle between 30o and 45o (Artemieva et al., 2004) from the horizontal. We have used a two phase backward integration to constrain the most probable parent region of the impactor. We find that the most likely source region is a high inclination object from the Middle Main Belt.

  16. Geochemical comparison of impact glasses from lunar meteorites ALHA81005 and MAC88105 and Apollo 16 regolith 64001

    SciTech Connect

    Delano, J.W. )

    1991-11-01

    Most glasses that occur in lunar highland regolith are quenched droplets of impact melt. The chemical compositions of these glasses are equivalent, in the absence of volatile losses, to the original target materials. The compositional range of impact glasses in a regolith reflects the chemical diversity that existed throughout the region up to the time of system closure (e.g., breccia formation). Since these glasses are a product of widespread and random sampling, both in terms of space and time, they can be used for geochemical exploration of the Moon. The major-element compositions of impact glasses occurring in three samples of lunar feldspathic regolith (ALHA81005; MAC88105; Apollo 16 64001) have been determined by electron microprobe. The glass populations among these three unrelated samples are compositionally distinct. While most of the impact glasses within each of these three samples are compositionally similar to the regolith in which they are found, up to 40% of the impact glasses are different. Some of the compositionally exotic glasses were ballistically transported from other areas of the Moon and thereby provide information about the compositional range of regoliths that exist elsewhere. Since the geological setting of the Apollo 16 region is well known compared to the source areas of the lunar meteorites, the Apollo 16 glasses provide a ground truth for interpretations.

  17. Shock effects in meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stoeffler, D.; Bischoff, A.; Buchwald, V.; Rubin, A. E.

    1988-01-01

    The impacts that can occur between objects on intersecting solar system orbits can generate shock-induced deformations and transformations, creating new mineral phases or melting old ones. These shock-metamorphic effects affect not only the petrography but the chemical and isotopic properties and the ages of primordial meteoritic materials. A fuller understanding of shock metamorphism and breccia formation in meteorites will be essential not only in the study of early accretion, differentiation, and regolith-evolution processes, but in the characterization of the primordial composition of the accreted material itself.

  18. Mars Life? - Meteorite ALH84001

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    This 4.5 billion-year-old rock, labeled meteorite ALH84001, is believed to have once been a part of Mars and to contain fossil evidence that primitive life may have existed on Mars more than 3.6 billion years ago. The rock is a portion of a meteorite that was dislodged from Mars by a huge impact about 16 million years ago and that fell to Earth in Antarctica 13,000 years ago. The meteorite was found in Allan Hills ice field, Antarctica, by an annual expedition of the National Science Foundation's Antarctic Meteorite Program in 1984. It is preserved for study at the Johnson Space Center's Meteorite Processing Laboratory in Houston.

  19. History of meteorites from the moon collected in antarctica.

    PubMed

    Eugster, O

    1989-09-15

    In large asteroidal or cometary impacts on the moon, lunar surface material can be ejected with escape velocities. A few of these rocks were captured by Earth and were recently collected on the Antarctic ice. The records of noble gas isotopes and of cosmic ray-produced radionuclides in five of these meteorites reveal that they originated from at least two different impact craters on the moon. The chemical composition indicates that the impact sites were probably far from the Apollo and Luna landing sites. The duration of the moon-Earth transfer for three meteorites, which belong to the same fall event on Earth, lasted 5 to 11 million years, in contrast to a duration of less than 300,000 years for the two other meteorites. From the activities of cosmic ray-produced radionuclides, the date of fall onto the Antarctic ice sheet is calculated as 70,000 to 170,000 years ago. PMID:17747880

  20. Dynamical properties measurements for asteroid, comet and meteorite material applicable to impact modeling and mitigation calculations

    SciTech Connect

    Furnish, M.D.; Boslough, M.B.; Gray, G.T. III; Remo, J.L.

    1994-07-01

    We describe methods for measuring dynamical properties for two material categories of interest in understanding large-scale extraterrestrial impacts: iron-nickel and underdense materials (e.g. snow). Particular material properties measured by the present methods include Hugoniot release paths and constitutive properties (stress vs. strain). The iron-nickel materials lend themselves well to conventional shock and quasi-static experiments. As examples, a suite of experiments is described including six impact tests (wave profile compression/release) over the stress range 2--20 GPa, metallography, quasi-static and split Hopkinson pressure bar (SHPB) mechanical testing, and ultrasonic mapping and sound velocity measurements. Temperature sensitivity of the dynamic behavior was measured at high and low strain rates. Among the iron-nickel materials tested, an octahedrite was found to have behavior close to that of Armco iron under shock and quasi-static conditions, while an ataxite exhibited a significantly larger quasi-static yield strength than did the octahedrite or a hexahedrite. The underdense materials pose three primary experimental difficulties. First, the samples are friable; they can melt or sublimate during storage, preparation and testing. Second, they are brittle and crushable; they cannot withstand such treatment as traditional machining or launch in a gun system. Third, with increasing porosity the calculated Hugoniot density becomes rapidly more sensitive to errors in wave time-of-arrival measurements. Carefully chosen simulants eliminate preservation (friability) difficulties, but the other difficulties remain. A family of 36 impact tests was conducted on snow and snow simulants at Sandia, yielding reliable Hugoniot and reshock states, but limited release property information. Other methods for characterizing these materials are discussed.

  1. Unmelted meteoritic debris in the Late Pliocene iridium anomaly - Evidence for the ocean impact of a nonchondritic asteroid

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kyte, F. T.; Brownlee, D. E.

    1985-01-01

    Ir-bearing particles have been recovered from two piston cores in the Antarctic Basin in the southeastern Pacific. In core E13-3, the particles closely correspond to the Late Pliocene Ir anomaly and have a fluence of about 100 mg/cm sq. In core E13-4, 120 km to the southwest, the particle fluence is about 4 mg/cm sq. Particles with diameters from 0.5 to 4 mm contain at least 35 percent of the Ir in this horizon. Three types of particles have been identified: (1) vesicular, (2) basaltic, and (3) metal. The vesicular particles appear to be shock-melted debris derived from the oceanic impact of a howarditic asteroid containing a minor metal component. These particles have recrystallized from a melt and impact into the ocean has resulted in the incorporation of Na, K, Cl, and radiogenic Sr from the ocean water target. The basaltic clasts appear to be unmelted fragments of the original asteroid which may have separated from the main body prior to impact. Combined vesicular and basaltic particles are believed to have formed by collisions in the debris cloud. Estimates of the diameter of the projectile range from 100 to 500 m. By many orders of magnitude, this is the most massive achondrite sampled by a single meteorite fall.

  2. Osmium isotope evidence for a large Late Triassic impact event.

    PubMed

    Sato, Honami; Onoue, Tetsuji; Nozaki, Tatsuo; Suzuki, Katsuhiko

    2013-01-01

    Anomalously high platinum group element concentrations have previously been reported for Upper Triassic deep-sea sediments, which are interpreted to be derived from an extraterrestrial impact event. Here we report the osmium (Os) isotope fingerprint of an extraterrestrial impact from Upper Triassic chert successions in Japan. Os isotope data exhibit a marked negative excursion from an initial Os isotope ratio ((187)Os/(188)Osi) of ~0.477 to unradiogenic values of ~0.126 in a platinum group element-enriched claystone layer, indicating the input of meteorite-derived Os into the sediments. The timing of the Os isotope excursion coincides with both elevated Os concentrations and low Re/Os ratios. The magnitude of this negative Os isotope excursion is comparable to those found at Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary sites. These geochemical lines of evidence demonstrate that a large impactor (3.3-7.8 km in diameter) produced a global decrease in seawater (187)Os/(188)Os ratios in the Late Triassic. PMID:24036603

  3. Osmium isotope evidence for a large Late Triassic impact event

    PubMed Central

    Sato, Honami; Onoue, Tetsuji; Nozaki, Tatsuo; Suzuki, Katsuhiko

    2013-01-01

    Anomalously high platinum group element concentrations have previously been reported for Upper Triassic deep-sea sediments, which are interpreted to be derived from an extraterrestrial impact event. Here we report the osmium (Os) isotope fingerprint of an extraterrestrial impact from Upper Triassic chert successions in Japan. Os isotope data exhibit a marked negative excursion from an initial Os isotope ratio (187Os/188Osi) of ∼0.477 to unradiogenic values of ∼0.126 in a platinum group element-enriched claystone layer, indicating the input of meteorite-derived Os into the sediments. The timing of the Os isotope excursion coincides with both elevated Os concentrations and low Re/Os ratios. The magnitude of this negative Os isotope excursion is comparable to those found at Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary sites. These geochemical lines of evidence demonstrate that a large impactor (3.3–7.8 km in diameter) produced a global decrease in seawater 187Os/188Os ratios in the Late Triassic. PMID:24036603

  4. Unprecedented Evidence for Large Scale Heterogeneous Nucleation of Polar Stratospheric Clouds, Likely by Nanometer-Sized Meteoritic Particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engel, I.; Pitts, M. C.; Luo, B.; Hoyle, C. R.; Zobrist, B.; Jacot, L.; Poole, L. R.; Grooss, J.; Weigel, R.; Borrmann, S.; Ebert, M.; Duprat, J.; Peter, T.

    2012-12-01

    Recent observations cast serious doubts on our understanding of the processes responsible for polar stratospheric cloud (PSC) formation. PSCs play crucial roles in polar ozone chemistry by hosting heterogeneous reactions and by removal of reactive nitrogen through sedimenting nitric acid trihydrate (NAT) particles. An extensive field campaign took place in the Arctic during the winter 2009/2010 within the European Union project RECONCILE, complemented by measurements from the spaceborne CALIOP (Cloud-Aerosol LIdar with Orthogonal Polarization) instrument. Through trajectory and microphysical box model calculations, we analyzed CALIOP data from the RECONCILE winter to investigate the nucleation of PSC particles in detail. One significant finding was that liquid/NAT mixture PSCs were prevalent in late December 2009, a period during which no ice PSCs were observed, and temperatures were higher by 6 K than required for homogeneous ice freezing at the onset of PSC formation. These NAT particles must have formed through some non-ice nucleation mechanism, which runs counter to the widely held view that the only efficient NAT nuclei were ice crystals formed by homogeneous freezing of STS droplets. Furthermore, in mid-January 2010, a large region of the Arctic vortex cooled below the frost point, leading to widespread synoptic-scale ice PSCs, unusual for the Arctic. Our modeling studies indicate that a match with the CALIOP data calls for new heterogeneous nucleation mechanisms for both NAT and ice particles, namely freezing on nanometer-sized, solid nuclei immersed in the liquid stratospheric aerosols. Number concentrations of non-volatile particles were measured in situ during RECONCILE by means of the heated channel of the condensation nuclei (CN) counter COPAS on board of the high-flying aircraft Geophysica. 60-80 % of all CN survived heating to 250 °C. Offline Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy and Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis of RECONCILE impactor samples

  5. Search for a meteoritic component in drill cores from the Bosumtwi impact structure, Ghana: Platinum group element contents and osmium isotopic characteristics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDonald, Iain; Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Bernhard; Coney, Louise; Ferrière, Ludovic; Reimold, Wolf Uwe; Koeberl, Christian

    An attempt was made to detect a meteoritic component in both crater-fill (fallback) impact breccias and fallout suevites (outside the crater rim) at the Bosumtwi impact structure in Ghana. Thus far, the only clear indication for an extraterrestrial component related to this structure has been the discovery of a meteoritic signature in Ivory Coast tektites, which formed during the Bosumtwi impact event. Earlier work at Bosumtwi indicated unusually high levels of elements that are commonly used for the identification of meteoritic contamination (i.e., siderophile elements, including the platinum group elements [PGE]) in both target rocks and impact breccias from surface exposures around the crater structure, which does not allow unambiguous verification of an extraterrestrial signature. The present work, involving PGE abundance determinations and Os isotope measurements on drill core samples from inside and outside the crater rim, arrives at the same conclusion. Despite the potential of the Os isotope system to detect even small amounts of extraterrestrial contribution, the wide range in PGE concentrations and Os isotope composition observed in the target rocks makes the interpretation of unradiogenic, high-concentration samples as an impact signature ambiguous.

  6. Formation of Carbon-Rich Grains in Air by Meteoritic Showers of Tke Nio and Chelyabinsk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miura, Y.

    2015-07-01

    Carbon separation and concentration process can be formed at explosions of meteorite shower in air of the Nio (Japan) and Chelyabinsk (Russia) meteorites. Carbon concentration process by meteoritic explosions is an impact above terrestrial surface.

  7. Transfer of Organic br and cl from the Biosphere to the Atmosphere during Meteorite Impacts: Implications for the Stratospheric Ozone Layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kourtidis, Kostas

    2010-05-01

    Following the Cretaceous / Tertiary (K/T) meteoritic impact some 65 Myr ago, large portions of aboveground terrestrial biomass were burned. As a result, large amounts of various trace gases were injected to the atmosphere, inducing a wide range of effects on climate and ecosystems. Here, it is commented on the emission to the atmosphere of methyl bromide (CH3Br) and methyl chloride (CH3Cl) from extensive biomass burning that followed the impact. Based on reported biomass burning emission rates, it is estimated that their emissions from global fires resulted in tropospheric mixing ratios of around 20-65.8 ppbv organic Cl and 110-390 pptv organic Br. The above calculated mixing ratios of active chlorine and bromine are more than an order of magnitude their present, anthropogenically perturbed level and, although the ocean ultimately might absorb them, we calculate here that they could still remain in the stratosphere for many years, substantially affecting the ozone layer. This would have lead to very serious increases in short wavelength UV radiation reaching the lowermost atmosphere. While impacts such as the K/T one occur at intervals of 107 yrs, more frequent, less massive events could ignite a smaller portion of the global forests. If one-tenth of the forests ignited during the K/T event are burned, CH3Cl and CH3Br levels might rise by 3.6-12 times and 1.1-3.9 times their present level, respectively, leading still to global ozone-hole conditions.

  8. Meteorites for K-12 Classrooms: NASA Meteorite Educational Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindstrom, M.; Allen, J.

    1995-09-01

    The fall of a new meteorite is an event that catches the interest of the public in matters of science. The threat of a huge impact like last year's comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 gives us all reason to evaluate such potential risks. NASA's meteorite educational materials use our natural interest in rocks from space to present classroom activities on planetary science. The meteorite educational package includes a meteorite sample disk, a teachers's guide and a slide set. The sample disk is a lucite disk containing chips of six different kinds of meteorites (3 chondrites, achondrite, iron, stony-iron). EXPLORING METEORITE MYSTERIES is a teacher's guide with background information and 19 hands-on or heads-on activities for grades 4-12. It was prepared in a partnership of planetary scientists and teachers. The slide set consists of 48 slides with captions to be used with the activities. The materials will be available in Fall 1995. Teachers may obtain a loan of the whole package from NASA Teacher Resource Centers; researchers may borrow them from the JSC meteorite curator. The booklet is available separately from the same sources, and the slide set will be available from NASA CORE. EXPLORING METEORITE MYSTERIES is an interdisciplinary planetary science unit which teaches basic science concepts and techniques together with math, reading, writing and social studies The activities are done in a variety of different teaching styles which emphasize observation, experimentation and critical thinking. The activities are ideal for middle schools where teaming makes interdisciplinary units desireable, but most of the activities can be easily modified for grade levels from upper elementary through high school. Meteorites are a natural subject for interdisciplinary teaching because their study involves all fields of science and offers fascinating historical accounts and possibilities for creative expression. Topics covered in EXPLORING METEORITE MYSTERES are centered around basic

  9. Impacts and Ophiolites: A Way to Recognize Large Terrestrial Impact Basins?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olds, E. P.

    2015-12-01

    That Chicxulub Crater is located on ~35 km thick continental crust is apparently inconsistent with oceanic crustal/upper mantle geochemical signatures detected globally in the KT boundary impact layer [1-5 and unpublished Cr isotope data from the Yin lab at UC Davis] since introduction of the Alvarez hypothesis [6]. Apparent excavation and ejection of mafic/ultramafic target rock by the KT boundary impact might imply an additional KT impact site involving oceanic lithosphere. We speculate: 1) The Greater Antilles island chain ophiolite belt marks the rim of a ~700 km diameter impact basin, deformed and dismembered from an originally circular form by at least 50 million years of left lateral shear on the North American-Caribbean transform plate boundary; 2) Other ophiolite segments may similarly mark rims of large impact basins deformed to greater or lesser extent by, and serving as strain markers for, relative plate motions over geologic time; 3) The Greater Antilles/Chicxulub and Sulu Sea Basin/Spratly Island cases may constitute doublet craters of similar size ratio and separation distance; 4) Plate boundaries may be formed or modified by such impacts. Problems include: 1) The KT fireball layer should be tens of cm thick rather than a few mm thick [8-9]; 2) Impact basins of this size/scale are not expected in the Phanerozoic/Proterozoic [10]; References: [1] DePaolo D. J. et al. 1983. EPSL 64:356-373. [2] Hildebrand A. R. and Boynton W. V. 1988, LPI Contributions 673:78-79. [3] Hildebrand A. R. and Boynton W. V.. 1990. Science 248:843-847. [4] Montanari A. et al. 1983. Geology 11:668. [5] Bohor B. F. et al. 1989. Meteoritics 24:253. [6] Alvarez L. W. et al. 1980 Science 208:1095-1108. [7][8] Grieve R.A.F. and Cintala M.J. 1992 Meteoritics 27: 526-538. [9] Pierazzo E. et al. 1997 Icarus 127/2:408-423. [10] Ivanov B.A. et al. 2002 Asteroids III 89-101

  10. Thermal and impact histories of reheated group IVA, IVB, and ungrouped iron meteorites and their parent asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, J.; Goldstein, J. I.; Scott, E. R. D.; Michael, J. R.; Kotula, P. G.; Pham, T.; McCoy, T. J.

    2011-09-01

    cause of reheating. Cooling over years rather than hours precludes shock during the impacts that exposed the irons to cosmic rays. If the reheated irons that we studied are representative, the IVA irons may have been shocked soon after they cooled below 200 °C at 4.5 Gyr in an impact that created a rubblepile asteroid with fragments from diverse depths. The primary cooling rates of the IVA irons and the proposed early history are remarkably consistent with the Pb-Pb ages of troilite inclusions in two IVA irons including the oldest known differentiated meteorite (Blichert-Toft et al. 2010).

  11. Detection of a meteoritic component in ivory coast tektites with rhenium-osmium isotopes.

    PubMed

    Koeberl, C; Shirey, S B

    1993-07-30

    Measurement of rhenium (Re) and osmium (Os) concentrations and Os isotopic compositions in Ivory Coast tektites (natural glasses with upper crustal compositions that are ejected great distances during meteorite impact) and rocks from the inferred source crater, Lake Bosumtwi, Ghana, show that these tektites incorporate about 0.6 percent of a meteoritic component. Analysis of elemental abundances of noble metals alone gives equivocal results in the detection of meteoritic components because the target rocks already have relatively large amounts of noble metals. The Re-Os system is ideally suited for the study of meteorite impacts on old continental crust for three reasons. (i) The isotopic compositions of the target rocks and the meteoritic impactor are significantly different. (ii) Closed-system mixing of target rocks and meteorites is linear on Re-Os isochron diagrams, which thus permits identification of the loss of Re or Os. (iii) Osmium isotopic compositions are not likely to be altered during meteorite impact even if Re and Os are lost. PMID:17758170

  12. Detection of a meteoritic component in Ivory Coast tektites with rhenium-osmium isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koeberl, Christian; Shirey, Steven B.

    1993-07-01

    Measurement of rhenium (Re) and osmium (Os) concentrations and Os isotopic compositions in Ivory Coast tektites (natural glasses with upper crustal compositions that are ejected great distances during meteorite impact) and rocks from the inferred source crater, Lake Bosumtwi, Ghana, show that these tektites incorporate about 0.6 percent of a meteoritic component. Analysis of elemental abundances of noble metals alone gives equivocal results in the detection of meteoritic components because the target rocks already have relatively large amounts of noble metals. The Re-Os system is ideally suited for the study of meteorite impacts on old continental crust for three reasons. The isotopic compositions of the target rocks and the meteoritic impactor are significantly different. Closed-system mixing of target rocks and meteorites is linear on Re-Os isochron diagrams, which thus permits identification of the loss of Re or Os. Osmium isotopic compositions are not likely to be altered during meteorite impact even if Re and Os are lost.

  13. Meteorite infall as a function of mass - Implications for the accumulation of meteorites on Antarctic ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huss, Gary R.

    1990-01-01

    Antarctic meteorites are considerably smaller, on average, than those recovered elsewhere in the world, and seem to represent a different portion of the mass distribution of infalling meteorites. When an infall rate appropriate to the size of Antarctic meteorites is used (1000 meteorites 10 grams or larger/sq km/1 million years), it is found that direct infall can produce the meteorite accumulations found on eight ice fields in the Allan Hills region in times ranging from a few thousand to nearly 200,000 years, with all but the Allan Hills Main and Near Western ice fields requiring less than 30,000 years. Meteorites incorporated into the ice over time are concentrated on the surface when the ice flows into a local area of rapid ablation. The calculated accumulation times, which can be considered the average age of the exposed ice, agree well with terrestrial ages for the meteorites and measured ages of exposed ice. Since vertical concentration of meteorites through removal of ice by ablation is sufficient to explain the observed meteorite accumulations, there is no need to invoke mechanisms to bring meteorites from large areas to the relatively small blue-ice patches where they are found. Once a meteorite is on a bare ice surface, freeze-thaw cycling and wind break down the meteorite and remove it from the ice. The weathering lifetime of a 100-gram meteorite on Antarctic ice is on the order of 10,000 + or - 5,000 years.

  14. Proposal of a Spatial Decision Support System architecture to estimate the consequences and costs of small meteorites impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garbolino, E.; Michel, P.

    2011-11-01

    On a frequency, depending on their size, small celestial bodies enter into the Earth atmosphere and collide with our planet. On a daily basis, the size is likely to be about 20 cm, while for monthly events the largest it may be is about 1 m. The last significant witnessed event occurred in 1908 in the Siberian area of the Tunguska. The forest was devastated over an area of 2000 km2. According to recent estimates, this kind of event could occur with a frequency of one per hundred to thousand years. Since the last century, the demography and the urbanisation have significantly increased. Although the probability that such an event occurs over a populated area remains small, if this happened, it could cause significant damages (industrial, shopping centres, recreational places, etc.). From the analysis of the data on meteorites that have impacted the Earth, of the orbital and size properties of small threatening bodies as well as their potential impact outcome, this paper proposes a methodology to estimate the damage resulting from the impact of objects of given sizes. The considered sizes are up to the maximum threshold for local damages (less than a hundred metres in diameter) on some given territory. This approach is based on an initial definition phase of collision scenarios. Then, a second phase consisting of the accurate modelling of the territory, taking into account the land-use, the spatial distribution of the populations and goods, and the characterisation of the biophysical vulnerability of the stakes using thresholds of dangerous phenomena (overpressures). The third phase is related to the impact simulation on the territory, the estimation of the stakes potentially exposed and the costs of the destruction. The aim of this paper is to make a demonstration of principle, using as a study case the city of Nice that benefits from a complete database of infrastructures.

  15. TEM study of meteorite impact glass at New Zealand Cretaceous-Tertiary sites: evidence for multiple impacts or differentiation during global circulation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauluz, Blanca; Peacor, Donald R.; Hollis, Christopher J.

    2004-03-01

    Study by transmission electron microscopy of samples from the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary clay at Flaxbourne River and Woodside Creek, New Zealand, has revealed the occurrence of nanometer-sized meteorite impact-derived glass. The average glass composition is exceptionally Ca-rich and is distinct from other glass found on Earth, apart from glass inferred to be of impact origin at Mexican and Haitian K-T sites. The glass shards are partially altered to montmorillonite-like smectite, with the dominant interlayer cation, Ca, reflecting the composition of the parent glass. The data imply a heterogeneous global distribution in composition of K-T boundary impact glass: Si-rich and Ca-rich in Mexico and Haiti, Si-rich in Denmark, and Ca-rich in New Zealand. This heterogeneous distribution may relate to dispersal processes similar to those used to account for the asymmetric distribution of clastic debris from the Chicxulub impact site. However, recent discovery of an impact crater of K-T boundary age in Ukraine raises the possibility of impact clusters which produce material of heterogeneous composition.

  16. Mechanical Properties of Fe-Ni Meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberta, Mulford; El Dasher, B.

    2010-10-01

    Iron-nickel meteorites exhibit a unique lamellar microstructure, Widmanstatten patterns, consisting of small regions with steep-iron-nickel composition gradients.1,2 The microstructure arises as a result of extremely slow cooling in a planetary core or other large mass. Mechanical properties of these structures have been investigated using microindentation, x-ray fluorescence, and EBSD. Observation of local mechanical properties in these highly structured materials supplements bulk measurements, which can exhibit large variation in dynamic properties, even within a single sample. 3 Accurate mechanical properties for meteorites may enable better modeling of planetary cores, the likely origin of these objects. Appropriate values for strength are important in impact and crater modeling and in understanding the consequences of observed impacts on planetary crusts. Previous studies of the mechanical properties of a typical iron-nickel meteorite, a Diablo Canyon specimen, indicated that the strength of the composite was higher by almost an order of magnitude than values obtained from laboratory-prepared specimens.4 This was ascribed to the extreme work-hardening evident in the EBSD measurements. This particular specimen exhibited only residual Widmanstatten structures, and may have been heated and deformed during its traverse of the atmosphere. Additional specimens from the Canyon Diablo fall (type IAB, coarse octahedrite) and examples from the Muonionalusta meteorite and Gibeon fall ( both IVA, fine octahedrite), have been examined to establish a range of error on the previously measured yield, to determine the extent to which deformation upon re-entry contributes to yield, and to establish the degree to which the strength varies as a function of microstructure. 1. A. Christiansen, et.al., Physica Scripta, 29 94-96 (1984.) 2. Goldstein and Ogilvie, Geochim Cosmochim Acta, 29 893-925 (1965.) 3. M. D. Furnish, M.B. Boslough, G.T. Gray II, and J.L. Remo, Int. J. Impact Eng

  17. Identification of minerals and meteoritic materials via Raman techniques after capture in hypervelocity impacts on aerogel

    SciTech Connect

    Burchell, M J; Mann, J; Creighton, J A; Kearsley, A; Graham, G A; Esposito, A P; Franchi, I A; Westphal, A J; Snead, C

    2004-10-04

    For this study, an extensive suite of mineral particles analogous to components of cosmic dust were tested to determine if their Raman signatures can be recognized after hypervelocity capture in aerogel. The mineral particles were mainly of greater than 20 micrometers in size and were accelerated onto the silica aerogel by light gas gun shots. It was found that all the individual minerals captured in aerogel could be subsequently identified using Raman (or fluorescent) spectra. The beam spot size used for the laser illumination was of the order of 5 micrometers, and in some cases the captured particles were of a similar small size. In some samples fired into aerogel there was observed a shift in the wavenumbers of some of the Raman bands, a result of the trapped particles being at quite high temperatures due to heating by the laser. Temperatures of samples under laser illumination were estimated from the relative intensities of Stokes and anti-Stokes Raman bands, or, in the case of ruby particles, from the wavenumber of fluorescence bands excited by the laser. It was found that the temperature of particles in aerogel varied greatly, dependent upon laser power and the nature of the particle. In the worst case, some particles were shown to have temperatures in the 500-700 C range at a laser power of about 3 mW at the sample. However most of the mineral particles examined at this laser power had temperatures below 200 C. This is sufficiently low a temperature not to damage most materials expected to be found captured in aerogel in space. In addition, selected meteorite samples were examined to obtain Raman signatures of their constituent minerals and were then shot into aerogel. It was possible to find several Raman signatures after capture in aerogel and obtain a Raman map of a whole grain in situ in the aerogel. Finally, a Raman analysis was carried out of a particle captured in aerogel in space and carbonaceous material identified. In general therefore it is

  18. Microfossils in Carbonaceous Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2009-01-01

    Microfossils of large filamentous trichomic prokaryotes have been detected during in-situ investigations of carbonaceous meteorites. This research has been carried out using the Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM) to examine freshly fractured interior surfaces of the meteorites. The images obtained reveal that many of these remains are embedded in the meteorite rock matrix. Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDS) studies establish that the filamentous microstructures have elemental compositions consistent with the meteorite matrix, but are often encased within carbon-rich electron transparent sheath-like structures infilled with magnesium sulfate. This is consistent with the taphonomic modes of fossilization of cyanobacteria and sulphur bacteria, since the life habits and processes of these microorganisms frequently result in distinctive chemical biosignatures associated with the properties of their cell-walls, trichomes, and the extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) of the sheath. In this paper the evidence for biogenicity presented includes detailed morphological and morphometric data consistent with known characteristics of uniseriate and multiseriate cyanobacteria. Evidence for indigeneity includes the embedded nature of the fossils and elemental compositions inconsistent with modern biocontaminants.

  19. Chondritic Meteoritic Fragments Associated With the Permian-Triassic (P-T) Boundary in Antarctica: Evidence for an end-Permian Bolide Impact.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basu, A. R.; Petaev, M. I.; Poreda, R. J.; Jacobsen, S. B.; Becker, L.

    2003-12-01

    We report the discovery of meteoritic fragments, as large as 400μ m in size, in an end-Permian sedimentary bed in Graphite Peak, Central Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica. Here, the P-T boundary is well constrained isotopically and paleontologically, and its lithology is well documented. The boundary at this site is also characterized by fullerenes containing extraterrestrial 3He and shocked quartz grains. We found meteoritic fragments in two samples of a claystone-breccia bed (separated stratigraphically by 23cm) that rests directly above the coal horizon with the last occurrence of Glossopteris. The meteoritic fragments display poikilitic or granular texture with euhedral-subhedral forsterite crystals enclosed in larger clinoenstatite grains showing polysynthetic twinning. Some silicate grains contain tiny inclusions of Fe, Ni-metal grains with chondritic Ni/Fe and Co/Ni ratios. Overall, Ni/Fe, Co/Ni and P/Fe ratios in the metal grains, Fe/Mg and Mn/Fe ratios in olivines and pyroxenes, and the chemistry of Fe, Ni, P, S-bearing oxides within the meteoritic fragments are typical of CM chondritic meteorites. The meteoritic grains found in magnetic separates of the sediments are accompanied by abundant metal nuggets, which are also found in an end-Permian bed from Meishan, south China. The common occurrence of these Fe-Ni-Si metal grains at Graphite Peak and at the Meishan P-T section provides further evidence that we sampled the P-T boundary at Graphite Peak. The association of metal grains with discrete meteoritic fragments at the Graphite Peak P-T boundary along with previous reports of such metal grains from other P-T localities leads us to support a catastrophic collision of a celestial body with the Earth at the end-Permian. We believe that this is what caused the global extinction event at the P-T boundary. Thus it appears that the two largest mass extinctions in Earth history at the K-T and P-T boundaries were both caused by catastrophic collisions with

  20. International Workshop on Antarctic Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Annexstad, J. O.; Schultz, L.; Waenke, H.

    1986-01-01

    Topics addressed include: meteorite concentration mechanisms; meteorites and the Antarctic ice sheet; iron meteorites; iodine overabundance in meteorites; entrainment, transport, and concentration of meteorites in polar ice sheets; weathering of stony meteorites; cosmic ray records; radiocarbon dating; element distribution and noble gas isotopic abundances in lunar meteorites; thermoanalytical characterization; trace elements; thermoluminescence; parent sources; and meteorite ablation and fusion spherules in Antarctic ice.

  1. Crystal-bearing lunar spherules: Impact-melting of the Moon's crust and implications for the origin of meteoritic chondrules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruzicka, Alex; Snyder, Gregory A.; Taylor, Lawrence A.

    2000-01-01

    Crystal-bearing lunar spherules (CLSs) in lunar breccia (14313, 14315, 14318), soil (68001, 24105), and impact-melt-rock (62295) samples can be classified into two types: feldspathic and olivine-rich. Feldspathic CLSs contain equant, tabular, or acicular plagioclase grains set in glass or a pyroxene-olivine mesostasis; the less common olivine-rich CLSs contain euhedral or skeletal olivine set in glass, or possess a barred-olivine texture. Bulk-chemical and mineral-chemical data strongly suggest that feldspathic CLSs formed by impact-melting of mixtures of ferroan anorthosite and Mg-suite rocks that compose the feldspathic crust of the Moon. It is probable that olivine-rich CLSs also formed by impact-melting, but some appear to have been derived from distinctively magnesian lunar materials, atypical of the Moon's crust. Some CLSs contain reversely-zoned "relict" plagioclase grains that were not entirely melted during CLS formation, thin (?5 ?m thick) rims of troilite or phosphate, and chemical gradients in glassy mesostases attributed to metasomatism in a volatile-rich (Na-K-P-rich) environment. CLSs were rimmed and metasomatized prior to brecciation. Compound CLS objects are also present; these formed by low-velocity collisions in an environment, probably an ejecta plume, that contained numerous melt droplets. Factors other than composition were responsible for producing the crystallinity of the CLSs. We agree with previous workers that relatively slow cooling rates and long ballistic travel times were critical features that enabled these impact-melt droplets to partially or completely crystallize in free-flight. Moreover, incomplete melting of precursor materials formed nucleation sites that aided subsequent crystallization. Clearly, CLSs do not resemble meteoritic chondrules in all ways. The two types of objects had different precursors and did not experience identical rimming processes, and vapor-fractionation appears to have played a less important role in

  2. I-Xe structure of ILAFEGH 009 and shallowater: Evidence for early formation and rapid cooling of impact-derived enstatite meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kehm, K.; Nichols, R. H., Jr.; Hohenberg, C. M.; Mccoy, T. J.; Keil, K.

    1993-01-01

    Enstatite meteorites have proven to be ideal samples for past studies of the I-Xe system. This work focuses on two enstatite meteorites that were formed by impact processes. Ilafegh 009 is a clast-free impact melt rock from the EL chondrite parent body. The Shallowater aubrite likely formed when a fully molten planetesimal collided with a solid planetesimal, mixing fragments of the solid planetesimal into the enstatite mantle of the molten planetesimal. A complex three-stage cooling history resulted from this mixing and later break-up and reassembly of the parent body. The present study indicates that the I-Xe structure of these two meteorites resulted from in situ decay of live I-129 and that both experienced xenon closure of the iodine host phase at approximately the same time. I-Xe cooling rates are consistent with the cooling rates derived from mineralogic and petrologic studies of these objects. The similarities in ages suggest that the region of the nebula in which enstatite parent bodies formed must have experienced an intense early bombardment.

  3. Meteoritic trace element toxification and the terminal Mesozoic mass extinction

    SciTech Connect

    Dickson, S.M.; Erickson, D.J. III

    1985-01-01

    Calculations of trace element fluxes to the earth associated with 5 and 10 kilometer diameter Cl chondrites and iron meteorites are presented. The data indicate that the masses of certain trace elements contained in the bolide, such as Fe, Co, Ni, Cr, Pb, and Cu, are as large as or larger than the world ocean burden. The authors believe that this pulse of trace elements was of sufficient magnitude to perturb the biogeochemical cycles operative 65 million years ago, a probably time of meteorite impact. Geochemical anomalies in Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary sediments suggest that elevated concentrations of trace elements may have persisted for thousands of years in the ocean. Through direct exposure and bioaccumulation, many trophic levels of the global food chain, including that of the dinosaurs, would have been adversely affected by these meteoritic trace elements. The trace element toxification hypothesis may account for the selective extinction of both marine and terrestrial species in the enigmatic terminal Mesozoic event.

  4. Study of the Transformation of Meteoritic Organics during Hypervelocity Impacts in Support of Characterisation of Exogenous Organic Matter on the Surface of Icy Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaitsev, Maxim; Gerasimov, Mikhail; Ivanova, Marina; Lorenz, Cyril; Aseev, Sergey; Korochantsev, Alexander

    The main goal of the planned missions to Jupiter's Galilean satellites Ganymede or Europa is the search for extraterrestrial life which can be reviled by characterization of surface organics at the landing site. Planets and satellites are exposed for steady meteoritic and cometary bombardment which delivers exogenous organic species. The exogenous organic matter on the satellites surfaces can be represented by both unaltered organic matter of meteorites and comets, and by organic matter which is synthesized from organic and/or mineral components of falling bodies during the impacts. Adequate interpretation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) on the surface of Ganymede or Europa must take into account the presence of exogenous organic matter described above. The quantitative composition of exogenous organics is difficult to predict because it depends on the frequency of meteoritic/cometary bombardment, conditions and efficiency of organic synthesis in water mantle below the ice crust, speed of the ice crust renovation, and other factors. However, the qualitative composition of exogenous organics can be described through the study of organic matter in different classes of meteorites and products of their shock-evaporative transformation. We have carried out comparative studies of VOCs - products of pyrolysis of carbonaceous chondrites and condensed products of their high-temperature transformation in simulated shock-induced evaporation by pulse laser. We have investigated VOCs in samples of carbonaceous CM2 and CO3 chondrites (Murchison and Kainsaz respectively) and in condensed products of their high-temperature evaporation in neutral (helium) atmosphere using pyrolytic gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (Pyr-GC/MS) [1, 2]. Condensates contained the same hydrocarbons that we extracted at 460(°) C from the bulk samples of meteorites (aliphatic, alicyclic and aromatic hydrocarbons) but sufficiently larger amount of nitrogen-containing compounds

  5. Unique local structures of Ca, Ti, Fe and Zr in natural glasses formed by meteorite impact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshiasa, Akira; Tobase, Tsubasa; Okube, Maki; Wang, Ling; Isobe, Hiroshi; Mashimo, Tsutomu; Graduate School of Science; Technology Collaboration; Materials; Structures Laboratory, Tokyo Institute of Technology Collaboration

    2015-06-01

    The local structures of cation in tektite from six strewn fields, impact-related glass, and non-impact-related glass were studied by Ca, Ti, Fe and Zr K-edge X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) and extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS). Shock compression also causes local structural changes of gest and minor elements as well as transition of host structures. How to be left a record is peculiar by each element. The XAFS measurements were performed at the beam lines BL-NW10A and BL-9C, KEK, Japan. The comparison of XANES spectra and bonding distances between crystalline reference minerals and natural glasses was done. Based on the different valence states of iron, the degrees of oxidation states were estimated. The local structures of Ca, Ti and Zr ions are useful probe for physical conditions and formation process of glasses. Tektites experienced high quenching rates and a reduced atmospheric environment when they were ejected into outer space. Other impact-related glass, which was remained close to the crater, experienced a more complicated environment. The local structural changes of cation in the impact-related glass are rich in a variety. Analysis of local structure is help to compare their formation process and distinguish them.

  6. Amino acid survival in large cometary impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierazzo, E.; Chyba, C. F.

    1999-11-01

    A significant fraction of the Earth's prebiotic volatile inventory may have been delivered by asteroidal and cometary impacts during the period of heavy bombardment. The realization that comets are particularly rich in organic material seemed to strengthen this suggestion. Previous modeling studies, however, indicated that most organics would be entirely destroyed in large comet and asteroid impacts. The availability of new kinetic parameters for the thermal degradation of amino acids in the solid phase made it possible to readdress this question. We present the results of new high-resolution hydrocode simulations of asteroid and comet impact coupled with recent experimental data for amino acid pyrolysis in the solid phase. Differences due to impact velocity as well as projectile material have been investigated. Effects of angle of impacts were also addressed. The results suggest that some amino acids would survive the shock heating of large (kilometer-radius) cometary impacts. At the time of the origins of life on Earth, the steady-state oceanic concentration of certain amino acids (like aspartic and glutamic acid) delivered by comets could have equaled or substantially exceeded that due to Miller-Urey synthesis in a carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere. Furthermore, in the unlikely case of a grazing impact (impact angle around 5 degrees from the horizontal) an amount of some amino acids comparable to that due to the background steady-state production or delivery would be delivered to the early Earth.

  7. Cobbles and Meteorites at Meridiani Planum, Mars.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleischer, Iris; Klingelhöfer, Göstar; Schroeder, Christian; Ashley, James

    The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity landed on the plains of Meridiani Planum in January 2004 and has since covered a distance of more than 19 kilometers. The Meridiani plains are covered with basaltic sand, with frequent exposures of sulfate rich outcrop rock and a lag de-posit of hematite-rich spherules [1, 2]. Occasionally, Opportunity also encountered loose rocks scattered across the surface. To date, about a dozen of these "cobbles" with dimensions of a few centimeters have been analysed with Opportunity's contact instruments, providing information about elemental chemistry (Alpha Particle X-ray spectrometer, APXS), iron mineralogy and oxidation states (Müssbauer spectrometer, MB) and texture (Microscopic Imager, MI). Based on their chemistry and mineralogy, cobbles can be divided into three distinct groups. The first group comprises light toned fragments of the sulfate-rich bedrock, which are chemically and mineralogically indistinguishable from other outcrop rock. Among the remaining, dark-toned cobbles, two separate groups can be distinguished, referred to as "Barberton group", have high Ni and contain Fe-Ni metal phases and troilite, pointing to a meteoritic origin. They are prob-ably paired and may be mesosiderite fragments [3, 4]. "Arkansas group" cobbles appear to be related to soil and to Meridiani outcrop. They have brecciated textures, possibly pointing to an impact-related origin during which local bedrock and soil may have been mixed [5]. The groups were named after the first specimen of each group encountered by Opportunity. In addition, Opportunity encountered four iron meteorites. The first , "Heat Shield Rock", was encountered in January 2005 and officially recognized as the first iron meteorite on the martian surface with the name "Meridiani Planum" after the location of its find [3, 6, 7]. Three other iron meteorites were encountered between July and October 2009, separated by 10 km from Heat Shield Rock but less than 1 km from each other

  8. Meteorite and meteoroid: New comprehensive definitions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rubin, A.E.; Grossman, J.N.

    2010-01-01

    Meteorites have traditionally been defined as solid objects that have fallen to Earth from space. This definition, however, is no longer adequate. In recent decades, man-made objects have fallen to Earth from space, meteorites have been identified on the Moon and Mars, and small interplanetary objects have impacted orbiting spacecraft. Taking these facts and other potential complications into consideration, we offer new comprehensive definitions of the terms "meteorite,""meteoroid," and their smaller counterparts: A meteoroid is a 10-??m to 1-m-size natural solid object moving in interplanetary space. A micrometeoroid is a meteoroid 10 ??m to 2 mm in size. A meteorite is a natural, solid object larger than 10 ??m in size, derived from a celestial body, that was transported by natural means from the body on which it formed to a region outside the dominant gravitational influence of that body and that later collided with a natural or artificial body larger than itself (even if it is the same body from which it was launched). Weathering and other secondary processes do not affect an object's status as a meteorite as long as something recognizable remains of its original minerals or structure. An object loses its status as a meteorite if it is incorporated into a larger rock that becomes a meteorite itself. A micrometeorite is a meteorite between 10 ??m and 2 mm in size. Meteorite- "a solid substance or body falling from the high regions of the atmosphere" (Craig 1849); "[a] mass of stone and iron that ha[s] been directly observed to have fallen down to the Earth's surface" (translated from Cohen 1894); "[a] solid bod[y] which came to the earth from space" (Farrington 1915); "A mass of solid matter, too small to be considered an asteroid; either traveling through space as an unattached unit, or having landed on the earth and still retaining its identity" (Nininger 1933); "[a meteoroid] which has reached the surface of the Earth without being vaporized" (1958

  9. Ni/S/Cl systematics and the origin of impact-melt glasses in Martian meteorite Elephant Moraine 79001

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schrader, Christian M.; Cohen, Barbara A.; Donovan, John J.; Vicenzi, Edward P.

    2016-04-01

    Martian meteorite Elephant Moraine A79001 (EET 79001) has received considerable attention for the unusual composition of its shock melt glass, particularly its enrichment in sulfur relative to the host shergottite. It has been hypothesized that Martian regolith was incorporated into the melt or, conversely, that the S-enrichment stems from preferential melting of sulfide minerals in the host rock during shock. We present results from an electron microprobe study of EET 79001 including robust measurements of major and trace elements in the shock melt glass (S, Cl, Ni, Co, V, and Sc) and minerals in the host rock (Ni, Co, and V). We find that both S and major element abundances can be reconciled with previous hypotheses of regolith incorporation and/or excess sulfide melt. However, trace element characteristics of the shock melt glass, particularly Ni and Cl abundances relative to S, cannot be explained either by the incorporation of regolith or sulfide minerals. We therefore propose an alternative hypothesis whereby, prior to shock melting, portions of EET 79001 experienced acid-sulfate leaching of the mesostasis, possibly groundmass feldspar, and olivine, producing Al-sulfates that were later incorporated into the shock melt, which then quenched to glass. Such activity in the Martian near-surface is supported by observations from the Mars Exploration Rovers and laboratory experiments. Our preimpact alteration model, accompanied by the preferential survival of olivine and excess melting of feldspar during impact, explains the measured trace element abundances better than either the regolith incorporation or excess sulfide melting hypothesis does.

  10. Volatile loss following very large impacts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stevenson, D. J.

    1985-01-01

    Large impacts on growing planets can be fundamentally different in outcome than small impacts because they can lead to a planet-enveloping cloud of siliate vapor with a radiative cooling time long compared to dynamic time scales. Under these circumstances, there can be preferrential volatile loss by hydrodynamic outflow immediately above the silicate cloud deck. This loss is in ddition to the prompt, nonpreferential loss immediately following the impact event. During this time, evaporative loss (Jeans loss) can be 0.00001 of the planetary mass, provided the impact has substantial angular momentum and a magma disk forms. The loss is preferentially fromt he extremities of the disk and can be easily s100 bar-equivalents of CO2 or H2O. This implies devolatilization of Moon-forming material in an impact origin and may have important implications for the CO2 reservoirs of Venus, Earth, and Mars.

  11. Meteorite regolithic breccias

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bunch, T. E.; Rajan, R. S.

    1988-01-01

    In addition to endogenic processes such as heating and aqueous activity, meteorite parent bodies were subjected also to exogenic processing brought about by the impact of the other solar-system objects. Such impacts can produce a variety of effects, ranging from shock metamorphism of individual mineral grains to production of breccias; i.e., rocks consisting of mixtures of disparate lithic units. The present paper reviews recent studies of such breccias, which have generated significant information about the accretional growth of parent bodies, as well as their evolution, composition, stratigraphy, and geological processing.

  12. Insights to Meteorites and Impact Processes provided by Advanced EBSD Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palasse, Laurie; Berlin, Jana; Goran, Daniel; Tagle, Roald; Hamers, Maartje; Assis Fernandes, Vera; Deutsch, Alexander; Schulte, Peter; Salge, Tobias

    2013-04-01

    Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) is a powerful analytical technique for assessing the petrographic texture of rocks and the crystallographic orientation of minerals therein using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Innovations in EBSD technology include colour-coded forescattered electron (FSE) images, high resolution and highly sensitive EBSD detectors, together with advanced EDS integration. It allows to accurately identify and discriminate different phases, and to investigate microstructures related to shock metamorphism. As an example, shocked carbonates and shocked quartz reveal a complex thermal history during post-shock cooling. (A) EBSD studies of calcite ejecta particles from the Chicxulub impact event, at the K-Pg boundary of El Guayal, Mexico (~520 km SW of the Chicxulub crater centre) display various microstructures [1] and spherulitic calcite ejecta particles reveal a fibre texture of elongated crystals with a preferred orientation. This indicates the presence of carbonate melts which were ejected at T>1240°C and P>40 bar from upper target lithologies and crystallized at cooling rates of ~100´s °C/s [2]. The calcite particles of El Guayal and the K/Pg boundary of La Lajilla (~1000 km W of the crater centre) show distinct microstructures represented by unoriented, equiaxed crystals with random orientation distribution. It documents recrystallization upon impact induced thermal stress at T>550°C during prolonged atmospheric transport. (B) Combined EBSD, FSE and cathodoluminescence (CL) studies of semi-amorphous shocked quartz of Chicxulub, Ries and Popigai impactites, reveal various microstructures. Colour-coded FSE imaging reveal recrystallized/deformed bands in Ries and Popigai samples indicative of planar deformation features. EBSD studies of Popigai allow to distinguish twinned Qz, α-Qz and α-cristobalite along the transition zone between shocked gneiss clast and impact melt. Recrystallized Qz grains are associated with amorphous SiO2

  13. Canada's iron creek meteorite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spratt, C. E.

    1989-04-01

    An iron mass, of meteoritical origin, found on a hilltop in the southern Canadian prairies, is unique to Canadian scientific history. It is the third largest meteorite to have been found in Canada (at one time it was reported to be Canada's largest single meteorite mass). A brief historical account, and a corrected official weight (145 kilograms), of this interesting meteorite is presented.

  14. Distributional Impacts of Large Dams in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bao, X.

    2010-12-01

    Dams on a river are believed to have heterogeneous impacts to the upstream, local and downstream areas. Generally, irrigation dams will bring benefits to the downstream by facilitating more irrigation, while it will bring negative impacts to upstream due to inundation or no impact to local area as a combination result of population dislocation and economic benefits. This paper checked the impacts of large dams (above 100 meters) on the upstream, downstream and local area, using 2000-2008 county level data in China. Robust heterogeneous impacts of different categories of dams (mainly dams serving for irrigation, hydropower, or other purposes) were found on different areas, using IV regression approaches. Dams higher than 100 meters are significantly and heterogeneously impacting agricultural production, urban employment and rural per capita income. Its beneficial impact on agriculture production is significant for downstream especially in continuous drought years. But its impacts on social welfare indicators, such as primary school enrollment and hospital beds, are not heterogeneously different across regions.

  15. Environmental effects of large impacts on Mars.

    PubMed

    Segura, Teresa L; Toon, Owen B; Colaprete, Anthony; Zahnle, Kevin

    2002-12-01

    The martian valley networks formed near the end of the period of heavy bombardment of the inner solar system, about 3.5 billion years ago. The largest impacts produced global blankets of very hot ejecta, ranging in thickness from meters to hundreds of meters. Our simulations indicated that the ejecta warmed the surface, keeping it above the freezing point of water for periods ranging from decades to millennia, depending on impactor size, and caused shallow subsurface or polar ice to evaporate or melt. Large impacts also injected steam into the atmosphere from the craters or from water innate to the impactors. From all sources, a typical 100-, 200-, or 250-kilometers asteroid injected about 2, 9, or 16 meters, respectively, of precipitable water into the atmosphere, which eventually rained out at a rate of about 2 meters per year. The rains from a large impact formed rivers and contributed to recharging aquifers. PMID:12471254

  16. Lumparn Bay: A Meteorite Impact Crater in the Aland Archipelago, Southwest Finland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svensson, N.-B.

    1993-07-01

    Lumparn Bay, centered at latitude 60 degrees O9 minutes N and longitude 20 degrees 06 minutes E has a diameter of 10 km. The bedrock in the area is a rapakivi granite. Shatter cones have been found along the southwestern shore line of the bay. Drill cores do exist from the central part of the structure. Below Pleistocene sediments the topmost part of the bedrock is a Paleozoic limestone. It is followed downward by layers of crushed rapakivi granite that are very fine grained close to the limestone. The grain size increases systematically outward. If a fine-grained layer is designated "a" and the following layer, which has a larger grain-size, is designated "b," then the legend can be described as a(sub)n < b(sub)n where a(sub)1 < a(sub)2 ... a(sub)n and b(sub)1 < b(sub)2 < ... b(sub)n. It is suggested that this phenomenon might be characteristic for impact craters. In the uppermost part of the crushed rock material glassy patches do occur.

  17. Lithium in tektites and impact glasses: Implications for sources, histories and large impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magna, T.; Deutsch, A.; Mezger, K.; Skála, R.; Seitz, H.-M.; Mizera, J.; Řanda, Z.; Adolph, L.

    2011-04-01

    Lithium (Li) abundances and isotope compositions were determined in a representative suite of tektites (moldavites, Muong Nong-type tektites and an australite, Ivory Coast tektites and bediasites), impact-related glasses (Libyan Desert Glass, zhamanshinites and irghizites), a glass fragment embedded in the suevite from the Ries impact crater and sedimentary materials in order to test a possible susceptibility of Li to fractionation during hypervelocity impact events and to de-convolve links to their potential parental sources. The overall data show a large spread in Li abundance (4.7-58 ppm Li) and δ 7Li values (-3.2‰ to 26.0‰) but individual groups of tektites and impact glasses have distinctive Li compositions. Most importantly, any significant high-temperature Li isotope fractionation can be excluded by comparing sedimentary lithologies from central Europe with moldavites. Instead, we suggest that Li isotope compositions in tektites and impact-related glasses are probably diagnostic of the precursor materials and their pre-impact geological histories. The Muong Nong-type tektites and australite specimen are identical in terms of Li concentrations and δ 7Li and we tentatively endorse their common origin in a single impact event. Evidence for low-temperature Rayleigh fractionation, which must have operated prior to impact-induced melting and solidification, is provided for a subset of Muong Nong-type tektites. Although Li isotope variations in most tektites are broadly similar to those of the upper continental crust, Libyan Desert Glass carries high δ 7Li ⩾24.7‰, which appears to mirror the previous fluvial history of parental material that was perhaps deposited in lacustrine environment or coastal seawater. Lithium isotopes in impact-related glasses from the Zhamanshin crater define a group distinct from all other samples and point to melting of chemically less evolved mafic lithologies, which is also consistent with their major and trace element

  18. Comparison of lunar rocks and meteorites: Implications to histories of the moon and parent meteorite bodies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prinz, M.; Fodor, R. V.; Keil, K.

    1977-01-01

    There are many similarities between lunar samples and stone meteorites. Lunar samples, especially from the highlands, indicate that they have been affected by complex and repeated impact processes. Similar complex and repeated impact processes have also been operative on the achondritic and chondritic meteorites. Similarities between lunar and meteoritic rocks are discussed as follows: (1) Monomict and polymict breccias occur in lunar rocks, as well as in achondritic and chondritic meteorites, having resulted from complex and repeated impact processes; (2) Chondrules are present in lunar meteorites, as well as in a few achondritic and most chondritic meteorites. They apparently crystallized spontaneously from molten highly supercooled droplets which may have formed from impact melts or, perhaps, volcanic processes (as well as from the solar nebula, in the case of meteoritic chondrites); (3) Lithic fragments vary from little modified (relative to the apparent original texture) to partly or completely melted and recrystallized lithic fragments. Their detailed study allows conclusions to be drawn about their parent rock types and their origin, thereby gaining insight into preimpact histories of lunar and meteoritic breccias. There is evidence that cumulate rocks were involved in the early history of both moon and parent meteorite bodies.

  19. Chips off of asteroid 4 Vesta - Evidence for the parent body of basaltic achondrite meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Binzel, Richard P.; Xu, Shui

    1993-01-01

    For more than two decades, asteroid 4 Vesta has been debated as the source for the eucrite, diogenite, and howardite classes of basaltic achondrite meteorites. Its basaltic achondrite spectral properties are unlike those of other large main-belt asteroids. Telescopic measurements have revealed 20 small main-belt asteroids that have distinctive optical reflectance spectral features similar to those of Vesta and eucrite and diogenite meteorites. Twelve have orbits that are similar to Vesta's and were previously predicted to be dynamically associated with Vesta. Eight bridge the orbital space between Vesta and the 3:1 resonance, a proposed source region for meteorites. These asteroids are most probably multikilometer-sized fragments excavated from Vesta through one or more impacts. The sizes, ejection velocities of 500 meters per second, and proximity of these fragments to the 3:1 resonance establish Vesta as a dynamically viable source for eucrite, diogenite, and howardite meteorites.

  20. Terrestrial Ages of Antarctic Meteorites- Update 1999

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nishiizumi, Kunihiko; Welten, K. C.; Caffee, Marc W.

    1999-01-01

    We are continuing our ongoing study of cosmogenic nuclides in Antarctic meteorites. In addition to the studies of exposure histories of meteorites, we study terrestrial ages and pairing of Antarctic meteorites and desert meteorites. Terrestrial ages of Antarctic meteorites provide information on meteorite accumulation mechanisms, mean weathering lifetimes, and influx rates. The determination of Cl-36(half-life=3.01 x 10(exp 5) y) terrestrial ages is one of our long-term on-going projects, however, in many instances neither Cl-36 or C-14 (5,730 y) yields an accurate terrestrial age. Using Ca-14 (1.04 x 10(exp 5) y) for terrestrial age determinations solves this problem by filling the c,ap in half-life between 14-C and Cl-36 ages. We are now applying the new Ca-41- Cl-36 terrestrial age method as well as the Cl-36-Be-10 method to Antarctic meteorites. Our measurements and C-14 terrestrial age determinations by the University of Arizona group are always complementary. We have measured Cl-36 in over 270 Antarctic meteorites since our previous compilation of terrestrial ages. Since a large number of meteorites have been recovered from many different icefields in Antarctica, we continue to survey the trends of terrestrial ages for different icefields. We have also measured detailed terrestrial ages vs. sample locations for Allan Hills, Elephant Moraine, and Lewis Cliff Icefields, where meteorites have been found with very long ages. The updated histograms of terrestrial ages of meteorites from the Allan Hills Main Icefield and Lewis Cliff Icefield are shown. These figures include C-14 ages obtained by the University of Arizona group. Pairs of meteorites are shown as one object for which the age is the average of all members of the same fall. The width of the bars represents 70,000 years, which was a typical uncertainty for Cl-36 ages. We reduced the uncertainty of terrestrial age determinations to approx. 40,000 years by using pairs of nuclides such as Ca-41-Cl-36 or Cl

  1. Meteorite and meteoroid: New comprehensive definitions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubin, Alan E.; Grossman, Jeffrey N.

    2010-01-01

    Meteorites have traditionally been defined as solid objects that have fallen to Earth from space. This definition, however, is no longer adequate. In recent decades, man-made objects have fallen to Earth from space, meteorites have been identified on the Moon and Mars, and small interplanetary objects have impacted orbiting spacecraft. Taking these facts and other potential complications into consideration, we offer new comprehensive definitions of the terms ``meteorite,''``meteoroid,'' and their smaller counterparts: A meteoroid is a 10-μm to 1-m-size natural solid object moving in interplanetary space. A micrometeoroid is a meteoroid 10μm to 2mm in size. A meteorite is a natural, solid object larger than 10μm in size, derived from a celestial body, that was transported by natural means from the body on which it formed to a region outside the dominant gravitational influence of that body and that later collided with a natural or artificial body larger than itself (even if it is the same body from which it was launched). Weathering and other secondary processes do not affect an object's status as a meteorite as long as something recognizable remains of its original minerals or structure. An object loses its status as a meteorite if it is incorporated into a larger rock that becomes a meteorite itself. A micrometeorite is a meteorite between 10μm and 2mm in size.Meteorite-``a solid substance or body falling from the high regions of the atmosphere'' (Craig 1849); ``[a] mass of stone and iron that ha[s] been directly observed to have fallen down to the Earth's surface'' (translated from Cohen 1894); ``[a] solid bod[y] which came to the earth from space'' (Farrington 1915); ``A mass of solid matter, too small to be considered an asteroid; either traveling through space as an unattached unit, or having landed on the earth and still retaining its identity'' (Nininger 1933); ``[a meteoroid] which has reached the surface of the Earth without being vaporized'' (1958

  2. The Cu isotopic composition of iron meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bishop, Matthew Cole; Moynier, Frederic; Weinstein, Charlotte; Fraboulet, Jean-Gabriel; Wang, Kun; Foriel, Julien

    2012-02-01

    High-precision Cu isotopic compositions have been measured for the metal phase of 29 iron meteorites from various groups and for four terrestrial standards. The data are reported as the δ65Cu permil deviation of the 65Cu/63Cu ratio relative to the NIST SRM 976 standard. Terrestrial mantle rocks have a very narrow range of variations and scatter around zero. In contrast, iron meteorites show δ65Cu approximately 2.3‰ variations. Different groups of iron meteorites have distinct δ65Cu values. Nonmagmatic IAB-IIICD iron meteorites have similar δ65Cu (0.03 ± 0.08 and 0.12 ± 0.10, respectively), close to terrestrial values (approximately 0). The other group of nonmagmatic irons, IIE, is isotopically distinct (-0.69 ± 0.15). IVB is the iron meteorite group with the strongest elemental depletion in Cu and samples in this group are enriched in the lighter isotope (δ65Cu down to -2.26‰). Evaporation should have produced an enrichment in 65Cu over 63Cu (δ65Cu >0) and can therefore be ruled out as a mechanism for volatile loss in IVB meteorites. In silicate-bearing iron meteorites, Δ17O correlates with δ65Cu. This correlation between nonmass-dependent and mass-dependent parameters suggests that the Cu isotopic composition of iron meteorites has not been modified by planetary differentiation to a large extent. Therefore, Cu isotopic ratios can be used to confirm genetic links. Cu isotopes thus confirm genetic relationships between groups of iron meteorites (e.g., IAB and IIICD; IIIE and IIIAB); and between iron meteorites and chondrites (e.g., IIE and H chondrites). Several genetic connections between iron meteorites groups are confirmed by Cu isotopes, (e.g., IAB and IIICD; IIIE and IIIAB); and between iron meteorites and chondrites (e.g., IIE and H chondrites).

  3. Abstracts for the 54th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    Abstracts of the papers presented at 54th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritic Society are compiled. The following subject areas are covered: Antarctic meteorites; nebula and parent body processing; primary and secondary SNC parent planet processes; enstatite chondrites and aubrites; achondrite stew; refractory inclusions; meteorite exposure ages and sizes; interstellar/meteorite connections; lunar origins, processes and meteorites; craters, cratering and tektites; cretaceous-tertiary impact(s); IDPs (LDEF, stratosphere, Greenland and Antarctica); chondrules; and chondrites.

  4. Assessment of the long-term risk of a meteorite impact on a hypothetical Canadian nuclear fuel waste disposal vault deep in plutonic rock

    SciTech Connect

    Wuschke, D.M.; Whitaker, S.H.; Goodwin, B.W.; Rasmussen, L.R.

    1995-12-31

    Canada has conducted an extensive research program on the safe disposal of nuclear fuel waste. The program has focused on disposal of used fuel in durable containers in an engineered facility or ``vault``, 500 to 1,000 m deep in plutonic rock of the Canadian Shield. This paper describes an assessment of the long-term radiological risk to a critical group, resulting from a meteorite impact on a hypothetical reference disposal vault. The authors assume the critical group is a small rural community which, sometime after the impact, moves to the area contaminated by nuclear fuel waste exposed by the impact. The estimated risk is compared to a risk criterion established by Canada`s nuclear regulatory agency.

  5. Rediscovery of Polish meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tymiński, Z.; Stolarz, M.; Żołądek, P.; Wiśniewski, M.; Olech, A.

    2016-01-01

    The total number of Polish registered meteorites (by July 2016) including the meteoritical artifacts as Czestochowa Raków I and II is 22. Most of them are described by the pioneer of Polish Meteoritics Jerzy Pokrzywnicki who also identified the meteorite fall locations. In recent years prospectors found impressive specimens of known Polish meteorites such as Morasko: 34 kg, 50 kg, 164 kg, 174 kg and 261 kg or Pultusk: 1578 g, 1576 g, 1510 g, 610 g and 580 g expanding and determining precisely the known meteorite strewn fields.

  6. The SNC Meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varela, M. E.

    2014-10-01

    The SNC (Shergotty-Nakhla-Chassigny) group, are achondritic meteorites. Of all SNC meteorites recognized up to date, shergottites are the most abundant group. The petrographic study of Shergotty began several years ago when Tschermak, (1872) identified this rock as an extraterrestrial basalt. Oxygen isotopes in SNC meteorites indicate that these rocks are from a single planetary body (Clayton and Mayeda, 1983). Because the abundance patterns of rare gases trapped in glasses from shock melts (e.g., Pepin, 1985) turned out to be very similar to the Martian atmosphere (as analyzed by the Viking landers, Owen, 1976), the SNC meteorites are believed to originate from Mars (e.g. McSween, 1994). Possibly, they were ejected from the Martian surface either in a giant impact or in several impact events (Meyer 2006). Although there is a broad consensus for nakhlites and chassignites being -1.3Ga old, the age of the shergottites is a matter of ongoing debates. Different lines of evidences indicate that these rocks are young (180Ma and 330-475Ma), or very old (> 4Ga). However, the young age in shergottites could be the result of a resetting of these chronometers by either strong impacts or fluid percolation on these rocks (Bouvier et al., 2005-2009). Thus, it is important to check the presence of secondary processes, such as re-equilibration or pressure-induce metamorphism (El Goresy et al., 2013) that can produce major changes in compositions and obscure the primary information. A useful tool, that is used to reconstruct the condition prevailing during the formation of early phases or the secondary processes to which the rock was exposed, is the study of glass-bearing inclusions hosted by different mineral phases. I will discuss the identification of extreme compositional variations in many of these inclusions (Varela et al. 2007-2013) that constrain the assumption that these objects are the result of closed-system crystallization. The question then arises whether these

  7. Guide to the US collection of antarctic meteorites 1976-1988 (everything you wanted to know about the meteorite collection). Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter, Volume 13, Number 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Score, Roberta; Lindstrom, Marilyn M.

    1990-01-01

    The state of the collection of Antarctic Meteorites is summarized. This guide is intended to assist investigators plan their meteorite research and select and request samples. Useful information is presented for all classified meteorites from 1976 to 1988 collections, as of Sept. 1989. The meteorite collection has grown over 13 years to include 4264 samples of which 2754 have been classified. Most of the unclassified meteorites are ordinary chondrites because the collections have been culled for specimens of special petrologic type. The guide consists of two large classification tables. They are preceded by a list of sample locations and important notes to make the tables understandable.

  8. Searching for Meteorites

    NASA Video Gallery

    This lesson combines a series of activities to provide students with an understanding of how meteorites can unlock answers to the early history of the solar system and how meteorites and their big ...

  9. Precompaction irradiation of meteorites

    SciTech Connect

    Caffee, M.W.

    1986-01-01

    In the four meteorites studied, the nonirradiated grains show the nominal amount of spallogenic Ne and Ar expected from recent galactic cosmic ray exposure. Two conclusions follow from these observations: (1) the quality of spallogenic Ne and Ar in the irradiated grains is far more than can be explained by reasonable precompaction exposures to galactic cosmic rays. If the pre-compaction irradiation occurred in a regolith, the exposure to galactic cosmic rays would have to last several hundred m.y. for some of the grains. Similarly long ages would result if the source of the protons were solar flares with a particle flux similar to modern-day solar flares. These exposure durations are incompatible with current models for the pre-compaction irradiation of gas rich meteorites. (2) There is always a correlation between solar flare tracks and precompaction spallogenic Ne and Ar. This correlation is surprising, considering the difference in range of these two effects. Galactic cosmic rays have a range of meters whereas solar flare heavy ions have a range of less than a millimeter. This difference should largely decouple these two effects, as was shown in studies on lunar soil 60009, where both irradiated and non-irradiated grains contain large quantities of spallogenic Ne. If galactic cosmic rays are responsible for the spallogenic Ne and Ar in the irradiated grains, the authors would similarly expect the nonirradiated grains to contain large amounts of spallogenic Ne and Ar.

  10. 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.

  11. Atlas of Meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grady, Monica; Pratesi, Giovanni; Moggi Cecchi, Vanni

    2014-11-01

    1. Introduction; 2. Carbonaceous chondrites; 3. Ordinary chondrites; 4. Enstatite chondrites; 5. Rumurutiite and kakangari-type chondrites; 6. Acapulcoites and lodranites; 7. Brachinites; 8. Winonaite-iab-iiicd clan; 9. Ureilites; 10. Angrites; 11. Aubrites; 12. Howardite-eucrite-diogenite clan; 13. Mesosiderites; 14. Pallasites; 15. Iron meteorites; 16. Lunar meteorites; 17. Martian meteorites; References; Index.

  12. Track record in meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durrani, S. A.

    1981-02-01

    The use of nuclear-track analysis in meteoritic crystals with reference to several areas of research is reviewed. The applications discussed include: fission-track retention ages and cooling rates of meteoritic parent bodies, cosmic-ray studies, determination of pre-atmospheric sizes of meteorites, and search for superheavy elements.

  13. Extraterrestrial Amino Acids in the Almahata Sitta Meteorite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Callahan, Michael; Aubrey, A.; Bada, J. L.; Dworkin, J. P.; Elsila, J. E.; Glavin, D. P.; Parker, E.; Jenniskens, P.

    2009-09-01

    The recovery of meteorite fragments from the 2008 TC3 asteroid impact, collectively named Almahata Sitta, revealed a rare, anomalous polymict ureilite containing large carbonaceous grains (Jenniskens et al. 2009). Here we report the first amino acid analysis of a meteorite from an F-type asteroid as part of the Almahata Sitta meteorite sample analysis consortium. A single fragment (piece #4, 1.2 grams) was crushed to a powder, and separate 0.1 g aliquots of the same meteorite were carried through identical hot-water extraction, acid hydrolysis and desalting procedures at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The o-phthaldialdehyde/N-acetyl-L-cysteine amino acid derivatives in the extracts were analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography with UV fluorescence detection and time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Analyses of the meteorite extracts revealed a complex distribution of two- to six-carbon aliphatic amino acids with abundances ranging from 0.5 to 69 parts-per-billion (ppb). Glycine was the most abundant amino acid detected, however, since this protein amino acid is a common terrestrial contaminant, we are currently unable to rule out at least a partial terrestrial source. However, the D/L ratio of alanine in the meteorite was racemic, suggesting that very little terrestrial amino acid contamination. Several non-protein amino acids that are rare in the biosphere were also identified in the meteorite above background levels including D,L-4-amino-2-methybutyric acid (65 ± 8 ppb), D-isovaline (1.3 ± 0.1 ppb), L-isovaline (1.4 ± 0.1 ppb), and α-aminoisobutryic acid (7.1 ± 5.8 ppb). The abundance of isovaline and AIB are 1000 times lower than the abundances found in the CM2 meteorite Murchison while D,L-4-amino-2-methybutyric acid is similar. The very low amino acid abundances and the presence of several amino acid decomposition products including methylamine, ethylamine, and isopropylamine are consistent with

  14. Shock Experiments on Basalt - Ferric Sulfate Mixes at 21 GPa & 49 GPa and their Relevance to Martian Meteorite Impact Glasses

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rao, M. N.; Ross, D. K.; See, T. H.; Nyquist, L. E.; Sutton, S.; Asimow, P.

    2013-01-01

    Large abundance of Martian atmospheric gases and neutron-induced isotopic excesses as well as Rb-Sr isotopic variations determined in some impact glasses in basaltic shergottites (e.g., Shergotty #DBS, Zagami #H1 and EET79001 #27, #8 and #104) provide definitive evidence for the occurrence of a Martian regolith component in their constituent mineral assemblages. Some of these glass-es, known as gas-rich impact-melts (GRIM), contain numerous micron-sized iron sulfide blebs along with minor amounts of iron sulfate particulates. As these GRIM glasses contain a Martian regolith component and as iron sulfates (but not sulfides) are found to occur abundantly on the Mars surface, we suggested that the sulfide blebs in GRIMs were likely generated by shock-reduction of the parental iron sulfate bearing regolith material that had been incorporated into the cavities/crevices of basaltic host rock prior to the impact event on Mars. To test whether the sulfates could be reduced to sulfides by impact shock, we carried out laboratory shock experiments on a basalt plus ferric sulfate mixture at 49 GPa at the Caltech Shock Wave Laboratory and at 21 GPa at Johnson Space Center (JSC) Experimental Impact Laboratory. The experimental details and the preliminary results for the Caltech 49 GPa experiment were presented at LPSC last year. Here, we report the results for the 21 GPa experiment at JSC and compare these results to obtain further insight into the mechanism of the bleb formation in the GRIM glasses.

  15. Asteroid Geophysics and Quantifying the Impact Hazard

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sears, D.; Wooden, D. H.; Korycanksy, D. G.

    2015-01-01

    Probably the major challenge in understanding, quantifying, and mitigating the effects of an impact on Earth is understanding the nature of the impactor. Of the roughly 25 meteorite craters on the Earth that have associated meteorites, all but one was produced by an iron meteorite and only one was produced by a stony meteorite. Equally important, even meteorites of a given chemical class produce a wide variety of behavior in the atmosphere. This is because they show considerable diversity in their mechanical properties which have a profound influence on the behavior of meteorites during atmospheric passage. Some stony meteorites are weak and do not reach the surface or reach the surface as thousands of relatively harmless pieces. Some stony meteorites roll into a maximum drag configuration and are strong enough to remain intact so a large single object reaches the surface. Others have high concentrations of water that may facilitate disruption. However, while meteorite falls and meteorites provide invaluable information on the physical nature of the objects entering the atmosphere, there are many unknowns concerning size and scale that can only be determined by from the pre-atmospheric properties of the asteroids. Their internal structure, their thermal properties, their internal strength and composition, will all play a role in determining the behavior of the object as it passes through the atmosphere, whether it produces an airblast and at what height, and the nature of the impact and amount and distribution of ejecta.

  16. The Mbale meteorite shower

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jenniskens, Peter; Betlem, Hans; Betlem, Jan; Barifaijo, Erasmus; Schluter, Thomas; Hampton, Craig; Laubenstien, Matthias; Kunz, Joachim; Heusser, Gerd

    1994-01-01

    On 1992 August 14 at 12:40 UTC, an ordinary chondrite of type L5/6 entered the atmosphere over Mbale, Uganda, broke up, and caused a strewn field of size 3 x 7 km. Shortly after the fall, an expedition gathered eye witness accounts and located the position of 48 impacts of masses between 0.19 and 27.4 kg. Short-lived radionuclide data were measured for two specimens, one of which was only 12 days after the fall. Subsequent recoveries of fragements has resulted in a total of 863 mass estimates by 1993 October. The surfaces of all fragments contain fusion crust. The meteorite shower caused some minor inconveniences. Most remarkably, a young boy was hit on the head by a small specimen. The data interpreted as to indicate that the meteorite had an initial mass between 400-1000 kg (most likely approximately 1000 kg) and approached Mbale from AZ = 185 +/- 15, H = 55 +/- 15, and V(sub infinity) = 13.5 +/- 1.5/s. Orbital elements are given. Fragmentation of the initial mass started probably above 25 km altitude, but the final catastrophic breakup occurred at an altitude of 10-14 km. An estimated 190 +/- 40 kg reached the Earth's surface minutes after the final breakup of which 150 kg of material has been recovered.

  17. Synchroneity of the K-T oceanic mass extinction and meteorite impact: Blake Nose, western North Atlantic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Norris, R.D.; Huber, B.T.; Self-Trail, J.

    1999-01-01

    A 10-cm-thick layer of green spherules occurs precisely at the biostratigraphic boundary between the Cretaceous and Paleogene (K-T boundary) at Ocean Drilling Program Site 1049 (lat 30??08???N, long 76??06???W). The spherulitic layer contains abundant rock fragments (chalk, limestone, dolomite, chert, mica books, and schist) as well as shocked quartz, abundant large Cretaceous planktic foraminifera, and rounded clasts of clay as long as 4 mm interpreted as altered tektite glass probably derived from the Chicxulub impact structure. Most of the Cretaceous foraminifera present above the spherule layer are not survivors since small specimens are conspicuously rare compared to large individuals. Instead, the Cretaceous taxa in Paleocene sediments are thought to be reworked. The first Paleocene planktic foraminifera and calcareous nannofossil species are recorded immediately above the spherule bed, the upper part of which contains an iridium anomaly. Hence, deposition of the impact ejecta exactly coincided with the biostratigraphic K-T boundary and demonstrates that the impact event was synchronous with the evolutionary turnover in the oceans. These results are consistent with a reanalysis of the biostratigraphy of the K-T boundary stratotype, which argues that shallow-marine K-T boundary sections are not biostratigraphically more complete than deep-sea K-T boundary sites.

  18. Large meteoroid's impact damage: review of available impact hazard simulators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreno-Ibáñez, M.; Gritsevich, M.; Trigo-Rodríguez, J. M.

    2016-01-01

    The damage caused by meter-sized meteoroids encountering the Earth is expected to be severe. Meteor-sized objects in heliocentric orbits can release energies higher than 108 J either in the upper atmosphere through an energetic airblast or, if reaching the surface, their impact may create a crater, provoke an earthquake or start up a tsunami. A limited variety of cases has been observed in the recent past (e.g. Tunguska, Carancas or Chelyabinsk). Hence, our knowledge has to be constrained with the help of theoretical studies and numerical simulations. There are several simulation programs which aim to forecast the impact consequences of such events. We have tested them using the recent case of the Chelyabinsk superbolide. Particularly, Chelyabinsk belongs to the ten to hundred meter-sized objects which constitute the main source of risk to Earth given the current difficulty in detecting them in advance. Furthermore, it was a detailed documented case, thus allowing us to properly check the accuracy of the studied simulators. As we present, these open simulators provide a first approximation of the impact consequences. However, all of them fail to accurately determine the caused damage. We explain the observed discrepancies between the observed and simulated consequences with the following consideration. The large amount of unknown properties of the potential impacting meteoroid, the atmospheric conditions, the flight dynamics and the uncertainty in the impact point itself hinder any modelling task. This difficulty can be partially overcome by reducing the number of unknowns using dimensional analysis and scaling laws. Despite the description of physical processes associated with atmospheric entry could be still further improved, we conclude that such approach would significantly improve the efficiency of the simulators.

  19. Connecting Lunar Meteorites to Source Terrains on the Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jolliff, B. L.; Carpenter, P. K.; Korotev, R. L.; North-Valencia, S. N.; Wittmann, A.; Zeigler, R. A.

    2014-01-01

    The number of named stones found on Earth that have proven to be meteorites from the Moon is approx. 180 so far. Since the Moon has been mapped globally in composition and mineralogy from orbit, it has become possible to speculate broadly on the region of origin on the basis of distinctive compositional characteristics of some of the lunar meteorites. In particular, Lunar Prospector in 1998 [1,2] mapped Fe and Th at 0.5 degree/pixel and major elements at 5 degree/pixel using gamma ray spectroscopy. Also, various multispectral datasets have been used to derive FeO and TiO2 concentrations at 100 m/pixel spatial resolution or better using UV-VIS spectral features [e.g., 3]. Using these data, several lunar meteorite bulk compositions can be related to regions of the Moon that share their distinctive compositional characteristics. We then use EPMA to characterize the petrographic characteristics, including lithic clast components of the meteorites, which typically are breccias. In this way, we can extend knowledge of the Moon's crust to regions beyond the Apollo and Luna sample-return sites, including sites on the lunar farside. Feldspathic Regolith Breccias. One of the most distinctive general characteristics of many lunar meteorites is that they have highly feldspathic compositions (Al2O3 approx. 28% wt.%, FeO <5 wt.%, Th <1 ppm). These compositions are significant because they are similar to a vast region of the Moon's farside highlands, the Feldspathic Highlands Terrane, which are characterized by low Fe and Th in remotely sensed data [4]. The meteorites provide a perspective on the lithologic makeup of this part of the Moon, specifically, how anorthositic is the surface and what, if any, are the mafic lithic components? These meteorites are mostly regolith breccias dominated by anorthositic lithic clasts and feldspathic glasses, but they do also contain a variety of more mafic clasts. On the basis of textures, we infer these clasts to have formed by large impacts

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Isotopic, optical, and trace element properties of large single SiC grains from the Murchison meteorite

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Virag, Alois; Wopenka, Brigitte; Amari, Sachiko; Zinner, Ernst; Anders, Edward; Lewis, Roy S.

    1992-01-01

    Ion probe mass spectrometry is used to analyze 41 large SiC grains from the Murchison CM2 chondrite, ranging up to 15 x 26 microns, for the isotopic compositions of C, N, Mg, and Si, and the concentrations of Al, Ti, V, Fe, Zr, and Ba. The majority were found to have large isotopic anomalies. Only two grains, characterized by extremely heavy carbon, give evidence for fossil Mg-26. On the basis of C and Si isotopic composition, 29 of the grains fall into three compact clusters, presumably from three discrete sources. The clustering of coarse-grained SiC stands in sharp contrast to the quasi-continuous distribution of finer-grained SiC and suggests that the top 0.1 percent of the mass distribution is a distinct population. The C and N isotopic compositions of the anomalous grains are not very diagnostic, being consistent with H-burning in the CNO cycle. The Si-isotopic compositions qualitatively show the signature of neutron capture in He-burning shells of highly evolved stars.

  5. Silicon Isotopic Composition in Large Meteoritic SiC Particles and 22Na Origin of 22Ne.

    PubMed

    Brown, L E; Clayton, D D

    1992-11-01

    Large silicon carbide (SiC) particles extracted from acid-insoluble residues of carbonaceous chondrites are isotopically anomalous in both silicon and carbon and contain isotopically extreme noble gases. These particles are thought to have originated in mass outflows from red giant stars and to have existed in the interstellar medium at the time the solar system formed from an interstellar cloud. Calculations show that the silicon isotope correlations in those large SiC particles can be generated only in the most massive carbon stars. Consequently, the almost pure neon-22 ((22)Ne) in those particles must be interpreted as the condensation of radioactive sodium-22 ((22)Na) in the particles as they flowed away from the stars. The (22)Na is produced through proton capture by (21)Ne at the base of the surface convection zone. Neon-22 does not exist abundantly in helium shells hot enough to burn magnesium, which is necessary to establish the measured silicon isotopic composition. PMID:17794592

  6. Ecological catastrophe in connection with the impact of the Kaali Meteorite about 800-400 BC on the island of Saaremaa, Estonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veski, Siim; Heinsalu, Atko; Kirsimäe, Kalle; Poska, Anneli; Saarse, Leili

    2001-10-01

    A sequence of peat enriched with impact ejecta (allochthonous minerals and iridium) from Piila bog, 6 km away from the Kaali impact crater (island of Saaremaa, Estonia), was examined using pollen, radiocarbon, loss-on-ignition, and x-ray diffraction analyses to date and assess the environmental effect of the impact. The vegetation in the surroundings of the Piila bog before the Kaali impact was a fen surrounded by forest in natural conditions. Significant changes occur in pollen accumulation and composition of pollen in the depth interval 170-178 cm, which contains above background values of iridium (up to 0.53 ppb). Two samples from the basal silt layer inside the main crater at Kaali contain 0.8 ppb of iridium, showing that iridium was present in the impact ejecta. The impact explosion swept the surroundings clean of forest shown by the threefold decrease in the total pollen influx (especially tree pollen influx), increase in influx and diversity of herb taxa, and the relative dominance of pine. Increased input of mineral matter measured by loss-on-ignition and the composition mineral matter (increased input of allochthonous minerals) together with an extensive layer of charcoal and wood stumps in Piila bog at the same depth interval points to an ecological catastrophe, with local impact-induced wildfires reaching at least 6 km northwest of the epicenter. The disappearance of cereals in the pollen record suggests that farming, cultivation and possibly human habitation in the region ceased for a period of ~100 years. The meteorite explosion at Kaali ranged between the effects of Hiroshima and Tunguska. The age of the Kaali impact event is placed between 800-400 b.c. based on radiocarbon dating of the peat enriched with impact ejecta in the Piila bog.

  7. Terrestrial and exposure histories of Antarctic meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nishiizumi, K.

    1986-01-01

    Records of cosmogenic effects were studied in a large suite of Antarctic meteorites. The cosmogenic nuclide measurements together with cosmic ray track measurements on Antartic meteorites provide information such as exposure age, terrestrial age, size and depth in meteoroid or parent body, influx rate in the past, and pairing. The terrestrail age is the time period between the fall of the meteorite on the Earth and the present. To define terrestrial age, two or more nuclides with different half-lives and possibly noble gases are required. The cosmogenic radionuclides used are C-14, Kr-81, Cl-36, Al-26, Be-10, Mn-53, and K-40.

  8. Microfossils in CI and CO Carbonaceous Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, Richard B.; Rozanov, Alexei Y.; Jerman, Gregory; Costen, James

    2003-01-01

    Secondary and backscatter electron images and x-ray spectral data of selected CI (Alais, Orgueil, and Tagish Lake) and CO3 (Rainbow and Dar a1 Gani 749) carbonaceous meteorites have recently been obtained using Field Emission and Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopes These studies indicate the presence of a large assemblage of biomarkers and complex lithified and carbonized remains of bodies that we interpret as indigenous microfossils. We discuss the meteorites, provide images of many of the biogenic forms found embedded in the freshly fractured meteorite surfaces.

  9. Metal-saturated sulfide assemblages in NWA 2737: Evidence for impact-related sulfur devolatilization in Martian meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorand, Jean-Pierre; Barrat, Jean-Alix; Chevrier, Vincent; Sautter, Violaine; Pont, Sylvain

    2012-11-01

    Abstract-NWA 2737, a Martian <span class="hlt">meteorite</span> from the Chassignite subclass, contains minute amounts (0.010 ± 0.005 vol%) of metal-saturated Fe-Ni sulfides. These latter bear evidence of the strong shock effects documented by abundant Fe nanoparticles and planar defects in Northwest Africa (NWA) 2737 olivine. A Ni-poor troilite (Fe/S = 1.0 ± 0.01), sometimes Cr-bearing (up to 1 wt%), coexists with micrometer-sized taenite/tetrataenite-type native Ni-Fe alloys (Ni/Fe = 1) and Fe-Os-Ir-(Ru) alloys a few hundreds of nanometers across. The troilite has exsolved flame-like pentlandite (Fe/Fe + Ni = 0.5-0.6). Chalcopyrite is almost lacking, and no pyrite has been found. As a hot desert find, NWA 2737 shows astonishingly fresh sulfides. The composition of troilite coexisting with Ni-Fe alloys is completely at odds with Chassigny and Nahkla sulfides (pyrite + metal-deficient monoclinic-type pyrrhotite). It indicates strongly reducing crystallization conditions (close to IW), several log units below the fO2 conditions inferred from chromites compositions and accepted for Chassignites (FMQ-1 log unit). It is proposed that reduction in sulfides into base and precious metal alloys is operated via sulfur degassing, which is supported by the highly resorbed and denticulated shape of sulfide blebs and their spongy textures. Shock-related S degassing may be responsible for considerable damages in magmatic sulfide structures and sulfide assemblages, with concomitant loss of magnetic properties as documented in some other Martian <span class="hlt">meteorites</span>.</p> </li> <li> <p><a target="_blank" onclick="trackOutboundLink('http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17773104','PUBMED'); return false;" href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17773104"><span id="translatedtitle">Ungrouped iron <span class="hlt">meteorites</span> in antarctica: origin of anomalously high abundance.</span></a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?DB=pubmed">PubMed</a></p> <p>Wasson, J T</p> <p>1990-08-24</p> <p>Eighty-five percent of the iron <span class="hlt">meteorites</span> collected outside Antarctica are assigned to 13 compositionaily and structurally defined groups; the remaining 15 percent are ungrouped. Of the 31 iron <span class="hlt">meteorites</span> recovered from Antarctica, 39 percent are ungrouped. This major difference in the two sets is almost certainly not a stochastic variation, a latitudinal effect, or an effect associated with differences in terrestrial ages. It seems to be related to the median mass of Antarctic irons, which is about 1/100 that of non-Antarctic irons. During <span class="hlt">impacts</span> on asteroids, smaller fragments tend to be ejected into space at higher velocities than larger fragments, and, on average, small meteoroids have undergone more changes in orbital velocity than <span class="hlt">large</span> ones. As a result, the set of asteroids that contributes small meteoroids to Earth-crossing orbits is larger than the set that contributes <span class="hlt">large</span> meteoroids. Most small iron <span class="hlt">meteorites</span> may escape from the asteroid belt as a result of <span class="hlt">impact</span>-induced changes in velocity that reduce their perihelia to values less than the aphelion of Mars. PMID:17773104</p> </li> </ol> <div class="pull-right"> <ul class="pagination"> <li><a href="#" onclick='return showDiv("page_1");'>«</a></li> <li><a href="#" onclick='return showDiv("page_9");'>9</a></li> <li><a href="#" onclick='return showDiv("page_10");'>10</a></li> <li><a href="#" onclick='return showDiv("page_11");'>11</a></li> <li><a href="#" onclick='return showDiv("page_12");'>12</a></li> <li class="active"><span>13</span></li> <li><a href="#" onclick='return showDiv("page_13");'>»</a></li> </ul> </div> </div><!-- col-sm-12 --> </div><!-- row --> </div><!-- page_13 --> <center> <div class="footer-extlink text-muted"><small>Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.</small> </div> </center> <div id="footer-wrapper"> <div class="footer-content"> <div id="footerOSTI" class=""> <div class="row"> <div class="col-md-4 text-center col-md-push-4 footer-content-center"><small><a href="http://www.science.gov/disclaimer.html">Privacy and Security</a></small> <div class="visible-sm visible-xs push_footer"></div> </div> <div class="col-md-4 text-center col-md-pull-4 footer-content-left"> <img src="http://www.osti.gov/images/DOE_SC31.png" alt="U.S. Department of Energy" usemap="#doe" height="31" width="177"><map style="display:none;" name="doe" id="doe"><area shape="rect" coords="1,3,107,30" href="http://www.energy.gov" alt="U.S. Deparment of Energy"><area shape="rect" coords="114,3,165,30" href="http://www.science.energy.gov" alt="Office of Science"></map> <a ref="http://www.osti.gov" style="margin-left: 15px;"><img src="http://www.osti.gov/images/footerimages/ostigov53.png" alt="Office of Scientific and Technical Information" height="31" width="53"></a> <div class="visible-sm visible-xs push_footer"></div> </div> <div class="col-md-4 text-center footer-content-right"> <a href="http://www.osti.gov/nle"><img src="http://www.osti.gov/images/footerimages/NLElogo31.png" alt="National Library of Energy" height="31" width="79"></a> <a href="http://www.science.gov"><img src="http://www.osti.gov/images/footerimages/scigov77.png" alt="science.gov" height="31" width="98"></a> <a href="http://worldwidescience.org"><img src="http://www.osti.gov/images/footerimages/wws82.png" alt="WorldWideScience.org" height="31" width="90"></a> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><br></p> </div><!-- container --> </body> </html>