Science.gov

Sample records for impact crater drill

  1. Scientific Drilling of Impact Craters - Well Logging and Core Analyses Using Magnetic Methods (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fucugauchi, J. U.; Perez-Cruz, L. L.; Velasco-Villarreal, M.

    2013-12-01

    Drilling projects of impact structures provide data on the structure and stratigraphy of target, impact and post-impact lithologies, providing insight on the impact dynamics and cratering. Studies have successfully included magnetic well logging and analyses in core and cuttings, directed to characterize the subsurface stratigraphy and structure at depth. There are 170-180 impact craters documented in the terrestrial record, which is a small proportion compared to expectations derived from what is observed on the Moon, Mars and other bodies of the solar system. Knowledge of the internal 3-D deep structure of craters, critical for understanding impacts and crater formation, can best be studied by geophysics and drilling. On Earth, few craters have yet been investigated by drilling. Craters have been drilled as part of industry surveys and/or academic projects, including notably Chicxulub, Sudbury, Ries, Vredefort, Manson and many other craters. As part of the Continental ICDP program, drilling projects have been conducted on the Chicxulub, Bosumtwi, Chesapeake, Ries and El gygytgyn craters. Inclusion of continuous core recovery expanded the range of paleomagnetic and rock magnetic applications, with direct core laboratory measurements, which are part of the tools available in the ocean and continental drilling programs. Drilling studies are here briefly reviewed, with emphasis on the Chicxulub crater formed by an asteroid impact 66 Ma ago at the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary. Chicxulub crater has no surface expression, covered by a kilometer of Cenozoic sediments, thus making drilling an essential tool. As part of our studies we have drilled eleven wells with continuous core recovery. Magnetic susceptibility logging, magnetostratigraphic, rock magnetic and fabric studies have been carried out and results used for lateral correlation, dating, formation evaluation, azimuthal core orientation and physical property contrasts. Contributions of magnetic studies on impact

  2. Paleomagnetic and Magnetostratigraphic Studies in Drilling Projects of Impact Craters - Recent Studies, Challenges and Perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fucugauchi, J. U.; Velasco-Villarreal, M.; Perez-Cruz, L. L.

    2013-05-01

    Paleomagnetic studies have long been successfully carried out in drilling projects, to characterize the borehole columns and to investigate the subsurface structure and stratigraphy. Magnetic susceptibility logging and magnetostratigraphic studies provide data for lateral correlation, formation evaluation, azimuthal core orientation, physical properties, etc., and are part of the tools available in the ocean and continental drilling programs. The inclusion of continuous core recovery in scientific drilling projects have greatly expanded the range of potential applications of paleomagnetic and rock magnetic studies, by allowing laboratory measurements on core samples. For this presentation, we concentrate on drilling studies of impact structures and their usefulness for documenting the structure, stratigraphy and physical properties at depth. There are about 170-180 impact craters documented in the terrestrial record, which is a small number compared to what is observed in the Moon, Mars, Venus and other bodies of the solar system. Of the terrestrial impact craters, only a few have been studied by drilling. Some craters have been drilled as part of industry exploration surveys and/or academic projects, including notably the Sudbury, Ries, Vredefort, Manson and many other craters. As part of the Continental ICDP program, drilling projects have been conducted on the Chicxulub, Bosumtwi, Chesapeake and El gygytgyn craters. Drilling of terrestrial craters has proved important in documenting the shallow stratigraphy and structure, providing insight on the cratering and impact dynamics. Questions include several that can only be addressed by retrieving core samples and laboratory analyses. Paleomagnetic, rock magnetic and fabric studies have been conducted in the various craters, which are here summarized with emphasis on the Chicxulub crater and Yucatan carbonate platform. Chicxulub is buried under a kilometer of younger sediments, making drilling an essential tool. Oil

  3. A Model for the Formation of the Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater as Revealed by Drilling and Numerical Simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collins, G. S.; Kenkmann, T.; Wünnemann, K.; Wittmann, A.; Reimold, W. U.; Melosh, H. J.

    The combination of numerical simulation results and petrographic analysis of drill core from the recent ICDP-USGS drilling project provides new insight into the formation of the Chesapeake Bay impact crater.

  4. Shallow drilling in the 'Bunte Breccia' impact deposits, Ries Crater, Germany

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoerz, F.; Gall, H.; Huettner, R.; Oberbeck, V. R.

    1977-01-01

    The paper is a field report concerning a shallow core drilling program in the multicolored breccia deposits which constitute 90% of all the impact breccias beyond the outer rim of the Ries, a 26-km-diam impact crater. About 480 m of core was recovered from 11 locations with radial ranges between 16.5 and 35 km from the crater center. The cores consist of breccias, whose components are derived from the crater itself and the terrain outside the crater. The local components dominate the breccias at the larger ranges, and possibly constitute more than 90% of the breccia volume at the greatest distances investigated. The great depth of the Bunte Breccia (84 m at 27 km range), together with the preponderance of local components, necessitates an emplacement mechanism that ploughed up and mixed the crater surroundings to depths greater than 50 m.

  5. El'gygytgyn impact crater, Chukotka, Arctic Russia: Impact cratering aspects of the 2009 ICDP drilling project.

    PubMed

    Koeberl, Christian; Pittarello, Lidia; Reimold, Wolf Uwe; Raschke, Ulli; Brigham-Grette, Julie; Melles, Martin; Minyuk, Pavel; Spray, John

    2013-07-01

    The El'gygytgyn impact structure in Chukutka, Arctic Russia, is the only impact crater currently known on Earth that was formed in mostly acid volcanic rocks (mainly of rhyolitic, with some andesitic and dacitic, compositions). In addition, because of its depth, it has provided an excellent sediment trap that records paleoclimatic information for the 3.6 Myr since its formation. For these two main reasons, because of the importance for impact and paleoclimate research, El'gygytgyn was the subject of an International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) drilling project in 2009. During this project, which, due to its logistical and financial challenges, took almost a decade to come to fruition, a total of 642.3 m of drill core was recovered at two sites, from four holes. The obtained material included sedimentary and impactite rocks. In terms of impactites, which were recovered from 316.08 to 517.30 m depth below lake bottom (mblb), three main parts of that core segment were identified: from 316 to 390 mblb polymict lithic impact breccia, mostly suevite, with volcanic and impact melt clasts that locally contain shocked minerals, in a fine-grained clastic matrix; from 385 to 423 mblb, a brecciated sequence of volcanic rocks including both felsic and mafic (basalt) members; and from 423 to 517 mblb, a greenish rhyodacitic ignimbrite (mostly monomict breccia). The uppermost impactite (316-328 mblb) contains lacustrine sediment mixed with impact-affected components. Over the whole length of the impactite core, the abundance of shock features decreases rapidly from the top to the bottom of the studied core section. The distinction between original volcanic melt fragments and those that formed later as the result of the impact event posed major problems in the study of these rocks. The sequence that contains fairly unambiguous evidence of impact melt (which is not very abundant anyway, usually less than a few volume%) is only about 75 m thick. The reason for

  6. El'gygytgyn impact crater, Chukotka, Arctic Russia: Impact cratering aspects of the 2009 ICDP drilling project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koeberl, Christian; Pittarello, Lidia; Reimold, Wolf Uwe; Raschke, Ulli; Brigham-Grette, Julie; Melles, Martin; Minyuk, Pavel

    2013-07-01

    The El'gygytgyn impact structure in Chukutka, Arctic Russia, is the only impact crater currently known on Earth that was formed in mostly acid volcanic rocks (mainly of rhyolitic, with some andesitic and dacitic, compositions). In addition, because of its depth, it has provided an excellent sediment trap that records paleoclimatic information for the 3.6 Myr since its formation. For these two main reasons, because of the importance for impact and paleoclimate research, El'gygytgyn was the subject of an International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) drilling project in 2009. During this project, which, due to its logistical and financial challenges, took almost a decade to come to fruition, a total of 642.3 m of drill core was recovered at two sites, from four holes. The obtained material included sedimentary and impactite rocks. In terms of impactites, which were recovered from 316.08 to 517.30 m depth below lake bottom (mblb), three main parts of that core segment were identified: from 316 to 390 mblb polymict lithic impact breccia, mostly suevite, with volcanic and impact melt clasts that locally contain shocked minerals, in a fine-grained clastic matrix; from 385 to 423 mblb, a brecciated sequence of volcanic rocks including both felsic and mafic (basalt) members; and from 423 to 517 mblb, a greenish rhyodacitic ignimbrite (mostly monomict breccia). The uppermost impactite (316-328 mblb) contains lacustrine sediment mixed with impact-affected components. Over the whole length of the impactite core, the abundance of shock features decreases rapidly from the top to the bottom of the studied core section. The distinction between original volcanic melt fragments and those that formed later as the result of the impact event posed major problems in the study of these rocks. The sequence that contains fairly unambiguous evidence of impact melt (which is not very abundant anyway, usually less than a few volume%) is only about 75 m thick. The reason for

  7. El'gygytgyn impact crater, Chukotka, Arctic Russia: Impact cratering aspects of the 2009 ICDP drilling project

    PubMed Central

    Koeberl, Christian; Pittarello, Lidia; Reimold, Wolf Uwe; Raschke, Ulli; Brigham-Grette, Julie; Melles, Martin; Minyuk, Pavel; Spray, John

    2013-01-01

    The El'gygytgyn impact structure in Chukutka, Arctic Russia, is the only impact crater currently known on Earth that was formed in mostly acid volcanic rocks (mainly of rhyolitic, with some andesitic and dacitic, compositions). In addition, because of its depth, it has provided an excellent sediment trap that records paleoclimatic information for the 3.6 Myr since its formation. For these two main reasons, because of the importance for impact and paleoclimate research, El'gygytgyn was the subject of an International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) drilling project in 2009. During this project, which, due to its logistical and financial challenges, took almost a decade to come to fruition, a total of 642.3 m of drill core was recovered at two sites, from four holes. The obtained material included sedimentary and impactite rocks. In terms of impactites, which were recovered from 316.08 to 517.30 m depth below lake bottom (mblb), three main parts of that core segment were identified: from 316 to 390 mblb polymict lithic impact breccia, mostly suevite, with volcanic and impact melt clasts that locally contain shocked minerals, in a fine-grained clastic matrix; from 385 to 423 mblb, a brecciated sequence of volcanic rocks including both felsic and mafic (basalt) members; and from 423 to 517 mblb, a greenish rhyodacitic ignimbrite (mostly monomict breccia). The uppermost impactite (316–328 mblb) contains lacustrine sediment mixed with impact-affected components. Over the whole length of the impactite core, the abundance of shock features decreases rapidly from the top to the bottom of the studied core section. The distinction between original volcanic melt fragments and those that formed later as the result of the impact event posed major problems in the study of these rocks. The sequence that contains fairly unambiguous evidence of impact melt (which is not very abundant anyway, usually less than a few volume%) is only about 75 m thick. The reason for

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  9. Structural deformation at the Flynn Creek impact crater, Tennessee - A preliminary report on deep drilling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roddy, D. J.

    1979-01-01

    The geologic and core drilling studies described in the present paper show that the Flynn Creek crater has such distinctive morphological features as a broad flat hummocky floor; large central peak; locally terraced crater walls; uplifted, as well as flat-lying rim segments; and a surrounding ejecta blanket. The major structural features include a shallow depth of total brecciation and excavation as compared with apparent crater diameter; a thin breccia lens underlain by a thin zone of disrupted strata; concentric ring fault zones in inner rim, beneath crater wall, and outer crater floor regions; a large central uplift underlain by a narrow dipping zone of deeply disrupted strata; faulted, folded, brecciated, and fractured rim strata; and uplifted rim strata, which dip away from the crater, and flat-lying rim strata, which terminate as inward dipping rocks.

  10. Deep Drilling Into the Chicxulub Impact Crater: Pemex Oil Exploration Boreholes Revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fucugauchi, J. U.; Perez-Cruz, L.

    2007-05-01

    The Chicxulub structure was recognized in the 1940´s from gravity anomalies in oil exploration surveys by Pemex. Geophysical anomalies occur over the carbonate platform in NW Yucatan, where density and magnetic susceptibility contrasts with the carbonates suggested a buried igneous complex or basement uplift. The exploration program developed afterwards included several boreholes, starting with the Chicxulub-1 in 1952 and eventually comprising eight deep boreholes completed through the 1970s. The investigations showing Chicxulub as a large impact crater formed at the K/T boundary have relayed on the Pemex decades-long exploration program. Despite frequent reference to Pemex information, original data have not been openly available for detailed evaluation and incorporation with results from recent efforts. Logging data and core samples remain to be analyzed, reevaluated and integrated in the context of recent marine, aerial and terrestrial geophysical surveys and the drilling/coring projects of UNAM and ICDP. In this presentation we discuss the paleontological data, stratigraphic columns and geophysical logs for the Chicxulub-1 (1582m), Sacapuc-1 (1530m), Yucatan-6 (1631m) and Ticul-1 (3575m) boreholes. These boreholes remain the deepest ones drilled in Chicxulub and the only ones providing samples of the melt-rich breccias and melt sheet. Other boreholes include the Y1 (3221m), Y2 (3474m), Y4 (2398m) and Y5A (3003m), which give information on pre-impact stratigraphy and crystalline basement. We concentrate on log and microfossil data, stratigraphic columns, lateral correlation, integration with UNAM and ICDP borehole data, and analyses of sections of melt, impact breccias and basal Paleocene carbonates. Current plans for deep drilling in Chicxulub crater focus in the peak ring zone and central sector, with proposed marine and on-land boreholes to the IODP and ICDP programs. Future ICDP borehole will be located close to Chicxulub-1 and Sacapuc-1, which intersected

  11. An international and multidisciplinary drilling project into a young complex impact structure: The 2004 ICDP Bosumtwi Crater Drilling Project—An overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koeberl, Christian; Milkereit, Bernd; Overpeck, Jonathan T.; Scholz, Christopher A.; Amoako, Philip Y. O.; Boamah, Daniel; Danuor, Sylvester; Karp, Tobias; Kueck, Jochem; Hecky, Robert E.; King, John W.; Peck, John A.

    The Bosumtwi impact crater in Ghana, arguably the best-preserved complex young impact structure known on Earth, displays a pronounced rim and is almost completely filled by Lake Bosumtwi, a hydrologically closed basin. It is the source crater of the Ivory Coast tektites. The structure was excavated in 2.1-2.2 Gyr old metasediments and metavolcanics of the Birimian Supergroup. A drilling project was conceived that would combine two major scientific interests in this crater: 1) to obtain a complete paleoenvironmental record from the time of crater formation about one million years ago, at a near-equatorial location in Africa for which very few data are available so far, and 2) to obtain a complete record of impactites at the central uplift and in the crater moat, for ground truthing and comparison with other structures. Within the framework of an international and multidisciplinary drilling project led by the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP), 16 drill cores were obtained from June to October 2004 at six locations within Lake Bosumtwi, which is 8.5 km in diameter. The 14 sediment cores are currently being investigated for paleoenvironmental indicators. The two impactite cores LB-07A and LB-08A were drilled into the deepest section of the annular moat (540 m) and the flank of the central uplift (450 m), respectively. They are the main subject of this special issue of Meteoritics & Planetary Science, which represents the first detailed presentations of results from the deep drilling into the Bosumtwi impactite sequence. Drilling progressed in both cases through the impact breccia layer into fractured bedrock. LB-07A comprises lithic (in the uppermost part) and suevitic impact breccias with appreciable amounts of impact melt fragments. The lithic clast content is dominated by graywacke, besides various metapelites, quartzite, and a carbonate target component. Shock deformation in the form of quartz grains with planar microdeformations is

  12. Impact Crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

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

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

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

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

  13. Geochemical studies of the SUBO 18 (Enkingen) drill core and other impact breccias from the Ries crater, Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reimold, Wolf Uwe; McDonald, Iain; Schmitt, Ralf-Thomas; Hansen, Birgit; Jacob, Juliane; Koeberl, Christian

    2013-09-01

    Suevite and melt breccia compositions in the boreholes Enkingen and Polsingen are compared with compositions of suevites from other Ries boreholes and surface locations and discussed in terms of implications for impact breccia genesis. No significant differences in average chemical compositions for the various drill cores or surface samples are noted. Compositions of suevite and melt breccia from southern and northeastern sectors of the Ries crater do not significantly differ. This is in stark contrast to the published variations between within-crater and out-of-crater suevites from northern and southern sectors of the Bosumtwi impact structure, Ghana. Locally occurring alteration overprint on drill cores—especially strong on the carbonate-impregnated suevite specimens of the Enkingen borehole—does affect the average compositions. Overall, the composition of the analyzed impact breccias from Ries are characterized by very little macroscopically or microscopically recognized sediment-clast component; the clast populations of suevite and impact melt breccia are dominated consistently by granitic and intermediate granitoid components. The Polsingen breccia is significantly enriched in a dioritic clast component. Overall, chemical compositions are of intermediate composition as well, with dioritic-granodioritic silica contents, and relatively small contributions from mafic target components. Selected suevite samples from the Enkingen core have elevated Ni, Co, Cr, and Ir contents compared with previously analyzed suevites from the Ries crater, which suggest a small meteoritic component. Platinum-group element (PGE) concentrations for some of the enriched samples indicate somewhat elevated concentrations and near-chondritic ratios of the most immobile PGE, consistent with an extraterrestrial contribution of 0.1-0.2% chondrite-equivalent.

  14. Impact Craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    The fluidized impact crater ejecta and flat crater floors observed in this THEMIS image suggest near surface volatiles once played an important role in modifying the martian surface. Gullies observed in crater walls could possibly point to more recent volatile-rock interactions.

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

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

    Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude 13.9, Longitude 297.3 East (62.7 West). 19 meter/pixel resolution.

  15. Impact Crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    The relatively flat floor and terrace walls of this impact crater suggest the crater was partly infilled with sediment and subsequently eroded to its present day form. This type of observation is evidence for environmental change throughout the geologic history of Mars.

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

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

    Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude 18.1, Longitude 136.3 East (223.7 West). 19 meter/pixel resolution.

  16. Centrifuge impact cratering experiment 5

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

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

  17. The Chicxulub Multiring Impact Crater and the Cretaceous/Paleogene Boundary: Results From Geophysical Surveys and Drilling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J.; Perez-Cruz, Ligia

    2010-03-01

    The Chicxulub crater has attracted considerable attention as one of the three largest terrestrial impact structures and its association with the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary (K/Pg). Chicxulub is a 200 km-diameter multi-ring structure formed 65.5 Ma ago in the Yucatan carbonate platform in the southern Gulf of Mexico and which has since been buried by Paleogene and Neogene carbonates. Chicxulub is one of few large craters with preserved ejecta deposits, which include the world-wide K/Pg boundary clay layer. The impact has been related to the global major environmental and climatic effects and the organism mass extinction that mark the K/Pg boundary, which affected more than 70 % of organisms, including the dinosaurs, marine and flying reptiles, ammonites and a large part of the marine microorganisms. The impact and crater formation occur instantaneously, with excavation of the crust down to 25 km depths in fractions of second and lower crust uplift and crater formation in a few hundreds of seconds. Energy released by impact and crustal deformation generates seismic waves traveling the whole Earth, and resulting in intense fracturing and deformation at the target site. Understanding of the physics of impacts on planetary surfaces and modeling of processes of crustal deformation, rheological behavior of materials at high temperatures and pressures remain a major challenge in geosciences. Study of the Chicxulub crater and the global effects and mass extinction requires inter- and multidisciplinary approaches, with researchers from many diverse fields beyond the geosciences. With no surface exposures, geophysical surveys and drilling are required to study the crater. Differential compaction between the impact breccias and the surrounding carbonate rocks has produced a ring-fracture structure that at the surface reflects in a small topographic depression and the karstic cenote ring. The crater structure, located half offshore and half on-land, has been imaged by

  18. A Fresh Crater Drills to Tharsis Bedrock

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    The Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) took this image of a newly formed impact crater in the Tharsis region of Mars at 1316 UTC (8:16 a.m. EST) on Jan. 13, 2007, near 17.0 degrees north latitude, 246.4 degrees east longitude. CRISM's image was taken in 544 colors covering 0.36-3.92 micrometers, and shows features as small as 20 meters (66 feet) across. The region covered by the image is just over 10 kilometers (6 miles) wide at its narrowest point.

    The Tharsis region is a high volcanic plateau that stands about 5 kilometers (3 miles) above the surrounding plains. The rocks forming Tharsis are younger than in most parts of mars, as evidenced by their low density of craters. The best estimate of their age is comparable to the age of Shergotty-class meteorites thought to originate from Mars. However, Tharsis is covered by a nearly unbroken, meters-thick layer of dust that has frustrated all attempts to measure its bedrock composition remotely, and to determine if it matches the composition of Shergotty-class meteorites.

    The recent discovery of dark, newly formed impact craters on Mars has provided the CRISM team a chance, finally, to measure the rocks that make up Tharsis. Over the lifetime of the Mars Global Surveyor mission, its high-resolution Mars Orbiter Camera monitored the surface and documented the very recent formation of some two dozen small impact craters. Several of them are in Tharsis and pierce the plateau's dust blanket to expose bedrock. MRO's instruments have been trained on these 'drill holes' into Mars' volcanic crust, including the crater shown here.

    The top image was constructed from three infrared wavelengths that usually highlight compositional variations. This image shows the impact crater, a ring of dark, excavated rock (inset), and a surrounding system of rays. Crater rays are common around young impact craters, and they form when ejected boulders reimpact the surface and stir up the local rock

  19. 10Be content in clasts from fallout suevitic breccia in drill cores from the Bosumtwi impact crater, Ghana: Clues to preimpact target distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Losiak, Anna; Wild, Eva Maria; Michlmayr, Leonard; Koeberl, Christian

    2014-03-01

    Rocks from drill cores LB-07A (crater fill) and LB-08A (central uplift) into the Bosumtwi impact crater, Ghana, were analyzed for the presence of the cosmogenic radionuclide 10Be. The aim of the study was to determine the extent to which target rocks of various depths were mixed during the formation of the crater-filling breccia, and also to detect meteoric water infiltration within the impactite layer. 10Be abundances above background were found in two (out of 24) samples from the LB-07A core, and in none of five samples from the LB-08A core. After excluding other possible explanations for an elevated 10Be signal, we conclude that it is most probably due to a preimpact origin of those clasts from target rocks close to the surface. Our results suggest that in-crater breccias were well mixed during the impact cratering process. In addition, the lack of a 10Be signal within the rocks located very close to the lake sediment-impactite boundary suggests that infiltration of meteoric water below the postimpact crater floor was limited. This may suggest that the infiltration of the meteoric water within the crater takes place not through the aerial pore-space, but rather through a localized system of fractures.

  20. Diaplectic transformation of minerals: Vorotilov drill core, Puchezh-Katunki impact crater, Russia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feldman, V. I.

    1992-01-01

    The Vorotilov core was drilled in the central uplift of the Puchezh-Katunki astrobleme to a depth of 5.1 km. Impactites are revealed in the rocks of the core beginning from a depth of 366 m: suevites (66 m), allogenic breccias (112 m), and autogenic breccias (deeper than 544 m). These rocks are represented by shocked-metamorphic gneisses, schists, amphibolites of Archean age, and magmatic rocks (dolerites, olivines, and peridotites) that lie between them.

  1. Impact craters on Titan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Impact craters on Titan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Impact Crater Collapse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melosh, H. J.; Ivanov, B. A.

    The detailed morphology of impact craters is now believed to be mainly caused by the collapse of a geometrically simple, bowl-shaped "transient crater." The transient crater forms immediately after the impact. In small craters, those less than approximately 15 km diameter on the Moon, the steepest part of the rim collapses into the crater bowl to produce a lens of broken rock in an otherwise unmodified transient crater. Such craters are called "simple" and have a depth-to-diameter ratio near 1:5. Large craters collapse more spectacularly, giving rise to central peaks, wall terraces, and internal rings in still larger craters. These are called "complex" craters. The transition between simple and complex craters depends on 1/g, suggesting that the collapse occurs when a strength threshold is exceeded. The apparent strength, however, is very low: only a few bars, and with little or no internal friction. This behavior requires a mechanism for temporary strength degradation in the rocks surrounding the impact site. Several models for this process, including acoustic fluidization and shock weakening, have been considered by recent investigations. Acoustic fluidization, in particular, appears to produce results in good agreement with observations, although better understanding is still needed.

  4. Impact cratering: A geologic process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Melosh, H. J.

    1989-01-01

    The mechanisms involved in the formation of impact craters are examined theoretically, reviewing the results of recent investigations. Topics addressed include crater morphology, stress waves in solids, the contact and compression stage, the excavation stage, and ejecta deposits. Consideration is given to the scaling of crater dimensions, the crater modification stage, multiring basins, cratered landscapes, atmospheric interactions, and the implications of impact cratering for planetary evolution. Extensive diagrams, graphs, tables, and images of typical craters are provided.

  5. Impact cratering: A geologic process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melosh, H. J.

    The mechanisms involved in the formation of impact craters are examined theoretically, reviewing the results of recent investigations. Topics addressed include crater morphology, stress waves in solids, the contact and compression stage, the excavation stage, and ejecta deposits. Consideration is given to the scaling of crater dimensions, the crater modification stage, multiring basins, cratered landscapes, atmospheric interactions, and the implications of impact cratering for planetary evolution. Extensive diagrams, graphs, tables, and images of typical craters are provided.

  6. Venus - Impact Crater 'Jeanne

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    This Magellan full-resolution image shows Jeanne crater, a 19.5 kilometer (12 mile) diameter impact crater. Jeanne crater is located at 40.0 degrees north latitude and 331.4 degrees longitude. The distinctive triangular shape of the ejecta indicates that the impacting body probably hit obliquely, traveling from southwest to northeast. The crater is surrounded by dark material of two types. The dark area on the southwest side of the crater is covered by smooth (radar-dark) lava flows which have a strongly digitate contact with surrounding brighter flows. The very dark area on the northeast side of the crater is probably covered by smooth material such as fine-grained sediment. This dark halo is asymmetric, mimicking the asymmetric shape of the ejecta blanket. The dark halo may have been caused by an atmospheric shock or pressure wave produced by the incoming body. Jeanne crater also displays several outflow lobes on the northwest side. These flow-like features may have formed by fine-grained ejecta transported by a hot, turbulent flow created by the arrival of the impacting object. Alternatively, they may have formed by flow of impact melt.

  7. Impact Crater with Peak

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

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

  8. Small Impact Crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

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

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

  9. Impact cratering calculations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahrens, Thomas J.; Okeefe, J. D.; Smither, C.; Takata, T.

    1991-01-01

    In the course of carrying out finite difference calculations, it was discovered that for large craters, a previously unrecognized type of crater (diameter) growth occurred which was called lip wave propagation. This type of growth is illustrated for an impact of a 1000 km (2a) silicate bolide at 12 km/sec (U) onto a silicate half-space at earth gravity (1 g). The von Misses crustal strength is 2.4 kbar. The motion at the crater lip associated with this wave type phenomena is up, outward, and then down, similar to the particle motion of a surface wave. It is shown that the crater diameter has grown d/a of approximately 25 to d/a of approximately 4 via lip propagation from Ut/a = 5.56 to 17.0 during the time when rebound occurs. A new code is being used to study partitioning of energy and momentum and cratering efficiency with self gravity for finite-sized objects rather than the previously discussed planetary half-space problems. These are important and fundamental subjects which can be addressed with smoothed particle hydrodynamic (SPH) codes. The SPH method was used to model various problems in astrophysics and planetary physics. The initial work demonstrates that the energy budget for normal and oblique impacts are distinctly different than earlier calculations for silicate projectile impact on a silicate half space. Motivated by the first striking radar images of Venus obtained by Magellan, the effect of the atmosphere on impact cratering was studied. In order the further quantify the processes of meteor break-up and trajectory scattering upon break-up, the reentry physics of meteors striking Venus' atmosphere versus that of the Earth were studied.

  10. Impact cratering record of Fennoscandia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pesonen, L. J.; Henkel, H.

    1992-01-01

    A compilation of circular topographic, morphological, or geophysical structures in Fennoscandia and adjacent areas reveals 62 craterform structures of which 15 appear to be of extraterrestrial origin due to meteorite impact. The majority of the structures are probable and possible impact craters for which there is not yet sufficient proof for impact origin. Four of the proven impact craters contain large volumes of impact melt and many other features of intense shock metamorphism. The age of recognized impact craters vary from prehistoric to late Precambrian. We review the Fennoscandian impact cratering record giving examples of geophysical signatures of impact craters.

  11. Impact Cratering Calculations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahrens, Thomas J.

    2002-01-01

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

  12. Lonar Lake, India: An impact Crater in basalt

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fredriksson, K.; Dube, A.; Milton, D.J.; Balasundaram, M.S.

    1973-01-01

    Discovery of shock-metamorphosed material establishes the impact origin of Lonar Crater. Coarse breccia with shatter coning and microbreccia with moderately shocked fragments containing maskelynite were found in drill holes through the crater floor. Trenches on the rim yield strongly shocked fragments in which plagioclase has melted and vesiculated, and bombs and spherules of homogeneous rock melt. As the only known terrestrial impact crater in basalt, Lonar Crater provides unique opportunities for comparison with lunar craters. In particular, microbreccias and glass spherules from Lonar Crater have close analogs among the Apollo specimens.

  13. Impact Cratering Calculations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahrens, Thomas J.

    2001-01-01

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

  14. Coring the Chesapeake Bay impact crater

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Poag, C.W.

    2004-01-01

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

  15. The Martian impact cratering record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  16. The Martian impact cratering record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  17. Description of Tessaracoccus profundi sp.nov., a deep-subsurface actinobacterium isolated from a Chesapeake impact crater drill core (940 m depth)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Finster, K.W.; Cockell, C.S.; Voytek, M.A.; Gronstal, A.L.; Kjeldsen, K.U.

    2009-01-01

    A novel actinobacterium, designated CB31T, was isolated from a 940 m depth sample of a drilling core obtained from the Chesapeake meteor impact crater. The strain was isolated aerobically on R2A medium agar plates supplemented with NaCl (20 g l-1) and MgCl2???6H 2O (3 g l-1). The colonies were circular, convex, smooth and orange. Cells were slightly curved, rod-shaped in young cultures and often appeared in pairs. In older cultures cells were coccoid. Cells stained Gram-positive, were non-motile and did not form endospores. The diagnostic diamino acid of the peptidoglycan was ll-diaminopimelic acid. The polar lipids included phosphatidylglycerol, diphosphatidglycerol, four different glycolipids, two further phospholipids and one unidentified lipid. The dominant menaquinone was MK-9(H4) (70%). The major cellular fatty acid was anteiso C15:0 (83%). The DNA G + C content was 68 mol%. The strain grew anaerobically by reducing nitrate to nitrite or by fermenting glucose. It was catalase positive and oxidase negative. It grew between 10 and 45??C, with an optimum between 35 and 40??C. The pH range for growth was 5.7-9.3, with an optimum at pH 7.5. The closest phylogenetic neighbors based on 16S rRNA gene sequence identity were members of the genus Tessaracoccus (95-96% identity). On the basis of phenotypic and phylogenetic distinctiveness, strain CB31T is considered to represent a novel species of the genus Tessaracoccus, for which we propose the name Tessaracoccus profundi sp. nov.. It is the first member of this genus that has been isolated from a deep subsurface environment. The type strain is CB31T (=NCIMB 14440T = DSM 21240T). ?? 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  18. Degradation studies of Martian impact craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barlow, N. G.

    1991-01-01

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

  19. Largest impact craters on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartmann, William K.; Cain, Joe

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  2. Impact Crater in Coastal Patagonia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  3. Impact cratering through geologic time

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

  4. Geology of five small Australian impact craters

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  5. The Chicxulub Impact Crater and Oblique Impact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDonald, M.; Gulick, S.; Melosh, H.; Christeson, G.

    2007-05-01

    Determining whether or not the Chicxulub impact was oblique (<45 degrees) will aid in our understanding of the environmental consequences 65 Ma. Planetary impact events, and impact simulations in the laboratory, show that oblique impacts have clear asymmetric ejecta distributions. However, the subsurface structures of the resultant craters are not well understood. In 2005, we acquired 1822 km of seismic reflection data onboard the R/V Maurice Ewing imaging the massive (200+ km) Chicxulub impact crater. The seismic profiles show that pre- crater stratigraphy outside the central basin of the Chicxulub impact crater is offset downward into the crater marking the post-impact slumping and formation of the terrace zone. The inward collapse of the Chicxulub terrace zone coincides with the outward collapse of the central uplift to form the peak ring. Chicxulub's peak ring is offset to the southeast, away from the deepest terrace zone mapped in the seismic data, suggesting that its peak ring was offset toward a more gradual wall of the transient cavity. Peak ring offsets, relative to crater center, of Venusian craters from radar images in the Magellan data set allow us to determine whether there are systematic variations in peak ring offset due to oblique impact. Ten pristine Venusian peak ring craters formed by oblique impact show that peak rings are offset both uprange and downrange, suggesting that peak ring position, and related subsurface asymmetries in the terrace zone, do not provide information about impact obliquity. This analysis supports the idea that Chicxulub's peak ring offset is a consequence of target properties and pre-impact structure and independent of impact trajectory.

  6. Modeling pellet impact drilling process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovalyov, A. V.; Ryabchikov, S. Ya; Isaev, Ye D.; Ulyanova, O. S.

    2016-03-01

    The paper describes pellet impact drilling which could be used to increase the drilling speed and the rate of penetration when drilling hard rocks. Pellet impact drilling implies rock destruction by metal pellets with high kinetic energy in the immediate vicinity of the earth formation encountered. The pellets are circulated in the bottom hole by a high velocity fluid jet, which is the principle component of the ejector pellet impact drill bit. The experiments conducted has allowed modeling the process of pellet impact drilling, which creates the scientific and methodological basis for engineering design of drilling operations under different geo-technical conditions.

  7. Chicxulub Crater Seismic Survey Prepares Way for Future Drilling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morgan, Jo; Warner, Mike; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, Jaime; Gulick, Sean; Christeson, Gail; Barton, Penny; Rebolledo-Vierya, Maria; Melosh, Jay

    2005-09-01

    Sixty-five million years ago, a large meteorite hit the Earth and formed the ~200-km-wide Chicxulub crater in Yucatán, Mexico. The well-known, massive extinction event at the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary appears to have been caused, at least in part, by this impact. In the first few seconds after impact the surface of the Earth was pushed down to form a cavity ~35 km deep, and in the next few hundred seconds this cavity collapsed to form a multi-ring basin with an inner peak ring. To examine the rings and subsurface structure of this superbly preserved impact crater, a seismic experiment was shot across the crater in January and February 2005 by a team of scientists from Mexico, the United States, and the United Kingdom (Figure 1).

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kenkmann, Thomas; Sturm, Sebastian; Krueger, Tim

    2014-05-01

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

  11. The Explorer's Guide to Impact Craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  12. Locating the LCROSS Impact Craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. The Explorer's Guide to Impact Craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ivanov, B. A.

    1992-01-01

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

  15. Impact melt in small lunar highland craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plescia, J. B.; Cintala, M. J.

    2012-03-01

    Impact melt deposits have been identified in small, simple impact craters within the lunar highlands. Such deposits are rare, but have been observed in craters as small as 170 m diameter. The melt occurs as well-defined pools on the crater floor, as well as veneers on the inner crater wall and stringers of material extending over the rim and away from the crater. Model calculations indicate that the amount of melt formed in craters 100-2000 m diameter would amount to a few to ˜106 m3, representing <1% of the crater volume. Thus, significant, visible impact melt deposits would not be expected in such small craters as most of the melt material that was formed would be ejected. Variations in the properties of the projectile or the target cannot account for the amount of observed melt; the amount of melt produced is largely insensitive to such variations. Rather, we suggest that these small melt-containing craters represent near-vertical impacts in which the axes of melting and melt motion are essentially straight down, toward the base of the transient cavity. For a given event energy under vertical impact conditions, the volume of melt produced would be greater than in an oblique impact and the momentum of the material would be directed vertically downward with minimal lateral momentum such that most of the melt is retained within the crater interior. Since vertical impacts are relatively rare, such small craters with visible, interior melt deposits are rare. While we focus here on the highlands, such craters also occur on the maria.

  16. The LCROSS Impact Cratering Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  17. Boulders Ejected From Small Impact Craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bart, Gwendolyn D.; Melosh, H. J.

    2006-09-01

    We investigate the distribution of boulders ejected from lunar craters by analyzing high resolution Lunar Orbiter images. Our previous study (DPS 2004) of four small craters indicated that larger boulders are more frequently found close to the crater rim rather than far away, and that the size of the ejecta drops off as a power law with distance from the crater. Our current study adds more than ten new bouldery craters that range in size from 200 m to several kilometers and are found on a variety of terrain (mare, highlands, and the Copernicus ejecta blanket.) For each crater we plot the boulder diameter as a function of the ejection velocity of the boulder. We compare this size-velocity distribution with the size-velocity distribution of ejecta from large craters (Vickery 1986, 1987) to ascertain the mechanism of fracture of the substrate in the impact. We also make cumulative plots of the boulders, indicating the number of boulders of each size present around the crater. The cumulative plots allow us to compare our boulder distributions with the distributions of secondary craters from large impacts. Material thrown from a several-hundred-meter diameter crater may land intact as boulders, but material thrown from a tens-of-kilometers diameter crater will travel at a significantly higher velocity, and will form a secondary crater when it impacts the surface. Our data helps elucidate whether the upturn, at small diameters, of the cratering curve of the terrestrial planets is due to secondary impacts or to the primary population. This work is funded by NASA PGG grant NNG05GK40G.

  18. Dimensional scaling for impact cratering and perforation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watts, Alan; Atkinson, Dale; Rieco, Steve

    1993-01-01

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

  19. Meteor Crater (Barringer Meteorite Crater), Arizona: Summary of Impact Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roddy, D. J.; Shoemaker, E. M.

    1995-09-01

    Meteor Crater in northern Arizona represents the most abundant type of impact feature in our Solar System, i.e., the simple bowl-shaped crater. Excellent exposures and preservation of this large crater and its ejecta blanket have made it a critical data set in both terrestrial and planetary cratering research. Recognition of the value of the crater was initiated in the early 1900's by Daniel Moreau Barringer, whose 27 years of exploration championed its impact origin [1]. In 1960, Shoemaker presented information that conclusively demonstrated that Meteor Crater was formed by hypervelocity impact [2]. This led the U.S. Geological Survey to use the crater extensively in the 1960-70's as a prime training site for the Apollo astronauts. Today, Meteor Crater continues to serve as an important research site for the international science community, as well as an educational site for over 300,000 visitors per year. Since the late 1950's, studies of this crater have presented an increasingly clearer view of this impact and its effects and have provided an improved view of impact cratering in general. To expand on this data set, we are preparing an upgraded summary on the Meteor Crater event following the format in [3], including information and interpretations on: 1) Inferred origin and age of the impacting body, 2) Inferred ablation and deceleration history in Earth's atmosphere, 3) Estimated speed, trajectory, angle of impact, and bow shock conditions, 4) Estimated coherence, density, size, and mass of impacting body, 5) Composition of impacting body (Canyon Diablo meteorite), 6) Estimated kinetic energy coupled to target rocks and atmosphere, 7) Terrain conditions at time of impact and age of impact, 8) Estimated impact dynamics, such as pressures in air, meteorite, and rocks, 9) Inferred and estimated material partitioning into vapor, melt, and fragments, 10) Crater and near-field ejecta parameters, 11) Rock unit distributions in ejecta blanket, 12) Estimated far

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  1. How many impact craters exist in Romania?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaina, Alex

    2015-06-01

    The author is discussing the occureness of impact craters in large areas of Southern Europe, particularly in Balkans. He is contrasting the results available with very prodigious results for Ukraine. What are the explanations for such a great dispersion of results? As a hypothesis, the author is discussing the site of Orheiul Vechi (in Bessarabia, near the city of Orkhey, 47Deg 20' North Lat, 28 Deg 50' East Long) as a possible impact crater. Another legendary informations refer to the city of Oradea, where a possible impact crater was formed in the site "Oraselul copiilor" and was covered in 1960.

  2. Venus - Impact Crater in Guinevere Planitia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This is a Magellan image mosaic of an impact crater located in Guinevere Planitia on Venus with a rim diameter of 12.5 kilometers (7.8 miles). The area mosaiced is located at 6 degrees north latitude, 335 degrees east longitude and is from orbits 376 and 377 obtained on Sept. 15, 1990. The image is of an area about 37 km (23 miles) wide and 80 km (48 miles) long. Material thrown out from the impact forms a bright ejecta blanket surrounding most of the crater. The object that formed this crater was probably moving toward the north (top of the picture) at a shallow angle to the surface when it hit. The two lines of evidence that support this view are the 'missing ejecta' on the south and the small secondary craters seen to the north. The secondary craters are formed by large blocks thrown out of the primary crater. Most of the larger blocks landed close to the crater rim, while finer material traveled farther, creating a radial pattern. The inside of the crater shows terracing caused by slumping of the inner wall. A complex central peak is also seen; it was formed by uplift of the ground when it rebounded following impact. Resolution of the Magellan data is about 120 meters (400 feet).

  3. Endogenic modification of impact craters on Mercury

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schultz, P. H.

    1977-01-01

    The presence of internally modified impact craters on Mercury's surface may be used to evaluate the possibility of Mercurian volcanism. Such craters are similar to the floor-fractured and mare-filled craters observed on the moon. Mariner-10 images show that most such craters occur, as on the moon, near plains-filled basins. Color-ratio images have indicated that some Mercurian craters manifest red plains materials on their floors. These features may be associated with lava analogous to mare basalts in some lunar craters, or with compositionally distinct subsurface material preserved within the impact crater. Several basins manifest photometric contrasts between basin exteriors and basin-filling plains. Dark haloes are observed around some impact craters superimposed on the interior plains. This suggests the excavation of compositionally distinct material. Some possible endogenic features are discerned, despite the poor surface resolution, such as irregular rimless depressions. It is felt that volcanism may have occurred on Mercury, and that in some areas it may be similar to that of the lunar Mare Australe region.

  4. Impact Structures: What Does Crater Diameter Mean?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turtle, E. P.; Pierazzo, E.; Collins, G. S.; Osinski, G. R.; Melosh, H. J.; Morgan, J. V.; Reimold, W. U.; Spray, J. G.

    2004-03-01

    Crater diameter is an important parameter in energy scaling and impact simulations. However, disparate types of data make the use of consistent metrics difficult. We suggest a consistent terminology and discuss it in the context of several examples.

  5. A Buried Precambrian Impact Crater in Scotland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simms, M. J.

    2016-08-01

    Field evidence indicates that the source of the Stac Fada impact deposit (Mesoproterozoic) in NW Scotland was to the east, and that the now buried crater is represented by the 40+ km diameter Lairg Gravity Low.

  6. 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.

  7. The formation of peak rings in large impact craters.

    PubMed

    Morgan, Joanna V; Gulick, Sean P S; Bralower, Timothy; Chenot, Elise; Christeson, Gail; Claeys, Philippe; Cockell, Charles; Collins, Gareth S; Coolen, Marco J L; Ferrière, Ludovic; Gebhardt, Catalina; Goto, Kazuhisa; Jones, Heather; Kring, David A; Le Ber, Erwan; Lofi, Johanna; Long, Xiao; Lowery, Christopher; Mellett, Claire; Ocampo-Torres, Rubén; Osinski, Gordon R; Perez-Cruz, Ligia; Pickersgill, Annemarie; Poelchau, Michael; Rae, Auriol; Rasmussen, Cornelia; Rebolledo-Vieyra, Mario; Riller, Ulrich; Sato, Honami; Schmitt, Douglas R; Smit, Jan; Tikoo, Sonia; Tomioka, Naotaka; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, Jaime; Whalen, Michael; Wittmann, Axel; Yamaguchi, Kosei E; Zylberman, William

    2016-11-18

    Large impacts provide a mechanism for resurfacing planets through mixing near-surface rocks with deeper material. Central peaks are formed from the dynamic uplift of rocks during crater formation. As crater size increases, central peaks transition to peak rings. Without samples, debate surrounds the mechanics of peak-ring formation and their depth of origin. Chicxulub is the only known impact structure on Earth with an unequivocal peak ring, but it is buried and only accessible through drilling. Expedition 364 sampled the Chicxulub peak ring, which we found was formed from uplifted, fractured, shocked, felsic basement rocks. The peak-ring rocks are cross-cut by dikes and shear zones and have an unusually low density and seismic velocity. Large impacts therefore generate vertical fluxes and increase porosity in planetary crust.

  8. The formation of peak rings in large impact craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morgan, Joanna V.; Gulick, Sean P. S.; Bralower, Timothy; Chenot, Elise; Christeson, Gail; Claeys, Philippe; Cockell, Charles; Collins, Gareth S.; Coolen, Marco J. L.; Ferrière, Ludovic; Gebhardt, Catalina; Goto, Kazuhisa; Jones, Heather; Kring, David A.; Le Ber, Erwan; Lofi, Johanna; Long, Xiao; Lowery, Christopher; Mellett, Claire; Ocampo-Torres, Rubén; Osinski, Gordon R.; Perez-Cruz, Ligia; Pickersgill, Annemarie; Poelchau, Michael; Rae, Auriol; Rasmussen, Cornelia; Rebolledo-Vieyra, Mario; Riller, Ulrich; Sato, Honami; Schmitt, Douglas R.; Smit, Jan; Tikoo, Sonia; Tomioka, Naotaka; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, Jaime; Whalen, Michael; Wittmann, Axel; Yamaguchi, Kosei E.; Zylberman, William

    2016-11-01

    Large impacts provide a mechanism for resurfacing planets through mixing near-surface rocks with deeper material. Central peaks are formed from the dynamic uplift of rocks during crater formation. As crater size increases, central peaks transition to peak rings. Without samples, debate surrounds the mechanics of peak-ring formation and their depth of origin. Chicxulub is the only known impact structure on Earth with an unequivocal peak ring, but it is buried and only accessible through drilling. Expedition 364 sampled the Chicxulub peak ring, which we found was formed from uplifted, fractured, shocked, felsic basement rocks. The peak-ring rocks are cross-cut by dikes and shear zones and have an unusually low density and seismic velocity. Large impacts therefore generate vertical fluxes and increase porosity in planetary crust.

  9. Crater and cavity depth in hypervelocity impact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kadono, T.; Fujiwara, A.

    2003-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  11. Impact craters as biospheric microenvironments, Lawn Hill Structure, Northern Australia.

    PubMed

    Lindsay, John; Brasier, Martin

    2006-04-01

    Impact craters on Mars act as traps for eolian sediment and in the past may have provided suitable microenvironments that could have supported and preserved a stressed biosphere. If this is so, terrestrial impact structures such as the 18-km-diameter Lawn Hill Structure, in northern Australia, may prove useful as martian analogs. We sampled outcrop and drill core from the carbonate fill of the Lawn Hill Structure and recorded its gamma-log signature. Facies data along with whole rock geochemistry and stable isotope signatures show that the crater fill is an outlier of the Georgina Basin and was formed by impact at, or shortly before, approximately 509-506 million years ago. Subsequently, it was rapidly engulfed by the Middle Cambrian marine transgression, which filled it with shallow marine carbonates and evaporites. The crater formed a protected but restricted microenvironment in which sediments four times the thickness of the nearby basinal succession accumulated. Similar structures, common on the martian surface, may well have acted as biospheric refuges as the planet's water resources declined. Low-pH aqueous environments on Earth similar to those on Mars, while extreme, support diverse ecologies. The architecture of the eolian crater fill would have been defined by long-term ground water cycles resulting from intermittent precipitation in an extremely arid climate. Nutrient recycling, critical to a closed lacustrine sub-ice biosphere, could be provided by eolian transport onto the frozen water surface.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Poag, C. Wylie

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Impact mechanics at Meteor Crater, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shoemaker, Eugene Merle

    1959-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newsom, H. E.

    2011-12-01

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

  15. Impact craters: An ice study on Rhea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  16. Impact Materials of Takamatsu Crater in Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1995-09-01

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

  17. Geology of drill hole USW VH-2, and structure of Crater Flat, southwestern Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    Carr, W.J.; Parrish, L.D.

    1985-12-31

    A 1219 meter (4000 ft) drill hole in Crater Flat shows the absence of buried Pliocene or Quaternary volcanic rocks, and penetrates a section of Timber Mountain, Paintbrush, and the upper part of the Crater Flat Tuffs, similar to that exposed adjacent to Crater Flat. A prominent negative aeromagnetic anomaly between the drill hole and Bare Mountain is attributed to a westward thickening section of a reversely magnetized Miocene basalt. The relatively shallow depth of this basalt in the west-central part of Crater Flat indicates that no large amount of tectonic movement has occurred in approximately the last 10 m.y. Massive brecciated wedges of Paleozoic rocks are penetrated in two stratigraphic intervals in the drill hole; the older one, between the Tiva Canyon Member of the Paintbrush Tuff and the Rainier Mesa Member of the Timber Mountain Tuff, correlates with the time of maximum faulting east of Crater Flat in the Yucca Mountain area. The younger slide masses are correlated with a large slide block of probable late Miocene age exposed along the southwestern rim of Crater Flat. The structural pattern and style buried beneath central and western Crater Flat is deduced to be similar to that exposed at Yucca Mountain, but less developed. The major fault system controlling the steep east face of Bare Mountain, though probably still active, is believed to have developed mainly as a result of caldera collapse between 13 and 14 m.y. ago. Relations between faulting and four episodes of basalt eruption in the Crater Flat area strongly suggest contemporaneity of the two processes. 17 refs., 2 figs., 3 tabs.

  18. Manicouagan and the Moon: Reassessing Impact Melt - Crater Affiliations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spray, J. G.; Thompson, L. M.; O'Connell-Cooper, C.

    2009-05-01

    When Apollo samples were first returned to Earth, comparisons were made with several terrestrial impact melt sheets to aid in the interpretation of the samples. Manicouagan was considered representative of a 60 to 100 km size complex crater with a supposedly undifferentiated, chemically homogeneous, although somewhat texturally heterogeneous, impact-melt sheet. Based on the belief that craters in the size range of Manicouagan produced chemically homogeneous melt sheets, Simonds et al. (1976) identified four distinct compositions of lunar melt in Apollo 16 breccia samples, attributing each to four different impact-melt sheets formed during discrete cratering events. However, recent drilling activities at Manicouagan, combined with surface sampling and geochemical analysis, have revealed that its impact-melt sheet is not of uniform composition as suggested by past field work. This calls into question previously held assumptions regarding the identification and interpretation of lunar impact melts. Drilling has revealed an unexpectedly varied topography to the melt sheet-basement contact in the centre of the structure at Manicouagan. An elongate, impact-melt filled, N-S trough extending at least 8 km from the southern flanks of the uplifted Mont de Babel anorthosite has been identified. The trough varies in depth from 600 m at the northern and southern extremes, to 1430 m in the middle, resulting in substantially thicker melt sections than previously identified by field work, which estimated current impact-melt sheet thickness to be 200 to 300 m. Our geochemical analysis of 88 core and field impact melt samples reveal that the more typical 300 m thick sections and the newly discovered 600 m thick sections intersected within the central trough in drill holes MAN0501 and 0511, exhibit a homogeneous, quartz monzodiorite composition comparable with previous average impact melt compositions. In contrast, the 1100 m clast-free melt sequence encountered in the centre of the

  19. Major and Trace Element Variations in Impact Crater Clay from Chicxulub, Lonar, and Mistastin, Implications for the Martian Soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newsom, H. E.; Nelson, M. J.; Shearer, C. K.; Rietmeijer, F. J. M.; Gakin, R.; Lee, K.

    2004-01-01

    The catastrophic Chicxulub event should have generated a large hydrothermal system with volatile element mobilization, producing interesting alteration materials and clays. The Yaxcopoil-1 (YAX) drill hole is located in the annular trough, about 70 km southwest of the crater center, in an area where the impactite layers are relatively thin (approx. 100 m thick). We have analyzed samples from the YAX drill core and from other impact craters including Mistastin and Lonar to determine the nature of alteration and trace element mobilization.

  20. Small Impact Craters with Dark Ejecta Deposits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    When a meteor impacts a planetary surface, it creates a blast very much like a bomb explosion. Shown here are two excellent examples of small impact craters on the martian surface. Each has a dark-toned deposit of material that was blown out of the crater (that is, ejected) during the impact. Materials comprising these deposits are called ejecta. The ejecta here is darker than the surrounding substrate because each crater-forming blast broke through the upper, brighter surface material and penetrated to a layer of darker material beneath. This darker material was then blown out onto the surface in the radial pattern seen here.

    The fact that impact craters can penetrate and expose material from beneath the upper surface of a planet is very useful for geologists trying to determine the nature and composition of the martian subsurface. The scene shown here is illuminated from the upper left and covers an area 1.1 km (0.7 mi) wide by 1.4 km (0.9 mi). The larger crater has a diameter of about 89 meters (97 yards), the smaller crater is about 36 meters (39 yards) across. The picture is located in Terra Meridiani and was taken by the Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera.

    Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, CA. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, CA and Denver, CO.

  1. Martian cratering. II - Asteroid impact history.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hartmann, W. K.

    1971-01-01

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

  2. Geophysical signature of the Pretoria saltpan impact structure and a possible satellite crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandt, D.; Durrheim, R. J.; Reimold, W. U.

    1993-01-01

    The Pretoria Saltpan Crater is located in the southern portion of the Bushveld Igneous Complex, some 40 km NNW of Pretoria, South Africa, at 25 deg 24 min 30 sec S/28 deg 4 min 59 sec E. An origin by impact for this crater structure was recently confirmed. The results of the only gravity reconnaissance carried out over the crater to date failed to support an impact origin. With the aid of recent results obtained from a central drill-core, it was necessary to carry out more geophysical work which would include a gravity profile of higher resolution. A second, smaller, circular depression (about 400 m in diameter) to the SW of the crater is suggestive of a twin crater. This site had never been investigated, and thus various geophysical surveys were conducted.

  3. Venusian impact basins and cratered terrains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hamilton, Warren B.

    1992-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1992-09-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

    2016-07-26

    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.

  9. Density of impact craters on tessera, Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ivanov, M. A.; Basilevsky, A. T.

    1993-01-01

    After the plains, tessera is the most abundant terrain on Venus. It occupies about 10 percent of the Venusian surface, forming the continent-like blocks and small islands above the adjacent plains. Tessera is a result of tectonic deformations of some precursor terrain. However, the nature of that precursor, as well as the causes and mechanisms of its formations, are under debate. Any models considering tessera terrain involve estimation of tessera age, either relative or absolute. It is well known that the important information on the age of a planetary surface comes from impact crater statistics. The Magellan global overview of Venus with improved resolution provides an opportunity to gather data on impact craters in amounts large enough for statistically reliable estimations of crater density for different terrains. Our study of impact crater density on tesserae compared to the surrounding terrains has a goal to determine whether it is higher, lower, or the same and to interpret it in terms of the tessera age and processes involved.

  10. Deep drilling into the Chesapeake Bay impact structure.

    PubMed

    Gohn, G S; Koeberl, C; Miller, K G; Reimold, W U; Browning, J V; Cockell, C S; Horton, J W; Kenkmann, T; Kulpecz, A A; Powars, D S; Sanford, W E; Voytek, M A

    2008-06-27

    Samples from a 1.76-kilometer-deep corehole drilled near the center of the late Eocene Chesapeake Bay impact structure (Virginia, USA) reveal its geologic, hydrologic, and biologic history. We conducted stratigraphic and petrologic analyses of the cores to elucidate the timing and results of impact-melt creation and distribution, transient-cavity collapse, and ocean-water resurge. Comparison of post-impact sedimentary sequences inside and outside the structure indicates that compaction of the crater fill influenced long-term sedimentation patterns in the mid-Atlantic region. Salty connate water of the target remains in the crater fill today, where it poses a potential threat to the regional groundwater resource. Observed depth variations in microbial abundance indicate a complex history of impact-related thermal sterilization and habitat modification, and subsequent post-impact repopulation.

  11. Deep drilling into the Chesapeake Bay impact structure

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gohn, G.S.; Koeberl, C.; Miller, K.G.; Reimold, W.U.; Browning, J.V.; Cockell, C.S.; Horton, J.W.; Kenkmann, T.; Kulpecz, A.A.; Powars, D.S.; Sanford, W.E.; Voytek, M.A.

    2008-01-01

    Samples from a 1.76-kilometer-deep corehole drilled near the center of the late Eocene Chesapeake Bay impact structure (Virginia, USA) reveal its geologic, hydrologic, and biologic history. We conducted stratigraphic and petrologic analyses of the cores to elucidate the timing and results of impact-melt creation and distribution, transient-cavity collapse, and ocean-water resurge. Comparison of post-impact sedimentary sequences inside and outside the structure indicates that compaction of the crater fill influenced long-term sedimentation patterns in the mid-Atlantic region. Salty connate water of the target remains in the crater fill today, where it poses a potential threat to the regional groundwater resource. Observed depth variations in microbial abundance indicate a complex history of impact-related thermal sterilization and habitat modification, and subsequent post-impact repopulation.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levine, Arlene S.

    2008-01-01

    Planetary impact craters are a common surface feature of many planetary bodies, including the Earth, the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter s moons, Ganymede and Callisto. The NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA, is located about 5 km inside the outer rim of the Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater. The Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater, with a diameter of 85 km is the sixth largest impact crater on our planet. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with the NASA Langley Research Center, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ), the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC), and the Department of Geology of the College of William and Mary (WM) drilled into and through the crater at the NASA Langley Research Center and obtained a continuous core to a depth of 2075.9 ft (632.73 meters) from the Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater. At the NASA Langley location, the granite basement depth was at 2046 ft (623.87 meters). This collaborative drilling activity provided a unique educational opportunity and ongoing educational partnership between USGS, NASA Langley and the other collaborators. NASA Langley has a decade-long, ongoing educational partnership with the Colonial Coast Council of the Girl Scouts. The core drilling and on site analysis and cataloguing of the core segments provided a unique opportunity for the Girl Scouts to learn how geologists work in the field, their tools for scientific investigation and evaluation, how they perform geological analyses of the cores in an on-site tent and learn about the formation of impact craters and the impact of impacting bodies on the sub-surface, the surface, the oceans and atmosphere of the target body. This was accomplished with a two-part activity. Girl Scout day camps and local Girl Scout troops were invited to Langley Research Center Conference Center, where more than 300 Girl Scouts, their leaders and adult personnel were given briefings by scientists and educators from the USGS, NASA

  13. Impact cratering at geologic stage boundaries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stothers, Richard B.

    1993-01-01

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

  14. Shock metamorphism and impact melting in small impact craters on Earth: Evidence from Kamil crater, Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fazio, Agnese; Folco, Luigi; D'Orazio, Massimo; Frezzotti, Maria Luce; Cordier, Carole

    2014-12-01

    Kamil is a 45 m diameter impact crater identified in 2008 in southern Egypt. It was generated by the hypervelocity impact of the Gebel Kamil iron meteorite on a sedimentary target, namely layered sandstones with subhorizontal bedding. We have carried out a petrographic study of samples from the crater wall and ejecta deposits collected during our first geophysical campaign (February 2010) in order to investigate shock effects recorded in these rocks. Ejecta samples reveal a wide range of shock features common in quartz-rich target rocks. They have been divided into two categories, as a function of their abundance at thin section scale: (1) pervasive shock features (the most abundant), including fracturing, planar deformation features, and impact melt lapilli and bombs, and (2) localized shock features (the least abundant) including high-pressure phases and localized impact melting in the form of intergranular melt, melt veins, and melt films in shatter cones. In particular, Kamil crater is the smallest impact crater where shatter cones, coesite, stishovite, diamond, and melt veins have been reported. Based on experimental calibrations reported in the literature, pervasive shock features suggest that the maximum shock pressure was between 30 and 60 GPa. Using the planar impact approximation, we calculate a vertical component of the impact velocity of at least 3.5 km s-1. The wide range of shock features and their freshness make Kamil a natural laboratory for studying impact cratering and shock deformation processes in small impact structures.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  16. Potential Cement Phases in Sedimentary Rocks Drilled by Curiosity at Gale Crater, Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rampe, E. B.; Morris, R. V.; Bish, D. L.; Chipera, S. J.; Ming, D. W.; Blake, D. F.; Vaniman, D. T.; Bristow, T. F.; Cavanagh, P.; Farmer, J. D.; Morrison, S. M.; Siebach, K.; Treiman, A. H.; Achilles, C. N.; Blaney, D.; Crisp, J. A.; Des Marais, D. J.; Downs, R. T.; Fendrich, K.; Martin-Torres, J.; Morookian, J. M.; Zorzano, M.-P.; Sarrazin, P.; Spanovich, N.; Yen, A. S.

    2015-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity has encountered a variety of sedimentary rocks in Gale crater with different grain sizes, diagenetic features, sedimentary structures, and varying degrees of resistance to erosion. Curiosity has drilled three rocks to date and has analyzed the mineralogy, chemical composition, and textures of the samples with the science payload. The drilled rocks are the Sheepbed mudstone at Yellowknife Bay on the plains of Gale crater (John Klein and Cumberland targets), the Dillinger sandstone at the Kimberley on the plains of Gale crater (Windjana target), and a sedimentary unit in the Pahrump Hills in the lowermost rocks at the base of Mt. Sharp (Confidence Hills target). CheMin is the Xray diffractometer on Curiosity, and its data are used to identify and determine the abundance of mineral phases. Secondary phases can tell us about aqueous alteration processes and, thus, can help to elucidate past aqueous environments. Here, we present the secondary mineralogy of the rocks drilled to date as seen by CheMin and discuss past aqueous environments in Gale crater, the potential cementing agents in each rock, and how amorphous materials may play a role in cementing the sediments.

  17. Impact and cratering rates onto Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roddy, D. J.

    1976-01-01

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

  20. Impact ejecta and carbonate sequence in the eastern sector of the Chicxulub crater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urrutia-Fucugauchi, Jaime; Chavez-Aguirre, Jose Maria; Pérez-Cruz, Ligia; De la Rosa, Jose Luis

    2008-12-01

    The Chicxulub 200 km diameter crater located in the Yucatan platform of the Gulf of Mexico formed 65 Myr ago and has since been covered by Tertiary post-impact carbonates. The sediment cover and absence of significant volcanic and tectonic activity in the carbonate platform have protected the crater from erosion and deformation, making Chicxulub the only large multi-ring crater in which ejecta is well preserved. Ejecta deposits have been studied by drilling/coring in the southern crater sector and at outcrops in Belize, Quintana Roo and Campeche; little information is available from other sectors. Here, we report on the drilling/coring of a section of ˜34 m of carbonate breccias at 250 m depth in the Valladolid area (120 km away from crater center), which are interpreted as Chicxulub proximal ejecta deposits. The Valladolid breccias correlate with the carbonate breccias cored in the Peto and Tekax boreholes to the south and at similar radial distance. This constitutes the first report of breccias in the eastern sector close to the crater rim. Thickness of the Valladolid breccias is less than that at the other sites, which may indicate erosion of the ejecta deposits before reestablishment of carbonate deposition. The region east of the crater rim appears different from regions to the south and west, characterized by high density and scattered distribution of sinkholes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-08-01

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

  2. Venus - Impact Crater in Eastern Navka Region

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

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

  3. Meteoritic material at four Canadian impact craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1980-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  5. Pellet impact drilling operational parameters: experimental research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovalyov, A. V.; Ryabchikov, S. Ya; Isaev, Ye D.; Aliev, F. R.; Gorbenko, M. V.; Baranova, A. V.

    2015-02-01

    The article deals with the study of particle-impact drilling that is designed to enhance the rate-of-penetration function in hard and tough drilling environments. It contains the experimental results on relation between drilling parameters and drilling efficiency, the experiments being conducted by means of a specially designed laboratory model. To interpret the results properly a high-speed camera was used to capture the pellet motion. These results can be used to choose optimal parameters, as well as to develop enhanced design of ejector pellet impact drill bits.

  6. Impact cratering and spall failure of gabbro

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  7. Impact cratering and spall failure at gabbro

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1983-01-01

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

  8. Impact Crater Deposits in the Martian Highlands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mest, S. C.; Crown, D. a.

    2005-01-01

    The martian highlands of Noachis Terra (20-30 deg S, 20-50 deg E), Tyrrhena Terra (0-30 deg S, 50- 100 deg E) and Terra Cimmeria (0-60 deg S, 120-170 deg E) preserve long and complex histories of degradation, but the relative effects of such factors as fluvial, eolian, and mass wasting processes have not been well constrained. The effects of this degradation are best observed on large (D greater than 10 km) impact craters that characterize the ancient highlands. Some craters exhibit distinct interior deposits, but precise origins of these deposits are enigmatic; infilling may occur by sedimentary (e.g., fluvial, lacustrine, eolian), mass wasting and (or) volcanic processes.

  9. The Microstructure of Lunar Micrometeorite Impact Craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Standardizing the nomenclature of Martian impact crater ejecta morphologies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2000-01-01

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

  11. Oblique impact cratering experiments in brittle targets: Implications for elliptical craters on the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michikami, Tatsuhiro; Hagermann, Axel; Morota, Tomokatsu; Haruyama, Junichi; Hasegawa, Sunao

    2017-01-01

    Most impact craters observed on planetary bodies are the results of oblique impacts of meteoroids. To date, however, there have only been very few laboratory oblique impact experiments for analogue targets relevant to the surfaces of extraterrestrial bodies. In particular, there is a lack of laboratory oblique impact experiments into brittle targets with a material strength on the order of 1 MPa, with the exception of ice. A strength on the order of 1 MPa is considered to be the corresponding material strength for the formation of craters in the 100 m size range on the Moon. Impact craters are elliptical if the meteoroid's trajectory is below a certain threshold angle of incidence, and it is known that the threshold angle depends largely on the material strength. Therefore, we examined the threshold angle required to produce elliptical craters in laboratory impact experiments into brittle targets. This work aims to constrain current interpretations of lunar elliptical craters and pit craters with sizes below a hundred meters. We produced mortar targets with compressive strength of 3.2 MPa. A spherical nylon projectile (diameter 7.14 mm) was shot into the target surface at a nominal velocity of 2.3 km/s, with an impact angle of 5°-90° from horizontal. The threshold angle of this experiment ranges from 15° to 20°. We confirmed that our experimental data agree with previous empirical equations in terms of the cratering efficiency and the threshold impact angle. In addition, in order to simulate the relatively large lunar pit craters related to underground cavities, we conducted a second series of experiments under similar impact conditions using targets with an underground rectangular cavity. Size and outline of craters that created a hole are similar to those of craters without a hole. Moreover, when observed from an oblique angle, a crater with a hole has a topography that resembles the lunar pit craters. The relation between the impact velocity of meteoroids on

  12. Characterization of Boulders Ejected from Small Impact Craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bart, G. D.; Melosh, H. J.; Strom, R. G.

    2004-11-01

    When an asteroid or comet impacts the surface of a solid body, some of the surface material is often ejected from the crater in the form of blocks. We are characterizing the size and location of such blocks around craters on the Moon and Mars. The lunar craters were observed in Lunar Orbiter III images from P-12 and S-18. The Mars crater was observed in Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) Release No. MOC2-712. The craters range in size from 300 m to 3 km diameter. We measured the diameters of boulders observed around the craters, and also measured the distance between the boulder and the crater center. We then calculate the ejection velocity of each boulder based on how far the block was from the crater. The data indicate that larger boulders are more frequently found close to the crater rim rather than far away. The size of the ejecta drops off as a power law with distance from the crater. Our results are consistent with studies by Vickery (1986, 1987), which indirectly found the distribution of ejecta sizes from large craters by analyzing the size and distribution of their secondary craters. Our work characterizes the other end of the ejecta spectrum --- low velocity boulders ejected from small craters. We have also constructed R-plots of the boulder diameters for each crater. We found that the R-plot for the boulders has a dependence remarkably similar to an R-plot of the diameters of secondary craters. This similarity supports the already accepted idea that the impactors that produce secondaries are blocks ejected from larger craters. It is also consistent with the interpretation that the upturn of the cratering curve at small diameters on the terrestrial planets is due to secondary impacts rather than a primary population as some have proposed.

  13. Roter Kamm Impact Crater in Namibia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    This space radar image shows the Roter Kamm impact crater in southwest Namibia. The crater rim is seen in the lower center of the image as a radar-bright, circular feature. Geologists believe the crater was formed by a meteorite that collided with Earth approximately 5 million years ago. The data were acquired by the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) instrument onboard space shuttle Endeavour on April 14, 1994. The area is located at 27.8 degrees south latitude and 16.2 degrees east longitude in southern Africa. The colors in this image were obtained using the following radar channels: red represents the L-band (horizontally transmitted and received); green represents the L-band (horizontally transmitted and vertically received); and blue represents the C-band (horizontally transmitted and vertically received). The area shown is approximately 25.5 kilometers (15.8 miles) by 36.4 kilometers (22.5 miles), with north toward the lower right. The bright white irregular feature in the lower left corner is a small hill of exposed rock outcrop. Roter Kamm is a moderate sized impact crater, 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) in diameter rim to rim, and is 130 meters (400 feet) deep. However, its original floor is covered by sand deposits at least 100 meters (300 feet) thick. In a conventional aerial photograph, the brightly colored surfaces immediately surrounding the crater cannot be seen because they are covered by sand. The faint blue surfaces adjacent to the rim may indicate the presence of a layer of rocks ejected from the crater during the impact. The darkest areas are thick windblown sand deposits which form dunes and sand sheets. The sand surface is smooth relative to the surrounding granite and limestone rock outcrops and appears dark in radar image. The green tones are related primarily to larger vegetation growing on sand soil, and the reddish tones are associated with thinly mantled limestone outcrops. Studies of impact craters on

  14. Search for Lunar Water Ice in Cometary Impact Craters

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-08-01

    excavation, and filling of a crater over time scales on the order of one minute, long compared to the initial impact time scales, The work of H.J. Melosh ...is the mean impact velocity which is difficult to know accurately ( Melosh , 1989). The time development of the completed crater is defined as Tf...34Fast Track to Mars." Aerospace America. Aug 1991: 36-41. Melosh , H.J. Impact Cratering : A Geological Process. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989

  15. Designing the ejector pellet impact drill bit for hard and tough rock drilling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovalyov, A. V.; Ryabchikov, S. Ya; Isaev, Ye D.; Aliev, F. R.; Gorbenko, M. V.; Strelnikova, A. B.

    2015-02-01

    There are many types of ejector pellet impact drill bit providing impact rock drilling. Basic types of drill strings have been regarded, the essential requirements for the most efficient facilities to drill hard and tough rocks are formulated. With regard to these requirements, the ejector pellet impact drill bit design appropriate for operating under given conditions has been proposed

  16. Impact Cratering Physics al Large Planetary Scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahrens, Thomas J.

    2007-06-01

    Present understanding of the physics controlling formation of ˜10^3 km diameter, multi-ringed impact structures on planets were derived from the ideas of Scripps oceanographer, W. Van Dorn, University of London's, W, Murray, and, Caltech's, D. O'Keefe who modeled the vertical oscillations (gravity and elasticity restoring forces) of shock-induced melt and damaged rock within the transient crater immediately after the downward propagating hemispheric shock has processed rock (both lining, and substantially below, the transient cavity crater). The resulting very large surface wave displacements produce the characteristic concentric, multi-ringed basins, as stored energy is radiated away and also dissipated upon inducing further cracking. Initial calculational description, of the above oscillation scenario, has focused upon on properly predicting the resulting density of cracks, and, their orientations. A new numerical version of the Ashby--Sammis crack damage model is coupled to an existing shock hydrodynamics code to predict impact induced damage distributions in a series of 15--70 cm rock targets from high speed impact experiments for a range of impactor type and velocity. These are compared to results of crack damage distributions induced in crustal rocks with small arms impactors and mapped ultrasonically in recent Caltech experiments (Ai and Ahrens, 2006).

  17. Deep drilling in the Chesapeake Bay impact structure - An overview

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gohn, G.S.; Koeberl, C.; Miller, K.G.; Reimold, W.U.

    2009-01-01

    The late Eocene Chesapeake Bay impact structure lies buried at moderate depths below Chesapeake Bay and surrounding landmasses in southeastern Virginia, USA. Numerous characteristics made this impact structure an inviting target for scientific drilling, including the location of the impact on the Eocene continental shelf, its threelayer target structure, its large size (??85 km diameter), its status as the source of the North American tektite strewn field, its temporal association with other late Eocene terrestrial impacts, its documented effects on the regional groundwater system, and its previously unstudied effects on the deep microbial biosphere. The Chesapeake Bay Impact Structure Deep Drilling Project was designed to drill a deep, continuously cored test hole into the central part of the structure. A project workshop, funding proposals, and the acceptance of those proposals occurred during 2003-2005. Initial drilling funds were provided by the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Supplementary funds were provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Science Mission Directorate, ICDP, and USGS. Field operations were conducted at Eyreville Farm, Northampton County, Virginia, by Drilling, Observation, and Sampling of the Earth's Continental Crust (DOSECC) and the project staff during September-December 2005, resulting in two continuously cored, deep holes. The USGS and Rutgers University cored a shallow hole to 140 m in April-May 2006 to complete the recovered section from land surface to 1766 m depth. The recovered section consists of 1322 m of crater materials and 444 m of overlying postimpact Eocene to Pleistocene sediments. The crater section consists of, from base to top: basement-derived blocks of crystalline rocks (215 m); a section of suevite, impact melt rock, lithic impact breccia, and cataclasites (154 m); a thin interval of quartz sand and lithic blocks (26 m); a

  18. Large craters on the meteoroid and space debris impact experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Humes, Donald H.

    1991-01-01

    The distribution around the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) of 532 large craters in the Al plates from the Meteoroid and Space Debris Impact Experiment (S0001) is discussed along with 74 additional large craters in Al plates donated to the Meteoroid and Debris Special Investigation Group by other LDEF experimenters. The craters are 0.5 mm in diameter and larger. Crater shape is discussed. The number of craters and their distribution around the spacecraft are compared with values predicted with models of the meteoroid environment and the manmade orbital debris environment.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bray, V. J.; Schenk, P.

    2014-12-01

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

  20. Impact cratering and ejection of material on porous asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Housen, K.; Sweet, W.

    2014-07-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1980-01-01

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

  2. Mexican site for K/T impact crater?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  3. Implications of a global survey of venusian impact craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herrick, Robert R.; Phillips, Roger J.

    1994-01-01

    We present a global survey of the areal distribution, size-frequency distribution, and morphometric properties of the venusian impact cratering record. We explore the resurfacing history of Venus, crater degradation, ejecta emplacement, and cratering mechanics. The number of volcanically embayed and tectonically deformed craters from 0.5 to 1.0 km above mean planetary radius is disproportionately high for an otherwise crater-deficient elevation range. More resurfacing occurred in this range, an elevation range dominated by volcanic rises, rifts, and coronae, than elsewhere on Venus. Although the majority of craters appear to be relatively undisturbed and have intact ejecta blankets, some craters appear particularly `fresh' because thay have radar-bright floors, a radar-dark halo surrounding the ejecta blanket, and a west facing parabola of low radar return; 20, 35, and 8%, respectively, of craters with diameters greater than 22.6 km have these features. Characteristics of ejecta deposits for venusian craters change substantially with size, particularly at 20 km crater diameter, which marks the transition at which the boundaries of ejecta blankets go from ragged to lobate and the slope of the ejecta distance vs diameter curve steepens. Secondary craters are a ubiquitous part of the ejecta blanket for craters over 50 km but occur infrequently as isolated rays about smaller craters. Comparison of complex craters found on Venus with those of other planets gave results that were consistent with the idea that interplanetary differences in complex crater shape are controlled by interplanetary differences in gravity and crustal strength. The interplanetary comparison indicates that Venus, the Moon, and Mercury appear to have stronger crusts than do Mars and Ganymede/Callisto.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alexopoulos, Jim S.; Mckinnon, William B.

    1992-01-01

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

  5. Numerical Modeling of Shatter Cones Development in Impact Craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baratoux, D.; Melosh, H. J.

    2003-03-01

    We present a new model for the formation of shatter cones in impact craters. Our model has been tested by means of numerical simulations. Our results are consistent with the observations of shatter cones in natural impact craters and explosions experiments.

  6. Shock metamorphism of Bosumtwi impact crater rocks, shock attenuation, and uplift formation.

    PubMed

    Ferrière, Ludovic; Koeberl, Christian; Ivanov, Boris A; Reimold, Wolf Uwe

    2008-12-12

    Shock wave attenuation rate and formation of central uplifts are not precisely constrained for moderately sized complex impact structures. The distribution of shock metamorphism in drilled basement rocks from the 10.5-kilometer-diameter Bosumtwi crater, and results of numerical modeling of inelastic rock deformation and modification processes during uplift, constrained with petrographic data, allowed reconstruction of the pre-impact position of the drilled rocks and revealed a shock attenuation by approximately 5 gigapascals in the uppermost 200 meters of the central uplift. The proportion of shocked quartz grains and the average number of planar deformation feature sets per grain provide a sensitive indication of minor changes in shock pressure. The results further imply that for moderately sized craters the rise of the central uplift is dominated by brittle failure.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-04

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

  9. Ancient Impact and Aqueous Processes at Endeavour Crater, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-05-01

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

  10. Projectile Remnants in Central Peaks of Lunar Impact Craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, B.; Yue, Z.; Minton, D.; Melosh, H. J.; Di, K.; Hu, W.; Liu, Y.

    2012-12-01

    It is generally assumed that during the formation of a large impact crater the projectile is largely melted or vaporized and that only traces remain in the final crater. However, using the finite difference hydrocode iSALE, we show that at impact velocities below about 12 km/sec the projectile, while crushed and strongly deformed, may largely survive the impact. In small craters the projectile is nevertheless widely dispersed across the crater floor. But in complex craters much of the projectile debris is swept back into the central peak area by the collapse flow. Furthermore, on the Moon approximately 30% of asteroid impacts occur at velocities less than 12 km/sec, so that the central peaks of many lunar craters should retain a recognizable signature of the projectile. This observation may explain recent observations of exotic Mg-rich spinels and olivine in the central peaks of craters too small to have excavated the deep crust or mantle of the Moon. Similar conclusions apply to central peaks of complex craters on Mars and Rheasilvia crater on Vesta.

  11. The depths of the largest impact craters on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  12. Young Impact Craters as Potential Sites for the Exploration of the Martian Subsurface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaidos, E. J.

    1999-01-01

    Orbiter and lander data indicate that a global, oxidizing regolith may blanket the surface of Mars. New sub-km crater counts by Hartmann indicate that an impact-gardened regolith may exist to a depth of at least 15 m (assuming a mean surface age of 2 Gyr), although the original meter-scale geology may still persist at certain locations such as the outflow channel of the Pathfinder landing site. The pervasive regolith appears to have an aeolian-mobilized component which may frustrate attempts to find key minerals such as carbonates or nitrates. It may also stymie searches for physical and chemical signs of past or present life. Various mechanical (penetrators, drills) means of obtaining access to the subsurface have been proposed: Here I propose to let Nature do the work by using a young impact crater. Both the nearby ejecta blanket and the crater rim may provide freshly exposed subsurface material. The crater must be large enough to penetrate the regolith but still young enough that chemical and physical weathering of exposed material is minor. A high latitude site may be preferable since organics may oxidize much more slowly at low temperatures. The tradeoffs in crater and site selection are presented, and possible crater exploration strategies are suggested.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  14. Research core drilling in the Manson impact structure, Iowa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, R. R.; Hartung, J. B.; Roddy, D. J.; Shoemaker, E. M.

    1992-01-01

    The Manson impact structure (MIS) has a diameter of 35 km and is the largest confirmed impact structure in the United States. The MIS has yielded a Ar-40/Ar-39 age of 65.7 Ma on microcline from its central peak, an age that is indistinguishable from the age of the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. In the summer of 1991 the Iowa Geological Survey Bureau and U.S. Geological Survey initiated a research core drilling project on the MIS. The first core was beneath 55 m of glacial drift. The core penetrated a 6-m layered sequence of shale and siltstone and 42 m of Cretaceous shale-dominated sedimentary clast breccia. Below this breccia, the core encountered two crystalline rock clast breccia units. The upper unit is 53 m thick, with a glassy matrix displaying various degrees of devitrification. The upper half of this unit is dominated by the glassy matrix, with shock-deformed mineral grains (especially quartz) the most common clast. The glassy-matrix unit grades downward into the basal unit in the core, a crystalline rock breccia with a sandy matrix, the matrix dominated by igneous and metamorphic rock fragments or disaggregated grains from those rocks. The unit is about 45 m thick, and grains display abundant shock deformation features. Preliminary interpretations suggest that the crystalline rock breccias are the transient crater floor, lifted up with the central peak. The sedimentary clast breccia probably represents a postimpact debris flow from the crater rim, and the uppermost layered unit probably represents a large block associated with the flow. The second core (M-2) was drilled near the center of the crater moat in an area where an early crater model suggested the presence of postimpact lake sediments. The core encountered 39 m of sedimentary clast breccia, similar to that in the M-1 core. Beneath the breccia, 120 m of poorly consolidated, mildly deformed, and sheared siltstone, shale, and sandstone was encountered. The basal unit in the core was another sequence

  15. Dimensional scaling for impact cratering and perforation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watts, Alan J.; Atkinson, Dale

    1995-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hergarten, Stefan; Kenkmann, Thomas

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  18. The Deep Impact Experiment and the Physics of Impact Cratering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richardson, J. E.; Melosh, H. J.; Deep Impact Science Team

    2005-08-01

    On July 4, 2005 the Deep Impact experiment produced an impact event on the surface of Comet 9P Tempel 1, using a 360 kg (primarily copper) impactor striking the comet at a velocity of 10.2 km/sec. In addition to images taken from the flyby spacecraft (500 km closest approach distance), images of the target were also returned from the impactor spacecraft, which show that the impactor hit the comet's surface at an oblique angle of roughly 60 degrees from the surface normal. The impactor struck the comet at an ideal location for viewing the cratering process by the flyby spacecraft both during the 800 second long post-impact imaging phase and during the ``look-back" imaging phase (beginning ˜ 45 minutes after impact). Within a fraction of a second of impact, an incandescent vapor plume emerged from the impact site, cooling rapidly and moving away from the comet at a speed of ˜ 5 km/sec. This vapor emission was followed by the emergence and rapid growth of a prominent, conical ejecta plume, indicating crater excavation flow. This ejecta plume was more opaque (composed of finer material) than predicted, obscuring clear observations of the impact crater itself (extraction efforts continue). However, the behavior of the plume during both it's growth and fallback stages is consistent with a gravity-scaled cratering event into a very weak (post-shock) target material. The expansion state of the plume during the look-back phase will also allow us to place constraints on the comet's gravity field (and by extension mass and density).

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-06

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1983-02-01

    A phenomenological Bingham plastic model has previously been shown to provide an adequate description of the collapse of impact craters. This paper demonstrates that the Bingham parameters may be derived from a model in which acoustic energy generated during excavation fluidizes the rock debris surrounding the crater. Experimental support for the theoretical flow law is presented. The Bingham viscosity is derived from a simple argument which shows that it increases as the 3/2 power of crater diameter, consistent with observation. Crater collapse may occur in material with internal dissipation Q as low as 100, comparable to laboratory observations of dissipation in granular materials.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stewart, Sarah T.; Valiant, Gregory J.

    2006-10-01

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

  3. Geologic Mapping of the Martian Impact Crater Tooting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mouginis-Mark, Peter; Boyce, Joseph M.

    2008-01-01

    Tooting crater is approximately 29 km in diameters, is located at 23.4 deg N, 207.5 deg E and is classified as a multi-layered ejecta crater. Tooting crater is a very young crater, with an estimated age of 700,000 to 2M years. The crater formed on virtually flat lava flows within Amazonis Planitia where there appears to have been no major topographic features prior to the impact, so that we can measure ejecta thickness and cavity volume. In the past 12 months, the authors have: published their first detailed analysis of the geometry of the crater cavity and the distribution of the ejecta layers; refined the geologic map of the interior of Tooting crater through mapping of the cavity at a scale of 1:1100K; and continued the analysis of an increasing number of high resolution images obtained by the CTX and HiRISE instruments. Currently the authors seek to resolve several science issues that have been identified during this mapping, including: what is the origin of the lobate flows on the NW and SW rims of the crater?; how did the ejecta curtain break apart during the formation of the crater, and how uniform was the emplacement process for the ejecta layers; and, can we infer physical characteristics about the ejecta? Future study plans include the completion of a draft geologic map of Tooting crater and submission of it to the U.S. Geological survey for a preliminary review, publishing a second research paper on the detailed geology of the crater cavity and the distribution of the flows on the crater rim, and completing the map text for the 1:100K geologic map description of units at Tooting crater.

  4. Robust System for Automated Identification of Martian Impact Craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stepinski, T. F.; Mendenhall, M. P.

    2006-12-01

    Detailed analysis of the number and morphology of impact craters on Mars provides the worth of information about the geologic history of its surface. Global catalogs of Martian craters have been compiled (for example, the Barlow catalog) but they are not comprehensive, especially for small craters. Existing methods for machine detection of craters from images suffer from low efficiency and are not practical for global surveys. We have developed a robust two-stage system for an automated cataloging of craters from digital topography data (DEM). In the first stage an innovative crater-finding transform is performed on a DEM to identify centers of potential craters, their extents, and their basic characteristics. This stage produces a preliminary catalog. In the second stage a machine learning methods are employed to eliminate false positives. Using the MOLA derived DEMs with resolution of 1/128 degrees/pixel, we have applied our system to six ~ 106 km2 sites. The system has identified 3217 craters, 43% more than are present in the Barlow catalog. The extra finds are predominantly small craters that are most difficult to account for in manual surveys. Because our automated survey is DEM-based, the resulting catalog lists craters' depths in addition to their positions, sizes, and measures of shape. This feature significantly increases the scientific utility of any catalog generated using our system. Our initial calculations yield a training set that will be used to identify craters over the entire Martian surface with estimated accuracy of 95%. Moreover, because our method is pixel-based and scale- independent, the present training set may be used to identify craters in higher resolution DEMs derived from Mars Express HRSC images. It also can be applied to future topography data from Mars and other planets. For example, it may be utilized to catalog craters on Mercury and the Moon using altimetry data to be gathered by Messenger and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

  5. Impact crater outflows on Venus: Morphology and emplacement mechanisms

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chadwick, D. John; Schaber, Gerald G.

    1993-01-01

    Many of the 932 impact craters discovered by the Magellan spacecraft at Venus are associated with lobate flows that originate at or near the crater rim. They extend for several to several hundred kilometers from the crater, and they commonly have a strong radar backscatter. A morphologic study of all identifiable crater outflows on Venus has revealed that many individual flows each consist of two areas, defined by distinct morphologic features. These two areas appear to represent two stages of deposition for each flow. The part of the flow that is generally deposited closest to the crater tends to be on the downrange side of the crater, flows in the downrange direction, and it is interpreted to be a late-stage ejecta. In many cases, this proximal part of the flow is too thin to completely bury the large blocks in subjacent ejecta deposits. Dendritic channels, present in many proximal flows, appear to have drained liquid from the proximal part in the downhill direction, and they debouch to feed the outer part of the flows. This distal part flows downhill, fills small grabens, and is ponded by ridges, behavior that mimics that of volcanic lava flows. The meandering and dendritic channels and the relation of the distal flows to topography strongly suggest that the distal portion is the result of coalescence and slow drainage of impact melt from the proximal portion. Impact melt forms a lining to the transient crater and mixes turbulently with solid clasts, and part of this mixture may be ejected to form the proximal part of the flow during the excavation stage of crater development. A statistical study of the Venusian craters has revealed that, in general, large craters produced by impacts with relatively low incidence angles to the surface are more likely to produce flows than small craters produced by higher-angle impacts. The greater flow production and downrange focusing of the proximal flows with decreasing incidence angle indicate a strong control of the flows

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  7. Liquid drop impact cratering on a granular layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katsuragi, H.

    2010-12-01

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

  8. Twelve-year trail of clues leads to impact crater from the K-T boundary

    SciTech Connect

    Levi, B.G.

    1992-12-01

    In 1980, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley proposed that a massive comet or asteroid might have struck the earth about 65 million years ago, changing the earth's climate so drastically that dinosaurs and other creatures could no longer survive. This article describes the evidence for the elusive crater required to support this theory. The structure in question is 180 km in diameter and is submeged beneath the Yucatan peninsula and centered on the Mexican village of Chicxulub. Material drilled from this crater has been linked chemically and geologically to pellets found in Northeast Mexico and Haiti. The link between this ejecta material and the crater was confirmed by a report that the Chicxulub melt rock and pellets are coeval, all having ages consistent with 65 million years. This puts the possible impact at the K-T boundary -- the dividing line between the Cretaceous period of the dinosaurs and the Tertiary period of the mammals. 13 refs.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  11. A Chronology Of Mars Climatic Evolution From Impact Crater Degradation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mangold, N.; Adeli, S.; Conway, S.; Ansan, V.; Langlais, B.

    2012-04-01

    Impact crater degradation provides a powerful tool to analyze past Martian hydrological evolution. Degraded craters are one of the main lines of evidence for a warmer climate on early Mars. Global altimetry and recent high resolution imagery enable us to revisit previous studies. In particular it allowed us to identify preserved impact ejecta, which is strong evidence for limited degradation, and fluvial landforms on rims. These details were particularly pertinent in the case of the craters with alluvial fans. We distinguished only three classes, using two main parameters: the presence of preserved ejecta and of fluvial activity: Type I: Craters with fluvial erosion on walls and rim but lacking an ejecta blanket. Type II: Craters with fluvial erosion on walls and rim and a preserved ejecta blanket. Type III: Fresh craters lacking any fluvial erosion on rim with a preserved ejecta blanket. Type II craters are those containing alluvial fans. A total of 283 craters in two main regions were able to be classified according to our scheme. We have extracted parameters such as diameter, depth, slope and concavity. Type III, which are the youngest craters have the deepest depths for a given diameter, and type I, the shallowest depths. Type II craters lay in-between these two other types. The fact that type II craters lay between types I and III, shows that this crater type is intermediate in the degradation series and therefore implies that this crater type is inter-mediate in age. The chronology of all the craters in this region can be performed using classical isochrons. All the craters together gives an isochron at 4.00±0.03 Gy, which corresponds to the age of the basement. The transition between type I and type II craters occurs at 3.70±0.06 Gy, an age corresponding to the middle of the Early Hesperian period in this model age system. This age pinpoints the period during which the strong fluvial degradation of Early Mars stopped. The transition between type II and

  12. Impact cratering and regolith dynamics. [on moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoerz, F.

    1977-01-01

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

  13. The role of strength defects in shaping impact crater planforms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watters, W. A.; Geiger, L. M.; Fendrock, M.; Gibson, R.; Hundal, C. B.

    2017-04-01

    High-resolution imagery and digital elevation models (DEMs) were used to measure the planimetric shapes of well-preserved impact craters. These measurements were used to characterize the size-dependent scaling of the departure from circular symmetry, which provides useful insights into the processes of crater growth and modification. For example, we characterized the dependence of the standard deviation of radius (σR) on crater diameter (D) as σR ∼ Dm. For complex craters on the Moon and Mars, m ranges from 0.9 to 1.2 among strong and weak target materials. For the martian simple craters in our data set, m varies from 0.5 to 0.8. The value of m tends toward larger values in weak materials and modified craters, and toward smaller values in relatively unmodified craters as well as craters in high-strength targets, such as young lava plains. We hypothesize that m ≈ 1 for planforms shaped by modification processes (slumping and collapse), whereas m tends toward ∼ 1/2 for planforms shaped by an excavation flow that was influenced by strength anisotropies. Additional morphometric parameters were computed to characterize the following planform properties: the planform aspect ratio or ellipticity, the deviation from a fitted ellipse, and the deviation from a convex shape. We also measured the distribution of crater shapes using Fourier decomposition of the planform, finding a similar distribution for simple and complex craters. By comparing the strength of small and large circular harmonics, we confirmed that lunar and martian complex craters are more polygonal at small sizes. Finally, we have used physical and geometrical principles to motivate scaling arguments and simple Monte Carlo models for generating synthetic planforms, which depend on a characteristic length scale of target strength defects. One of these models can be used to generate populations of synthetic planforms which are very similar to the measured population of well-preserved simple craters on

  14. Searching for impact craters using space shuttle photography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  15. Using lunar boulders to distinguish primary from distant secondary impact craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bart, Gwendolyn D.; Melosh, H. J.

    2007-04-01

    A high-resolution study of 18 lunar craters, including both primary and distant secondary craters, shows that the secondary craters produce larger ejecta fragments at a given crater size than do the primary craters. The maximum boulder diameter (B) increases with crater size (D) according to the power law B = KD 2/3; for primary craters, when B and D are in meters, K is 0.29, whereas for secondary craters, we find that K is 0.46 (60% larger). Next we show that impact fracture theory predicts that secondary craters, because of their lower impact velocity, will produce larger ejecta fragments than primary craters. This result provides an opportunity for distinguishing between primary and secondary craters in high resolution planetary images. The ability to identify distant secondary craters will help constrain primary production rates of small craters and improve surface age determination of small areas based on small crater counts.

  16. Projectile remnants in central peaks of lunar impact craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yue, Z.; Johnson, B. C.; Minton, D. A.; Melosh, H. J.; di, K.; Hu, W.; Liu, Y.

    2013-06-01

    The projectiles responsible for the formation of large impact craters are often assumed to melt or vaporize during the impact, so that only geochemical traces or small fragments remain in the final crater. In high-speed oblique impacts, some projectile material may survive, but this material is scattered far down-range from the impact site. Unusual minerals, such as magnesium-rich spinel and olivine, observed in the central peaks of many lunar craters are therefore attributed to the excavation of layers below the lunar surface. Yet these minerals are abundant in many asteroids, meteorites and chondrules. Here we use a numerical model to simulate the formation of impact craters and to trace the fate of the projectile material. We find that for vertical impact velocities below about 12kms-1, the projectile may both survive the impact and be swept back into the central peak of the final crater as it collapses, although it would be fragmented and strongly deformed. We conclude that some unusual minerals observed in the central peaks of many lunar impact craters could be exogenic in origin and may not be indigenous to the Moon.

  17. Impact craters on Venus: Initial analysis from Magellan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1991-01-01

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

  18. The Toms Canyon structure, New Jersey outer continental shelf: A possible late Eocene impact crater

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Poag, C.W.; Poppe, L.J.

    1998-01-01

    The Toms Canyon structure [~20-22 km wide] is located on the New Jersey outer continental shelf beneath 80-100 m of water, and is buried by ~1 km of upper Eocene to Holocene sedimentary strata. The structure displays several characteristics typical of terrestrial impact craters (flat floor; upraised faulted rim: brecciated sedimentary fill), but several other characteristics are atypical (an unusually thin ejecta blanket; lack of an inner basin, peak ring, or central peak; bearing nearly completely filled with breccia). Seismostratigraphic and biostratigraphic analyses show that the structure formed during planktonic foraminiferal biochron P15 of the early to middle late Eocene. The fill unit is stratigraphically correlating with impact ejecta cored nearby at Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) Site 612 and at Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Sites 903 and 904 (22-35 km southeast of the Toms Canyon structure). The Toms Canyon fill unit also correlates with the Exmore breccia, which fills the much larger Chesapeake Bay impact crater (90-km diameter; 335 km to the southwest). On the basis of our analyses, we postulate that the Toms Canyon structure is an impact crater, formed when a cluster of relatively small meteorites approached the target site bearing ~N 50 E, and struck the sea floor obliquely.

  19. Planetary science: Meteor Crater formed by low-velocity impact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melosh, H. J.; Collins, G. S.

    2005-03-01

    Meteor Crater in Arizona was the first terrestrial structure to be widely recognized as a meteorite impact scar and has probably been more intensively studied than any other impact crater on Earth. We have discovered something surprising about its mode of formation - namely that the surface-impact velocity of the iron meteorite that created Meteor Crater was only about 12 km s-1. This is close to the 9.4 km s-1 minimum originally proposed but far short of the 15-20 km s-1 that has been widely assumed - a realization that clears up a long-standing puzzle about why the crater does not contain large volumes of rock melted by the impact.

  20. Planetary science: Meteor Crater formed by low-velocity impact.

    PubMed

    Melosh, H J; Collins, G S

    2005-03-10

    Meteor Crater in Arizona was the first terrestrial structure to be widely recognized as a meteorite impact scar and has probably been more intensively studied than any other impact crater on Earth. We have discovered something surprising about its mode of formation--namely that the surface-impact velocity of the iron meteorite that created Meteor Crater was only about 12 km s(-1). This is close to the 9.4 km s(-1) minimum originally proposed but far short of the 15-20 km s(-1) that has been widely assumed--a realization that clears up a long-standing puzzle about why the crater does not contain large volumes of rock melted by the impact.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1995-09-01

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

  2. Bilateral symmetry elements of the Zhamanshin impact crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Masaytis, V. L.

    1988-01-01

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

  3. Topography of the Martian Impact Crater Tooting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1983-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1983-11-01

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

  6. Fluvial erosion of impact craters: Earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, V. R.

    1984-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  8. The Chicxulub impact structure: What does the Yaxcopoil-1 drill core reveal?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elbra, T.

    2013-05-01

    The Chicxulub impact structure, one of the largest impact structures on Earth, was formed 65 Ma by hypervelocity impact which led to the large mass-extinction at K-Pg boundary. This well preserved but buried structure has undergone numerous drillings and studies aimed to understand the formation mechanism, structure and age of the crater. The Yaxcopoil-1 (Yax-1) drill core, located in the southern sector of the Chicxulub crater, in the outer part of an annular trough, 62 km from the crater center, was drilled by ICDP in 2001-2002. Petrophysical, rock- and paleomagnetic studies of Yax-1 (Elbra and Pesonen, 2011) showed that physical properties characterize the various lithological units. Dependence on mineral composition rather than fabric was observed in pre-impact lithologies contrarily to the post-impact and impact rocks where the physical properties were dominated by porosity and reflected, in case of impactites, the impact formation mechanism with its numerous features resulting from melting, brecciation and fracturing. Furthermore, while the pre- and post-impact lithologies in Yax-1 are mostly dia- or paramagnetic, the impactite units indicated enhanced magnetizations and the presence of ferromagnetic, probably hydrothermally deposited magnetite and pyrrhotite. The sharp contrast of the impactites to the target and to post-impact lithologies allowed establishing the contact (especially the K-Pg boundary) between. The anisotropy, shape and orientation of the magnetic fraction illustrated the fabric randomization and showed the influence of impact-related redeposition and hydrothermal activity. The paleomagnetic data suggested that the Chicxulub impact occurred during the reverse polarity geomagnetic chron 29R, which is in agreement with the isotopic dates of the Chicxulub impact as well as with expected K-Pg boundary polarity. Reference Elbra, T. and Pesonen, L.J., 2011. Physical properties of the Yaxcopoil-1 deep drill core, Chicxulub impact structure, Mexico

  9. Interpretation of Lunar Topography: Impact Cratering and Surface Roughness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenburg, Margaret A.

    This work seeks to understand past and present surface conditions on the Moon using two different but complementary approaches: topographic analysis using high-resolution elevation data from recent spacecraft missions and forward modeling of the dominant agent of lunar surface modification, impact cratering. The first investigation focuses on global surface roughness of the Moon, using a variety of statistical parameters to explore slopes at different scales and their relation to competing geological processes. We find that highlands topography behaves as a nearly self-similar fractal system on scales of order 100 meters, and there is a distinct change in this behavior above and below approximately 1 km. Chapter 2 focuses this analysis on two localized regions: the lunar south pole, including Shackleton crater, and the large mare-filled basins on the nearside of the Moon. In particular, we find that differential slope, a statistical measure of roughness related to the curvature of a topographic profile, is extremely useful in distinguishing between geologic units. Chapter 3 introduces a numerical model that simulates a cratered terrain by emplacing features of characteristic shape geometrically, allowing for tracking of both the topography and surviving rim fragments over time. The power spectral density of cratered terrains is estimated numerically from model results and benchmarked against a 1-dimensional analytic model. The power spectral slope is observed to vary predictably with the size-frequency distribution of craters, as well as the crater shape. The final chapter employs the rim-tracking feature of the cratered terrain model to analyze the evolving size-frequency distribution of craters under different criteria for identifying "visible" craters from surviving rim fragments. A geometric bias exists that systematically over counts large or small craters, depending on the rim fraction required to count a given feature as either visible or erased.

  10. Crater size estimates for large-body terrestrial impact

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmidt, Robert M.; Housen, Kevin R.

    1988-01-01

    Calculating the effects of impacts leading to global catastrophes requires knowledge of the impact process at very large size scales. This information cannot be obtained directly but must be inferred from subscale physical simulations, numerical simulations, and scaling laws. Schmidt and Holsapple presented scaling laws based upon laboratory-scale impact experiments performed on a centrifuge (Schmidt, 1980 and Schmidt and Holsapple, 1980). These experiments were used to develop scaling laws which were among the first to include gravity dependence associated with increasing event size. At that time using the results of experiments in dry sand and in water to provide bounds on crater size, they recognized that more precise bounds on large-body impact crater formation could be obtained with additional centrifuge experiments conducted in other geological media. In that previous work, simple power-law formulae were developed to relate final crater diameter to impactor size and velocity. In addition, Schmidt (1980) and Holsapple and Schmidt (1982) recognized that the energy scaling exponent is not a universal constant but depends upon the target media. Recently, Holsapple and Schmidt (1987) includes results for non-porous materials and provides a basis for estimating crater formation kinematics and final crater size. A revised set of scaling relationships for all crater parameters of interest are presented. These include results for various target media and include the kinematics of formation. Particular attention is given to possible limits brought about by very large impactors.

  11. Recognition of Terrestrial Impact Craters with COSMO-SkyMed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Virelli, M.; Staffieri, S.; Battagliere, M. L.; Komatsu, G.; Di Martino, M.; Flamini, E.; Coletta, A.

    2016-08-01

    All bodies having a solid surface, without distinction, show, with greater or lesser evidence, the marks left by the geological processes they undergone during their evolution. There is a geomorphological feature that is evident in all the images obtained by the probes sent to explore our planetary system: impact craters.Craters formed by the impact of small cosmic bodies have dimensions ranging from some meters to hundreds of kilometers. However, for example on the Lunar regolith particles, have been observed also sub- millimeter craters caused by dust impacts. The kinetic energy of the impactor, which velocity is in general of the order of tens km/s, is released in fractions of a second, generally in a explosive way, generating complex phenomena that transform not only the morphology of the surface involved by the impact, but also the mineralogy and crystallography of the impacted material. Even our planet is not immune to these impacts. At present, more than 180 geological structures recognized as of impact origin are known on Earth.In this article, we aim to show how these impact structures on Earth's surface are observed from space. To do this, we used the images obtained by the COSMO-SkyMed satellite constellation.Starting from 2013, ASI proposed, in collaboration with the Astrophysical Observatory of Turin and University D'Annunzio of Chieti, the realization of an Encyclopedic Atlas of Terrestrial Impact Craters using COSMO-SkyMed data that will become the first atlas of all recognized terrestrial impact craters based on images acquired by a X band radar. To observe these impact craters all radar sensor modes have been used, according to the size of the analyzed crater.The project includes research of any new features that could be classified as impact craters and, for the sites whereby it is considered necessary, the implementation of a geological survey on site to validate the observations.In this paper an overview of the Atlas of Terrestrial Impact

  12. A Sharper View of Impact Craters from Clementine Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1994-12-01

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

  13. The Lake Bosumtwi impact crater, Ghana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jones, William B.; Bacon, Michael; Hastings, David A.

    1981-01-01

    Analogy with better-known craters suggests that Bosumtwi has a central uplift rising to 200 m beneath the lake floor. An aeromagnetic anomaly of amplitude 50 nanotesla (nT) over the northern half of the lake is interpreted as due to a layer of magnetized fallback breccia beneath the lake sediments. The normal polarity of the breccia shows that the crater was formed during the normal Jaramillo event of 0.97 to 0.85 m.y. ago, which agrees with the magnetic stratigraphy of the related Ivory Coast microtektites. A regional gravity survey indicates a negative Bouguer anomaly over the crater. There is some geochemical evidence that the meteorite was an iron, and its mass and energy are suggested as about 108 tons and 3 × 1019 joules or 7.3 × 103 megatons.

  14. Methods to ensure optimal off-bottom and drill bit distance under pellet impact drilling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovalyov, A. V.; Isaev, Ye D.; Vagapov, A. R.; Urnish, V. V.; Ulyanova, O. S.

    2016-09-01

    The paper describes pellet impact drilling which could be used to increase the drilling speed and the rate of penetration when drilling hard rock for various purposes. Pellet impact drilling implies rock destruction by metal pellets with high kinetic energy in the immediate vicinity of the earth formation encountered. The pellets are circulated in the bottom hole by a high velocity fluid jet, which is the principle component of the ejector pellet impact drill bit. The paper presents the survey of methods ensuring an optimal off-bottom and a drill bit distance. The analysis of methods shows that the issue is topical and requires further research.

  15. Characterization of the Marquez Dome buried impact crater using gravity and magnetic data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, A. M.; Reid, A. M.; Hall, S. A.; Sharpton, V. L.

    1993-01-01

    The buried impact crater, Marquez Dome, located in Leon County in east central Texas, is an approximately 15 km diameter structure whose central uplift is now partially exposed due to headward erosion of the post-impact cover. The central uplift is approximately 3 km in diameter and the rocks within it have been uplifted more than 1200 m above their regional level. The crater rim remains buried and previous attempts to determine its location have had to rely on seismic reflection data and geologic well logs. These attempts have been somewhat successful in mapping the extent of the disturbed zone around Marquez Dome, but more limited in their ability to image the shallow buried rim. In an attempt to define accurately the whole Marquez Dome structure and assist in the selection of drilling sites, a geophysical investigation involving gravity and magnetic data over the central uplift and the surrounding area has been undertaken.

  16. Characterization of the Marquez Dome buried impact crater using gravity and magnetic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, A. M.; Reid, A. M.; Hall, S. A.; Sharpton, V. L.

    1993-03-01

    The buried impact crater, Marquez Dome, located in Leon County in east central Texas, is an approximately 15 km diameter structure whose central uplift is now partially exposed due to headward erosion of the post-impact cover. The central uplift is approximately 3 km in diameter and the rocks within it have been uplifted more than 1200 m above their regional level. The crater rim remains buried and previous attempts to determine its location have had to rely on seismic reflection data and geologic well logs. These attempts have been somewhat successful in mapping the extent of the disturbed zone around Marquez Dome, but more limited in their ability to image the shallow buried rim. In an attempt to define accurately the whole Marquez Dome structure and assist in the selection of drilling sites, a geophysical investigation involving gravity and magnetic data over the central uplift and the surrounding area has been undertaken.

  17. Mars Exploration Rover Field Observations of Impact Craters at Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum and Implications for Climate Change

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Golombek, M.; Grant, J. A.; Crumpler, L. S.

    2005-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rovers have provided a field geologist's perspective of impact craters in various states of degradation along their traverses at Gusev crater and Meridiani Planum. This abstract will describe the craters observed and changes to the craters that constrain the erosion rates and the climate [l]. Changes to craters on the plains of Gusev argue for a dry and desiccating environment since the Late Hesperian in contrast to the wet and likely warm environment in the Late Noachian at Meridiani in which the sulfate evaporites were deposited in salt-water playas or sabkhas.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  2. The biology of impact craters--a review.

    PubMed

    Cockell, Charles S; Lee, Pascal

    2002-08-01

    Impact craters contain ecosystems that are often very different from the ecosystems that surround them. On Earth over 150 impact craters have been identified in a wide diversity of biomes. All natural events that can cause localized disruption of ecosystems have quite distinct patterns of rccovery. Impact events are unique in that they are the only extraterrestrial mechanism capable of disrupting an ecosystem locally in space and time. Thus, elucidating the chronological sequence of change at the sites of impacts is of ecological interest. In this synthetic review we use the existing literature, coupled with our own observations at the Haughton impact structure, Devon Island, Nunavut, Canada to consider the patterns of biological recovery at the site of impact craters and the ecological characteristics of impact craters. Three phases of recovery are suggested. The Phase of Thermal Biology, a phase associated with the localized, ephemeral thermal anomaly generated by an impact event. The Phase of Impact Succession and Climax, a phase marked by multiple primary and secondary succession events both in the aquatic realm (impact crater-lakes) and terrestrial realm (colonization of paleolacustrine deposits and impact-generated substrata) that are followed by periods of climax ecology. In the case of large-scale impact events (> 10(4) Mt), this latter phase may also be influenced by successional changes in the global environment. Finally, during the Phase of Ecological Assimilation, the disappearance of the surface geological expression of an impact structure results in a concomitant loss of ecological distinctiveness. In extreme cases, the impact structure is buried. Impact succession displays similarities and differences to succession following other agents of ecological disturbance, particularly volcanism.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barlow, Nadine G.

    1990-01-01

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

  4. Impact Lithologies and Post-Impact Hydrothermal Alteration Exposed by the Chicxulub Scientific Drilling Project, Yaxcopoil, Mexico

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kring, David A.; Zurcher, Lukas; Horz, Friedrich

    2003-01-01

    The Chicxulub Scientific Drilling Project recovered a continuous core from the Yaxcopoil-1 (YAX-1) borehole, which is approx.60-65 km from the center of the Chicxulub structure, approx.15 km beyond the limit of the estimated approx.50 km radius transient crater (excavation cavity), but within the rim of the estimated approx.90 km radius final crater. Approximately approx.100 m of melt-bearing impactites were recoverd from a depth of 794 to 895 m, above approx.600 m of underlying megablocks of Cretaceous target sediments, before bottoming at 1511 m. Compared to lithologies at impact craters like the Ries, the YAX-1 impactite sequence is incredibly rich in impact melts of unusual textural variety and complexity. The impactite sequence has also been altered by hydrothermal activity that may have largely been produced by the impact event.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

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

  6. Investigation of impact crater processes using experimental and numerical techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baldwin, Emily Clare

    2008-12-01

    Impact events throughout the history of the Solar System have occurred at all scales, from craters produced by the hypervelocity impact of cosmic dust observed on lunar return samples, to the giant planet-sculpting impacts that have shaped the solid bodies of the Solar System. Investigating the impact process in the laboratory allows us to understand crater formation at a small scale where strength effects dominate however, it is difficult to scale directly to planetary sized impacts because gravity governs the cratering process at this large scale. Through computer modeling, it is possible to bridge the gap from small to large scale impact events. The influence of target porosity, saturation and an overlying water layer on crater morphology is investigated in the laboratory using a two-stage light gas gun to fire 1 mm diameter stainless steel projectiles at 5 km s"1 into sandstone targets. Larger craters were formed in the higher porosity targets and saturated targets. A critical water depth of 11.6 0.5 times the projectile diameter was required to prevent cratering in an unsaturated target, compared with 12.7 0.6 for saturated targets. The sensitivity of this critical water depth to impact velocity, projectile diameter and density is examined through use of the AUTODYN numerical code, for both laboratory and planetary scale impact events. Projectile survivability into water and sand targets is investigated in the lab for stainless steel and shale projectiles impacting at 2-5 km s"1 up to 30% of the projectile is found to survive. AUTODYN simulations show that basalt or sandstone meteorites impacting a simulated lunar surface survive the impact at velocities < 5 km s"1 and at a range of angles, which has positive implications for detecting terrestrial meteorites on the Moon. Groundwork has also been laid for the modelling of the deliberate collision of the SMART-1 spacecraft into the Moon. Finally, lunar and terrestrial impact events are simulated in order to

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1979-01-01

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

  8. Impact Cratering on Small Asteroids and into Coarse Regoliths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durda, D. D.

    2012-12-01

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

  9. Vapor plumes: A neglected aspect of impact cratering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melosh, H. J.

    1991-06-01

    When a meteorite or comet strikes the surface of the planet or satellite at typical interplanetary velocities of 10-40 km/sec, the projectile and a quantity of the target body vaporize and expand out of the growing crater at high speed. The crater continues to grow after the vapor plume has formed and the series of ejecta deposits is laid down ballistically while the crater collapses into its final morphology. Although the vapor plume leaves little evidence of its existence in the crater structure of surface deposits, it may play a major role in a number of impact-related processes. The vapor plume expanding away from the site of an impact carries 25-50 percent of the total impact energy. Although the plume's total mass is only a few times the mass of the projectile, its high specific energy content means that it is the fastest and most highly shocked material in the cratering event. The mean velocity of expansion can easily exceed the escape velocity of the target plane, so that the net effect of a sufficiently high-speed impact is to erode material from the planet.

  10. Vapor plumes: A neglected aspect of impact cratering

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Melosh, H. J.

    1991-01-01

    When a meteorite or comet strikes the surface of the planet or satellite at typical interplanetary velocities of 10-40 km/sec, the projectile and a quantity of the target body vaporize and expand out of the growing crater at high speed. The crater continues to grow after the vapor plume has formed and the series of ejecta deposits is laid down ballistically while the crater collapses into its final morphology. Although the vapor plume leaves little evidence of its existence in the crater structure of surface deposits, it may play a major role in a number of impact-related processes. The vapor plume expanding away from the site of an impact carries 25-50 percent of the total impact energy. Although the plume's total mass is only a few times the mass of the projectile, its high specific energy content means that it is the fastest and most highly shocked material in the cratering event. The mean velocity of expansion can easily exceed the escape velocity of the target plane, so that the net effect of a sufficiently high-speed impact is to erode material from the planet.

  11. Impact and Aqueous Strata in Holden Crater, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grant, J. A.; Irwin, R. P.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Milliken, R. E.; Tornabene, L. L.; McEwen, A. S.

    2007-12-01

    Images from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) at 26-52 cm/pixel scales reveal a sequence of exposed impact megabreccia and sedimentary units in the Noachian-aged Holden crater in Margaritifer Terra, Mars (26S, 326E, 154 km diameter). Formation of Holden crater interrupted the previously through-flowing Uzboi-Ladon-Margaritifer (ULM) outflow channel system and excavated sediments deposited by ULM within the pre-existing (Early Noachian) Holden impact basin. Crater walls display variably rounded, poorly sorted, chaotically arranged, and variably bright blocks up to 50 m across residing within a finer matrix. These characteristics suggest a possible origin for many blocks as sedimentary materials excavated from the pre-impact Holden basin and these materials are interpreted as coarse, impact- fragmented megabreccia. At least 150 m of sedimentary facies partially fill the crater and were emplaced during two wet phases during the Noachian. Early prolonged erosion of crater walls and basin deposition in a quiescent distal alluvial or lacustrine setting resulted in a lower light-toned unit displaying meter- to submeter-scale bedding traceable for up to kilometers and containing phyllosilicates, but with few resolvable blocks. The lower unit is topographically restricted and capped by a thin, dark-toned layer commonly exhibiting 4-5-m-diameter polygonal fractures that may record a terminal playa phase. Later-Noachian high-magnitude flooding of the crater occurred as an impounded Uzboi Vallis lake overtopped the crater rim and rapidly emplaced a topographically restricted darker- toned, more crudely bedded deposit that drapes unconformably over antecedent relief and envelops large blocks (up to 100 m across) of material eroded from the lower unit. The upper unit exhibits alluvial morphology near the crater rim breach, but grades distally an upwards into more continuously bedded, possible lacustrine facies that

  12. Volcanotectonic history of Crater Flat, southwestern Nevada, as suggested by new evidence from drill hole USW-VH-1 and vicinity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carr, W.J.

    1982-01-01

    New evidence for a possible resurgent dome in the caldera related to eruption of the Bullfrog Member of the Crater Flat Tuff has been provided by recent drilling of a 762-meter (2,501-foot) hole in central Crater Flat. Although no new volcanic units were penetrated by the drill hole (USW-VH-1), the positive aeromagnetic anomaly in the vicinity of the drill hole appears to result in part from the unusually thick, densely welded tuff of the Bullfrog. Major units penetrated include alluvium, basalt of Crater Flat, Tiva Canyon and Topopah Spring Members of the Paintbrush Tuff, and Prow Pass and Bullfrog Members of the Crater Flat Tuff. In addition, the drill hole provided the first subsurface hydrologic information for the area. The water table in the hole is at about 180 meters (600 feet), and the temperature gradient appears slightly higher than normal for the region.

  13. Volcano-tectonic history of Crater Flat, southwestern Nevada, as suggested by new evidence from drill hole USW-VH-1 and vicinity

    SciTech Connect

    Carr, W.J.

    1982-12-31

    New evidence for a possible resurgent dome in the caldera related to eruption of the Bullfrog Member of the Crater Flat Tuff has been provided by recent drilling of a 762-meter (2501-foot) hole in central Crater Flat. Although no volcanic units were penetrated by the drill hole (USW-VH-1), the positive aeromagnetic anomaly in the vicinity of the drill hole appears to result in part from the unusually thick, densely welded tuff of the Bullfrog. Major units penetrated include alluvium, basalt of Crater Flat, Tiva Canyon and Topopah Spring Members of the Paintbrush Tuff, and Prow Pass and Bullfrog Members of the Crater Flat Tuff. In addition, the drill hole provided the first subsurface hydrologic information for the area. The water table in the hole is at about 180 meters (600 feet), and the temperature gradient appears slightly higher than normal for the region.

  14. Impact Crater Environments as Potential Sources of Hadean Detrital Zircons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kenny, G. G.; Whitehouse, M. J.; Kamber, B. S.

    2016-08-01

    Here we show that contrary to previous suggestions, there is no reason to rule out impact melt sheets as major sources of Hadean detrital zircons. We then explore the potential of other impact crater-related environments in which zircons crystallise.

  15. Fractal dimensions of rampart impact craters on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  17. Unravelling the Earth's geological history from space using impact craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chicarro, Agustin; Michael, Greg; Marchetti, Pier-Giorgio; Costantini, Mario; di Stadio, Franco; di Martino, Mario

    2003-05-01

    The terrestrial cratering record is unique in providing a detailed picture of the history of our Solar System over the last few billion years, as well as its celestial environment. The search for the scars of ancient cosmic impacts is therefore of fundamental importance from both the astronomical and geophysical points of view. Firstly, we can obtain an estimate of the flux and size distribution of the impactors - meteoroids, asteroids, comets - that have hit Earth during the last few billion years. Secondly, the identification of impact craters can improve our detailed geological knowledge of the Earth's surface.

  18. Cratering on a Comet: Expectations for Deep Impact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, P. H.

    2001-11-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miranda, Colin S.; Dowling, David R.

    2015-11-01

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

  1. Chicxulub Impact Crater and Yucatan Carbonate Platform - PEMEX Oil Exploratory Wells Revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pérez-Drago, G.; Gutierrez-Cirlos, A. G.; Pérez-Cruz, L.; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J.

    2008-12-01

    Geophysical oil exploration surveys carried out by PEMEX in the 1940's revealed occurrence of an anomalous pattern of semi-circular concentric gravity anomalies. The Bouguer gravity anomalies covered an extensive area over the flat carbonate platform in the northwestern Yucatan Peninsula; strong density contrasts were suggestive of a buried igneous complex or basement uplift beneath the carbonates, which was referred as the Chicxulub structure. The exploration program carried out afterwards included a drilling program, starting with Chicxulub-1 well in 1952 and comprising eight deep boreholes through the 1970s. An aeromagnetic survey in late 1970's showed high amplitude anomalies in the gravity anomaly central sector. Thus, research showing Chicxulub as a large complex impact crater formed at the K/T boundary was built on the PEMEX decades-long exploration program. Despite frequent reference to PEMEX information and samples, original data and cores have not been openly available for detailed evaluation and integration with results from recent investigations. Core samples largely remain to be analyzed and interpreted in the context of recent marine, aerial and terrestrial geophysical surveys and the drilling/coring projects of UNAM and ICDP. In this presentation we report on the stratigraphy and paleontological data for PEMEX wells: Chicxulub- 1 (1582m), Sacapuc-1 (1530m), Yucatan-6 (1631m), Ticul-1 (3575m) Yucatan-4 (2398m), Yucatan-2 (3474m), Yucatan-5A (3003m) and Yucatan-1 (3221m). These wells remain the deepest drilled in Chicxulub, providing samples of impact lithologies, carbonate sequences and basement, which give information on post- and pre-impact stratigraphy and crystalline basement. We concentrate on stratigraphic columns, lateral correlations and integration with UNAM and ICDP borehole data. Current plans for deep drilling in Chicxulub crater target the peak ring and central sector, with offshore and onshore boreholes proposed to the IODP and ICDP

  2. New impact craters and meteoroid densities on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivanov, B.; Melosh, H. J.; McEwen, A.

    2011-10-01

    Repetitive high-resolution imaging of Mars revealed new small impact craters with known dates of formation (see [1, 2] and references in [2]). After ~2006 the discovery rate became a linear function of time, so we can use the discovery rate as a proxy for the modern bombardment rate. The low-mass Martian atmosphere is dense enough to shatter roughly half of the meteoroids, resulting in the crater clusters. Separation distances in these clusters put some constraints on the density and strength of meteoroids. The atmospheric deceleration and breakup of meteoroids complicate the Mars/Moon comparison and attempts to verify the crater related timescale (e.g. [3]). At the same time observations of impact sites with known formation dates allow us to analyze the rate of modern surface changes due to wind/dust interaction.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1979-01-01

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

  4. Crater-ray formation by impact-induced ejecta particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kadono, T.; Suzuki, A. I.; Wada, K.; Mitani, N. K.; Yamamoto, S.; Arakawa, M.; Sugita, S.; Haruyama, J.; Nakamura, A. M.

    2015-04-01

    We performed impact experiments with granular targets to reveal the formation process of crater "rays", the non-uniform ejecta distributions around some fresh craters on the Moon and planets. We found mesh patterns, loosely woven with spaces like a net, as ejecta. A characteristic length of spaces between meshes was evaluated, and an angle, defined as the ratio of the characteristic length to the distance from the ejection point, was obtained as ∼a few degrees. These features are similar to the results of the analyses of the ray patterns around two lunar craters, Glushko and Kepler. Numerical simulations of granular material showed that clear mesh pattern appeared at lower coefficients of restitution between particles but was less clear at larger one, suggesting that the inelastic collisions between particles cause the clear mesh-pattern formation of impact ejecta.

  5. Atmospheric Entry Studies and the Smallest Impact Craters on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoerz, F.; Cintala, M. J.; Rochelle, W. C.; Mitchell, C. M.; Smith, R. N.; Dobarco-Otero, J.; Finch, B. K.; See, T. H.

    2004-01-01

    High-resolution images from the Mars Orbiter Camera reveal impact craters as small as 10 m [1], and still smaller craters (< 0.5 m) have been inferred from surface boulders at the Pathfinder landing site [2]. Any small-scale impact environment at scales of meters or smaller would obviously be a potent contributor to erosive processes on Mars, to the small-scale evolution of its surface, and to mineralogic/ compositional alterations of its surface materials. It is not very clear from the analysis of Viking and Pathfinder images, however, what the smallest craters are on Mars. As a consequence, it might be informative to consult atmospheric-entry calculations that specify the smallest meteoroid able to survive passage through the present martian atmosphere. We conducted such calculations and perceive them as providing useful constraints for understanding small-scale surface processes on Mars and as possible guides for the interpretation of surface images from past and future lander missions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  8. Sub-Surface Excavation of Transient Craters in Porous Targets: Explaining the Impact Delay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowling, T. J.; Melosh, H. J.

    2012-03-01

    We numerically investigate the subsurface excavation of the transient crater in the earliest moments after the Deep Impact event. At high target porosities the crater remains hidden from observation long enough to explain the "impact delay."

  9. 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

  10. Impact cratering on granular beds: from the impact of raindrops to the strike of hailstones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-11-01

    The craters generated by the impact of a spherical object onto a granular bed strongly depend on the material properties of impactors. As an example, impact cratering by liquid drops and by solid spheres exhibit qualitatively different power-law scalings for the size of resulting impact craters. While the basic energy conservation and dimensional analysis provide simple guiding rules, the detailed dynamics governing the relation between these power-law scalings are still far from clear. To analyze the transition between liquid-drop and solid-sphere impact cratering, we investigate impact cratering by liquid drops in a wide range of impact energies, viscosities, surface tensions and drop sizes. Using high-speed photography and laser profilometry to survey more than 8000 laboratory-controlled impact cratering events, we fully delineate the solid-to-liquid transition and unveil a rich set of regimes with different scaling laws and crater morphologies. Our research provides a unified framework for understanding the scaling relations in granular impact cratering-a phenomenon ubiquitous in nature ranging from daily-life raindrop and hailstone impacts on sandy surfaces to catastrophic asteroids strikes on planetary bodies. Research funded by the National Science Foundation. LG is supported by Conicyt/Becas Chile de Postdoctorado 74150032.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  12. Impact craters at falling of large asteroids in Ukraine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vidmachenko, A. P.

    2016-05-01

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

  13. Impact Crater Experiments for Introductory Physics and Astronomy Laboratories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Claycomb, J. R.

    2009-01-01

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

  14. The role of impact cratering for Mars sample return

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schultz, P. H.

    1988-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

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

  16. A rock magnetic profile through the ejecta flap of the Lockne impact crater (central Sweden) and implications for the impact excavation process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melero-Asensio, Irene; Martín-Hernández, Fátima; Ormö, Jens

    2015-01-01

    The well-documented, well-preserved, and well-exposed Lockne crater is a reference crater for marine-target impacts on Earth. The large amount of data allows detailed analysis of the cratering and modification processes. A unique feature of Lockne as compared with other similar craters is its pristine ejecta layer. Here, we provide the first complete lithological description coupled with an analysis of the rock magnetic properties of the Lockne-9 core drilled through the ejecta flap. Low-field bulk magnetic susceptibility, magnetic hysteresis, isothermal remanent magnetization curves (IRM), and the corresponding model of the coercivity spectra, backfield IRM, and thermomagnetic curves are used to fully characterize the magnetic mineralogy (i.e., pseudo-single domain (PSD) magnetite and pyrite). Variation of the magnetic properties with depth reveals a characteristic maximum in the magnetic susceptibility and magnetization within the crystalline ejecta. The magnetic properties of rocks affected by the impact show a slight weakening in the coercivity of magnetic minerals in comparison with rocks not affected by the impact. Altogether, this suggests to us that the high magnetization zone already existed before the impact event took place. Therefore, it can be inferred that during the cratering process, the Lockne ejecta was repositioned en masse from the central part of the crater in the form of an ejecta flap. This stands in contrast to the standard ballistic emplacement model wherein individual particles move in an ejecta curtain.

  17. Morphology correlation of craters formed by hypervelocity impacts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  19. Distributions of Superposed Impact Craters on Lunar Basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirchoff, M. R.; Sherman, K. M.; Chapman, C. R.

    2010-12-01

    Determining the distribution of impact craters on the Moon is vital for understanding inner solar system impactor populations and their evolution. The Moon is such an important keystone for this area of research because the crater distribution, especially from early solar system history, is readily observed and has not been heavily modified like it has been on the Earth. Furthermore, radiometric dating of Apollo samples provide the only extraterrestrial set of absolute ages for specifically identified planetary surfaces. Therefore the Moon is the only place in the solar system that provides a calibrated absolute crater chronology for a large fraction of solar system history [e.g., 1-4]. These chronologies, however, assume that the impactor distribution has not changed significantly over time (possibilities include the Late Heavy Bombardment [5] and asteroid break-ups [6]). In addition, crater counts on many areas of the Moon have not been performed for at least 30 years. In order to further constrain lunar impactor populations and their temporal evolution, we have begun measuring craters superposed on lunar basins from different eras and regions of the Moon (e.g., Birkhoff, Imbrium and Orientale). Currently, we are utilizing newly digitized Lunar Orbiter (LO) images [7]. The LO-IV and -V missions collected many valuable images of the near and far side at resolutions useful for compiling crater databases with a large dynamic range: 30-80 m/pixel, which converts to a minimum measurable diameter (D) of ~ 200 m up to several tens of kilometers. These resolutions are also comparable to the resolutions of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Wide Angel Camera (LRO-WAC). When rectified LRO-WAC images become available, we will use them to compare with results from LO images and examine new regions. LRO-WAC images have better dynamic range and coverage, and lack the image blemishes of LO images. Preliminary results from Birkhoff basin (center = 59°N, 147°S, D = 325 km, [8

  20. Impact and Cratering History of the Pluto System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

    The observational opportunity of the New Horizons spacecraft fly-through of the Pluto system in July 2015 requires a current understanding of the Kuiper belt dynamical sub-populations to accurately interpret the cratering history of the surfaces of Pluto and its satellites. We use an Opik-style collision probability code to compute impact rates and impact velocity distributions onto Pluto and its binary companion Charon from the Canada-France Ecliptic Plane Survey (CFEPS) model of classical and resonant Kuiper belt populations (Petit et al., 2011; Gladman et al., 2012) and the scattering model of Kaib et al. (2011) calibrated to Shankman et al. (2013). Due to the uncertainty in how the well-characterized size distribution for Kuiper belt objects (with diameter d>100 km) connects to smaller objects, we compute cratering rates using three simple impactor size distribution extrapolations (a single power-law, a power-law with a knee, and a power-law with a divot) as well as the "curvy" impactor size distributions from Minton et al. (2012) and Schlichting et al. (2013). Current size distribution uncertainties cause absolute ages computed for Pluto surfaces to be entirely dependent on the extrapolation to small sizes and thus uncertain to a factor of approximately 6. We illustrate the relative importance of each Kuiper belt sub-population to Pluto's cratering rate, both now and integrated into the past, and provide crater retention ages for several cases. We find there is only a small chance a crater with diameter D>200 km has been created on Pluto in the past 4 Gyr. The 2015 New Horizons fly-through coupled with telescope surveys that cover objects with diameters d=10-100 km should eventually drop current crater retention age uncertainties on Pluto to <30%. In addition, we compute the "disruption timescale" (to a factor of three accuracy) for Pluto's smaller satellites: Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  2. Impact Cratering Theory and Modeling for the Deep Impact Mission: From Mission Planning to Data Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richardson, James E.; Melosh, H. Jay; Artemeiva, Natasha A.; Pierazzo, Elisabetta

    2005-03-01

    The cratering event produced by the Deep Impact mission is a unique experimental opportunity, beyond the capability of Earth-based laboratories with regard to the impacting energy, target material, space environment, and extremely low-gravity field. Consequently, impact cratering theory and modeling play an important role in this mission, from initial inception to final data analysis. Experimentally derived impact cratering scaling laws provide us with our best estimates for the crater diameter, depth, and formation time: critical in the mission planning stage for producing the flight plan and instrument specifications. Cratering theory has strongly influenced the impactor design, producing a probe that should produce the largest possible crater on the surface of Tempel 1 under a wide range of scenarios. Numerical hydrocode modeling allows us to estimate the volume and thermodynamic characteristics of the material vaporized in the early stages of the impact. Hydrocode modeling will also aid us in understanding the observed crater excavation process, especially in the area of impacts into porous materials. Finally, experimentally derived ejecta scaling laws and modeling provide us with a means to predict and analyze the observed behavior of the material launched from the comet during crater excavation, and may provide us with a unique means of estimating the magnitude of the comet’s gravity field and by extension the mass and density of comet Tempel 1.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Berthoud, L.; Mandeville, J.C.; Durin, C.; Borg, J. |

    1995-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  5. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1983-01-01

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

  7. The Complicated Geologic Histories of Large Venusian Impact Craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  8. Impacts of gas drilling on human and animal health.

    PubMed

    Bamberger, Michelle; Oswald, Robert E

    2012-01-01

    Environmental concerns surrounding drilling for gas are intense due to expansion of shale gas drilling operations. Controversy surrounding the impact of drilling on air and water quality has pitted industry and lease-holders against individuals and groups concerned with environmental protection and public health. Because animals often are exposed continually to air, soil, and groundwater and have more frequent reproductive cycles, animals can be used as sentinels to monitor impacts to human health. This study involved interviews with animal owners who live near gas drilling operations. The findings illustrate which aspects of the drilling process may lead to health problems and suggest modifications that would lessen but not eliminate impacts. Complete evidence regarding health impacts of gas drilling cannot be obtained due to incomplete testing and disclosure of chemicals, and nondisclosure agreements. Without rigorous scientific studies, the gas drilling boom sweeping the world will remain an uncontrolled health experiment on an enormous scale.

  9. Analysis of a crater-forming meteorite impact in Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, P.; ReVelle, D. O.; Silber, E. A.; Edwards, W. N.; Arrowsmith, S.; Jackson, L. E.; Tancredi, G.; Eaton, D.

    2008-09-01

    The fireball producing a crater-forming meteorite fall near Carancas, Peru, on 15 September 2007 has been analyzed using eyewitness, seismic, and infrasound records. The meteorite impact, which produced a crater of 13.5 m diameter, is found to have released of order 1010 J of energy, equivalent to ~2-3 tons of TNT high explosives based on infrasonic measurements. Our best fit trajectory solution places the fireball radiant at an azimuth of 82° relative to the crater, with an entry angle from the horizontal of 63°. From entry modeling and infrasonic energetics constraints, we find an initial energy for the fireball to be in the 0.06-0.32 kton TNT equivalent. The initial velocity for the meteoroid is restricted to be below 17 km/s from orbit considerations alone, while modeling suggests an even lower best fit velocity close to 12 km/s. The initial mass of the meteoroid is in the range of 3-9 tons. At impact, modeling suggests a final end mass of order a few metric tons and impact velocity in the 1.5-4 km/s range. We suggest that the formation of such a substantial crater from a chondritic mass was the result of the unusually high strength (and corresponding low degree of fragmentation in the atmosphere) of the meteoritic body. Additionally, the high altitude of the impact site (3800 m.a.s.l) resulted in an almost one order of magnitude higher impact speed than would have been the case for the same body impacting close to sea level.

  10. Properties of Ejecta Blanket Deposits Surrounding Morasko Meteorite Impact Craters (Poland)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

    Morasko impact craters are a record of the fall of a meteorite into the soft sediments. The presented results illustrate the geological structure of the area around the crater as well as providing evidence of the occurrence of ejecta blanket.

  11. 3D Characterization of the Magnetic Signature of a Medium Sized Impact Crater at Odessa, TX

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, A.; Soule, D.; Everett, M.; Rodman, T.; Mangue Ndong, M.; Pereira, A.; Platt, P.; Trahan, A.

    2008-12-01

    Meteorite impacts are a common occurrence throughout Earth's geologic history. Many of the surface expressions of large ancient impacts have been subsequently erased by weathering and erosion processes. The study of preserved meteorite impacts is necessary to better understand this natural hazard which has been increasingly linked to rapid climate change and mass extinctions. The 60 ka Odessa meteorite crater located in Ector Co. Texas, is unique because it is not only well-preserved, but also has been the subject of extensive geologic examination. Geologic mapping and numeric models indicate that the crater was caused by a relatively small oblique impactor. The crater rim is remarkably well exposed. Much of the ejecta blanket is present, although deeply eroded. There has been considerable site disturbance due to drilling, shaft excavation, trenching, construction of a museum, trails, and the oil/gas activity in surrounding fields. Two previous geophysical investigations have shown that our data clearly corresponds to large-scale thrust deformation. With this in mind we have performed 3D high resolution magnetic gradiometer surveys that will allow us to quantify and characterize the magnetic signature of small to medium impacts. We will tie this data set to a 3D photorealistic outcrop image provided by laser scanning with coarser-scale, below-ground geophysical information. Our geophysical imagery provides a useful constraint on numerical simulations of the impact and its immediate regional-scale environmental effects. This information can be used to identify impact sites whose surface expression has been erased by natural erosional processes, allowing for improved frequency estimates and improved geo-hazard assessment.

  12. Exploring Martian impact craters: what they can reveal about the subsurface and why they are important for the search for life

    SciTech Connect

    Wiens, Roger C; Vaniman, David T; Schwenzer, Susanne P; Abramov, O.; Allen, C. C.; Clifford, S.; Filiberto, J.; Kring, J.; Lasue, D. A.; Mcgovern, P. J.; Newsom, H. E.; Treiman, A. H.; Wittmann, A.

    2009-01-01

    Impact craters are important targets for Mars exploration, especially craters of Noachian age, which record conditions on Early Mars. Smaller craters can also be used during missions to the planet as natural 'drill holes' or excavation pits into the subsurface, and so can provide information and samples that would otherwise be inaccessible. During the Noachian period impact cratering was the dominant geological process on Early Mars and on the contemporary Earth and Moon; investigation of craters will inform our understanding of this geologic process and its effects on the water-bearing Martian crust at the time. Impact craters disturbed and heated this water-bearing crust, and likely initiated long-lived hydrothermal systems, which may have created some clement environments for life and formed secondary minerals. Also, impact-heat generated lakes may have formed. Thus, Noachian impact craters are particularly important exploration targets, providing subsurface access, data on crucial geological processes, and warm, water-rich environments possibly conducive to life.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,; Edwards, L.E.; Litwin, R.J.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

  15. Pwyll Impact Crater: Perspective View of Topographic Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

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

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

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

  16. Importance of pre-impact crustal structure for the asymmetry of the Chicxulub impact crater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gulick, Sean P. S.; Barton, Penny J.; Christeson, Gail L.; Morgan, Joanna V.; McDonald, Matthew; Mendoza-Cervantes, Keren; Pearson, Zulmacristina F.; Surendra, Anusha; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, Jaime; Vermeesch, Peggy M.; Warner, Mike R.

    2008-02-01

    Impact craters are observed on the surfaces of all rocky planets and satellites in our Solar System; some impacts on Earth, such as the Cretaceous/Tertiary one that formed the Chicxulub impact crater, have been implicated in mass extinctions. The direction and angle of the impact-or its trajectory-is an important determinant of the severity of the consequent environmental damage, both in the downrange direction (direction bolide travels) and in the amount of material that enters the plume of material vaporized on impact. The trajectory of the Chicxulub impact has previously been inferred largely from asymmetries in the gravity anomalies over the crater. Here, we use seismic data to image the Chicxulub crater in three dimensions and demonstrate that the strong asymmetry of its subsurface correlates with significant pre-existing undulations on the end-Cretaceous continental shelf that was the site of this impact. These results suggest that for rocky planets, geological and geomorphological heterogeneities at the target site may play an important role in determining impact crater structure, in addition to impact trajectories. In those cases where heterogeneous targets are inferred, deciphering impact trajectories from final crater geometries alone may be difficult and require further data such as the distribution of ejecta.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Alvarez, W.; Muller, R.A.

    1984-01-01

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

  18. The topography of impact craters in 'softened' terrain on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jankowski, David G.; Squyres, Steven W.

    1992-01-01

    The technique of photoclinometry is applied here to Viking orbiter images of Mars in order to derive topographic profiles across Martian craters on both softened and unsoftened terrain. The results demonstrate that craters on the two kinds of terrain are in fact topographically distinct. Both simple and complex softened craters are characterized by more convex-upward crater walls than are unsoftened craters, and both simple and complex softened craters have rounder crater rims. Softened complex craters have modestly smaller crater depths than unsoftened complex craters. Both the rim heights and bowl depths are reduced, with the rim heights reduced more. Softened simple craters have much smaller crater depths than unsoftened simple craters. Both the rim heights and bowl depths are reduced, with the bowl depths reduced more.

  19. Space Radar of Image Aorounga Impact Crater, Chad

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    The impact of an asteroid or comet several hundred million years ago left scars in the landscape that are still visible in this spaceborne radar image of an area in the Sahara Desert of northern Chad. The concentric ring structure is the Aorounga impact crater, with a diameter of about 17 kilometers (10.5 miles). The original crater was buried by sediments, which were then partially eroded to reveal the current ring-like appearance. The dark streaks are deposits of windblown sand that migrate along valleys cut by thousands of years of wind erosion. The dark band in the upper right of the image is a portion of a proposed second crater. Scientists are using radar images to investigate the possibility that Aorounga is one of a string of impact craters formed by multiple impacts. Radar imaging is a valuable tool for the study of desert regions because the radar waves can penetrate thin layers of dry sand to reveal details of geologic structure that are invisible to other sensors. The image was acquired by the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) on April 18 and 19, 1994, onboard the space shuttle Endeavour. The area shown is 22 kilometers by 28 kilometers (14 miles by 17 miles) and is centered at 19.1 degrees north latitude, 19.3 degrees east longitude. North is toward the upper right. The colors are assigned to different radar frequencies and polarizations as follows: red is L-band, horizontally transmitted and received; green is C-band, horizontally transmitted and received; and blue is C-band, horizontally transmitted, vertically received. SIR-C/X-SAR, a joint mission of the German, Italian and United States space agencies, is part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth program.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  1. Impact-generated Hydrothermal Activity at the Chicxulub Crater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  3. Spall velocity measurements from laboratory impact craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Polanskey, Carol A.; Ahrens, Thomas J.

    1986-01-01

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

  4. Spall velocity measurements from laboratory impact craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polanskey, Carol A.; Ahrens, Thomas J.

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

  5. Shock-induced damage in rocks: Application to impact cratering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ai, Huirong

    Shock-induced damage beneath impact craters is studied in this work. Two representative terrestrial rocks, San Marcos granite and Bedford limestone, are chosen as test target. Impacts into the rock targets with different combinations of projectile material, size, impact angle, and impact velocity are carried out at cm scale in the laboratory. Shock-induced damage and fracturing would cause large-scale compressional wave velocity reduction in the recovered target beneath the impact crater. The shock-induced damage is measured by mapping the compressional wave velocity reduction in the recovered target. A cm scale nondestructive tomography technique is developed for this purpose. This technique is proved to be effective in mapping the damage in San Marcos granite, and the inverted velocity profile is in very good agreement with the result from dicing method and cut open directly. Both compressional velocity and attenuation are measured in three orthogonal directions on cubes prepared from one granite target impacted by a lead bullet at 1200 m/s. Anisotropy is observed from both results, but the attenuation seems to be a more useful parameter than acoustic velocity in studying orientation of cracks. Our experiments indicate that the shock-induced damage is a function of impact conditions including projectile type and size, impact velocity, and target properties. Combined with other crater phenomena such as crater diameter, depth, ejecta, etc., shock-induced damage would be used as an important yet not well recognized constraint for impact history. The shock-induced damage is also calculated numerically to be compared with the experiments for a few representative shots. The Johnson-Holmquist strength and failure model, initially developed for ceramics, is applied to geological materials. Strength is a complicated function of pressure, strain, strain rate, and damage. The JH model, coupled with a crack softening model, is used to describe both the inelastic response of

  6. Space Radar Image of the Yucatan Impact Crater Site

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1990-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  9. Impact Crater of the Australasian Tektites, Southern Laos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sieh, K.; Herrin, J. S.; Wiwegwin, W.; Charusiri, P.; Singer, B. S.; Singsomboun, K.; Jicha, B. R.

    2015-12-01

    The Australasian strewn field, a horizon of glassy clasts formed of molten ejecta from the impact of a bolide about 770,000 years ago, covers about a tenth of the Earth - from Indochina to Australia and from the Indian to western Pacific oceans. The distribution of chemical and physical characteristics of these tektites implies a very large impact somewhere in central Indochina. A half-century of unsuccessful searching for the impact crater implies obscuration by either erosion or burial. Geomorphological and stratigraphic evidence suggests that the crater lies buried beneath lavas and cinder cones of a 100-km wide volcanic shield centered atop the Bolaven Plateau of southern Laos. One critical test of this hypothesis, using precise 40Ar/39Ar dating, is now in progress - are these highly weathered basalts younger than the tektites? Although volcanic rocks cover most of the area proximal to our purported impact site, a thick, crudely bedded, bouldery to pebbly breccia that crops out southeast of the obscured crater rim appears to be part of an ejecta blanket. The basal unit of this fining-upward sequence comprises large boulders of late-Mesozoic sandstone bedrock that display in situ shattering. This implies emplacement ballistically rather than by debris-flow. Old surfaces in the surrounding region (as others have noted) and on the Plateau have a mantle of pebbly, detrital lateritic debris that in its upper 15 cm contains angular tektite fragments. We hypothesize that this debris is a proximal fall bed produced by shock-induced comminution and ejection of a lateritic soil that covered the Plateau bedrock. Deposition was nearly complete when sparse tektite fragments ejected from nearer the center of the impact began to land. At many sites this pebbly, lateritic bed is overlain by a thick silty bed that others have associated with aeolian erosion of a barren, incinerated tropical landscape. See Herrin et al (this meeting) for more on the volcanic rocks.

  10. Fractal Fragmentation triggered by meteor impact: The Ries Crater (Germany)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paredes Marino, Joali; Perugini, Diego; Rossi, Stefano; Kueppers, Ulrich

    2015-04-01

    FRACTAL FRAGMENTATION TRIGGERED BY METEOR IMPACT: THE RIES CRATER (GERMANY) Joali Paredes (1), Stefano Rossi (1), Diego Perugini (1), Ulrich Kueppers (2) 1. Department of Physics and Geology, University of Perugia, Italy 2. Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Munich, Germany The Nördlinger Ries is a large circular depression in western Bavaria, Germany. The depression was caused by a meteor impact, which occurred about 14.3 million-14.5 million years ago. The original crater rim had an estimated diameter of 24 kilometers. Computer modeling of the impact event indicates that the impact or probably had diameters of about 1.5 kilometers and impacted the target area at an angle around 30 to 50 degrees from the surface in a west- southwest to east-northeast direction. The impact velocity is thought to have been about 20 km/s. The meteor impact generated extensive fragmentation of preexisting rocks. In addition, melting of these rocks also occurred. The impact melt was ejected at high speed provoking its extensive fragmentation. Quenched melt fragments are ubiquitous in the outcrops. Here we study melt fragment size distributions with the aim of understanding the style of melt fragmentation during ejection and to constrain the rheological properties of such melts. Digital images of suevite (i.e. the rock generated after deposition and diagenesis of ash and fragments produced by the meteor impact) were obtained using a high-resolution optical scanner. Successively, melt fragments were traced by image analysis and the images segmented in order to obtain binary images on which impact melt fragments are in black color, embedded on a white background. Hence, the size of fragments was determined by image analysis. Fractal fragmentation theory has been applied to fragment size distributions of melt fragments in the Ries crater. Results indicate that melt fragments follow fractal distributions indicating that fragmentation of melt generated by the

  11. Geological Mapping of Impact Melt Deposits at Lunar Complex Craters: New Insights into Morphological Diversity, Distribution and the Cratering Process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dhingra, D.; Head, J. W., III; Pieters, C. M.

    2014-12-01

    We have completed high resolution geological mapping of impact melt deposits at the young lunar complex craters (<1 billion years) Copernicus, Jackson and Tycho using data from recent missions. Crater floors being the largest repository of impact melt, we have mapped their morphological diversity expressed in terms of varied surface texture, albedo, character and occurrence of boulder units as well as relative differences in floor elevation. Examples of wall and rim impact melt units and their relation to floor units have also been mapped. Among the distinctive features of these impact melt deposits are: 1) Impact Melt Wave Fronts: These are extensive (sometimes several kilometers in length) and we have documented their occurrence and distribution in different parts of the crater floor at Jackson and Tycho. These features emphasize melt mobility and style of emplacement during the modification stage of the craters. 2) Variations in Floor Elevations: Spatially extensive and coherent sections of crater floors have different elevations at all the three craters. The observed elevation differences could be caused by subsidence due to cooling of melt and/or structural failure, together with a contribution from regional slope. 3) Melt-Covered Megablocks: We also observe large blocks/rock-fragments (megablocks) covered in impact melt, which could be sections of collapsed wall or in some cases, subdued sections of central peaks. 4) Melt-Covered Central Peaks: Impact melt has also been mapped on the central peaks but varies in spatial extent among the craters. The presence of melt on peaks must be taken into account when interpreting peak mineralogy as exposures of deeper crust. 5) Boulder Distribution: Interesting trends are observed in the distribution of boulder units of various sizes; some impact melt units have spatially extensive boulders, while boulder distribution is very scarce in other units on the floor. We interpret these distributions to be influenced by a) the

  12. The Impact Crater as a Habitat: Effects of Impact Processing of Target Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cockell, Charles S.; Osinski, Gordon R.; Lee, Pascal

    2003-01-01

    Impact structures are a rare habitat on Earth. However, where they do occur they can potentially have an important influence on the local ecology. Some of the types of habitat created in the immediate post-impact environment are not specific to the impact phenomenon, such as hydrothermal systems and crater lakes that can be found, for instance, in post-volcanic environments, albeit with different thermal characteristics than those associated with impact. However, some of the habitats created are specifically linked to processes of impact processing. Two examples of how impact processing of target materials has created novel habitats that improve the opportunities for colonization are found in the Haughton impact structure in the Canadian High Arctic. Impact-shocked rocks have become a habitat for endolithic microorganisms, and large, impact-shattered blocks of rock are used as resting sites by avifauna. However, some materials produced by an impact, such as melt sheet rocks, can make craters more biologically depauperate than the area surrounding them. Although there are no recent craters with which to study immediate post-impact colonization, these data yield insights into generalized mechanisms of how impact processing can influence post-impact succession. Because impact events are one of a number of processes that can bring localized destruction to ecosystems, understanding the manner in which impact structures are recolonized is of ecological interest. Impact craters are a universal phenomenon on solid planetary surfaces, and so they are of potential biological relevance on other planetary surfaces, particularly Mars.

  13. The impact crater as a habitat: effects of impact processing of target materials.

    PubMed

    Cockell, Charles S; Osinski, Gordon R; Lee, Pascal

    2003-01-01

    Impact structures are a rare habitat on Earth. However, where they do occur they can potentially have an important influence on the local ecology. Some of the types of habitat created in the immediate post-impact environment are not specific to the impact phenomenon, such as hydrothermal systems and crater lakes that can be found, for instance, in post-volcanic environments, albeit with different thermal characteristics than those associated with impact. However, some of the habitats created are specifically linked to processes of impact processing. Two examples of how impact processing of target materials has created novel habitats that improve the opportunities for colonization are found in the Haughton impact structure in the Canadian High Arctic. Impact-shocked rocks have become a habitat for endolithic microorganisms, and large, impact-shattered blocks of rock are used as resting sites by avifauna. However, some materials produced by an impact, such as melt sheet rocks, can make craters more biologically depauperate than the area surrounding them. Although there are no recent craters with which to study immediate post-impact colonization, these data yield insights into generalized mechanisms of how impact processing can influence post-impact succession. Because impact events are one of a number of processes that can bring localized destruction to ecosystems, understanding the manner in which impact structures are recolonized is of ecological interest. Impact craters are a universal phenomenon on solid planetary surfaces, and so they are of potential biological relevance on other planetary surfaces, particularly Mars.

  14. The impact crater as a habitat: effects of impact processing of target materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cockell, Charles S.; Osinski, Gordon R.; Lee, Pascal

    2003-01-01

    Impact structures are a rare habitat on Earth. However, where they do occur they can potentially have an important influence on the local ecology. Some of the types of habitat created in the immediate post-impact environment are not specific to the impact phenomenon, such as hydrothermal systems and crater lakes that can be found, for instance, in post-volcanic environments, albeit with different thermal characteristics than those associated with impact. However, some of the habitats created are specifically linked to processes of impact processing. Two examples of how impact processing of target materials has created novel habitats that improve the opportunities for colonization are found in the Haughton impact structure in the Canadian High Arctic. Impact-shocked rocks have become a habitat for endolithic microorganisms, and large, impact-shattered blocks of rock are used as resting sites by avifauna. However, some materials produced by an impact, such as melt sheet rocks, can make craters more biologically depauperate than the area surrounding them. Although there are no recent craters with which to study immediate post-impact colonization, these data yield insights into generalized mechanisms of how impact processing can influence post-impact succession. Because impact events are one of a number of processes that can bring localized destruction to ecosystems, understanding the manner in which impact structures are recolonized is of ecological interest. Impact craters are a universal phenomenon on solid planetary surfaces, and so they are of potential biological relevance on other planetary surfaces, particularly Mars.

  15. Crater features diagnostic of oblique impacts: The size and position of the central peak

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ekholm, Andreas G.; Melosh, H. Jay

    Using Magellan data, we investigated two crater characteristics that have been cited as diagnostic of oblique impacts: an uprange offset of the central peak in complex craters, and an increasing central peak diameter relative to crater diameter with decreasing impact angle. We find that the offset distribution is random and very similar to that for high-angle impacts, and that there is no correlation between central peak diameter and impact angle. Accordingly, these two crater characteristics cannot be used to infer the impact angle or direction.

  16. Fullerenes in an impact crater on the LDEF spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Radicati di Brozolo, F.; Bunch, T. E.; Fleming, R. H.; Macklin, J.

    1994-01-01

    The fullerenes C60 and C70 have been found to occur naturally on Earth and have also been invoked to explain features in the absorption spectra of interstellar clouds. But no definitive spectroscopic evidence exists for fullerenes in space and attempts to find fullerenes in carbonaceous chondrites have been unsuccessful. Here we report the observation of fullerenes associated with carbonaceous impact residue in a crater on the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) spacecraft. Laser ionization mass spectrometry and Raman spectroscopy indicate the presence of fullerenes in the crater and in adjacent ejecta. Man-made fullerenes survive experimental hypervelocity (approximately 6.1 km s-1) impacts into aluminium targets, suggesting that space fullerenes contained in a carbonaceous micrometeorite could have survived the LDEF impact at velocities towards the lower end of the natural particle encounter range (<13 km s-1). We also demonstrate that the fullerenes were unlikely to have formed as instrumental artefacts, nor are they present as contaminants. Although we cannot specify the origin of the fullerenes with certainty, the most plausible source is the chondritic impactor. If, alternatively, the impact produced the fullerenes in situ on LDEF, then this suggests a viable mechanism for fullerene production in space.

  17. Drill-specific head impact exposure in youth football practice

    PubMed Central

    Campolettano, Eamon T.; Rowson, Steven; Duma, Stefan M.

    2017-01-01

    OBJECTIVE Although 70% of football players in the United States are youth players (6–14 years old), most research on head impacts in football has focused on high school, collegiate, or professional populations. The objective of this study was to identify the specific activities associated with high-magnitude (acceleration > 40g) head impacts in youth football practices. METHODS A total of 34 players (mean age 9.9 ± 0.6 years) on 2 youth teams were equipped with helmet-mounted accelerometer arrays that recorded head accelerations associated with impacts in practices and games. Videos of practices and games were used to verify all head impacts and identify specific drills associated with each head impact. RESULTS A total of 6813 impacts were recorded, of which 408 had accelerations exceeding 40g (6.0%). For each type of practice drill, impact rates were computed that accounted for the length of time that teams spent on each drill. The tackling drill King of the Circle had the highest impact rate (95% CI 25.6–68.3 impacts/hr). Impact rates for tackling drills (those conducted without a blocker [95% CI 14.7–21.9 impacts/hr] and those with a blocker [95% CI 10.5–23.1 impacts/hr]) did not differ from game impact rates (95% CI 14.2–21.6 impacts/hr). Tackling drills were observed to have a greater proportion (between 40% and 50%) of impacts exceeding 60g than games (25%). The teams in this study participated in tackling or blocking drills for only 22% of their overall practice times, but these drills were responsible for 86% of all practice impacts exceeding 40g. CONCLUSIONS In youth football, high-magnitude impacts occur more often in practices than games, and some practice drills are associated with higher impact rates and accelerations than others. To mitigate high-magnitude head impact exposure in youth football, practices should be modified to decrease the time spent in drills with high impact rates, potentially eliminating a drill such as King of the

  18. Drill-specific head impact exposure in youth football practice.

    PubMed

    Campolettano, Eamon T; Rowson, Steven; Duma, Stefan M

    2016-11-01

    OBJECTIVE Although 70% of football players in the United States are youth players (6-14 years old), most research on head impacts in football has focused on high school, collegiate, or professional populations. The objective of this study was to identify the specific activities associated with high-magnitude (acceleration > 40g) head impacts in youth football practices. METHODS A total of 34 players (mean age 9.9 ± 0.6 years) on 2 youth teams were equipped with helmet-mounted accelerometer arrays that recorded head accelerations associated with impacts in practices and games. Videos of practices and games were used to verify all head impacts and identify specific drills associated with each head impact. RESULTS A total of 6813 impacts were recorded, of which 408 had accelerations exceeding 40g (6.0%). For each type of practice drill, impact rates were computed that accounted for the length of time that teams spent on each drill. The tackling drill King of the Circle had the highest impact rate (95% CI 25.6-68.3 impacts/hr). Impact rates for tackling drills (those conducted without a blocker [95% CI 14.7-21.9 impacts/hr] and those with a blocker [95% CI 10.5-23.1 impacts/hr]) did not differ from game impact rates (95% CI 14.2-21.6 impacts/hr). Tackling drills were observed to have a greater proportion (between 40% and 50%) of impacts exceeding 60g than games (25%). The teams in this study participated in tackling or blocking drills for only 22% of their overall practice times, but these drills were responsible for 86% of all practice impacts exceeding 40g. CONCLUSIONS In youth football, high-magnitude impacts occur more often in practices than games, and some practice drills are associated with higher impact rates and accelerations than others. To mitigate high-magnitude head impact exposure in youth football, practices should be modified to decrease the time spent in drills with high impact rates, potentially eliminating a drill such as King of the Circle

  19. Initial Assessment of the Excavation and Deposition of Impact Lithologies Exposed by the Chicxulub Scientific Drilling Project, Yaxcopoil, Mexico

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kring, David A.; Horz, Friedrich; Zurcher, Lukas

    2003-01-01

    The Chicxulub Scientific Drilling Project (www.icdp-online.de) recovered a continuous core from a depth of 404 m (in Tertiary cover) to 1511 m (in a megablock of Cretaceous target sediments), penetrating approx. 100 m of melt-bearing impactites between 794 and 895 m. The Yaxcopoil-1 (YAX-1) borehole is approx. 60-65 km from the center of the Chicxulub structure, which is approx. 15 km beyond the limit of the estimated approx. 50 km radius transient crater (excavation cavity), but within the rim of the estimated approx. 90 km radius final crater. In general, the impactite sequence is incredibly rich in impact melts of unusual textural variety and complexity, quite unlike melt-bearing impact formations from other terrestrial craters.

  20. Morphometry of small recent impact craters on Mars: Size and terrain dependence, short-term modification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watters, W. A.; Geiger, L. M.; Fendrock, M.; Gibson, R.

    2015-02-01

    Most recent studies of crater morphometry on Mars have addressed large craters (D>5 km) using elevation models derived from laser altimetry. In the present work, we examine a global population of small (25 m ≤D≤5 km), relatively well-preserved simple impact craters using HiRISE stereo-derived elevation models. We find that scaling laws from prior studies of large simple craters generally overestimate the depth and volume at small diameters. We show that crater rim curvature exhibits a strong diameter dependence that is well-described by scaling laws for D<1 km. Above this diameter, upper rim slopes begin to exceed typical repose angles and crater rims sharpen significantly. This transition is likely the result of gravity-driven collapse of the upper cavity walls during crater formation or short-term modification. In addition, we identify a tendency for small craters (D<500m) to be more conical than large craters, and we show that the average cavity cross section is well-described by a power law with exponent ˜1.75 (neither conical nor paraboloidal). We also conduct a statistical comparison of crater subpopulations to illuminate trends with increasing modification and target strength. These results have important implications for describing the "initial condition" of simple crater shape as a function of diameter and geological setting and for understanding how impact craters are modified on the Martian surface over time.

  1. Wildfires Caused by Formation of Small Impact Craters: A Kaali Crater Case

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Losiak, Anna; Belcher, Claire; Hudspith, Victoria; Zhu, Menghua; Bronikowska, Malgorzata; Jõeleht, Argo; Plado, Juri

    2016-04-01

    Formation of ~200-km Chicxulub 65 Ma ago was associated with release of significant amount of thermal energy [1,2,3] which was sufficient to start wildfires that had either regional [4] or global [5] range. The evidence for wildfires caused by impacts smaller than Chicxulub is inconclusive. On one hand, no signs of fires are associated with the formation of 24-km Ries crater [6]. On the other hand, the Tunguska site was burned after the impact and the numerical models of the bolide-produced thermal radiation suggest that the Tunguska-like event would produce a thermal flux to the surface that is sufficient to ignite pine needles [7]. However, in case of Tunguska the only proof for the bolide starting the fire comes from an eyewitness description collected many years after the event. Some authors [8] suggest that this fire might have been caused "normaly" later during the same year, induced on dead trees killed by the Tunguska fall. More recently it was observed that the Chelyabinsk meteor [9] - smaller than Tunguska event - did not produced a fire. In order to explore this apparent relationship in more detail, we have studied the proximal ejecta from a 100-m in diameter, ~3500 years old [10] Kaali crater (Estonia) within which we find pieces of charred organic material. Those pieces appear to have been produced during the impact, according to their stratigraphic location and following 14C analysis [19] as opposed to pre- or post-impact forest fires. In order to determine the most probable formation mechanism of the charred organic material found within Kaali proximal ejecta blanket, we: 1) Analyzed charcoal under SEM to identify the charred plants and determine properties of the charcoal related to the temperature of its formation [11]. Detected homogenization of cell walls suggests that at least some pieces of charcoal were formed at >300 °C [11]. 2) Analyzed the reflectance properties of the charred particles in order to determine the intensity with which

  2. The Cretaceous-Tertiary Impact Crater and the Cosmic Projectile that Produced it

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sharpton, Virgil L.; Marin, Luis E.

    1997-01-01

    Evidence gathered to date from topographic data, geophysical data, well logs, and drill-core samples indicates that the buried Chicxulub basin, the source crater for the approximately 65 Ma Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T) boundary deposits, is approximately 300 km in diameter. A prominent topographic ridge and a ring of gravity anomalies mark the position of the basin rim at approximately 150 km from the center. Wells in this region recovered thick sequences of impact-generated breccias at 200-300 m below present sea level. Inside the rim, which has been severely modified by erosion following impact, the subsurface basin continues to deepen until near the center it is approximately 1 km deep. The best planetary analog for this crater appears to be the 270 km-diameter Mead basin on Venus. Seismic reflection data indicate that the central zone of downward displacement and excavation (the transient crater is approximately 130 km in diameter, consistent with previous studies of gravity anomaly data). Our analysis of projectile characteristics utilizes this information, coupled with conventional scaling relationships, and geochemical constraints on the mass of extraterrestrial material deposited within the K/T boundary layer. Results indicate that the Chicxulub crater would most likely be formed by a long-period comet composed primarily of nonsilicate materials (ice, hydrocarbons, etc.) and subordinate amounts (less than or equal to 50 percent) primitive chondritic material. This collision would have released the energy equivalent to between 4 x 10(exp 8) and 4 x 10(exp 9) megatons of TNT. Studies of terrestrial impact rates suggest that such an event would have a mean production rate of approximately 1.25 x 10(exp -9) y(exp -1). This rate is considerably lower than that of the major mass extinctions over the last 250 million years (approximately 5 x 10(exp -7) y(exp -1). Consequently, while there is substantial circumstantial evidence establishing the cause-effect link

  3. The Cretaceous-Tertiary impact crater and the cosmic projectile that produced it.

    PubMed

    Sharpton, V L; Marin, L E

    1997-05-30

    Evidence gathered to date from topographic data, geophysical data, well logs, and drill-core samples indicates that the buried Chicxulub basin, the source crater for the approximately 65 Ma Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T) boundary deposits, is approximately 300 km in diameter. A prominent topographic ridge and a ring of gravity anomalies mark the position of the basin rim at approximately 150 km from the center. Wells in this region recovered thick sequences of impact-generated breccias at 200-300 m below present sea level. Inside the rim, which has been severely modified by erosion following impact, the subsurface basin continues to deepen until near the center it is approximately 1 km deep. The best planetary analog for this crater appears to be the 270 km-diameter Mead basin on Venus. Seismic reflection data indicate that the central zone of downward displacement and excavation (the transient crater is approximately 130 km in diameter, consistent with previous studies of gravity anomaly data). Our analysis of projectile characteristics utilizes this information, coupled with conventional scaling relationships, and geochemical constraints on the mass of extraterrestrial material deposited within the K/T boundary layer. Results indicate that the Chicxulub crater would most likely be formed by a long-period comet composed primarily of nonsilicate materials (ice, hydrocarbons, etc.) and subordinate amounts (< or = 50%) primitive chondritic material. This collision would have released the energy equivalent to between 4 x 10(8) and 4 x 10(9) megatons of TNT. Studies of terrestrial impact rates suggest that such an event would have a mean production rate of approximately 1.25 x 10(-9) y-1. This rate is considerably lower than that of the major mass extinctions over the last 250 million years (approximately 5 x 10(-7) y-1). Consequently, while there is substantial circumstantial evidence establishing the cause-effect link between the Chicxulub basin forming event and the K

  4. Effect of impact angle on central-peak/peak-ring formation and crater collapse on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schultz, Peter H.

    1992-01-01

    Although asymmetry in ejecta patterns and craters shape-in-plan are commonly cited as diagnostic features of impact angle, the early-time transfer of energy from impactor to target also creates distinctive asymmetries in crater profile with the greatest depth uprange. In order to simulate gravity-controlled crater-growth, laboratory experiments use loose particulate targets as analogs for low-strength material properties following passage of the shock. As a result, impact crater diameter D in laboratory experiments generally is many times greater than the impactor diameter 2r (factor of 40), and early-time asymmetries in energy transfer from oblique impacts are consumed by subsequent symmetrical crater growth, except at the lowest angles (less than 25 deg). Such asymmetry is evident for oblique (less than 60 deg from horizontal) impacts into aluminum where D/2r is only 2 to 4. Because cratering efficiency decreases with increasing crater size and decreasing impact angle, large scale planetary craters (4080 km) should have transient excavation diameters only 6-10 times larger than the impactor. At basin scales, D/2r is predicted to be only 3-5, i.e., approaching values for impacts into aluminum in laboratory experiments. As a result, evidence for early-time asymmetry in impactor energy transfer should become evident on planetary surfaces, yet craters generally retain a circular outline for all but the lowest impact angles.

  5. Olivine Deposits Associated with Impact Basins and Craters on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ody, A.; Poulet, F.; Langevin, Y.; Gondet, B.; Bibring, J.; Carter, J.

    2011-12-01

    An analysis of the 1μm olivine spectral signature applied to the entire and final OMEGA dataset [1] shows numerous olivine-bearing deposits in the 3 main basins of Mars (Argyre, Isidis and Hellas). These signatures are among the strongest of Mars, which suggests compositions with higher iron content and/or larger grain size and/or larger abundance than the ones of widespread olivine-bearing deposits observed on large parts of the southern highlands [1]. A spectral modeling based on a radiative transfer model [2] indicates that their compositions are still close to the forsterite one with abundance in the range of [15,40%] and grain sizes of a few hundreds of μm. These deposits are exclusively localized on Noachian terrains. Distribution of these deposits around Argyre basin clearly takes the form of discontinuous patches of olivine-bearing rocks on the basin terrace, which strongly suggest that their formation is related to the basin formation event. Recent numerical simulations of basin formation show that impact that formed the Argyre basin could have excavated upper mantle materials and emplaced discontinuous patches of melted mantle on the basin terraces [3]. The observed olivine deposits in Argyre are thus interpreted as olivine-bearing material excavated from the upper mantle during the impact. Olivine deposits distribution around the Hellas basin is not as clear as for Argyre because of young resurfacing processes that strongly affected its region. Olivine deposits are fewer and mainly localized on the northern terrace of Hellas. Most of them are detected in crater ejecta, while a few similar to Argyre olivine discontinuous patches are also observed suggesting that a mantle origin as for Argyre is possible. Olivine has been detected by several datasets in the Nili Fossae region and in the south of Isidis basin. The spectral modeling of OMEGA spectra indicates an olivine abundance of about 40% and megacrysts of several millimeters for the region of Nili

  6. Geology and geochemistry of shallow drill cores from the Bosumtwi impact struture, Ghana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boamah, D.; Koeberl, C.

    2003-08-01

    The 1.07 Ma well-preserved Bosumtwi impact structure in Ghana (10.5 km in diameter) formed in 2 Ga-old metamorphosed and crystalline rocks of the Birimian system. The interior of the structure is largely filled by the 8 km diameter Lake Bosumtwi, and the crater rim and region in the environs of the crater is covered by tropical rainforest, making geological studies rather difficult and restricted to road cuts and streams. In early 1999, we undertook a shallow drilling program to the north of the crater rim to determine the extent of the ejecta blanket around the crater and to obtain subsurface core samples for mineralogical, petrological, and geochemical studies of ejecta of the Bosumtwi impact structure. A variety of impactite lithologies are present, consisting of impact glass- rich suevite and several types of breccia: lithic breccia of single rock type, often grading into unbrecciated rock, with the rocks being shattered more or less in situ without much relative displacement (autochthonous?), and lithic polymict breccia that apparently do not contain any glassy material (allochtonous?). The suevite cores show that melt inclusions are present throughout the whole length of the cores in the form of vesicular glasses with no significant change of abundance with depth. Twenty samples from the 7 drill cores and 4 samples from recent road cuts in the structure were studied for their geochemical characteristics to accumulate a database for impact lithologies and their erosion products present at the Bosumtwi crater. Major and trace element analyses yielded compositions similar to those of the target rocks in the area (graywacke-phyllite, shale, and granite). Graywacke-phyllite and granite dikes seem to be important contributors to the compositions of the suevite and the road cut samples (fragmentary matrix), with a minor contribution of Pepiakese granite. The results also provide information about the thickness of the fallout suevite in the northern part of the

  7. Manganese-oxide minerals in fractures of the Crater Flat Tuff in drill core USW G-4, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    Carlos, B.A.; Bish, D.L.; Chipera, S.J.

    1990-07-01

    The Crater Flat Tuff is almost entirely below the water table in drill hole USW G-4 at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Manganese-oxide minerals from the Crater Flat Tuff in USW G-4 were studied using optical, scanning electron microscopic, electron microprobe, and x-ray powder diffraction methods to determine their distribution, mineralogy, and chemistry. Manganese-oxide minerals coat fractures in all three members of the Crater Flat Tuff (Prow Pass, Bullfrog, and Tram), but they are most abundant in fractures in the densely welded devitrified intervals of these members. The coatings are mostly of the cryptomelane/hollandite mineral group, but the chemistry of these coatings varies considerably. Some of the chemical variations, particularly the presence of calcium, sodium, and strontium, can be explained by admixture with todorokite, seen in some x-ray powder diffraction patterns. Other chemical variations, particularly between Ba and Pb, demonstrate that considerable substitution of Pb for Ba occurs in hollandite. Manganese-oxide coatings are common in the 10-m interval that produced 75% of the water pumped from USW G-4 in a flow survey in 1983. Their presence in water-producing zones suggests that manganese oxides may exert a significant chemical effect on groundwater beneath Yucca Mountain. In particular, the ability of the manganese oxides found at Yucca Mountain to be easily reduced suggests that they may affect the redox conditions of the groundwater and may oxidize dissolved or suspended species. Although the Mn oxides at Yucca Mountain have low exchange capacities, these minerals may retard the migration of some radionuclides, particularly the actinides, through scavenging and coprecipitation. 23 refs., 21 figs., 2 tabs.

  8. The role of volatiles and lithology in the impact cratering process.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Werner, Kieffer S.; Simonds, C.H.

    1980-01-01

    A survey of published descriptions of 32 of the largest, least eroded terrestrial impact structures reveals that the amount of melt at craters in crystalline rocks is approximately 2 orders of magnitude greater than at craters in sedimentary rocks. In this paper we present a model for the impact process; calculations show that the volume of material shocked to pressures sufficient for melting should not be significantly different in sedimentary and crystalline rocks. We conclude that shock melt is formed in the early stages of the cratering process by impacts into rocks rich in volatiles but is destroyed by the cratering process. -from Authors

  9. Lunar Crustal Properties: Insights from the GRAIL Gravity Signatures of Lunar Impact Craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soderblom, J. M.; Andrews-Hanna, J. C.; Evans, A. J.; Johnson, B. C.; Melosh, J., IV; Milbury, C.; Miljkovic, K.; Nimmo, F.; Phillips, R. J.; Smith, D. E.; Solomon, S. C.; Wieczorek, M. A.; Zuber, M. T.

    2014-12-01

    Impact cratering is a violent process, shattering and melting rock and excavating deep-seated material. The resulting scars are apparent on every planetary surface across our Solar System. Subsurface density variations associated with the resulting impact structures contain clues to aid in unlocking the details of this process. High-resolution gravity fields, such as those derived from the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, are ideal for investigating these density variations. With gravity measurements from GRAIL and topography from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA), we derived high-resolution Bouguer gravity fields (i.e., the gravity field after the contribution from topography is removed) that we correlated with craters mapped from LOLA data. We found that the mass deficit beneath lunar impact craters relates directly to crater size, up to diameter ~130 km, whereas craters larger than this diameter display no further systematic change. This observation, coupled with the greater depth of impact damage expected beneath larger craters, indicates that some process is affecting the production and/or preservation of porosity at depth or otherwise altering the mean density beneath the larger craters (note, measurable mantle uplift is observed for craters larger than ~184-km diameter). The observed crater gravity anomalies, however, exhibit considerable variation about these mean trends, suggesting that other factors are also important in determining the bulk density of impact crater structures. Milbury et al. (this conference) have demonstrated that pre-impact crustal porosity strongly influences the resulting density contrast between the impact damage zone beneath a crater and its surroundings. Herein, we extend these studies using the same GRAIL- and LOLA-derived maps to further investigate the effects that crustal properties have on the bulk density of the rock beneath lunar impact features. We focus, in particular, on the processes that

  10. Potential for observing and discriminating impact craters and comparable volcanic landforms on Magellan radar images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ford, J. P.

    1989-01-01

    Observations of small terrestrial craters by Seasat synthetic aperture radar (SAR) at high resolution (approx. 25 m) and of comparatively large Venusian craters by Venera 15/16 images at low resolution (1000 to 2000 m) and shorter wavelength show similarities in the radar responses to crater morphology. At low incidence angles, the responses are dominated by large scale slope effects on the order of meters; consequently it is difficult to locate the precise position of crater rims on the images. Abrupt contrasts in radar response to changing slope (hence incidence angle) across a crater produce sharp tonal boundaries normal to the illumination. Crater morphology that is radially symmetrical appears on images to have bilateral symmetry parallel to the illumination vector. Craters are compressed in the distal sector and drawn out in the proximal sector. At higher incidence angles obtained with the viewing geometry of SIR-A, crater morphology appears less compressed on the images. At any radar incidence angle, the distortion of a crater outline is minimal across the medial sector, in a direction normal to the illumination. Radar bright halos surround some craters imaged by SIR-A and Venera 15 and 16. The brightness probably denotes the radar response to small scale surface roughness of the surrounding ejecta blankets. Similarities in the radar responses of small terrestrial impact craters and volcanic craters of comparable dimensions emphasize the difficulties in discriminating an impact origin from a volcanic origin in the images. Similar difficulties will probably apply in discriminating the origin of small Venusian craters, if they exist. Because of orbital considerations, the nominal incidence angel of Magellan radar at the center of the imaging swath will vary from about 45 deg at 10 deg N latitude to about 16 deg at the north pole and at 70 deg S latitude. Impact craters and comparable volcanic landforms will show bilateral symmetry parallel to the illumination

  11. Impact craters and landslide volume distribution in Valles Marineris, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Blasio, Fabio

    2014-05-01

    The landslides in the wide gorge system of Valles Marineris (Mars) exhibit volumes of the or-der of several hundred 1,000 km3 and runouts often in the excess of 80 km. Most landslides have occurred at the borders of the valleys, where the unbalanced weight of the 5-8 km high headwalls has been evidently sufficient to cause instability. Previous analysis has shown that the mechanical conditions of instability would not have been reached without external triggering fac-tors, if the wallslope consisted of intact rock. Among the factors that have likely promoted instability, we are currently analyzing: i) the possibility of rock weakening due to weathering; ii) the alternation of weak layers within more massive rock; weak layers might for example due to evaporites, the possible presence of ice table at some depth, or water; iii) weakening due to impact damage prior to the formation of Valles Marineris; studies of impact craters on Earth show that the volumes of damaged rock extends much deeper than the crater itself; iv) direct triggering of a landslide due to the seismic waves generated by a large meteoroid impact in the vicinity, and v) direct triggering of a landslide con-sequent to impact at the headwall, with impulsive release of momentum and short but intense increase of the triggering force. We gathered a large database for about 3000 Martian landslides that allow us to infer some of their statistical properties supporting our analyses, and especially to discriminate among some of the above listed predisposing and triggering factors. In particular, we analyse in this contribution the frequency distribution of landslide volumes starting from the assumption that these events are controlled by the extent of the shock damage zones. Relative position of the impact point and damage zones with respect to the Valles Marineris slopes could in fact control the released volumes. We perform 3D slope stability analy-sis under different geometrical constraints (e.g. crater

  12. Cratering in glasses impacted by debris or micrometeorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wiedlocher, David E.; Kinser, Donald L.

    1993-01-01

    Mechanical strength measurements on five glasses and one glass-ceramic exposed on LDEF revealed no damage exceeding experimental limits of error. The measurement technique subjected less than 5 percent of the sample surface area to stresses above 90 percent of the failure strength. Seven micrometeorite or space debris impacts occurred at locations which were not in that portion of the sample subjected to greater than 90 percent of the applied stress. As a result of this, the impact events on the sample were not detected in the mechanical strength measurements. The physical form and structure of the impact sites was carefully examined to determine the influence of those events upon stress concentration associated with the impact and the resulting mechanical strength. The size of the impact site, insofar as it determines flaw size for fracture purposes, was examined. Surface topography of the impacts reveals that six of the seven sites display impact melting. The classical melt crater structure is surrounded by a zone of fractured glass. Residual stresses arising from shock compression and from cooling of the fused zone cannot be included in the fracture mechanics analyses based on simple flaw size measurements. Strategies for refining estimates of mechanical strength degradation by impact events are presented.

  13. Tomography Study of Shock-Induced Damage Beneath Craters by Normal and Oblique Impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ai, H.; Ahrens, T.

    2004-12-01

    Comparisons of laboratory impact craters produced in rock and planetary-scale impact structures, indicate that the observed reductions in elastic wave velocities by shock-induced damage of rock beneath impact craters can be used to constrain the impact history. A series of small-scale normal and oblique impact experiments were conducted on 20x20x15 cm samples of San Marcos granite by a 1.2 km/s, 2 kJ impactor. The resulting largely circular (8 cm in diameter) crater dimensions agrees closely with previous data. By conducting a multiple source-receiver ultrasonic survey of the shocked rock beneath laboratory craters (sampled by 290 ray paths beneath the crater) we have tomographically mapped the in-situ P-wave velocity beneath craters and find measurable damage, as defined by > 0.1 km/s velocity reduction, are induced to depths of 7 cm beneath the crater for normal impacts. However, oblique impacts produce shallower damage zone ( ˜ 3 cm deep) that are asymmetric along the plane containing the impact trajectory. The downrange shows more damage than the uprange. Since the extent of the shock-damage region depends on impact velocity and impact energy, the extent of damage in our laboratory impact structures , and we presume also planetary scale impact structures, carries both impact velocity and direction of impact information not previously recognized or sought. Hence damage zone dimensions are expected to constrain planetary impacts parameters. Oblique impacts, where the tracjectory is ≥ 15° relative to the impacted surface, yields approximately circular craters, can in principle, provide information on impactor trajectory. For planetary impacts, the damage profile, as measured by seismic velocity deficit, beneath craters allow some statistical constraint on impacts produced by low-inclination orbit objects (asteroids and Jupiter-family comets), versus, high-inclination orbit objects (long-period and new comets).

  14. Potassium-rich sandstones within the Gale impact crater, Mars: The APXS perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, L. M.; Schmidt, M. E.; Spray, J. G.; Berger, J. A.; Fairén, A. G.; Campbell, J. L.; Perrett, G. M.; Boyd, N.; Gellert, R.; Pradler, I.; VanBommel, S. J.

    2016-10-01

    The Alpha Particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS) on board the Curiosity rover at the Kimberley location within Gale crater, Mars, analyzed basaltic sandstones that are characterized by potassium enrichments of 2 to 8 times estimates for average Martian crust. They are the most potassic rocks sampled on Mars to date. They exhibit elevated Fe, Mg, Mn and Zn and depleted Na, Al, and Si. These compositional characteristics are common to other potassic sedimentary rocks analyzed by APXS at Gale but distinct from other landing sites and Martian meteorites. CheMin and APXS analysis of a drilled sample indicate mineralogy dominated by sanidine, Ca-rich and Ca-poor clinopyroxene, magnetite, olivine, and andesine. The anhydrous mineralogy of the Kimberley sample, and the normative mineralogy derived from APXS of other Bathurst class rocks, together indicate provenance from one or more potassium-rich magmatic or impact-generated source rocks on the rim of Gale crater or beyond. Elevated Zn, Ge, and Cu suggest that a localized area of the source region(s) experienced hydrothermal alteration, which was subsequently eroded, dispersed, and diluted throughout the unaltered sediment during transport and deposition. The identification of the basaltic, high potassium Bathurst class and other distinct rock compositional classes by the APXS, attests to the diverse chemistry of crustal rocks within and in the vicinity of Gale crater. We conclude that weathering, transport, and diagenesis of the sediment did not occur in a warm and wet environment, but instead under relatively cold and wet conditions, perhaps more fitting with processes typical of glacial/periglacial environments.

  15. Gradational evolution of young, simple impact craters on the Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grant, J. A.; Schultz, P. H.

    1991-01-01

    From these three craters, a first order gradational evolutionary sequence can be proposed. As crater rims are reduced by backwasting and downwasting through fluvial and mass wasting processes, craters are enlarged by approx. 10 pct. Enlargement of drainages inside the crater eventually forms rim breaches, thereby capturing headward portions of exterior drainages. At the same time, the relative importance of gradational processes may reverse on the ejecta: aeolian activity may supersede fluvial incisement and fan formation at late stages of modification. Despite actual high drainage densities on the crater exterior during early stages of gradation, the subtle scale of these systems results in low density estimates from air photos and satellite images. Because signatures developed on surfaces around all three craters appear to be mostly gradient dependent, they may not be unique to simple crater morphologies. Similar signatures may develop on portions of complex craters as well; however, important differences may also occur.

  16. Micro-remnants of carbon- and calcium-bearing impact breccias of buried crater broken at Takamatsu, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miura, Y.

    2011-12-01

    Introduction: Impact evidences are discussed by 30 extraterrestrial-rich elements and shocked minerals in microscopic sizes. Micro-remnants during impact reactions can be obtained by impact breccias. Impact evidences at buried and broken impact crater structure in Takamatsu, Shikoku, Japan have been reported mainly by gravity anomaly and shocked-related materials on the Cretaceous Ryoke granite [1-10]. Anomalous materials with carbon-bearing materials and impact-related materials which are not usually included in the Japanese granitic rocks are found at the drilled materials. Main purposes of the paper are to elucidate carbon- and calcium-bearing micro-particles at the drilled samples of Takamatsu, Shikoku, Japan [9-10]. Anomalous carbon and calcium-bearing micro-grains: The Ryoke granitic rock at Takamatsu, Japan has few carbon and calcium contents in bulk XRF analyses from surface to 1,500m in depth. However, drilled sample at 950 m in depth contains nano-grains with high carbon and CaSiCO3 (in 100nm size) in composition. Carbon-rich grains in Takamatsu show very weak nano-diamond-like peak in the Raman spectra which are formed at impact reaction on carbon-rich target rock. Formation of remained carbon-bearing grains: Main sources of carbon and calcium which cannot be found in the granitic rock are sedimentary rocks as follows: 1) Carbon sources mainly found near at crater bottom (ca. 950m in depth) are considered to be impact target rocks of sedimentary limestone (from sea-sediments) with carbon dioxides gas during impact reaction on sea-water impact. 2) Calcium sources to form nano-grains of CaSiCO3 in composition are also considered to be sedimentary limestone and silicate-bearing rocks stored in the shallow sea-bottom. Summary: The present study is summarized as follows: a) Carbon-rich frilled sample of 950m in depth at buried crater in Takamatsu, Japan are indicates the main sources from shallow sea-limestone during impact reaction on shallow sea-impact. b

  17. 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.

  18. The cratering record at Uranus: Implications for satellite evolution and the origin of impacting objects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strom, Robert G.

    1987-01-01

    The crater size/frequency distributions on the major Uranian satellites show two distinctly different crater populations of different ages. Any hypothesis on the origin of the objects responsible for the period of heavy bombardment must account for the occurrence of different crater populations (size/frequency distributions) in different parts of the solar system. A computerized simulation using short-period comet impact velocities and a modified Holsapple-Schmidt crater scaling law was used to recover the size distribution of cometary nuclei from the observed cratering record. The most likely explanation for the cratering record is that the period of heavy bombardment was caused by different families of accretional remnants indigenous to the system in which the different crater populations occurred.

  19. The effect of impact angle on craters formed by hypervelocity particles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hill, David C.; Rose, M. Frank; Best, Steve R.; Crumpler, Michael S.; Crawford, Gary D.; Zee, Ralph H.-C.; Bozack, Michael J.

    1995-01-01

    The Space Power Institute (SPI) at Auburn University has conducted experiments on the effects of impact angle on crater morphology and impactor residue retention for hypervelocity impacts. Copper target plates were set at angles of 30 deg, 45 deg, 60 deg, and 75 deg from the particle flight path. For the 30 deg and 45 deg impacts, in the velocity regime greater than 8 km s(exp -1) the resultant craters are almost identical to normal incidence impacts. The only difference found was in the apparent distribution of particle residue within the crater, and further research is needed to verify this. The 60 deg and 75 deg impacts showed marked differences in crater symmetry, crater lip shape, and particle residue distribution in the same velocity regime. Impactor residue shock fractionation effects have been quantified in first-order. It is concluded that a combination of analysis techniques can yield further information on impact velocity, direction, and angle of incidence.

  20. Hydrothermal activity recorded in post Noachian-aged impact craters on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, Stuart M. R.; Bridges, John C.; Grebby, Stephen; Ehlmann, Bethany L.

    2016-04-01

    Hydrothermal systems have previously been reported in ancient Noachian and Hesperian-aged craters on Mars using CRISM but not in Amazonian-aged impact craters. However, the nakhlite meteorites do provide evidence of Amazonian hydrothermal activity. This study uses CRISM data of 144 impact craters of ≥7 km diameter and 14 smaller craters (3-7 km diameter) within terrain mapped as Amazonian to search for minerals that may have formed as a result of impact-induced hydrothermal alteration or show excavation of ancient altered crust. No evidence indicating the presence of hydrated minerals was found in the 3-7 km impact craters. Hydrated minerals were identified in three complex impact craters, located at 52.42°N, 39.86°E in the Ismenius Lacus quadrangle, at 8.93°N, 141.28°E in Elysium, and within the previously studied Stokes crater. These three craters have diameters 20 km, 62 km, and 51 km. The locations of the hydrated mineral outcrops and their associated morphology indicate that two of these three impact craters—the unnamed Ismenius Lacus Crater and Stokes Crater—possibly hosted impact-induced hydrothermal systems, as they contain alteration assemblages on their central uplifts that are not apparent in their ejecta. Chlorite and Fe serpentine are identified within alluvial fans in the central uplift and rim of the Ismenius Lacus crater, whereas Stokes crater contains a host of Fe/Mg/Al phyllosilicates. However, excavation origin cannot be precluded. Our work suggests that impact-induced hydrothermalism was rare in the Amazonian and/or that impact-induced hydrothermal alteration was not sufficiently pervasive or spatially widespread for detection by CRISM.

  1. Dating a Small Impact Crater: An Age of Kaali Crater (Estonia) Based on Charcoal Emplaced Within Proximal Ejecta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Losiak, A.; Wild, E. M.; Geppert, W. D.; Huber, M. S.; Jõeleht, A.; Kriiska, A.; Kulkov, A.; Paavel, K.; Pirkovic, I.; Plado, J.; Steier, P.; Välja, R.; Wilk, J.; Wisniowski, T.; Zanetti, M.

    2015-09-01

    The Kaali crater was formed shortly after (tpq) 1530-1455 BC (3237 ± 10 14C yr BP). This age is based on dating charcoal within the ejecta blanket that makes it directly related to the impact, and not susceptible to potential reservoir effects.

  2. The Interaction of Impact Melt, Impact-Derived Sediment, and Volatiles at Crater Tooting, Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mouginis-Mark, P.; Boyce, J.

    2010-01-01

    We are producing a 1:200K geologic map of Tooting crater, Mars. This work has shown that an incredible amount of information can be gleaned from mapping at even larger scales (1:10K 1:25K) using CTX and HiRISE data. We have produced two new science papers (Morris et al., 2010; Mouginis-Mark and Boyce, 2010) from this mapping, and additional science questions continue to arise from our on-going analysis of Tooting crater: 1) What was the interplay of impact melt and volatile-rich sediments that, presumably, were created during the impact? Kieffer and Simonds [1980] predicted that melt would have been destroyed during impacts on Mars because of the volatiles present within the target we seek to understand if this is indeed the case at Tooting crater. We have identified pitted and fractured terrain that formed during crater modification, but the timing of the formation of these materials in different parts of the crater remains to be resolved. Stratigraphic relationships between these units and the central peak may reveal deformation features as well as overlapping relationships. 2) Morris et al. [2010] identified several lobate flows on the inner and outer walls of Tooting crater. It is not yet clear what the physical characteristics of the source areas of these flows really are; e.g., what are the sizes of the source areas, what elevations are they located at relative to the floor of the crater, are they interconnected, and are they on horizontal or tilted surfaces? 3) What were the details of dewatering of the inner wall of Tooting crater (Fig. 1)? We find evidence within Tooting crater of channels carved by water release, and the remobilization of sediment (which is inferred to have formed during the impact event). Sapping can be identified along the crest of unit 8 near the floor of the crater (Fig. 2a, 2b). This unit displays amphitheater-headed canyons that elsewhere on Mars are typically attributed to water leaking from the substrate [Laity and Malin, 1985

  3. Location and sampling of aqueous and hydrothermal deposits in martian impact craters.

    PubMed

    Newsom, H E; Hagerty, J J; Thorsos, I E

    2001-01-01

    Do large craters on Mars represent sites that contain aqueous and hydrothermal deposits that provide clues to astrobiological processes? Are these materials available for sampling in large craters? Several lines of evidence strongly support the exploration of large impact craters to study deposits important for astrobiology. The great depth of impact craters, up to several kilometers relative to the surrounding terrain, can allow the breaching of local aquifers, providing a source of water for lakes and hydrothermal systems. Craters can also be filled with water from outflow channels and valley networks to form large lakes with accompanying sedimentation. Impact melt and uplifted basement heat sources in craters > 50 km in diameter should be sufficient to drive substantial hydrothermal activity and keep crater lakes from freezing for thousands of years, even under cold climatic conditions. Fluid flow in hydrothermal systems is focused at the edges of large planar impact melt sheets, suggesting that the edge of the melt sheets will have experienced substantial hydrothermal alteration and mineral deposition. Hydrothermal deposits, fine-grained lacustrine sediments, and playa evaporite deposits may preserve evidence for biogeochemical processes that occurred in the aquifers and craters. Therefore, large craters may represent giant Petri dishes for culturing preexisting life on Mars and promoting biogeochemical processes. Landing sites must be identified in craters where access to the buried lacustrine sediments and impact melt deposits is provided by processes such as erosion from outflow channels, faulting, aeolian erosion, or excavation by later superimposed cratering events. Very recent gully formation and small impacts within craters may allow surface sampling of organic materials exposed only recently to the harsh oxidizing surface environment.

  4. FIB-TEM Anatomy of a Sub-Micrometer Impact Crater on a Hayabusa Grain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harries, D.; Yakame, S.; Uesugi, M.; Langenhorst, F.

    2015-07-01

    We investigated Hayabusa grain RA-QD02-0265, which was found to contain a cluster of sub-micrometer-sized crater-like features. The cluster of craters is most likely due to secondary impacts of particles generated by an nearby (micro-)impact event.

  5. Characterization of the Morphometry of Impact Craters Hosting Polar Deposits in Mercury's North Polar Region

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Talpe Matthieu; Zuber, Maria T.; Yang, Di; Neumann, Gregory A.; Solomon, Sean C.; Mazarico, Erwan; Vilas, Faith

    2012-01-01

    Earth-based radar images of Mercury show radar-bright material inside impact craters near the planet s poles. A previous study indicated that the polar-deposit-hosting craters (PDCs) at Mercury s north pole are shallower than craters that lack such deposits. We use data acquired by the Mercury Laser Altimeter on the MESSENGER spacecraft during 11 months of orbital observations to revisit the depths of craters at high northern latitudes on Mercury. We measured the depth and diameter of 537 craters located poleward of 45 N, evaluated the slopes of the northern and southern walls of 30 PDCs, and assessed the floor roughness of 94 craters, including nine PDCs. We find that the PDCs appear to have a fresher crater morphology than the non-PDCs and that the radar-bright material has no detectable influence on crater depths, wall slopes, or floor roughness. The statistical similarity of crater depth-diameter relations for the PDC and non-PDC populations places an upper limit on the thickness of the radar-bright material (< 170 m for a crater 11 km in diameter) that can be refined by future detailed analysis. Results of the current study are consistent with the view that the radar-bright material constitutes a relatively thin layer emplaced preferentially in comparatively young craters.

  6. Lithostratigraphic and petrographic analysis of ICDP drill core LB-07A, Bosumtwi impact structure, Ghana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coney, Louise; Gibson, Roger L.; Reimold, Wolf Uwe; Koeberl, Christian

    Lithostratigraphic and petrographic studies of drill core samples from the 545.08 m deep International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) borehole LB-07A in the Bosumtwi impact structure revealed two sequences of impactites below the post-impact crater sediments and above coherent basement rock. The upper impactites (333.38-415.67 m depth) comprise an alternating sequence of suevite and lithic impact breccias. The lower impactite sequence (415.67-470.55 m depth) consists essentially of monomict impact breccia formed from meta-graywacke with minor shale, as well as two narrow injections of suevite, which differ from the suevites of the upper impactites in color and intensity of shock metamorphism of the clasts. The basement rock (470.55-545.08 m depth) is composed of lower greenschist-facies metapelites (shale, schist and minor phyllite), meta-graywacke, and minor meta-sandstone, as well as interlaminated quartzite and calcite layers. The basement also contains a number of suevite dikelets that are interpreted as injection veins, as well as a single occurrence of granophyric-textured rock, tentatively interpreted as a hydrothermally altered granitic intrusion likely related to the regional pre-impact granitoid complexes. Impact melt fragments are not as prevalent in LB-07A suevite as in the fallout suevite facies around the northern crater rim; on average, 3.6 vol% of melt fragments is seen in the upper suevites and up to 18 vol% in the lower suevite occurrences. Shock deformation features observed in the suevites and polymict lithic breccias include planar deformation features in quartz (1 to 3 sets), rare diaplectic quartz glass, and very rare diaplectic feldspar glass. Notably, no ballen quartz, which is abundant in the fallout suevites, has been found in the within-crater impact breccias. An overall slight increase in the degree of shock metamorphism occurs with depth in the impactites, but considerably lower shock degrees are seen in the suevites of

  7. Migration of the Cratering Flow-Field Center with Implications for Scaling Oblique Impacts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

    Crater-scaling relationships are used to predict many cratering phenomena such as final crater diameter and ejection speeds. Such nondimensional relationships are commonly determined from experimental impact and explosion data. Almost without exception, these crater-scaling relationships have used data from vertical impacts (90 deg. to the horizontal). The majority of impact craters, however, form by impacts at angles near 45 deg. to the horizontal. While even low impact angles result in relatively circular craters in sand targets, the effects of impact angle have been shown to extend well into the excavation stage of crater growth. Thus, the scaling of oblique impacts needs to be investigated more thoroughly in order to quantify fully how impact angle affects ejection speed and angle. In this study, ejection parameters from vertical (90 deg.) and 30 deg. oblique impacts are measured using three-dimensional particle image velocimetry (3D PIV) at the NASA Ames Vertical Gun Range (AVGR). The primary goal is to determine the horizontal migration of the cratering flow-field center (FFC). The location of the FFC at the time of ejection controls the scaling of oblique impacts. For vertical impacts the FFC coincides with the impact point (IP) and the crater center (CC). Oblique impacts reflect a more complex, horizontally migrating flow-field. A single, stationary point-source model cannot be used accurately to describe the evolution of the ejection angles from oblique impacts. The ejection speeds for oblique impacts also do not follow standard scaling relationships. The migration of the FFC needs to be understood and incorporated into any revised scaling relationships.

  8. Degradation of selected terrestrial and Martian impact craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grant, J. A.; Schultz, P. H.

    1993-06-01

    The history of degradation of 50,000-yr-old 1.2-km-diam Meteor Crater in Arizona is defined using field mapping, and the degradation states of the progressively more degraded 68,000-yr-old 1.8-km-diam Lonar Crater in Indiana and 0.5-3.0 Myr old 1.75-km-diam Talemzane Crater in Algeria are assessed using air photos. The results on these terrestrial craters are then compared with the gradational morphology associated with craters in southern Ismenius Lacus on Mars, in order to develop first-order constraints on gradational activity. Common degradation signatures associated with craters on both planets are described. These signatures are used to assemble a first-order degradational sequence for the terrestrial craters that is then compared with the Martian degradational signatures to infer past processes and climate.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krishna, N.; Kumar, P. Senthil

    2016-01-01

    Impact spallation is a fundamental process responsible for formation of ejecta boulders from impact craters. Although theoretical spallation models were developed about three decades ago, only limited geological observations have been made so far to test these models. The 3.8 km Censorinus crater on the Moon provides an excellent opportunity for studying the impact spallation processes associated with a fresh simple crater formed by oblique impact. Using the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Narrow Angle Camera images, we prepared the ejecta boulder distribution map of Censorinus crater and measured the boulder sizes and shapes. Mapping of about 242,000 ejecta boulders enabled us to document the size distribution of boulders both radial and concentric to the impact crater. Larger size boulders dominate the crater rim areas, while they become smaller away from the crater. The boulder distribution exhibits a radial asymmetry suggesting Censorinus is a oblique impact, in which the uprange ejecta have smaller ranges with larger concentration of boulders near the southwestern crater rim, while the downrange ejecta are in general characterized by smaller boulders with high spatial dispersion. The cumulative size-frequency distribution (CSFD) of boulders shows a highly variable fragmentation history in which the uprange boulders suffered more complex fragmentation. The ejecta boulders also exhibit a variety of shapes that are gleaned from their axial ratios and edge angle characteristics. There is a general decrease of axial ratios away from the crater rim. Rectangular boulders dominate the crater rim and they become more equant away from the crater. In addition to the boulder sizes, the boulder shape distribution also exhibits a mild asymmetry in response to the oblique impact. Small size fresh impact craters (84,000 craters) are abundant on the Censorinus ejecta and post-date Censorinus. These craters are found in two morphologic types in which a large majority of craters

  10. Geomorphic analysis of small rayed craters on Mars: Examining primary versus secondary impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calef, Fred J.; Herrick, Robert R.; Sharpton, Virgil L.

    2009-10-01

    Twenty confirmed impacts over a 7-year time period on Mars were qualitatively and statistically compared to 287 secondary craters believed to originate from Zunil, an ˜500 ka, 10-km diameter, primary crater. Our goal was to establish criteria to distinguish secondaries from primaries in the general crater population on the basis of their horizontal planforms. Recent primary impacts have extensive “air blast” zones, distal ray systems (>100 crater radii, R), and ephemeral ejecta. Recent primaries formed clusters of craters from atmospheric fragmentation of the meteoroid body. Secondary craters have ejecta blankets with shorter rays that are consistent with emplacement by low-impact velocities (near 1 km/s). The mean extent of the continuous ejecta blankets was less distal for secondaries (5.38 ± 1.57R) versus primaries (18.07 ± 7.01R), though primary ejecta were less fractal (Fractal Dimension Index (FD I ) < 1.30) and more circular on average (Circularity Ratio (C R ) = 0.55 ± 0.25 versus 0.27 ± 0.13 for secondaries). Crater rims were remarkably circular (primaries C R = 0.97 ± 0.02, secondaries at 0.94 ± 0.05), though secondaries have the lowest values (C R < 0.9). Secondary crater rims were elongated toward or orthogonal to their primary of origin. Uprange source directions for most secondaries, determined by ejecta planform and crater rim ellipticity, point toward Zunil, although contamination from other primaries is considered in some areas. Ejecta blanket discrepancies between recent primaries and Zunil secondaries are attributable to differences in impact velocity and retention age. After removal of the ejecta blanket, crater rims are generally not diagnostic for determining crater origin. Fragmentation of primaries may play some role in steepening the size-frequency distribution of crater diameters in the 5 m < D < 30 m range.

  11. Martian Impact Craters Modified by Post-impact Processes in the Greater Hellas Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raitala, J.; Kostama, V.-P.; Aittola, M.; Lahtela, H.

    2003-04-01

    The appearance of the impact craters on the Martian surface depends on numerous factors beginning from the size, mass, velocity, type, and impact angle of the approaching projectile [1]. These all have affected on the impact energy delivered into the surface. The bedrock properties have then resulted in additional effects. Besides some major phenomena (Pre-existing faults and fractures, permafrost-saturated layers) there may have been numerous more delicate variations due to local projectile-bedrock combinations. Various post-impact deformation processes may then have changed the appearance of an impact crater to the extent that it is difficult to identify any original crater characteristics in great details. The changes in the crater appearances can, however, be looked in a positive way to provide crucial information on the local surface geology, bedrock properties and, more generally, on the whole post-impact geological evolution of the area studied [2,3,4]. We have characterized and studied the various crater deformation types found from within the large Hellas area. As it is one of the possible previous water body areas on Mars and lies also close to the southern permafrost and the south-pole environment, many craters locating within the greater Hellas Basin area have undergone substantial fluvial processes. Still, many of their surviving geologic features are enough well preserved. The good state of preservation is due partly to the relative youth of the craters and/or partly to Martian relative dryness. The absence of permanent water cover limits the weathering of surface materials, while it optimizes the site's exposure for geologic surveys by remote-sensing. This allows to estimate that the effects related to permafrost, water, erosion and sedimentation have been far more important within the greater Hellas area than what was earlier assumed using the previous data sets which have had defects either in resolution or in areal coverage. The still

  12. Investigations of Martian Impact Crater Morphologies and Morphometries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barlow, Nadine G.

    2002-01-01

    We have made substantial progress towards completion of the original objectives and are continuing to include new data from the Mars Global Surveyor MOC and TES instruments as they become available (the MOLA instrument has ceased operation as of 2002). The project funding has been used to provide salary support to the PI and several undergraduate students, cover publication charges for two papers, reimburse travel expenses to conferences and workshops incurred by the PI and students, and cover a number of other expenses such as software upgrades and production costs of slides and color prints. This study is revising the PI's Catalog of Large Martian Impact Craters with information obtained from MGS and is utilizing data in the revised Catalog to investigate which planetary factors (such as location, elevation, terrain type, etc.) primarily affect the formation of specific ejecta morphologies and morphometries.

  13. Impact Craters on Asteroids: Does Gravity or Strength Control Their Size?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nolan, Michael C.; Asphaug, Erik; Melosh, H. Jay; Greenberg, Richard

    1996-12-01

    The formation of kilometer-size craters on asteroids is qualitatively different from the formation of meter-size (laboratory- and weapons-scale) craters on Earth. A numerical hydrocode model is used to examine the outcomes of various-size cratering impacts into spheres and half-spaces. A shock wave fractures the target in advance of the crater excavation flow; thus, for impactors larger than 100 m, impacting at typical asteroid impact velocities, target tensile strength is irrelevant to the impact outcome. This result holds whether the target is initially intact or a “rubble pile,” even ignoring the effects of gravity. Because of the shock-induced fracture, crater excavation is controlled by gravity at smaller sizes than would otherwise be predicted. Determining the strength-gravity transition by comparing the physical strength of the material to the force of gravity will not work, because strength is eliminated by the shock wave.

  14. Microstructural Study of Micron-Sized Craters Simulating Stardust Impacts in Aluminum 1100 Targets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leroux, Hugues; Borg, Janet; Troadec, David; Djouadi, Zahia; Horz, Friedrich

    2006-01-01

    Various microscopic techniques were used to characterize experimental micro- craters in aluminium foils to prepare for the comprehensive analysis of the cometary and interstellar particle impacts in aluminium foils to be returned by the Stardust mission. First, SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopy) and EDS (Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy) were used to study the morphology of the impact craters and the bulk composition of the residues left by soda-lime glass impactors. A more detailed structural and compositional study of impactor remnants was then performed using TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy), EDS, and electron diffraction methods. The TEM samples were prepared by Focused Ion Beam (FIB) methods. This technique proved to be especially valuable in studying impact crater residues and impact crater morphology. Finally, we also showed that InfraRed microscopy (IR) can be a quick and reliable tool for such investigations. The combination of all of these tools enables a complete microscopic characterization of the craters.

  15. Systematic comparison of automated geological feature detection methods for impact craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vinogradova, T.; Mjolsness, E.

    2001-12-01

    Accurate, automated crater counts will be essential in extrapolating from existing Mars crater catalogs to much larger catalogs of impact craters in high-resolution orbital imagery for use in relative dating of surfaces in such imagery. Once validated, automatic methods for performing crater counts could be integrated into tools such as the Planetary Image Atlas, which is designed to be a convenient interface through which a user can search for, display, and download images and other ancillary data for planetary Missions, and the Diamond Eye image mining system. Here we report on preliminary computational experiments in using a trainable feature detection algorithm [Burl et al. 2001] to detect craters in real and simulated Mars orbital imagery, and to derive approximate impact crater counts for geological use. In these experiments, we consider two uses of the trainable feature detector: first, directly as a crater detector, and second, as two detectors for sunlit and shadowed inner walls of craters which can then be assembled into a single crater detection based on multiple pieces of evidence. For both of these methods, we consider two data sources: one consisting of real Viking Orbiter imagery of Mars with human expert-supplied ground truth labels, and the other consisting of computer generated renderings of simplified, synthetic cratered terrain with 100% accurate ground truth labels and known, controllable crater density. Each detector reports out a numeric detection ``likelihood'' for every candidate crater. This likelihood must then be thresholded to produce a detection decision. For each combination of two data sources (one natural and one synthetic) and two crater detection methods (whole-crater and parts-model), we vary image complexity and finally measure detection accuracy. Detection accuracy is measured by a Receiver Operator Characteristic (ROC) curve in which detection efficiency (the fraction of true craters detected) and purity (the fraction of

  16. Detrital shocked minerals: microstructural provenance indicators of impact craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavosie, A. J.

    2014-12-01

    The study of detrital shocked minerals (DSMs) merges planetary science, sedimentology, mineralogy/crystallography, accessory mineral geochemistry, and geochronology, with the goal of identifying and determining provenance of shock metamorphosed sand grains. Diagnostic high-pressure impact-generated microstructures (planar fractures, planar deformation features) are readily identified on external grain surfaces using standard SEM imaging methods (BSE), and when found, unambiguously confirm an impact origin for a given sand grain. DSMs, including quartz, zircon, monazite, and apatite, have thus far been documented at the Vredefort Dome [1,2,3], Sudbury [4], Rock Elm [5], and Santa Fe [6,7] impact structures. DSMs have been identified in alluvium, colluvium, beach sand, and glacial deposits. Two main processes are recognized that imply the global siliciclastic record contains DSMs: they survive extreme distal transport, and they survive 'deep time' lithification. Distal transport: In South Africa, shocked minerals are preserved in alluvium from the Vaal River >750 km downstream from the Vredefort impact; SHRIMP U-Pb geochronology has confirmed the origin of detrital shocked zircon and monazite from shocked Vredefort bedrock [2]. Vredefort-derived shocked zircons have also been found at the mouth of the Orange River on the Atlantic coast, having travelled ~2000 km downriver from Vredefort [8]. Deep time preservation: Vredefort-derived shocked zircon and quartz has been documented in glacial diamictite from the 300 Myr-old Dwyka Group in South Africa. Shocked minerals were thus entrained and transported in Paleozoic ice sheets that passed over Vredefort [9]. An impact crater can thus be viewed as a unique 'point source', in some cases for billions of years [2,4]; DSMs thus have applications in studying eroded impact craters, sedimentary provenance, landscape evolution, and long-term sediment transport processes throughout the geologic record. This work was supported by

  17. Fluid outflows from Venus impact craters - Analysis from Magellan data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Asimow, Paul D.; Wood, John A.

    1992-01-01

    Many impact craters on Venus have unusual outflow features originating in or under the continuous ejecta blankets and continuing downhill into the surrounding terrain. These features clearly resulted from flow of low-viscosity fluids, but the identity of those fluids is not clear. In particular, it should not be assumed a priori that the fluid is an impact melt. A number of candidate processes by which impact events might generate the observed features are considered, and predictions are made concerning the rheological character of flows produce by each mechanism. A sample of outflows was analyzed using Magellan images and a model of unconstrained Bingham plastic flow on inclined planes, leading to estimates of viscosity and yield strength for the flow materials. It is argued that at least two different mechanisms have produced outflows on Venus: an erosive, channel-forming process and a depositional process. The erosive fluid is probably an impact melt, but the depositional fluid may consist of fluidized solid debris, vaporized material, and/or melt.

  18. Origin of small pits in martian impact craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boyce, Joseph M.; Wilson, Lionel; Mouginis-Mark, Peter J.; Hamilton, Christopher W.; Tornabene, Livio L.

    2012-09-01

    We propose a numerical model for the formation of the closely-spaced pits found in the thin, ejecta-related deposits superposed on the floors, interior terrace blocks, and near-rim ejecta blankets of well-preserved martian impact craters. Our model predicts the explosive degassing of water from this pitted material, which is assumed to originally be water-bearing, impact melt-rich breccia at the time of deposition. This process is analogous to what occurred in the fall-out suevite deposits at the Ries impact structure in Germany. At Ries, impact heating of water-bearing target material resulted in the rapid degassing of its water and other volatiles. The martian environment plays an important role in enhancing the effects of this degassing by increasing the flow-speed of the escaping gas. The high flow-rate of gas through particulate materials, such as suevite, tends to quickly form segregation channels or vent pipes, similar to those found in the Ries deposits. These pipes act as conduits for the efficient high-speed escape of the gas and small clasts that it entrains. Escaping gas and entrained clasts abraded and eroded the conduit walls, flaring them to form pits above a network of pipes.

  19. Effects of the Venusian atmosphere on incoming meteoroids and the impact crater population

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herrick, Robert R.; Phillips, Roger J.

    1994-01-01

    The dense atmosphere on Venus prevents craters smaller than about 2 km in daimater from forming and also causes formation of several crater fields and multiple-floored craters (collectively referred to as multiple impacts). A model has been constructed that simulates the behavior of a meteoroid in a dense planetary atmosphere. This model was then combined with an assumed flux of incoming meteoroids in an effort to reproduce the size-frequency distribution of impact craters and several aspects of the population of the crater fields and multiple-floored craters on Venus. The modeling indicates that it is plausible that the observed rollover in the size-frequency curve for Venus is due entirely to atmospheric effects on incoming meteoroids. However, there must be substantial variation in the density and behavior of incoming meteoroids in the atmosphere. Lower-density meteoroids must be less likely to survive atmospheric passage than simple density differences can account for. Consequently, it is likely that the percentage of craters formed by high-density meteoroids is very high at small crater diameters, and this percentage decreases substantially with increasing crater diameter. Overall, high-density meteoroids created a disproportionately large percentage of the impact craters on Venus. Also, our results indicate that a process such as meteoroid flattening or atmospheric explosion of meteoroids must be invoked to prevent craters smaller than the observed minimum diameter (2 km) from forming. In terms of using the size-frequency distribution to age-date the surface, the model indicates that the observed population has at least 75% of the craters over 32 km in diameter that would be expected on an atmosphereless Venus; thus, this part of the curve is most suitable for comparison with calibrated curves for the Moon.

  20. Impact Craters on Pluto and Charon Indicate a Deficit of Small Kuiper Belt Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singer, Kelsi N.; McKinnon, William B.; Greenstreet, Sarah; Gladman, Brett; Parker, Alex Harrison; Robbins, Stuart J.; Schenk, Paul M.; Stern, S. Alan; Bray, Veronica; Spencer, John R.; Weaver, Harold A.; Beyer, Ross A.; Young, Leslie; Moore, Jeffrey M.; Olkin, Catherine B.; Ennico, Kimberly; Binzel, Richard; Grundy, William M.; New Horizons Geology Geophysics and Imaging Science Theme Team, The New Horizons MVIC and LORRI Teams

    2016-10-01

    The impact craters observed during the New Horizons flyby of the Pluto system currently provide the most extensive empirical constraints on the size-frequency distribution of smaller impactors in the Kuiper belt. These craters also help us understand the surface ages and geologic evolution of the Pluto system bodies. Pluto's terrains display a diversity of crater retention ages and terrain types, indicating ongoing geologic activity and a variety of resurfacing styles including both exogenic and endogenic processes. Charon's informally named Vulcan Planum did experience early resurfacing, but crater densities suggest this is also a relatively ancient surface. We will present and compare the craters mapped across all of the relevant New Horizons LOng Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) and Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC) datasets of Pluto and Charon. We observe a paucity of small craters on all terrains (there is a break to a shallower slope for craters below 10 km in diameter), despite adequate resolution to observe them. This lack of small craters cannot be explained by geological resurfacing alone. In particular, the main area of Charon's Vulcan Planum displays no obviously embayed or breached crater rims, and may be the best representation of a production population since the emplacement of the plain. The craters on Pluto and Charon are more consistent with Kuiper belt and solar system evolution models producing fewer small objects.This work was supported by NASA's New Horizons project.

  1. Granular impact cratering by liquid drops: Understanding raindrop imprints through an analogy to asteroid strikes.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-13

    When a granular material is impacted by a sphere, its surface deforms like a liquid yet it preserves a circular crater like a solid. Although the mechanism of granular impact cratering by solid spheres is well explored, our knowledge on granular impact cratering by liquid drops is still very limited. Here, by combining high-speed photography with high-precision laser profilometry, we investigate liquid-drop impact dynamics on granular surface and monitor the morphology of resulting impact craters. Surprisingly, we find that despite the enormous energy and length difference, granular impact cratering by liquid drops follows the same energy scaling and reproduces the same crater morphology as that of asteroid impact craters. Inspired by this similarity, we integrate the physical insight from planetary sciences, the liquid marble model from fluid mechanics, and the concept of jamming transition from granular physics into a simple theoretical framework that quantitatively describes all of the main features of liquid-drop imprints in granular media. Our study sheds light on the mechanisms governing raindrop impacts on granular surfaces and reveals a remarkable analogy between familiar phenomena of raining and catastrophic asteroid strikes.

  2. Granular impact cratering by liquid drops: Understanding raindrop imprints through an analogy to asteroid strikes

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    When a granular material is impacted by a sphere, its surface deforms like a liquid yet it preserves a circular crater like a solid. Although the mechanism of granular impact cratering by solid spheres is well explored, our knowledge on granular impact cratering by liquid drops is still very limited. Here, by combining high-speed photography with high-precision laser profilometry, we investigate liquid-drop impact dynamics on granular surface and monitor the morphology of resulting impact craters. Surprisingly, we find that despite the enormous energy and length difference, granular impact cratering by liquid drops follows the same energy scaling and reproduces the same crater morphology as that of asteroid impact craters. Inspired by this similarity, we integrate the physical insight from planetary sciences, the liquid marble model from fluid mechanics, and the concept of jamming transition from granular physics into a simple theoretical framework that quantitatively describes all of the main features of liquid-drop imprints in granular media. Our study sheds light on the mechanisms governing raindrop impacts on granular surfaces and reveals a remarkable analogy between familiar phenomena of raining and catastrophic asteroid strikes. PMID:25548187

  3. An object-based classification method for automatic detection of lunar impact craters from topographic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vamshi, Gasiganti T.; Martha, Tapas R.; Vinod Kumar, K.

    2016-05-01

    Identification of impact craters is a primary requirement to study past geological processes such as impact history. They are also used as proxies for measuring relative ages of various planetary or satellite bodies and help to understand the evolution of planetary surfaces. In this paper, we present a new method using object-based image analysis (OBIA) technique to detect impact craters of wide range of sizes from topographic data. Multiresolution image segmentation of digital terrain models (DTMs) available from the NASA's LRO mission was carried out to create objects. Subsequently, objects were classified into impact craters using shape and morphometric criteria resulting in 95% detection accuracy. The methodology developed in a training area in parts of Mare Imbrium in the form of a knowledge-based ruleset when applied in another area, detected impact craters with 90% accuracy. The minimum and maximum sizes (diameters) of impact craters detected in parts of Mare Imbrium by our method are 29 m and 1.5 km, respectively. Diameters of automatically detected impact craters show good correlation (R2 > 0.85) with the diameters of manually detected impact craters.

  4. High-resolution seismic-reflection images across the ICDP-USGS Eyreville deep drilling site, Chesapeake Bay impact structure

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powars, David S.; Catchings, Rufus D.; Goldman, Mark R.; Gohn, Gregory S.; Horton, J. Wright; Edwards, Lucy E.; Rymer, Michael J.; Gandhok, Gini

    2009-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) acquired two 1.4-km-long, high-resolution (~5 m vertical resolution) seismic-reflection lines in 2006 that cross near the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP)-USGS Eyreville deep drilling site located above the late Eocene Chesapeake Bay impact structure in Virginia, USA. Five-meter spacing of seismic sources and geophones produced high-resolution images of the subsurface adjacent to the 1766-m-depth Eyreville core holes. Analysis of these lines, in the context of the core hole stratigraphy, shows that moderate-amplitude, discontinuous, dipping reflections below ~527 m correlate with a variety of Chesapeake Bay impact structure sediment and rock breccias recovered in the cores. High-amplitude, continuous, subhorizontal reflections above ~527 m depth correlate with the uppermost part of the Chesapeake Bay impact structure crater-fill sediments and postimpact Eocene to Pleistocene sediments. Reflections with ~20-30 m of relief in the uppermost part of the crater-fill and lowermost part of the postimpact section suggest differential compaction of the crater-fill materials during early postimpact time. The top of the crater-fill section also shows ~20 m of relief that appears to represent an original synimpact surface. Truncation surfaces, locally dipping reflections, and depth variations in reflection amplitudes generally correlate with the lithostrati-graphic and sequence-stratigraphic units and contacts in the core. Seismic images show apparent postimpact paleochannels that include the first possible Miocene paleochannels in the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain. Broad downwarping in the postim-pact section unrelated to structures in the crater fill indicates postimpact sediment compaction.

  5. High-resolution seismic-reflection images across the ICDP-USGS Eyreville deep drilling site, Chesapeake Bay impact structure

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powars, D.S.; Catchings, R.D.; Goldman, M.R.; Gohn, G.S.; Horton, J.W.; Edwards, L.E.; Rymer, M.J.; Gandhok, G.

    2009-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) acquired two 1.4-km-long, high-resolution (??5 m vertical resolution) seismic-reflection lines in 2006 that cross near the International Continental Scientifi c Drilling Program (ICDP)-USGS Eyreville deep drilling site located above the late Eocene Chesapeake Bay impact structure in Virginia, USA. Five-meter spacing of seismic sources and geophones produced high-resolution images of the subsurface adjacent to the 1766-m-depth Eyreville core holes. Analysis of these lines, in the context of the core hole stratigraphy, shows that moderateamplitude, discontinuous, dipping reflections below ??527 m correlate with a variety of Chesapeake Bay impact structure sediment and rock breccias recovered in the cores. High-amplitude, continuous, subhorizontal reflections above ??527 m depth correlate with the uppermost part of the Chesapeake Bay impact structure crater-fi ll sediments and postimpact Eocene to Pleistocene sediments. Refl ections with ??20-30 m of relief in the uppermost part of the crater-fi ll and lowermost part of the postimpact section suggest differential compaction of the crater-fi ll materials during early postimpact time. The top of the crater-fi ll section also shows ??20 m of relief that appears to represent an original synimpact surface. Truncation surfaces, locally dipping reflections, and depth variations in reflection amplitudes generally correlate with the lithostratigraphic and sequence-stratigraphic units and contacts in the core. Seismic images show apparent postimpact paleochannels that include the fi rst possible Miocene paleochannels in the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain. Broad downwarping in the postimpact section unrelated to structures in the crater fi ll indicates postimpact sediment compaction. ?? 2009 The Geological Society of America.

  6. Image and compositional characteristics of the LDEF Big Guy impact crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bunch, T. E.; Paque, Julie M.; Zolensky, Michael

    1995-01-01

    A 5.2 mm crater in Al-metal represents the largest found on LDEF. We have examined this crater by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and time-of-flight/secondary ion mass spectroscopy (TOF-SIMS) in order to determine if there is any evidence of impactor residue. Droplet and dome-shaped columns, along with flow features, are evidence of melting. EDS from the crater cavity and rim show Mg, C, O and variable amounts of Si, in addition to Al. No evidence for a chondritic impactor was found, and it hypothesized that the crater may be the result of impact with space debris.

  7. Impact crater densities on volcanoes and coronae on venus: implications for volcanic resurfacing.

    PubMed

    Namiki, N; Solomon, S C

    1994-08-12

    The density of impact craters on large volcanoes on Venus is half the average crater density for the planet. The crater density on some classes of coronae is not significantly different from the global average density, but coronae with extensive associated volcanic deposits have lower crater densities. These results are inconsistent with both single-age and steady-state models for global resurfacing and suggest that volcanoes and coronae with associated volcanism have been active on Venus over the last 500 million years.

  8. Reinterpreting the Impact Craters of the North Polar Layered Deposits, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Landis, Margaret E.; Byrne, Shane; Daubar, Ingrid J.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Dundas, Colin M.

    2014-11-01

    The North Polar Layered Deposits (NPLD) of Mars contain a complex stratigraphy that has been proposed to contain a record of eccentricity- and obliquity-forced climatic variations. Obtaining the age of the surface of the overlying residual cap will allow for more stringent constraints on overall NPLD age and accumulation rates. This work utilizes a crater population previously identified on the NPLD (Banks et al. 2010). We expanded the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) image coverage of these impact craters to refine their diameter measurements and use the new crater production function reported by Daubar et al. (2013) to interpret their population statistics. Eighty-five impact sites have been measured in our study, which represents a statistically complete catalog of craters >30m in diameter on the North Pole residual cap. The largest crater in the region of interest is ~350m in diameter. These craters exhibit a range of degradation states, from having a depth/diameter ratio typical of fresh simple craters and a well defined to rim to “ghost” craters where only a degraded rim remains, leading us to conclude that they are predominantly primary impacts. Several impact sites are comprised of clusters of impact craters, identified because all the impact structures were within a few crater diameters of each other. These were included in the population statistics as a single impact with an effective diameter of (ΣD3)1/3). Using a differential size-frequency distribution plot, we found the isochron from Daubar et al. (2013) that best fit the data was ~900yr, a significant revision downward from the Banks et al. (2010) interpretation of a maximum age of ~20Kyr. The diameters of small impact craters on Mars are affected by the material strength of the target material, and this icy target differs from regolith or bedrock. To evaluate the resulting difference between observed NPLD craters and the craters used to calculate the production function, we

  9. Cratering mechanics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ivanov, B. A.

    1986-01-01

    Main concepts and theoretical models which are used for studying the mechanics of cratering are discussed. Numerical two-dimensional calculations are made of explosions near a surface and high-speed impact. Models are given for the motion of a medium during cratering. Data from laboratory modeling are given. The effect of gravitational force and scales of cratering phenomena is analyzed.

  10. The equivalent depth of burst for impact cratering

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holsapple, K. A.

    1980-01-01

    The concept of modeling an impact cratering event with an explosive event with the explosive buried at some equivalent depth of burst (d.o.b.) is discussed. Various and different ways to define this equivalent d.o.b. are identified. Recent experimental results for a dense quartz sand are used to determine the equivalent d.o.b. for various conditions of charge type, event size, and impact conditions. The results show a decrease in equivalent d.o.b. with increasing energy for fixed impact velocity and a decrease in equivalent d.o.b. with increasing velocity for fixed energy. The values for an iron projectile are on the order of 2-3 projectile radii for energy equal to one ton of TNT, decreasing to about 1.5 radii at a megaton of TNT. The dependence on projectile and target mass density matches that included in common jet-penetration formulas for projectile densities greater than target densities and for the higher energies.

  11. A Topographic Image Map of the Sabrina Valles Region Including Information on Large Martian Impact Craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gehrke, S.; Köhring, R.; Barlow, N. G.; Gwinner, K.; Scholten, F.; Lehmann, H.; Albertz, J.

    2007-03-01

    The Catalog of Large Martian Impact Craters provides detailed information on 42,283 craters >5 km; it is planned to be integrated in the Topographic Image Map Mars 1:200,000 series. Such an update is shown in a special target map, based on HRSC data.

  12. Depth-diameter ratios for Martian impact craters: Implications for target properties and episodes of degradation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barlow, N. G.

    This study determines crater depth through use of photoclinometric profiles. Random checks of the photoclinometric results are performed using shadow estimation techniques. The images are Viking Orbiter digital format frames; in cases where the digital image is unusable for photoclinometric analysis, shadow estimation is used to determine crater depths. The two techniques provide depth results within 2 percent of each other. Crater diameters are obtained from the photoclinometric profiles and checked against the diameters measured from the hard-copy images using a digitizer. All images used in this analysis are of approximately 40 m/pixel resolution. The sites that have been analyzed to date include areas within Arabia, Maja Valles, Memnonia, Acidalia, and Elysium. Only results for simple craters (craters less than 5 km in diameter) are discussed here because of the low numbers of complex craters presently measured in the analysis. General results indicate that impact craters are deeper than average. A single d/D relationship for fresh impact craters on Mars does not exist due to changes in target properties across the planet's surface. Within regions where target properties are approximately constant, however, d/D ratios for fresh craters can be determined. In these regions, the d/D ratios of nonpristine craters can be compared with the fresh crater d/D relationship to obtain information on relative degrees of crater degradation. This technique reveals that regional episodes of enhanced degradation have occurred. However, the lack of statistically reliable size-frequency distribution data prevents comparison of the relative ages of these events between different regions, and thus determination of a large-scale episode (or perhaps several episodes) cannot be made at this time.

  13. Global Geometric Properties of Martian Impact Craters: A Preliminary Assessment Using Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garvin, J. B.; Sakimoto, S. E. H.; Schnetzler, C.; Frawley, J. J.

    1999-01-01

    Impact craters on Mars have been used to provide fundamental insights into the properties of the martian crust, the role of volatiles, the relative age of the surface, and on the physics of impact cratering in the Solar System. Before the three-dimensional information provided by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) instrument which is currently operating in Mars orbit aboard the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), impact features were characterized morphologically using orbital images from Mariner 9 and Viking. Fresh-appearing craters were identified and measurements of their geometric properties were derived from various image-based methods. MOLA measurements can now provide a global sample of topographic cross-sections of martian impact features as small as approx. 2 km in diameter, to basin-scale features. We have previously examined MOLA cross-sections of Northern Hemisphere and North Polar Region impact features, but were unable to consider the global characteristics of these ubiquitous landforms. Here we present our preliminary assessment of the geometric properties of a globally-distributed sample of martian impact craters, most of which were sampled during the initial stages of the MGS mapping mission (i.e., the first 600 orbits). Our aim is to develop a framework for reconsidering theories concerning impact cratering in the martian environment. This first global analysis is focused upon topographically-fresh impact craters, defined here on the basis of MOLA topographic profiles that cross the central cavities of craters that can be observed in Viking-based MDIM global image mosaics. We have considered crater depths, rim heights, ejecta topologies, cross-sectional "shapes", and simple physical models for ejecta emplacement. To date (May, 1999), we have measured the geometric properties of over 1300 impact craters in the 2 to 350 km diameter size interval. A large fraction of these measured craters were sampled with cavity-center cross-sections during the first

  14. Exploratory Hydrocarbon Drilling Impacts to Arctic Lake Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Thienpont, Joshua R.; Kokelj, Steven V.; Korosi, Jennifer B.; Cheng, Elisa S.; Desjardins, Cyndy; Kimpe, Linda E.; Blais, Jules M.; Pisaric, Michael FJ.; Smol, John P.

    2013-01-01

    Recent attention regarding the impacts of oil and gas development and exploitation has focused on the unintentional release of hydrocarbons into the environment, whilst the potential negative effects of other possible avenues of environmental contamination are less well documented. In the hydrocarbon-rich and ecologically sensitive Mackenzie Delta region (NT, Canada), saline wastes associated with hydrocarbon exploration have typically been disposed of in drilling sumps (i.e., large pits excavated into the permafrost) that were believed to be a permanent containment solution. However, failure of permafrost as a waste containment medium may cause impacts to lakes in this sensitive environment. Here, we examine the effects of degrading drilling sumps on water quality by combining paleolimnological approaches with the analysis of an extensive present-day water chemistry dataset. This dataset includes lakes believed to have been impacted by saline drilling fluids leaching from drilling sumps, lakes with no visible disturbances, and lakes impacted by significant, naturally occurring permafrost thaw in the form of retrogressive thaw slumps. We show that lakes impacted by compromised drilling sumps have significantly elevated lakewater conductivity levels compared to control sites. Chloride levels are particularly elevated in sump-impacted lakes relative to all other lakes included in the survey. Paleolimnological analyses showed that invertebrate assemblages appear to have responded to the leaching of drilling wastes by a discernible increase in a taxon known to be tolerant of elevated conductivity coincident with the timing of sump construction. This suggests construction and abandonment techniques at, or soon after, sump establishment may result in impacts to downstream aquatic ecosystems. With hydrocarbon development in the north predicted to expand in the coming decades, the use of sumps must be examined in light of the threat of accelerated permafrost thaw, and the

  15. Exploratory hydrocarbon drilling impacts to Arctic lake ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Thienpont, Joshua R; Kokelj, Steven V; Korosi, Jennifer B; Cheng, Elisa S; Desjardins, Cyndy; Kimpe, Linda E; Blais, Jules M; Pisaric, Michael F J; Smol, John P

    2013-01-01

    Recent attention regarding the impacts of oil and gas development and exploitation has focused on the unintentional release of hydrocarbons into the environment, whilst the potential negative effects of other possible avenues of environmental contamination are less well documented. In the hydrocarbon-rich and ecologically sensitive Mackenzie Delta region (NT, Canada), saline wastes associated with hydrocarbon exploration have typically been disposed of in drilling sumps (i.e., large pits excavated into the permafrost) that were believed to be a permanent containment solution. However, failure of permafrost as a waste containment medium may cause impacts to lakes in this sensitive environment. Here, we examine the effects of degrading drilling sumps on water quality by combining paleolimnological approaches with the analysis of an extensive present-day water chemistry dataset. This dataset includes lakes believed to have been impacted by saline drilling fluids leaching from drilling sumps, lakes with no visible disturbances, and lakes impacted by significant, naturally occurring permafrost thaw in the form of retrogressive thaw slumps. We show that lakes impacted by compromised drilling sumps have significantly elevated lakewater conductivity levels compared to control sites. Chloride levels are particularly elevated in sump-impacted lakes relative to all other lakes included in the survey. Paleolimnological analyses showed that invertebrate assemblages appear to have responded to the leaching of drilling wastes by a discernible increase in a taxon known to be tolerant of elevated conductivity coincident with the timing of sump construction. This suggests construction and abandonment techniques at, or soon after, sump establishment may result in impacts to downstream aquatic ecosystems. With hydrocarbon development in the north predicted to expand in the coming decades, the use of sumps must be examined in light of the threat of accelerated permafrost thaw, and the

  16. Dating a small impact crater: An age of Kaali crater (Estonia) based on charcoal emplaced within proximal ejecta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Losiak, A.; Wild, E. M.; Geppert, W. D.; Huber, M. S.; Jõeleht, A.; Kriiska, A.; Kulkov, A.; Paavel, K.; Pirkovic, I.; Plado, J.; Steier, P.; VäLja, R.; Wilk, J.; Wisniowski, T.; Zanetti, M.

    2016-04-01

    The estimates of the age of the Kaali impact structure (Saaremaa Island, Estonia) provided by different authors vary by as much as 6000 years, ranging from ~6400 to ~400 before current era (BCE). In this study, a new age is obtained based on 14C dating charred plant material within the proximal ejecta blanket, which makes it directly related to the impact structure, and not susceptible to potential reservoir effects. Our results show that the Kaali crater was most probably formed shortly after 1530-1450 BCE (3237 ± 10 14C yr BP). Saaremaa was already inhabited when the bolide hit the Earth, thus, the crater-forming event was probably witnessed by humans. There is, however, no evidence that this event caused significant change in the material culture (e.g., known archeological artifacts) or patterns of human habitation on Saaremaa.

  17. The XRD Amorphous Component in John Klein Drill Fines at Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, R. V.; Ming, D. W.; Blake, D.; Vaniman, D.; Bish, D. L.; Chipera, S.; Downs, R.; Morrison, S.; Gellert, R.; Campbell, I.; Treiman, A. H.; Achilles, C.; Bristow, T.; Crisp, J. A.; McAdam, A.; Archer, P. D.; Sutter, B.; Rampe, E. B.; Team, M.

    2013-12-01

    Drill fines of mudstone (targets John Klein and Cumberland) from the Sheepbed unit at Yel-lowknife Bay were analyzed by MSL payload elements including the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin), APXS (Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer), and Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instruments. CheMin XRD results show a variety of crystalline phases including feldspar, pyrox-ene, olivine, oxides, oxyhydroxides, sulfates, sulfides, a tri-octahedral smectite, and XRD amorphous material. The drill fines are distinctly different from corresponding analyses of the global soil (target Rocknest) in that the mudstone samples contained detectable phyllosilicate. Here we focus on John Klein and combine CheMin and APXS data to calculate the chemical composition and concentration of the amorphous component. The chemical composition of the amorphous plus smectite component for John Klein was cal-culated by subtracting the abundance-weighted chemical composition of the individual XRD crystalline components from the bulk composition of John Kline as measured by APXS. The chemical composition of individual crystalline components was determined either by stoichiome-try (e.g., hematite and magnetite) or from their unit cell parameters (e.g., feldspar, olivine, and pyroxene). The chemical composition of the amorphous + smectite component (~71 wt.% of bulk sample) and bulk chemical compositon are similar. In order to calculate the chemical composition of the amorphous component, a chemical composition for the tri-octahedral smectite must be assumed. We selected two tri-octahedral smectites with very different MgO/(FeO + Fe2O3) ratios (34 and 1.3 for SapCa1 and Griffithite, respectively). Relative to bulk sample, the concentration of amorphous and smectite components are 40 and 29 wt.% for SapCa1 and 33 and 36 wt.% for Griffithite. The amount of smectite was calculated by requiring the MgO concentration to be~0 wt.% in the amporphous component. Griffithite is the preferred smectite because the position

  18. The XRD Amorphous Component in John Klein Drill Fines at Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, Richard V.; Ming,, Douglas W.; Blake, David; Vaniman, David; Bish, David L; Chipera, Steve; Downs, Robert; Morrison, Shaunna; Gellert, Ralf; Campbell, Iain; Treiman, Alan H.; Achilles, Cherie; Bristow, Thomas; Crisp, Joy A.; McAdam, Amy; Archer, Paul Douglas; Sutter, Brad; Rampe, Elizabeth B.

    2013-01-01

    Drill fines of mudstone (targets John Klein and Cumberland) from the Sheepbed unit at Yel-lowknife Bay were analyzed by MSL payload elements including the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin), APXS (Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer), and Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instruments. CheMin XRD results show a variety of crystalline phases including feldspar, pyroxene, olivine, oxides, oxyhydroxides, sulfates, sulfides, a tri-octahedral smectite, and XRD amorphous material. The drill fines are distinctly different from corresponding analyses of the global soil (target Rocknest) in that the mudstone samples contained detectable phyllosilicate. Here we focus on John Klein and combine CheMin and APXS data to calculate the chemical composition and concentration of the amorphous component. The chemical composition of the amorphous plus smectite component for John Klein was calculated by subtracting the abundance-weighted chemical composition of the individual XRD crystalline components from the bulk composition of John Kline as measured by APXS. The chemical composition of individual crystalline components was determined either by stoichiometry (e.g., hematite and magnetite) or from their unit cell parameters (e.g., feldspar, olivine, and pyroxene). The chemical composition of the amorphous + smectite component (approx 71 wt.% of bulk sample) and bulk chemical composition are similar. In order to calculate the chemical composition of the amorphous component, a chemical composition for the tri-octahedral smectite must be assumed. We selected two tri-octahedral smectites with very different MgO/(FeO + Fe2O3) ratios (34 and 1.3 for SapCa1 and Griffithite, respectively). Relative to bulk sample, the concentration of amorphous and smectite components are 40 and 29 wt.% for SapCa1 and 33 and 36 wt.% for Griffithite. The amount of smectite was calculated by requiring the MgO concentration to be approx 0 wt.% in the amorphous component. Griffithite is the preferred smectite because

  19. The Stickney Crater ejecta secondary impact crater spike on Phobos: Implications for the age of Stickney and the surface of Phobos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramsley, Kenneth R.; Head, James W.

    2017-04-01

    A global and uniformly distributed spike of secondary impact craters on Phobos with diameters (D) <0.6 km and a portion of craters up to D 2 km were produced by Stickney Crater ejecta, including secondary craters within the surface area of Stickney Crater. The global exposure of Phobos to Stickney secondary impacts was facilitated by the desynchronized orbital/rotational period of Phobos that was produced by the impulse of the Stickney impact event. In our model we apply the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation to calculate the total available Stickney impact acceleration impulse delta-v (Δv) and further calculate the effective impulse by incorporating the energy conversion inefficiencies of the crater formation process. We also calculate the pre- and post-impact Phobos moment of inertia that further contributes to the desynchronizing effect. The majority of the Stickney ejecta that exited from Phobos was trapped in orbits around Mars until it later accumulated back onto Phobos over a period of <1000 years. However, Phobos de-spun back to a synchronous rotation after a much longer period of at least 5000 years. Therefore, a sufficient period of desynchronized rotation exposed the entire surface of Phobos to ejecta that returned from martian orbits. In view of how all or most craters observed inside Stickney Crater approximate the size/frequency distribution (SFD) of Stickney secondary impacts, it is infeasible to derive an age for Stickney Crater based on an assumption of background impacts ( 2.8-4.2 Ga according to Schmedemann et al. (2014)). In view of how crater-counting is unworkable for age-dating Stickney Crater we conclude an alternate age for Stickney Crater of 0.1-0.5 Ga that is constrained instead by the boulder evidence of Thomas et al. (2000), the boulder destruction rate analysis of Basilevsky et al. (2013, 2015), and the observed space weathering of Phobos regolith (Cipriani et al., 2011; Pieters et al., 2014). Assessing several implications of our model we 1

  20. Study of meteoroid impact craters on various materials (A0138-1)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mandeville, J. C.

    1984-01-01

    Interplanetary dust particles (micrometeoroids) are expected to form well-defined craters upon impacting exposed material in space. Studying the frequency and features of these craters will provide data on the mass-flux distribution of micrometeoroids and, to a lesser extent, on the velocity magnitude and direction. This experiment will study impact craters produced by micrometeoroids on selected materials (metals and glasses in the form of thick targets) to obtain valuable technological and scientific data. Specifically, the studies will focus on determining micrometeoroid composition and mass-flux distribution. Analyses will also be made on the distribution of impact velocity vectors.

  1. Impact melting on Venus: Some considerations for the nature of the cratering record.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1995-03-01

    Modeling the volume of impact melt and its variation with the size of the impact event indicates that, for similar-sized final craters, venusian impacts create about 25% more impact melt than terrestrial impacts. More significantly, venusian impacts result in approximately a factor of three more impact melt than lunar events producing equivalent-sized craters. This difference is due to the higher average impact velocity and higher ambient temperatures on Venus, which enhance impact-melt production, combined with higher planetary gravity, which inhibits crater growth for a given impact event. The initial, higher intrinsic temperature of incorporated clastic debris also contributes to impact melts with higher initial temperatures, lower viscosities, and longer cooling times on Venus with respect to lunar impact melts. The enhanced production of relatively hot, low-viscosity impact melts under venusian impact conditions may account for the long exterior runout flows and also for the radar-smooth interior floors of some venusian craters. We also argue that the anomalously deep character of Cleopatra may be attributed to drainage of its interior impact-melt pool to form the smooth deposits in the adjacent Fortuna Tessera. Increasing depth of melting with increasing cavity size, resulting in the progressive weakening of transient-cavity floor material, is offered as a possible explanation for the replacement of uplifted central peaks by rings with increasing crater diameter. A consequence of this process is that interior rings will increase in diameter relative to the diameter of the final crater's rim crest with increasing crater size, a trend observed on Venus and other terrestrial planets. This weakening of the target due to relatively enhanced impact-melt production in the venusian environment makes it unlikely that Orientale-style impact basins ever formed on Venus.

  2. Drill core LB-08A, Bosumtwi impact structure, Ghana: Petrographic and shock metamorphic studies of material from the central uplift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrière, Ludovic; Koeberl, Christian; Reimold, Wolf Uwe

    During a recent drilling project sponsored by the International Continental Scientific Drilling Progam (ICDP), two boreholes (LB-07A and LB-08A) were drilled into the crater fill of the Bosumtwi impact structure and the underlying basement, into the deep crater moat and the outer flank of the central uplift, respectively. The Bosumtwi impact structure in Ghana (West Africa), which is 10.5 km in diameter and 1.07 Myr old, is largely filled by Lake Bosumtwi. Here we present the lithostratigraphy of drill core LB-08A (recovered between 235.6 and 451.33 m depth below lake level) as well as the first mineralogical and petrographic observations of samples from this core. This drill core consists of approximately 25 m of polymict, clast-supported lithic breccia intercalated with suevite, which overlies fractured/brecciated metasediment that displays a large variation in lithology and grain size. The lithologies present in the central uplift are metasediments composed dominantly of fine-grained to gritty meta-graywacke, phyllite, and slate, as well as suevite and polymict lithic impact breccia. The suevites, principally present between 235.6 and 240.5 m and between 257.6 and 262.2 m, display a fine-grained fragmental matrix (about 39 to 45 vol%) and a variety of lithic and mineral clasts that include meta-graywacke, phyllite, slate, quartzite, carbon-rich organic shale, and calcite, as well as melt particles, fractured quartz, unshocked quartz, unshocked feldspar, quartz with planar deformation features (PDFs), diaplectic quartz glass, mica, epidote, sphene, and opaque minerals). The crater-fill suevite contains calcite clasts but no granite clasts, in contrast to suevite from outside the northern crater rim. The presence of melt particles in suevite samples from the uppermost 25 meters of the core and in suevite dikelets in the basement is an indicator of shock pressures exceeding 45 GPa. Quartz grains present in suevite and polymict lithic impact breccia abundantly

  3. Martian Polar Region Impact Craters: Geometric Properties From Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garvin, J. B.; Sakimoto, S. E. H.; Frawley, J. J.; Matias, A.

    1998-01-01

    The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) instrument onboard the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft has so far observed approximately 100 impact landforms in the north polar latitudes (>60 degrees N) of Mars. Correlation of the topography with Viking Orbiter images indicate that many of these are near-center profiles, and for some of the most northern craters, multiple data passes have been acquired. The northern high latitudes of Mars may contain substantial ground ice and be topped with seasonal frost (largely CO2 with some water), forming each winter. We have analyzed various diagnostic crater topologic parameters for this high-latitude crater population with the objective of characterizing impact features in north polar terrains, and we explore whether there is evidence of interaction with ground ice, frost, dune movement, or other polar processes. We find that there are substantial topographic variations from the characteristics of midlatitude craters in the polar craters that are not readily apparent from prior images. The transition from small simple craters to large complex craters is not well defined, as was observed in the midlatitude MOLA data (transition at 7-8 km). Additionally, there appear to be additional topographic complexities such as anomalously large central structures in many polar latitude impact features. It is not yet clear if these are due to target-induced differences in the formation of the crater or post-formation modifications from polar processes.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-02-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  6. Small craters on the meteoroid and space debris impact experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Humes, Donald H.

    1995-01-01

    Examination of 9.34 m(exp 2) of thick aluminum plates from the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) using a 25X microscope revealed 4341 craters that were 0.1 mm in diameter or larger. The largest was 3 mm in diameter. Most were roughly hemispherical with lips that were raised above the original plate surface. The crater diameter measured was the diameter at the top of the raised lips. There was a large variation in the number density of craters around the three-axis gravity-gradient stabilized spacecraft. A model of the near-Earth meteoroid environment is presented which uses a meteoroid size distribution based on the crater size distribution on the space end of the LDEF. An argument is made that nearly all the craters on the space end must have been caused by meteoroids and that very few could have been caused by man-made orbital debris. However, no chemical analysis of impactor residue that will distinguish between meteoroids and man-made debris is yet available. A small area (0.0447 m(exp 2)) of one of the plates on the space end was scanned with a 200X microscope revealing 155 craters between 10 micron and 100 micron in diameter and 3 craters smaller than 10 micron. This data was used to extend the size distribution of meteoroids down to approximately 1 micron. New penetration equations developed by Alan Watts were used to relate crater dimensions to meteoroid size. The equations suggest that meteoroids must have a density near 2.5 g/cm(exp 3) to produce craters of the shape found on the LDEF. The near-Earth meteoroid model suggests that about 80 to 85 percent of the 100 micron to 1 mm diameter craters on the twelve peripheral rows of the LDEF were caused by meteoroids, leaving 15 to 20 percent to be caused by man-made orbital debris.

  7. Small craters on the meteoroid and space debris impact experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humes, Donald H.

    1995-02-01

    Examination of 9.34 m(exp 2) of thick aluminum plates from the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) using a 25X microscope revealed 4341 craters that were 0.1 mm in diameter or larger. The largest was 3 mm in diameter. Most were roughly hemispherical with lips that were raised above the original plate surface. The crater diameter measured was the diameter at the top of the raised lips. There was a large variation in the number density of craters around the three-axis gravity-gradient stabilized spacecraft. A model of the near-Earth meteoroid environment is presented which uses a meteoroid size distribution based on the crater size distribution on the space end of the LDEF. An argument is made that nearly all the craters on the space end must have been caused by meteoroids and that very few could have been caused by man-made orbital debris. However, no chemical analysis of impactor residue that will distinguish between meteoroids and man-made debris is yet available. A small area (0.0447 m(exp 2)) of one of the plates on the space end was scanned with a 200X microscope revealing 155 craters between 10 micron and 100 micron in diameter and 3 craters smaller than 10 micron. This data was used to extend the size distribution of meteoroids down to approximately 1 micron. New penetration equations developed by Alan Watts were used to relate crater dimensions to meteoroid size. The equations suggest that meteoroids must have a density near 2.5 g/cm(exp 3) to produce craters of the shape found on the LDEF. The near-Earth meteoroid model suggests that about 80 to 85 percent of the 100 micron to 1 mm diameter craters on the twelve peripheral rows of the LDEF were caused by meteoroids, leaving 15 to 20 percent to be caused by man-made orbital debris.

  8. Geological mapping of impact melt deposits at lunar complex craters Jackson and Tycho: Morphologic and topographic diversity and relation to the cratering process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dhingra, Deepak; Head, James W.; Pieters, Carle M.

    2017-02-01

    High resolution geological mapping, aided by imagery and elevation data from the lunar reconnaissance orbiter (LRO) and Kaguya missions, has revealed the scientifically rich character of impact melt deposits at two young complex craters: Jackson (71 km) and Tycho (85 km). The morphology and distribution of mapped impact melt units provide several insights into the cratering process. We report elevation differences (>200 m) among large, coherent floor sections within a single crater and interpret them to be caused by crater wall collapse and/or large scale structural failure of the floor region. Clast-poor, smooth melt deposits are correlated with floor sections at lower elevations and likely represent ponded deposits sourced from higher elevation regions (viz. crater walls). In addition, these deposits are also located in the inferred downrange direction of the impact. Melt-coated large blocks spanning several kilometers are common on the crater floors and may represent collapsed wall sections or in some cases, subdued sections of the central peaks. Spatial trends in the mapped impact melt units at the two craters provide clues to decipher the conditions during each impact event and subsequent evolution of the crater floor.

  9. Analysis of impact crater populations and the geochronology of planetary surfaces in the inner solar system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fassett, Caleb I.

    2016-10-01

    Analyzing the density of impact craters on planetary surfaces is the only known technique for learning their ages remotely. As a result, crater statistics have been widely analyzed on the terrestrial planets, since the timing and rates of activity are critical to understanding geologic process and history. On the Moon, the samples obtained by the Apollo and Luna missions provide critical calibration points for cratering chronology. On Mercury, Venus, and Mars, there are no similarly firm anchors for cratering rates, but chronology models have been established by extrapolating from the lunar record or by estimating their impactor fluxes in other ways. This review provides a current perspective on crater population measurements and their chronological interpretation. Emphasis is placed on how ages derived from crater statistics may be contingent on assumptions that need to be considered critically. In addition, ages estimated from crater populations are somewhat different than ages from more familiar geochronology tools (e.g., radiometric dating). Resurfacing processes that remove craters from the observed population are particularly challenging to account for, since they can introduce geologic uncertainty into results or destroy information about the formation age of a surface. Regardless of these challenges, crater statistics measurements have resulted in successful predictions later verified by other techniques, including the age of the lunar maria, the existence of a period of heavy bombardment in the Moon's first billion years, and young volcanism on Mars.

  10. Periodic Impact Cratering and Extinction Events Over the Last 260 Million Years

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rampino, Michael R.; Caldeira, Ken

    2015-01-01

    The claims of periodicity in impact cratering and biological extinction events are controversial. Anewly revised record of dated impact craters has been analyzed for periodicity, and compared with the record of extinctions over the past 260 Myr. A digital circular spectral analysis of 37 crater ages (ranging in age from 15 to 254 Myr ago) yielded evidence for a significant 25.8 +/- 0.6 Myr cycle. Using the same method, we found a significant 27.0 +/- 0.7 Myr cycle in the dates of the eight recognized marine extinction events over the same period. The cycles detected in impacts and extinctions have a similar phase. The impact crater dataset shows 11 apparent peaks in the last 260 Myr, at least 5 of which correlate closely with significant extinction peaks. These results suggest that the hypothesis of periodic impacts and extinction events is still viable.

  11. Large mineralogically distinct impact melt feature at Copernicus crater - Evidence for retention of compositional heterogeneity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dhingra, Deepak; Pieters, Carle M.; Head, James W.; Isaacson, Peter J.

    2013-03-01

    Despite several lines of evidence for efficient mixing of impact melt in complex craters, we document mineralogical heterogeneity in impact melt deposit on a scale of tens of kilometers on the Moon in the 96 km-diameter Copernicus crater. This heterogeneity is in the form of a large, sinuous impact melt feature on the floor and northern wall that is spectrally distinct from melt in its immediate vicinity. This melt feature spanning >30 km in length and 0.5-5 km in width has relatively short-wavelength, narrow ferrous absorption bands near ~900 nm and ~2000 nm indicating a more Mg-rich pyroxene composition as compared to impact melt deposit in the vicinity which is relatively rich in Fe/Ca-pyroxenes. This distinction provides evidence for the preservation of compositional heterogeneity in impact melt in complex craters on the Moon and documents an example of inefficient mixing of melt during the cratering process.

  12. LDEF impact craters formed by carbon-rich impactors: A preliminary report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bunch, T. E.; Dibrozolo, F. Radicati; Fleming, Ronald H.; Harris, David W.; Brownlee, Don; Reilly, Terrence W.

    1992-01-01

    Two impact craters found in Al from the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) experiment tray have residues concentrated in the bottoms, along the walls, and on top of overturned rims. Analyses indicate a 'chondritic' compositional signature (Si, S, Ca, Fe, Mg, and Ni) for the bulk residue. In one crater (number 74), round to irregular silicate grains are overlain by carbon. In addition, carbon also partially covers the crater walls, the top of the raised overturned rim, and extends outward from the crater. The second crater (number 31) also contains carbon with similar distribution in and about the crater, although the silicate residue appears to be glassy. Silver, I, K, and F (possibly some of the Ca, S, and Cl) appear to be contaminants as well as analyzed aromatic carbonaceous species associated with the raised rim and the area surrounding the crater. The origin of the impactors is assumed to be extraterrestrial. The existence of impactor residue in two craters implies impact velocities less than or equal to 6 km, based on experimental hypervelocity studies.

  13. The Deep Impact crater on 9P/Tempel-1 from Stardust-NExT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, Peter H.; Hermalyn, Brendan; Veverka, Joe

    2013-02-01

    The Stardust-NExT (SdN) mission returned to Comet 9P/Tempel-1 and viewed the site of the Deep Impact (DI) collision just over one comet year later. Comparisons between pre-impact images from the ITS camera on the DI probe and SdN images reveal a 50 m-diameter crater surrounded by a low rim about 180 m in diameter. The removal of a small mound uprange (but offset from the trajectory) from the impact site can be related to changes in the evolution of ejecta. A narrow (6°) gap in the ejecta curtain downrange indicates that a ridge extending from the impact-facing scarp downrange interrupted the final stages of cratering in one small region. Together, these observations indicate that the DI excavation crater diameter was about 200 m (±20 m), a value consistent with the ejected mass derived from Earth- and space-based observations with the assumption that this mass represents only 10-20% of the total ejected mass. As a result, the DI crater visible today is consistent with either a larger transient crater, which collapsed, or a central crater of a nested crater resembling an inverted sombrero. The latter alternative would be expected from a layered target: a loose particulate surface about 1-2 m deep over a slightly more competent substrate.

  14. Morphology of Morasko Crater Field: An Interaction of Glacial and Impact Landforms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Włodarski, W.; Papis, J.; Szczuciński, W.

    2016-08-01

    Regarding the small sizes of impact craters, their potential superimposition on primary landforms may be complex. This study reveals this superimposition in the area of the Morasko Hill push moraine based on digital terrain modelling.

  15. Impact Cratering Experiment for a Course in Lunar and Planetary Geology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Eugene; And Others

    1980-01-01

    Described is an inexpensive and safe laboratory experiment that accurately duplicates the shapes and structures of simple impact craters using fireplace ash, finely ground charcoal, and an air gun. (Author/DS)

  16. New Oxygen Isotope Measurements of Four Stardust Impact Crater Residues Show IDP-Like Compositions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snead, C. J.; McKeegan, K. D.

    2015-07-01

    We have measured the oxygen isotope compositions of four Stardust impact crater residues. These analyses reveal compositions that are similar to those found in interplanetary dust particles, antarctic micrometeorites and CI chondrite components.

  17. Anomalous quartz from the Roter Kamm impact crater, Namibia: Evidence for post-impact hydrothermal activity

    SciTech Connect

    Koeberl, C. Univ. of Vienna ); Fredriksson, K. ); Goetzinger, M. ); Reimold, W.U. )

    1989-08-01

    Centimeter-sized quartz pebbles have been found on the rim of the Roter Kamm impact crater. The Roter Kamm crater has a diameter of about 2.5 km and is situated in the Namib Desert, SWA/Namibia. Because of the sand coverage, impact products are exposed exclusively in the form of ejecta on the crater rim. The quartz pebbles were found close to the main deposits of the impact breccias and show signs of wind abrasion. Thin sections revealed that the pebbles consist of individual quartz domains that are up to 1 mm in size. Under crossed nicols (polarized light), all individual domains show extinction almost simultaneously within {plus minus}2{degree}, which is a rare phenomenon. Microprobe studies, neutron activation analyses, and X-ray diffractometry confirmed that the material consists of pure quartz. The quartz contains three different types of fluid inclusions: primary inclusions that record the formation conditions of the quartz, very small (<1 {mu}m) secondary inclusions associated with the grain boundaries, and late inclusions of irregular size. Freezing point depression measurements of the primary inclusions indicate fluid salinities between 18.3 and 19.6 wt% NaCl. Homogenization temperatures (T{sub h}) for the primary inclusions range from 165 to 250{degree}C. The quartz and the primary inclusions may provide evidence for a post-impact phase of extensive hydrothermal activity, generated by the residual heat from the kinetic energy of the impact.

  18. Size-frequency distribution of different secondary crater populations: 1. Equilibrium caused by secondary impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Zhiyong

    2016-12-01

    Accumulation of impact craters is the major reason causing equilibrium of crater populations on airless planetary surfaces. Besides primary craters, the effect of widespread secondaries on the equilibrium of local crater populations is little studied. Here the different secondary crater populations formed by the Hokusai crater on Mercury are systematically studied, and they are compared with those on the Moon to investigate their contribution to the evolution of local crater populations. Self-secondaries cause equilibrium on continuous ejecta deposits in a short time, and the equilibrium crater population has a differential size-frequency distribution (SFD) slope of about -3. Background secondaries are abundant on Mercury, and equilibrium caused by a combination of primaries and potential background secondaries follows the same pattern on the Moon and Mercury. The spatial dispersion of fragments that form both near-field and distant secondaries is the major factor affecting the degree of mutual destruction and thus the final crater SFD. Some clustered distant secondaries on Mercury are likely formed by individual fragments considering their large spatial dispersion and identical morphology with same-sized primaries, and the SFD rollovers of these secondaries possibly reflect the inherent SFD rollovers of the impact fragments. Near-field secondaries and many other distant secondaries have morphology and spatial distribution that are consistent with being formed by clustered fragments, and mutual destruction of secondaries may be the major reason causing the observed SFD rollovers. Heterogeneous secondary impacts are a potential explanation for both different crater densities within the equilibrium diameter range and different regolith thicknesses on coeval surfaces.

  19. Impact Crater Geometries Provide Evidence for Ice-rich Layers at Low Latitudes on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Black, B. A.; Stewart, S. T.

    2005-01-01

    The impact cratering record documents the history of resurfacing events on Mars. The morphology and distribution of layered (rampart) ejecta blankets provide insights into the presence of volatiles in the upper crust [1-4]. The physical properties of the crust and history of water have been revealed through recent quantitative studies of the geometry of Martian craters [5-91. Here, we present the results from a study focused on impact craters in Utopia Planitia and the Elysium Mons province to infer the history and properties of resurfacing episodes.

  20. Crater Serves as Terrestrial Analog for Martian Impact Structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahmood, Ahmed; van der Kooij, Marco; Giugni, Laurent-Philippe

    Researchers try to resolve the mysteries of Mars' geomorphological and climatic past by looking for terrestrial analogs and then explaining the processes of their formation. The Haughton impact crater site on Devon Island in Canada's Nunavut Territory has been the focus of Mars analog studies because of the similarity of its geomorphological characteristics to those observed on Mars and its location in a comparable environment [Lee et al., 1998]. The availability of high-resolution space data of these characteristics is a necessity in such studies. The most detailed topographic survey on Mars used a non-imaging laser ranging device called the Mars Observer Laser Altimeter (MOLA) aboard the Mars Global Surveyor Mission [Zuber et al., 1992]. The radar imaging technique selected for this study in the Nunavut Territory, spaceborne repeat-pass Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (INSAR), can render subtle, point-to-point details on variations in a coherent, three-dimensional manner of a seemingly featureless surface for which the traditional optical stereo matching techniques will fail to generate accurate topographic information [Rosen, 2001].

  1. Numerical modeling of seismic anomalies at impact craters on a laboratory scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wuennemann, K.; Grosse, C. U.; Hiermaier, S.; Gueldemeister, N.; Moser, D.; Durr, N.

    2011-12-01

    Almost all terrestrial impact craters exhibit a typical geophysical signature. The usually observed circular negative gravity anomaly and reduced seismic velocities in the vicinity of crater structures are presumably related to an approximately hemispherical zone underneath craters where rocks have experienced intense brittle plastic deformation and fracturing during formation (see Fig.1). In the framework of the "MEMIN" (multidisciplinary experimental and modeling impact crater research network) project we carried out hypervelocity cratering experiments at the Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics on a decimeter scale to study the spatiotemporal evolution of the damage zone using ultrasound, acoustic emission techniques, and numerical modeling of crater formation. 2.5-10 mm iron projectiles were shot at 2-5.5 km/s on dry and water-saturated sandstone targets. The target material was characterized before, during and after the impact with high spatial resolution acoustic techniques to detect the extent of the damage zone, the state of rocks therein and to record the growth of cracks. The ultrasound measurements are applied analog to seismic surveys at natural craters but used on a different - i.e. much smaller - scale. We compare the measured data with dynamic models of crater formation, shock, plastic and elastic wave propagation, and tensile/shear failure of rocks in the impacted sandstone blocks. The presence of porosity and pore water significantly affects the propagation of waves. In particular the crushing of pores due to shock compression has to be taken into account. We present preliminary results showing good agreement between experiments and numerical model. In a next step we plan to use the numerical models to upscale the results from laboratory dimensions to the scale of natural impact craters.

  2. An Impact Cratering Interactive Website Used for Outreach and in Professional Development Workshops for Middle School Science Teachers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Croft, S. K.; Pierazzo, E.; Canizo, T.; Lebofsky, L. A.

    2009-12-01

    Impact cratering is one of the fundamental geologic processes affecting all planetary and asteroidal bodies in the Solar System. With few exceptions, all bodies with solid surfaces explored so far show the presence of impact craters - from the less than 200 known craters on Earth to the many thousands seen on the Moon, Mercury, and other bodies. Indeed, the study of crater populations is one of the principal tools for understanding the geologic history of planetary surfaces. In recent years, impact cratering has gained public notoriety through its portrayal in several Hollywood movies. Questions that are raised after watching these movies include: “How often do impacts occur?” “How do scientists learn about impact cratering?” and “What information do impact craters provide in understanding the evolution planetary surfaces?” On our website: “Explorer’s Guide to Impact Craters,” we answer those questions in a fun, informative and interactive way. The website provides the interested public with an opportunity to: 1) experience how scientists explore known terrestrial craters through a virtual fieldtrips; 2) learn more about the dynamics of impact cratering using numerical simulations of various impacts; and 3) investigate how impact cratering affects rocks via images and descriptions of field samples of impact rocks. This learning tool has been a popular outreach endeavor (recently reaching 100,000 hits), and it has recently been incorporated in the Impact Cratering Workshop developed by scientists and EPO specialists at the Planetary Science Institute. The workshop provides middle school science teachers with an inquiry-based understanding of the process of impact cratering and how it affects the solar system. Participants are instructed via standards-based multimedia presentations, analysis of planetary images, hands-on experience with geologic samples from terrestrial impact craters, and first-hand experience forming impact craters. Through the

  3. Impact Metamorphism of Sandstones at Amguid Crater, Algeria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahoui, R.; Belhai, D.

    2016-08-01

    Amguid is a 450 m diameter sample crater; it is emplaced in Lower Devonian sandstones.We have carried out a petrographic study in order to investigate shock effects recorded in these sandstones and define shock stages in Amguid.

  4. Large craters on the meteoroid and space debris impact experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Humes, Donald H.

    1992-01-01

    Examination of 29.37 sq m of thick aluminum plates from the LDEF, which were exposed to the meteoroid and man-made orbital debris environments for 5.8 years, revealed 606 craters that were 0.5 mm in diameter or larger. Most were nearly hemispherical. There was a large variation in the number density of craters around the three axis gravity gradient stabilized spacecraft. A new model of the near-Earth meteoroid environment gives good agreement with the crater fluxes measured on the fourteen faces of the LDEF. The man-made orbital debris model of Kessler, which predicts that 16 pct. of the craters would be caused by man-made debris, is plausible. No chemical analyses of impactor residue that will distinguish between meteoroids and man-made debris is yet available.

  5. Impact cratering in H2O-bearing targets on Mars: Thermal field under craters as starting conditions for hydrothermal activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivanov, Boris A.; Pierazzo, Elisabetta

    2011-04-01

    We present a case modeling study of impact crater formation in H2O-bearing targets. The main goal of this work was to investigate the postimpact thermal state of the rock layers modified in the formation of hypervelocity impact craters. We present model results for a target consisting of a mixture of H2O-ice and rock, assuming an ice/water content variable with depth. Our model results, combined with results from previous work using dry targets, indicate that for craters larger than about 30 km in diameter, the onset of postimpact hydrothermal circulation is characterized by two stages: first, the formation of a mostly dry, hot central uplift followed by water beginning to flow in and circulate through the initially dry and hot uplifted crustal rocks. The postimpact thermal field in the periphery of the crater is dependent on crater size: in midsize craters, 30-50 km in diameter, crater walls are not strongly heated in the impact event, and even though ice present in the rock may initially be heated enough to melt, overall temperatures in the rock remain below melting, undermining the development of a crater-wide hydrothermal circulation. In large craters (with diameters more than 100 km or so), the region underneath the crater floor and walls is heated well above the melting point of ice, thus facilitating the onset of an extended hydrothermal circulation. These results provide preliminary constraints in characterizing the many water-related features, both morphologic and spectroscopic, that high-resolution images of Mars are now detecting within many Martian craters.

  6. The gravity signature of mantle uplift from impact modeling craters on the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milbury, Colleen; Johnson, Brandon C.; Melosh, H. Jay; Collins, Gareth S.; Blair, David M.; Soderblom, Jason M.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2014-11-01

    NASA’s dual Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft have globally mapped the lunar gravity field at unprecedented resolution; this has enabled the study of lunar impact craters of all sizes and ages. Soderblom et al. [2014, LPSC abstract #1777] calculated the residual Bouguer anomalies for ~2700 craters 27-184 km in diameter (D). They found that the residual central Bouguer anomaly of craters smaller than 100 km is essentially zero, that there is a transition for 100-150 km, and that craters larger than 184 km have a positive residual Bouguer anomaly that increases with increasing crater size. We use the iSALE shock physics hydrocode to model crater formation, including the effects of porosity and dilatancy (shear bulking). We use strength parameters of gabbroic anorthosite for a 35-km-thick crust, and dunite for the mantle. Our dunite impactors range in size from 6-30 km, which produce craters 86-450 km in diameter. We calculate the Bouguer gravity anomaly due solely to mantle uplift. We eliminate the effects of pressure and temperature on density by setting the output densities from the simulations to 2550 kg/m^3 if they are below the cutoff value of 3000 kg/m^3, and 3220 kg/m^3 if they are above. We compare our modeling results to gravity data from GRAIL. We find that the crater size at which mantle uplift dominates the crater gravity occurs at a crater diameter that is close to the complex crater to peak-ring basin transition. This is in agreement with the observed trend reported by Soderblom et al. [2014, LPSC abstract #1777].

  7. Yucatan Subsurface Stratigraphy from Geophysical Data, Well Logs and Core Analyses in the Chicxulub Impact Crater and Implications for Target Heterogeneities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canales, I.; Fucugauchi, J. U.; Perez-Cruz, L. L.; Camargo, A. Z.; Perez-Cruz, G.

    2011-12-01

    Asymmetries in the geophysical signature of Chicxulub crater are being evaluated to investigate on effects of impact angle and trajectory and pre-existing target structural controls for final crater form. Early studies interpreted asymmetries in the gravity anomaly in the offshore sector to propose oblique either northwest- and northeast-directed trajectories. An oblique impact was correlated to the global ejecta distribution and enhanced environmental disturbance. In contrast, recent studies using marine seismic data and computer modeling have shown that crater asymmetries correlate with pre-existing undulations of the Cretaceous continental shelf, suggesting a structural control of target heterogeneities. Documentation of Yucatan subsurface stratigraphy has been limited by lack of outcrops of pre-Paleogene rocks. The extensive cover of platform carbonate rocks has not been affected by faulting or deformation and with no rivers cutting the carbonates, information comes mainly from the drilling programs and geophysical surveys. Here we revisit the subsurface stratigraphy in the crater area from the well log data and cores retrieved in the drilling projects and marine seismic reflection profiles. Other source of information being exploited comes from the impact breccias, which contain a sampling of disrupted target sequences, including crystalline basement and Mesozoic sediments. We analyze gravity and seismic data from the various exploration surveys, including multiple Pemex profiles in the platform and the Chicxulub experiments. Analyses of well log data and seismic profiles identify contacts for Lower Cretaceous, Cretaceous/Jurassic and K/Pg boundaries. Results show that the Cretaceous continental shelf was shallower on the south and southwest than on the east, with emerged areas in Quintana Roo and Belize. Mesozoic and upper Paleozoic sediments show variable thickness, possibly reflecting the crystalline basement regional structure. Paleozoic and Precambrian

  8. Control of impact crater fracture systems on subsurface hydrology, ground subsidence, and collapse, Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rodriguez, J.A.P.; Sasaki, S.; Dohm, J.M.; Tanaka, K.L.; Strom, B.; Kargel, J.; Kuzmin, R.; Miyamoto, H.; Spray, J.G.; Fairen, A.G.; Komatsu, G.; Kurita, K.; Baker, V.

    2005-01-01

    Noachian layered materials are pervasively exposed throughout the highlands of Mars. The layered deposits, in places many kilometers thick, exhibit impact craters of diverse morphologic characteristics, ranging from highly degraded to pristine, most of which formed during the period of heavy bombardment. In addition, exhumed impact craters, ancient channels, and fluvial and alluvial fans are visible in the layered deposits through MOC imagery. These features are more abundant in Noachian terrains, which indicates relatively high erosion rates during ancient Mars that competed with heavy meteoritic bombardment. The Noachian layered materials are thus expected to contain numerous buried impact craters in various states of preservation. Here, we propose that impact craters (buried and exposed) and associated fracture systems dominate the basement structural fabric of the ancient highlands and that they have significantly influenced the hydrogeology. Diversity in the occurrence of high and low densities of impact craters and associated fracture systems controls the magnitude of the local effects of magmatic-driven hydrothermal activity. In and surrounding the Tharsis region, for example, the formation of chaotic terrains (the source regions of the circum-Chryse outflow channel system) and a large diversity of collapse structures, including impact crater moats and pit chains, appear to be the result of enhanced hydrothermal activity. Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical Union.

  9. Modeling impact cratering as a geomorphic process using the novel landscape evolution model Landlab

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hobley, D. E.; Tucker, G. E.; Adams, J. M.; Gasparini, N. M.; Hutton, E.; Istanbulluoglu, E.; Nudurupati, S.

    2013-12-01

    Many problems in the planetary sciences depend on understanding the way in which impact craters modify planetary surfaces. The geomorphometry of the resulting surfaces hold great promise in providing complementary tools alongside traditional crater counting to constrain relative cratering rates and distributions back through time. Through such constraints, we can attack a number of longstanding problems--such as the nature of the Late Heavy Bombardment, impact gardening and surface turnover rates and processes, variations in past impactor populations, and surface dating--from new angles. To address these issues from a theoretical viewpoint, we have built a component to model a landscape undergoing impact cratering for Landlab. Landlab is a new, open-source, modular, Python-based land surface dynamics model. It has been designed for maximum user-friendliness, and to allow efficient model development and use in a Matlab-like, interactive Python environment (e.g., iPython). The design is based around a set of components, each of which simulates a different surface process (e.g., runoff, creep, fluvial erosion). These components can operate independently, or can be readily coupled together in various combinations to simulate more complex natural environments. Our cratering component is designed to simulate the impact of very large numbers (>106) of bolides, and produces craters that follow known empirical relations between shape metrics. In particular, the model explicitly treats asymmetry in ejecta patterns induced by impacts at oblique angles to the surface. We are using this computational framework to understand the degradation of cratered surfaces by further impacts, initially seeking in particular to quantify how, and at what scales, impact cratering can produce the apparently diffusive behavior characteristic of many lunar landscapes. We demonstrate the importance of declining impactor fluxes and sizes with time in producing smoothly rounded hillslopes on the

  10. What can we learn about impact mechanics from large craters on Venus?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

    More than 50 unequivocal peak-ring craters and multiringed impact basins have been identified on Venus from Earth-based Arecibo, Venera 15/16, and Magellan radar images. These ringed craters are relatively pristine, and so serve as an important new dataset that will further understanding of the structural and rheological properties of the venusian surface and of impact mechanics in general. They are also the most direct analogues for craters formed on the Earth in Phanerozoic time. Finite-element simulations of basin collapse and ring formation were undertaken in collaboration with V. J. Hillgren (University of Arizona). These calculations used an axisymmetric version of the viscoelastic finite element code TECTON, modeled structures on the scale of Klenova or Meitner, and demonstrated two major points. First, viscous flow and ring formation are possible on the timescale of crater collapse for the sizes of multiringed basins seen on Venus and heat flows appropriate to the plant. Second, an elastic lithosphere overlying a Newtonian viscous asthenosphere results mainly in uplift beneath the crater. Inward asthenospheric flow mainly occurs at deeper levels. Lithospheric response is dominantly vertical and flexural. Tensional stress maxima occur and ring formation by normal faulting is predicted in some cases, but these predicted rings occur too far out to explain observed ring spacings on Venus (or on the Moon). Overall, these estimates and models suggest that multiringed basin formation is indeed possible at the scales observed on Venus. Furthermore, due to the strong inverse dependence of solid-state viscosity on stress, the absence of Cordilleran-style ring faulting in craters smaller than Meitner or Klenova makes sense. The apparent increase in viscosity of shock-fluidized rock with crater diameter, greater interior temperatures accessed by larger, deeper craters, and decreased non-Newtonian viscosity associated with larger craters may conspire to make the

  11. Nature of the Yucatan Block Basement as Derived From Study of Granitic Clasts in the Impact Breccias of Chicxulub Crater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vera-Sanchez, P.; Rebolledo-Vieyra, M.; Perez-Cruz, L.; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J.

    2008-05-01

    The tectonic and petrologic nature of the basement of the Yucatan Block is studied from analyses of basement clasts present in the impact suevitic breccias of Chicxulub crater. The impact breccias have been sampled as part of the drilling projects conducted in the Yucatan peninsula by Petroleos Mexicanos, the National University of Mexico and the Chicxulub Scientific Drilling Project. Samples analyzed come mainly from the Yaxcopoil-1, Tekax, and Santa Elena boreholes, and partly from Pemex boreholes. In this study we concentrate on clasts of the granites, granodiorites and quartzmonzonites in the impact breccias. We report major and trace element geochemical and petrological data, which are compared with data from the granitic and volcanic rocks from the Maya Mountains in Belize and from the Swannee terrane in Florida. Basement granitic clasts analyzed present intermediate to acidic sub-alkaline compositions. Plots of major oxides (e.g., Al2O3, Fe2O3, TiO2 and CaO) and trace elements (e.g., Th, Y, Hf, Nb and Zr) versus silica allow separation of samples into two major groups, which can be compared to units in the Maya Mountains and in Florida basement. The impact suevitic breccia samples have been affected by alteration likely related to the hydrothermal processes associated with the crater melt sheet. Cloritization, seritization and fenitization alterations are recognized, due to the long term hydrothermalism. Krogh et al. (1993) reported U-Pb dates on zircons from the suevitic breccias, which gave dates of 545 +/- 5 Ma and 418 +/- 6 Ma, which were interpreted in terms of the deep granitic metamorphic Yucatan basement. The younger date correlates with the age for the Osceola Granite and the St. Lucie metamorphic complex of the Swannee terrane in the Florida peninsula. The intrusive rocks in the Yucatan basement may be related to approx. 418 Ma ago collisional event in the Late Silurian.

  12. Production of impact melt in craters on Venus, Earth, and the moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vickery, A. M.; Melosh, H. J.

    1991-06-01

    Impact craters imaged by Magellan clearly show large amounts of flow-like ejecta whose morphology suggests that the flows comprise low-viscosity material. It was suggested that this material may be either turbidity flows or very fine-grained ejecta, flows of ejecta plus magma, or impact melts. The last of these hypotheses is considered. If these flows are composed of impact melts, there is much more melt relative to the crater volume than is observed on the moon. The ANEOS equation of state program was used for dunite to estimate the shock pressures required for melting, with initial conditions appropriate for Venus, Earth, and the moon. A simple model was then developed, based on the Z-model for excavation flow and on crater scaling relations that allow to estimate the ratio of melt ejecta to total ejecta as a function of crater size on the three bodies.

  13. Shock-wave-induced fracturing of calcareous nannofossils from the Chesapeake Bay impact crater

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2003-01-01

    Fractured calcareous nannofossils of the genus Discoaster from synimpact sediments within the Chesapeake Bay impact crater demonstrate that other petrographic shock indicators exist for the cratering process in addition to quartz minerals. Evidence for shock-induced taphonomy includes marginal fracturing of rosette-shaped Discoaster species into pentagonal shapes and pressure- and temperature-induced dissolution of ray tips and edges of discoasters. Rotational deformation of individual crystallites may be the mechanism that produces the fracture pattern. Shock-wave-fractured calcareous nannofossils were recovered from synimpact matrix material representing tsunami or resurge sedimentation that followed impact. Samples taken from cohesive clasts within the crater rubble show no evidence of shock-induced fracturing. The data presented here support growing evidence that microfossils can be used to determine the intensity and timing of wet-impact cratering.

  14. Large-Scale Impact Cratering and Early Earth Evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grieve, R. A. F.; Cintala, M. J.

    1997-01-01

    The surface of the Moon attests to the importance of large-scale impact in its early crustal evolution. Previous models of the effects of a massive bombardment on terrestrial crustal evolution have relied on analogies with the Moon, with allowances for the presence of water and a thinner lithosphere. It is now apparent that strict lunar-terrestrial analogies are incorrect because of the "differential scaling" of crater dimensions and melt volumes with event size and planetary gravity. Impact melt volumes and "ancient cavity dimensions for specific impacts were modeled according to previous procedures. In the terrestrial case, the melt volume (V(sub m)) exceeds that of the transient cavity (V(sub tc)) at diameters > or = 400 km. This condition is reached on the Moon only with transient cavity diameters > or = 3000 km, equivalent to whole Moon melting. The melt volumes in these large impact events are minimum estimates, since, at these sizes, the higher temperature of the target rocks at depth will increase melt production. Using the modification-scaling relation of Croft, a transient cavity diameter of about 400 km in the terrestrial environment corresponds to an expected final impact "basin" diameter of about 900 km. Such a "basin" would be comparable in dimensions to the lunar basin Orientale. This 900-km "basin" on the early Earth, however, would not have had the appearance of Orientale. It would have been essentially a melt pool, and, morphologically, would have had more in common with the palimpsests structures on Callisto and Ganymede. With the terrestrial equivalents to the large multiring basins of the Moon being manifested as muted palimpsest-like structures filled with impact melt, it is unlikely they played a role in establishing the freeboard on the early Earth. The composition of the massive impact melt sheets (> 10 (exp 7) cu km) produced in "basin-forming" events on the early Earth would have most likely ranged from basaltic to more mafic for the

  15. Predicted and observed magnetic signatures of martian (de)magnetized impact craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langlais, Benoit; Thébault, Erwan

    2011-04-01

    The current morphology of the martian lithospheric magnetic field results from magnetization and demagnetization processes, both of which shaped the planet. The largest martian impact craters, Hellas, Argyre, Isidis and Utopia, are not associated with intense magnetic fields at spacecraft altitude. This is usually interpreted as locally non- or de-magnetized areas, as large impactors may have reset the magnetization of the pre-impact material. We study the effects of impacts on the magnetic field. First, a careful analysis is performed to compute the impact demagnetization effects. We assume that the pre-impact lithosphere acquired its magnetization while cooling in the presence of a global, centered and mainly dipolar magnetic field, and that the subsequent demagnetization is restricted to the excavation area created by large craters, between 50- and 500-km diameter. Depth-to-diameter ratio of the transient craters is set to 0.1, consistent with observed telluric bodies. Associated magnetic field is computed between 100- and 500-km altitude. For a single-impact event, the maximum magnetic field anomaly associated with a crater located over the magnetic pole is maximum above the crater. A 200-km diameter crater presents a close-to-1-nT magnetic field anomaly at 400-km altitude, while a 100-km diameter crater has a similar signature at 200-km altitude. Second, we statistically study the 400-km altitude Mars Global Surveyor magnetic measurements modelled locally over the visible impact craters. This approach offers a local estimate of the confidence to which the magnetic field can be computed from real measurements. We conclude that currently craters down to a diameter of 200 km can be characterized. There is a slight anti-correlation of -0.23 between magnetic field intensity and impact crater diameters, although we show that this result may be fortuitous. A complete low-altitude magnetic field mapping is needed. New data will allow predicted weak anomalies above

  16. Towards a Unified Theory of Impacts and Crater Populations on Icy Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bierhaus, Edward B.; Robbins, Stuart; Dones, Luke

    2014-11-01

    We present our recent work to derive a unified, self-consistent model for the divergent crater populations seen on the Saturnian (and Galilean) satellites. We attack this problem from multiple fronts: modeling the flux of impactors, the resulting primary craters on the satellites' surfaces, modeling the production of ejecta fragments and their corresponding secondary craters, and correlation between the modeling and measured crater populations on the satellites.Our recent work includes (i) quantifying the expected secondary populations, and (ii) extensive crater measurements against which to compare our models. For (i), we find that the interplay between v_min (the min speed to make a crater), v_esc, surface gravity, and the inverse relationship between ejection speed and fragment size, result in different secondary crater populations on satellites. For (ii), we found that the escape speed on Mimas is so small that secondaries may not form on that satellite, or if they do, they are too small to be seen at currently available image resolution. We are expanding our measurements on Rhea, on which we predict a measurable and significant secondary crater population. We will continue our measurements to include Tethys, Dione, Iapetus, and Hyperion, and will compare those with existing measurements of the icy Galilean satellites.We find that the different combinations of impact speeds and surface gravities across the satellites, in conjunction with minimum (v_min) and maximum (v_esc) speeds, produce a diverse set of outcomes between primary crater sizes and secondary crater production and distribution; the net effect is that a single impacting population (e.g. comets) can generate different crater populations. These predictions have been borne out by the crater measurements made to date. Thus it may not be necessary to appeal to multiple or time-dependent impacting populations to explain differences observed in the crater populations on the mid-sized Saturnian satellites

  17. Introducing and discussing a novel diagrammatic representation of impact crater dimensions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caprarelli, Graziella

    2014-07-01

    Impact craters on the surface of Mars are degraded by erosion and infilling due to combinations of geological processes. These result in modifications of relative crater dimensions, including diameter increase and reduction of rim-floor depths. In principle, the longer a crater is exposed to geological processes, the more pronounced the modifications. Visualization and analysis of these effects are achieved by plotting the measured depths (M) of impact craters vs the corresponding theoretical depths (predicted: P) calculated from the crater diameters using depth/Diameter power laws. This type of diagram is referred to as MPD (measured depth vs predicted depth diagram). The advantage of using the MPD representation consists in the fact that the data plot along linear regressions, more easily interpreted than standard depth vs diameter diagrams. As an example of application of the method, the MPD was used to discriminate different generations of impact craters in Terra Sabaea into four groups: T0 (fresh craters), T1, T2 and T3 (from younger to older), all located on the most ancient geological unit in the area (Npld). Other units in the area are Hpl3 and Hr, impacted only by craters belonging to group T0, suggesting that these units are stratigraphically correlated. The data of 5 craters in superposition relationships with the eastern reaches of Evros Vallis, one of the major valley networks in the area, were plotted in the diagram and assigned each to a regression depending on the location of their data points in relation to the prediction bands of the regressions. The craters superposed to the valley all belonged to T0, indicating that Evros Vallis has the same relative age of units Hpl3 and Hr. A conceptual discussion of the results demonstrates that MPD statistics (a) are unaffected by the procedures used to acquire depths and diameters of impact craters and by the power laws used, and (b) can be interpreted irrespective of the sequence or combination of

  18. 3-D Tomographic Imaging of the Chicxulub Impact Crater: Preliminary Results From EW#0501

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Surendra, A. T.; Barton, P. J.; Vermeesch, P. M.; Morgan, J. V.; Warner, M. R.; Gulick, S. P.; Christeson, G. L.; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J.; Rebolledo-Vieyra, M.; Melosh, H. J.; McDonald, M. A.; Goldin, T.; Mendoza, K.

    2005-05-01

    The Chicxulub impact structure provides a unique opportunity to investigate the sub-surface morphology of large craters on Earth and other planets. The structure of the crater interior is still poorly known and there is much uncertainty over the sequence of events by which these large craters form and the magnitude of the subsequent catastrophic environmental effects. In early 2005, a reflection-refraction survey aboard the R/V Maurice Ewing imaged the deep structure of the Chicxulub impact. We present wide-angle data collected by a 3-D grid of 50 ocean bottom seismometers (OBSs), 86 three-component land stations and a 6 km long hydrophone streamer. The OBS grid, designed to image the peak ring and underlying structure of the northwestern quadrant of the crater, recorded shots from several seismic profiles in various orientations. Many of these profiles extended past the crater rim imaging to the base of the crust. Travel-time picks from this dataset, combined with existing 1996 data, will be inverted using the JIVE3-D tomographic inversion program to create a fully 3-D velocity model of the crater interior. The interpretation of the velocity model will focus on the morphology of the peak ring and the central uplift, and the distribution of breccia and suevite (an impact related breccia/melt) in the centre of the crater. We will calculate the Poisson's ratio for different areas of the crater using both the P-wave velocity model and S-wave arrivals, including those from the 1996 land station data. Comparisons of these values with measurements on the Yaxcopoil-1 core taken from within the crater provide ground-truth for our tomographic model. The contrast in Poisson's ratio between areas of suevite and the surrounding rock further constrain the distribution of breccia and suevite.

  19. Lightning remagnetization of the Vredefort impact crater: No evidence for impact-generated magnetic fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carporzen, Laurent; Weiss, Benjamin P.; Gilder, Stuart A.; Pommier, Anne; Hart, Rodger J.

    2012-01-01

    The Vredefort impact crater in South Africa is one of the oldest and largest craters on Earth, making it a unique analog for planetary basins. Intense and randomly oriented remanent magnetization observed in surface samples at Vredefort has been attributed to impact-generated magnetic fields. This possibility has major implications for extraterrestrial paleomagnetism since impact-generated fields have been proposed as a key alternative to the dynamo hypothesis for magnetization on the Moon and asteroids. Furthermore, the presence of single-domain magnetite found along shock-generated planar deformation features in Vredefort granites has been widely attributed to the 2.02 Ga impact event. An alternative hypothesis is that the unusual magnetization and/or rock magnetic properties of Vredefort rocks are the products of recent lightning strikes. Lightning and impact-generated fields can be distinguished by measuring samples collected from below the present surface. Here we present a paleomagnetic and rock magnetic study of samples from two 10 m deep vertical boreholes. We show that the magnetization at depth is consistent with a thermoremanent magnetization acquired in the local geomagnetic field following the impact, while random, intense magnetization and some of the unusual rock magnetic properties observed in surface rocks are superficial phenomena produced by lightning. Because Vredefort is the only terrestrial crater that has been proposed to contain records of impact-generated fields, this removes a key piece of evidence in support of the hypothesis that paleomagnetism of the Moon and other extraterrestrial bodies is the product of impacts rather than past core dynamos.

  20. Ejecta velocity distribution of impact craters formed on quartz sand: Effect of projectile density on crater scaling law

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsujido, Sayaka; Arakawa, Masahiko; Suzuki, Ayako I.; Yasui, Minami

    2015-12-01

    In order to clarify the effects of projectile density on ejecta velocity distributions for a granular target, impact cratering experiments on a quartz sand target were conducted by using eight types of projectiles with different densities ranging from 11 g cm-3 to 1.1 g cm-3, which were launched at about 200 m s-1 from a vertical gas gun at Kobe University. The scaling law of crater size, the ejection angle of ejecta grains, and the angle of the ejecta curtain were also investigated. The ejecta velocity distribution obtained from each projectile was well described by the π-scaling theory of v0/√{gR} =k2(x0/R)-1/μ , where v0, g, R and x0 are the ejection velocity, gravitational acceleration, crater radius and ejection position, respectively, and k2 and μ are constants mostly depending on target material properties (Housen, K.R., Holsapple, K.A. [2011]. Icarus 211, 856-875). The value of k2 was found to be almost constant at 0.7 for all projectiles except for the nylon projectile, while μ increased with the projectile density, from 0.43 for the low-density projectile to 0.6-0.7 for the high-density projectile. On the other hand, the π-scaling theory for crater size gave a μ value of 0.57, which was close to the average of the μ values obtained from ejecta velocity distributions. The ejection angle, θ, of each grain decreased slightly with distance, from higher than 45° near the impact point to 30-40° at 0.6 R. The ejecta curtain angle is controlled by the two elementary processes of ejecta velocity distribution and ejection angle; it gradually increased from 52° to 63° with the increase of the projectile density. The comparison of our experimental results with the theoretical model of the crater excavation flow known as the Z-model revealed that the relationship between μ and θ obtained by our experiments could not be described by the Z-model (Maxwell, D.E. [1977]. In: Roddy, D.J., Pepin, R.O., Merrill, R.B. (Eds.), Impact and Explosion Cratering

  1. Petrophysical and paleomagnetic data of drill cores from the Bosumtwi impact structure, Ghana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elbra, T.; Kontny, A.; Pesonen, L. J.; Schleifer, N.; Schell, C.

    Physical properties from rocks of the Bosumtwi impact structure, Ghana, Central Africa, are essential to understand the formation of the relatively young (1.07 Ma) and small (10.5 km) impact crater and to improve its geophysical modeling. Results of our petrophysical studies of deep drill cores LB-07A and LB-08A reveal distinct lithological patterns but no depth dependence. The most conspicuous difference between impactites and target lithologies are the lower bulk densities and significantly higher porosities of the suevite and lithic breccia units compared to meta-graywacke and metapelites of target lithologies. Magnetic susceptibility shows mostly paramagnetic values (200-500 × 10-6 SI) throughout the core, with an exception of a few metasediment samples, and correlates positively with natural remanent magnetization (NRM) and Q values. These data indicate that magnetic parameters are related to inhomogeneously distributed ferrimagnetic pyrrhotite. The paleomagnetic data reveals that the characteristic direction of NRM has shallow normal (in a few cases shallow reversed) polarity, which is in agreement with the Lower Jaramillo N-polarity chron direction, and is carried by ferrimagnetic pyrrhotite. However, our study has not revealed the expected high magnetization body required from previous magnetic modeling. Furthermore, the LB-07A and LB08-A drill cores did not show the predicted high content of melt in the rocks, requiring a new interpretation model for magnetic data.

  2. Pre-impact crustal porosity and its effect on the gravity signature of lunar craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milbury, Colleen; Johnson, Brandon C.; Melosh, H. Jay; Collins, Gareth C.; Blair, David M.; Soderblom, Jason M.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2015-04-01

    NASA's dual Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft have globally mapped the lunar gravity field at unprecedented resolution. Soderblom et al. [2015] made a comprehensive analysis of the residual and central uplift Bouguer gravity anomalies associated with more than 5200 lunar craters. There were two main observations that are related to the work presented here: 1) craters less than ~150 km in diameter (D) have a residual Bouguer anomaly (BA) that is near zero on average (although a negative trend is observed), but have both positive and negative anomalies that vary by approximately ±25 mGal about the mean, and, 2) there is a transition at which the central uplift BA becomes positive and increases with D. Craters that are located in the maria and South Pole-Aitken (SPA) basin were excluded from the analysis because they tend to have more negative signatures than highlands craters. These gravitational signatures contrast with the invariably negative gravity anomalies associated with terrestrial craters. In this study, we investigate pre-impact porosity by modeling crater formation using the iSALE hydrocode, including a new approach to include dilatancy, to determine their effects on the gravity signature of craters. We calculated the BA for the simulations, but due to mantle uplift alone. We find that the magnitude of the BA increases with increasing porosity, and that variable initial porosity of the lunar crust can explain why craters on the Moon exhibit both positive and negative Bouguer anomalies. This can also explain the observed negative residual BA associated with craters formed in the lunar maria and SPA (and associated melt sheet) because they are typically less porous than the highlands crust. Gravity anomalies due to mantle uplift reproduce the observed transition from zero to a positive central uplift BA, which coincides with the morphological transition from complex craters to peak-ring basins.

  3. Magnetic Susceptibility and Geochemistry Records in the Yax-1 Borehole in the Chicxulub Impact Crater: A paleoclimatic approach in the K/Pg and P/E Boundaries.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marca-Castillo, M.; Perez-Cruz, L. L.; Fucugauchi, J. U.; Buitrón Sánchez, B. E.

    2015-12-01

    Chicxulub impact crater is located in the northwestern sector of Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. It is the best-preserved multi-ring impact crater on Earth. Several studies have been focused in this crater structure due its association with the Cretaceous/Paleogenous boundary events. The aim of this study is document the abrupt climate changes during the K/Pg and P/E boundaries based on the stratigraphy, magnetic properties (magnetic susceptibility) and geochemical (major elements) records in the Yaxcopoil-1 (Yax-1) borehole in the Chicxulub impact crater. The Yax 1 was drilled at 20° 44' 38.45'' N, 89° 43' 6.70'' W. Two intervals from 830 to 750 and between 750 and 700 m depth were selected for this study. Magnetic susceptibility logs and X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) measures were taken every 10 cm using a Bartington magnetic susceptibility meter and a Thermo Scientific Niton XL3tGOLDD XRF analyzer. Results show variations in magnetic susceptibility logs and major elements (Ca, Si, Fe, Ti and Si) content in the K/Pg boundary at ca. 794 m depth. Magnetic susceptibility decrease abruptly, Ca values increase, and the other elements show low values. Geochemical results, manly the Ca-record, suggest that the P/E boundary might have happened around 745 m depth. These values are compared with 13C isotopes and they coincide with the Carbon Isotope Excursion (CIE), suggesting their relationship with the abrupt climate change and with the ocean acidification.

  4. Present-day impact cratering rate and contemporary gully activity on Mars.

    PubMed

    Malin, Michael C; Edgett, Kenneth S; Posiolova, Liliya V; McColley, Shawn M; Dobrea, Eldar Z Noe

    2006-12-08

    The Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera has acquired data that establish the present-day impact cratering rate and document new deposits formed by downslope movement of material in mid-latitude gullies on Mars. Twenty impacts created craters 2 to 150 meters in diameter within an area of 21.5 x 10(6) square kilometers between May 1999 and March 2006. The values predicted by models that scale the lunar cratering rate to Mars are close to the observed rate, implying that surfaces devoid of craters are truly young and that as yet unrecognized processes of denudation must be operating. The new gully deposits, formed since August 1999, are light toned and exhibit attributes expected from emplacement aided by a fluid with the properties of liquid water: relatively long, extended, digitate distal and marginal branches, diversion around obstacles, and low relief. The observations suggest that liquid water flowed on the surface of Mars during the past decade.

  5. Experimental impact cratering provides ground truth data for understanding planetary-scale collision processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poelchau, Michael H.; Deutsch, Alex; Kenkmann, Thomas

    2013-04-01

    Impact cratering is generally accepted as one of the primary processes that shape planetary surfaces in the solar system. While post-impact analysis of craters by remote sensing or field work gives many insights into this process, impact cratering experiments have several advantages for impact research: 1) excavation and ejection processes can be directly observed, 2) physical parameters of the experiment are defined and can be varied, and 3) cratered target material can be analyzed post-impact in an unaltered, uneroded state. The main goal of the MEMIN project is to comprehensively quantify impact processes by conducting a stringently controlled experimental impact cratering campaign on the meso-scale with a multidisciplinary analytical approach. As a unique feature we use two-stage light gas guns capable of producing impact craters in the decimeter size-range in solid rocks that, in turn, allow detailed spatial analysis of petrophysical, structural, and geochemical changes in target rocks and ejecta. In total, we have carried out 24 experiments at the facilities of the Fraunhofer EMI, Freiburg - Germany. Steel, aluminum, and iron meteorite projectiles ranging in diameter from 2.5 to 12 mm were accelerated to velocities ranging from 2.5 to 7.8 km/s. Targets were solid rocks, namely sandstone, quartzite and tuff that were either dry or saturated with water. In the experimental setup, high speed framing cameras monitored the impact process, ultrasound sensors were attached to the target to record the passage of the shock wave, and special particle catchers were positioned opposite of the target surface to capture the ejected target and projectile material. In addition to the cratering experiments, planar shock recovery experiments were performed on the target material, and numerical models of the cratering process were developed. The experiments resulted in craters with diameters up to 40 cm, which is unique in laboratory cratering research. Target porosity

  6. Timing of the faulting on the Wispy Terrain of Dione based on stratigraphic relationships with impact craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirata, Naoyuki

    2016-11-01

    The trailing hemisphere of Dione is characterized by the Wispy Terrain, where it exhibits a hemispheric-scale network of extensional tectonic faults superposed on the moon's cratered surface. The faults likely reflect past endogenic activity and Dione's interior thermal history. Although fresh exposures of pristine scarps indicate that the timing of the faulting is relatively recent, the absolute age of the faulting remains uncertain. To estimate the timing of the faulting, we investigated stratigraphic relationships between impact craters and faults. Using high-resolution images obtained by the ISS camera onboard the Cassini spacecraft, we investigated craters with diameters exceeding or equal to 10 km that coincide spatially with the faults and classified the craters as crosscut craters or superposed craters. As a result, at least 82% of the craters were interpreted as clear examples of crosscut craters and 12% of the craters were interpreted to be candidates of superposed craters, although stratigraphic relationships are often ambiguous. The paucity of superposed craters and a predicted cratering rate indicate that the faulting of the Wispy Terrain is 0.30-0.79 Ga. If 12-18% of the craters are assumed to be superposed, the timing of the faulting could be in the range 0.30-0.79 Ga. However, it is possible that the faulting of the Wispy Terrain is still ongoing.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  8. DARWIN Glass and DARWIN Crater Revisited. Multiple Impacts in the Australasian Strewn Field?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meisel, T.; Biino, G. G.; Villa, I. M.; Chambers, J. E.; McHone, J. F.

    1995-09-01

    Darwin glass, an impact glass occurring in South West Tasmania, has been found at least since human beings reached Tasmania ca. 40 k.y. ago. Darwin glass, although in the proximity of the Australasian tektites strewn field, has never been counted as part of it. Darwin Crater was recognized about 30 years ago. Still, the existence of an impact structure in Tasmania has been neglected and does not show up in most compilations of known impact craters. Age determinations on Darwin Glass from the early 70's revealed a combined K-Ar and fission track age of 0.73 +/- 0.04 m.y. [1]. The most recent and most precise estimate for Australites and Indochinites yields 0.784 +/- 0.012 m.y. [2]. The two ages are indistinguishable from each other. This contemporaneity lead to the hypothesis that impact on Earth producing australites also formed Darwin Crater as a primary and/or secondary crater (Gentner et al., 1973). If one believes that all tektites of the Australian strewn field were produced by one impact in or near Indochina, then a special case is required to also form Darwin Crater, which is at least 5000 km away. Atmospheric breakup of a planetary body is a very unlikely possibility, because the distance travelled after breakup is too small to account for the dispersion. Double craters on Earth are always close to each other (e.g., Kara and Kara Ust). A more likely scenario could be an impact of an asteroidal body with an accompanying small moon (e.g., Ida and Gaspra). If one believes in multiple impacts for the formation of Muong Nong-type or layered tektites in the Australasian strewn field, then a collision of an asteroidal body with another body shortly before impact on Earth is required. In this case, an impact on Earth a large distance away (i.e., Tasmania) is realistic. To address the problem of crater recognition and possible simultaneous impact events, a new multidisciplinary investigation is currently underway. We intend to determine the age of three Darwin

  9. Is There any Relationship Between the Santa Elena Depression and Chicxulub Impact Crater, Northwestern Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lefticariu, L.

    2005-05-01

    The Terminal Cretaceous Chicxulub Impact Crater had a strong control on the depositional and diagenetic history of the northern Yucatan Platform during most of the Cenozoic Era. The Chicxulub Sedimentary Basin (henceforth Basin), which approximately coincides with the impact crater, is circumscribed by a concentration of karstic sinkholes known as the Ring of Cenotes. Santa Elena Depression (henceforth Depression) is the name proposed for the bowl-shaped buried feature, first contoured by geophysical studies, immediately south of the Basin, in the area where the Ticul 1 and UNAM 5 wells were drilled. Lithologic, petrographic, and biostratigraphic data on PEMEX, UNAM, and ICDP cores show that: 1) Cenozoic deposits are much thicker inside the Basin than inside the Depression, 2) in general, the Cenozoic formations from inside the Depression are the thickest among those outside the Basin, 3) variably dolomitized pelagic or outer-platform wackestone or mudstone occur both inside the Basin and Depression, 4) the age of the deeper-water sedimentary carbonate rocks is Paleocene-Eocene inside the Basin and Paleocene?-Early Eocene inside the Depression, 5) the oldest formations that crop out are of Middle Eocene age at the edge of the Basin and Early-Middle Eocene age inside the Depression, 6) saline lake deposits, that consist chiefly of anhydrite, gypsum, and fine carbonate, and also contain quartz, chert, clay, zeolite, potassium feldspar, pyrite, and fragments of wood, are present in the Cenozoic section of the UNAM 5 core between 282 and 198 m below the present land surface, 7) the dolomite, subaerial exposure features (subaerial crusts, vugs, karst, dedolomite), and vug-filling cement from the Eocene formations are more abundant inside the Depression than inside the Basin. The depositional environments that are proposed for explaining the Cenozoic facies succession within the Santa Elena Depression are: 1) deeper marine water (Paleocene?-Early Eocene), 2) relatively

  10. Ancient impact structures on modern continental shelves: The Chesapeake Bay, Montagnais, and Toms Canyon craters, Atlantic margin of North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Poag, C. Wylie; Plescia, J.B.; Molzer, P.C.

    2002-01-01

    Three ancient impact craters (Chesapeake Bay - 35.7 Ma; Toms Canyon - 35.7 Ma; Montagnais - 51 Ma) and one multiring impact basin (Chicxulub - 65 Ma) are currently known to be buried beneath modern continental shelves. All occur on the passive Atlantic margin of North America in regions extensively explored by seismic reflection surveys in the search for oil and gas reserves. We limit our discussion herein to the three youngest structures. These craters were created by submarine impacts, which produced many structural and morphological features similar in construction, composition, and variability to those documented in well-preserved subaerial and planetary impact craters. The subcircular Chesapeake Bay (diameter 85 km) and ovate Montagnais (diameter 45-50 km) structures display outer-rim scarps, annular troughs, peak rings, inner basins, and central peaks similar to those incorporated in the widely cited conceptual model of complex impact craters. These craters differ in several respects from the model, however. For example, the Montagnais crater lacks a raised lip on the outer rim, the Chesapeake Bay crater displays only small remnants of a raised lip, and both craters contain an unusually thick body of impact breccia. The subtriangular Toms Canyon crater (diameter 20-22 km), on the other hand, contains none of the internal features of a complex crater, nor is it typical of a simple crater. It displays a prominent raised lip on the outer rim, but the lip is present only on the western side of the crater. In addition, each of these craters contains some distinct features, which are not present in one or both of the others. For example, the central peak at Montagnais rises well above the elevation of the outer rim, whereas at Chesapeake Bay, the outer rim is higher than the central peak. The floor of the Toms Canyon crater is marked by parallel deep troughs and linear ridges formed of sedimentary rocks, whereas at Chesapeake Bay, the crater floor contains

  11. The role of volatiles and lithology in the impact cratering process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kieffer, S. W.; Simonds, C. H.

    1980-02-01

    A survey of published descriptions of 32 of the largest, least eroded terrestrial impact structures shows that the amount of melt at craters in crystalline rocks is approximately two orders of magnitude greater than that at craters in sedimentary rocks. A model is proposed for the impact process, and it is examined whether the difference in melt abundance is due to differences in the amount of melt generated in various target materials or due to differences in the fate of the melt during late stages of the impact. The model accounts semiquantitatively for the effects of porosity and water and volatile content on the cratering process. Important features of the model are noted. Even if the recondensation of released volatiles is very efficient, the cumulative effect of repeated impacts on accreting planets would be to continually transfer volatiles toward the outer surface. By this process, volatiles might be enriched toward the outer layer of a growing planet.

  12. Asteroid Impacts, Crater Scaling Laws, and a Proposed Younger Age for Venus's Surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bottke, William; Ghent, Rebecca; Mazrouei, Sara; Robbins, Stuart; Vokrouhlicky, David

    2015-11-01

    A fascinating on-going debate concerns the asteroid sizes needed to form certain large craters. For example, numerical hydrocode models predict that ~12-14 km and ~8 km diameter asteroids are needed to produce craters like Chicxulub (~180 km) and Popigai (~100 km), respectively. The abundance of extraterrestrial Ir/Os measured at well-characterized impact boundaries on land and in oceanic cores, however, predict far smaller projectiles, 4-6 km and 2.5-4 km, respectively (e.g., Paquay et al. 2014; F. Kyte, pers. comm). To test who might be right by proxy, we transformed the near-Earth object (NEO) size distribution (Harris & D'Abramo 2015), where > 90% of the D > 1 km asteroids are known, into a model crater size distribution and compared it to the distribution of D > 20 km craters formed on the Moon, Mars, and Venus over the last ~1-3 Gyr. Here we kept things simple and assumed that f described the ratio between all crater and asteroid diameters of interest (i.e., f = D_crater / D_proj).To our surprise, we found f ~ 23-26 produced excellent matches for the crater size distributions on the Moon, Mars, and Venus, despite their differences in gravity, surface properties, impact velocities, etc. These same values work well for the Earth as well. Consider that terrestrial crater production rates derived by Shoemaker (1998) indicate 340 +/- 170 D > 20 km craters formed over the last 120 Myr. Using f = 25, we get the same value; a D > 0.8 km asteroid makes a D > 20 km crater, and they hit Earth every 0.35 Myr on average (e.g., Bottke et al. 2002), for a total of ~340 over 120 Myr. Accordingly, we predict Chicxulub and Popigai were made by D ~ 7 and D ~ 4 km asteroids, respectively, values close to their predicted sizes from Ir/Os measurements. This result also potentially explains why Chicxulub formed ~65 Myr ago; the interval between D ~ 7 km impacts on Earth is close to this rate.The NEO model by Bottke et al. (2002) also suggests asteroids hit Venus at roughly the same

  13. Identification of Possible Interstellar Dust Impact Craters on Stardust Foil I033N,1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ansari, A.; ISPE Team; 29,000 Stardust@home Dusters

    2011-12-01

    The Interstellar Dust Collector onboard NASA's Stardust Mission - the first to return solid extraterrestrial material to Earth from beyond the Moon - was exposed to the interstellar dust stream for a total of 229 days prior to the spacecraft's return in 2006 [1]. Aluminum foils and aerogel tiles on the collector may have captured the first samples of contemporary interstellar dust. Interstellar Preliminary Examination (ISPE) focuses in part on crater identification and analysis of residue within the craters to determine the nature and origin of the impacting particles. Thus far, ISPE has focused on nine foils and found a total of 20 craters. The number density of impact craters on the foils exceeds by far estimates made from interstellar flux calculations [2]. To identify craters, foil I1033N,1 was scanned with the Field Museum's Evo 60 Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) at a resolution of 52 nm/pixel with a 15 kV and 170-240 pA beam. Contamination was monitored according to the ISPE protocol: four 4 μm × 3 μm areas of C layers of different thicknesses on a Stardust-type Al foil were irradiated 20 times for 50 s each, while the C and Al signals were recorded with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). The C/Al ratio did not increase after 20 repetitions on each of the four areas. The same experiment repeated 7 months later yielded identical results. Thus, analysis with the SEM results in no detectable contamination. Crater candidates were manually selected from SEM images, then reimaged at higher resolution (17 nm/pixel) in order to eliminate false detections. The foil was then sent to Washington University for Auger Nanoprobe elemental analysis of crater 11_175 (diam. 1.1 μm), and to the Naval Research Laboratory for focused ion beam work and transmission electron microscopy and EDS. Twelve crater candidates (diam. 0.28 - 1.1 μm), both elliptical and circular, were identified. The number density of craters on foil 1033N is 15.8 cm^-2. Auger measurements

  14. Spectral properties of Titan's impact craters imply chemical weathering of its surface.

    PubMed

    Neish, C D; Barnes, J W; Sotin, C; MacKenzie, S; Soderblom, J M; Le Mouélic, S; Kirk, R L; Stiles, B W; Malaska, M J; Le Gall, A; Brown, R H; Baines, K H; Buratti, B; Clark, R N; Nicholson, P D

    2015-05-28

    We examined the spectral properties of a selection of Titan's impact craters that represent a range of degradation states. The most degraded craters have rims and ejecta blankets with spectral characteristics that suggest that they are more enriched in water ice than the rims and ejecta blankets of the freshest craters on Titan. The progression is consistent with the chemical weathering of Titan's surface. We propose an evolutionary sequence such that Titan's craters expose an intimate mixture of water ice and organic materials, and chemical weathering by methane rainfall removes the soluble organic materials, leaving the insoluble organics and water ice behind. These observations support the idea that fluvial processes are active in Titan's equatorial regions.

  15. Spectral properties of Titan's impact craters imply chemical weathering of its surface

    PubMed Central

    Barnes, J. W.; Sotin, C.; MacKenzie, S.; Soderblom, J. M.; Le Mouélic, S.; Kirk, R. L.; Stiles, B. W.; Malaska, M. J.; Le Gall, A.; Brown, R. H.; Baines, K. H.; Buratti, B.; Clark, R. N.; Nicholson, P. D.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract We examined the spectral properties of a selection of Titan's impact craters that represent a range of degradation states. The most degraded craters have rims and ejecta blankets with spectral characteristics that suggest that they are more enriched in water ice than the rims and ejecta blankets of the freshest craters on Titan. The progression is consistent with the chemical weathering of Titan's surface. We propose an evolutionary sequence such that Titan's craters expose an intimate mixture of water ice and organic materials, and chemical weathering by methane rainfall removes the soluble organic materials, leaving the insoluble organics and water ice behind. These observations support the idea that fluvial processes are active in Titan's equatorial regions. PMID:27656006

  16. Image and compositional characteristics of the LDEF Big Guy impact crater

    SciTech Connect

    Bunch, T.E.; Paque, J.M.; Zolensky, M. |

    1995-02-01

    A 5.2 mm crater in Al-metal represents the largest found on LDEF. The authors have examined this crater by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and time-of-flight/secondary ion mass spectroscopy (TOF-SIMS) in order to determine if there is any evidence of impactor residue. Droplet and dome-shaped columns, along with flow features, are evidence of melting. EDS from the crater cavity and rim show Mg, C, O and variable amounts of Si, in addition to Al. No evidence for a chondritic impactor was found, and it is hypothesized that the crater may be the result of impact with space debris.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  18. The thermal engine of Venus: Implications from the impact crater distribution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phillips, Roger J.

    1992-01-01

    Questions concerning the state of Venus' volcanological activity are currently under investigation. These questions were raised by the imaging radar and altimetric data obtained by the Magellan spacecraft, which began mapping Venus in Sept. 1990. Clues about the answers to these questions are provided by the nature and distribution of impact craters on the surface of Venus. Statistical tests show that the distribution of craters on Venus cannot be distinguished from a completely spatially random population. Further, the majority of craters look relatively pristine; only about 5 percent of the observed craters appear to be embayed or flooded by lavas. The simplest interpretation of these observations is a model in which the impact craters lie on a surface that has been undisturbed by volcanological and tectonic processes since the time the surface was formed. Counting up the number of craters and estimating the rate at which meteoroids strike the surface then gives an age for the venusian surface of 500 million years; in this model the volcanic activity since that time has been essentially nil. This scenario is described as a 'production' model, or perhaps more appropriately, a 'catastrophic' model.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osinski, G. R.

    2015-12-01

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

  20. Determination of impact crater size-frequency distributions in GIS environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kneissl, Thomas; van Gasselt, Stephan; Neukum, Gerhard

    2010-05-01

    Analysis of crater size-frequency distributions (CSFD) of impact craters on planetary surfaces is a well-established method to derive absolute ages on the basis of remotelysensed image data. Although modelling approaches and the derivation of absolute ages from a given CSFD have been described in considerable depth since the late 1960s, there is no standardized methodology and guideline for measuring impact-crater diameters and area sizes that are both needed in order to determine absolute ages in a correct way. Distortions of distances (i.e., diameters) and areas within different map projections are considerable error sources within this measurement phase. In order to address that problem and to minimize such errors, a software extension for ESRI's ArcMap (ArcGIS) has been developed where CSFDs on planetary surfaces can be measured independently of image and data frame map projections and which can be theoretically transferred to every GI system capable of working with different map projections. Using this new approach each digitized impact crater is internally projected to a stereographic map projection with the crater's central-point set as the projection center. In this projection the circle is defined without any distortion of its shape (i.e., conformality). Using a sinusoidal map projection with a center longitude set to the crater's centralpoint, the diameter of the impact crater is measured along this central meridian which is true-scale and does not show any distortion. The crater is re-projected to the map projection of the current data frame and stored as vector geometry with attributes (shapefile). Output of this workflow comprises correct impact-crater diameters and area sizes in sinusoidal map projections and can be used for further processing, e.g., absolute age determinations. For GIS-based measurements we strongly recommend our procedure to be the standardised methodology to determine CSFD on planetary surfaces in order to minimize map distortion

  1. How Small Can Impact Craters Be Detected at Large Scale by Automated Algorithms?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bandeira, L.; Machado, M.; Pina, P.; Marques, J. S.

    2013-12-01

    intended to be detected: the lower this limit is, the higher the false detection rates are. A detailed evaluation is performed with breakdown results by crater dimension and image or surface type, permitting to realize that automated detections in large crater datasets in HiRISE imagery datasets with 25cm/pixel resolution can be successfully done (high correct and low false positive detections) until a crater dimension of about 8-10 m or 32-40 pixels. [1] Martins L, Pina P. Marques JS, Silveira M, 2009, Crater detection by a boosting approach. IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters 6: 127-131. [2] Salamuniccar G, Loncaric S, Pina P. Bandeira L., Saraiva J, 2011, MA130301GT catalogue of Martian impact craters and advanced evaluation of crater detection algorithms using diverse topography and image datasets. Planetary and Space Science 59: 111-131. [3] Bandeira L, Ding W, Stepinski T, 2012, Detection of sub-kilometer craters in high resolution planetary images using shape and texture features. Advances in Space Research 49: 64-74.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  3. Validation of numerical codes for impact and explosion cratering: Impacts on strengthless and metal targets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierazzo, E.; Artemieva, N.; Asphaug, E.; Baldwin, E. C.; Cazamias, J.; Coker, R.; Collins, G. S.; Crawford, D. A.; Davison, T.; Elbeshausen, D.; Holsapple, K. A.; Housen, K. R.; Korycansky, D. G.; Wünnemann, K.

    2008-12-01

    Over the last few decades, rapid improvement of computer capabilities has allowed impact cratering to be modeled with increasing complexity and realism, and has paved the way for a new era of numerical modeling of the impact process, including full, three-dimensional (3D) simulations. When properly benchmarked and validated against observation, computer models offer a powerful tool for understanding the mechanics of impact crater formation. This work presents results from the first phase of a project to benchmark and validate shock codes. A variety of 2D and 3D codes were used in this study, from commercial products like AUTODYN, to codes developed within the scientific community like SOVA, SPH, ZEUS-MP, iSALE, and codes developed at U.S. National Laboratories like CTH, SAGE/RAGE, and ALE3D. Benchmark calculations of shock wave propagation in aluminum-on-aluminum impacts were performed to examine the agreement between codes for simple idealized problems. The benchmark simulations show that variability in code results is to be expected due to differences in the underlying solution algorithm of each code, artificial stability parameters, spatial and temporal resolution, and material models. Overall, the inter-code variability in peak shock pressure as a function of distance is around 10 to 20%. In general, if the impactor is resolved by at least 20 cells across its radius, the underestimation of peak shock pressure due to spatial resolution is less than 10%. In addition to the benchmark tests, three validation tests were performed to examine the ability of the codes to reproduce the time evolution of crater radius and depth observed in vertical laboratory impacts in water and two well-characterized aluminum alloys. Results from these calculations are in good agreement with experiments. There appears to be a general tendency of shock physics codes to underestimate the radius of the forming crater. Overall, the discrepancy between the model and experiment results is

  4. Geomorphologic mapping of the lunar crater Tycho and its impact melt deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krüger, T.; van der Bogert, C. H.; Hiesinger, H.

    2016-07-01

    Using SELENE/Kaguya Terrain Camera and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) data, we produced a new, high-resolution (10 m/pixel), geomorphological and impact melt distribution map for the lunar crater Tycho. The distal ejecta blanket and crater rays were investigated using LROC wide-angle camera (WAC) data (100 m/pixel), while the fine-scale morphologies of individual units were documented using high resolution (∼0.5 m/pixel) LROC narrow-angle camera (NAC) frames. In particular, Tycho shows a large coherent melt sheet on the crater floor, melt pools and flows along the terraced walls, and melt pools on the continuous ejecta blanket. The crater floor of Tycho exhibits three distinct units, distinguishable by their elevation and hummocky surface morphology. The distribution of impact melt pools and ejecta, as well as topographic asymmetries, support the formation of Tycho as an oblique impact from the W-SW. The asymmetric ejecta blanket, significantly reduced melt emplacement uprange, and the depressed uprange crater rim at Tycho suggest an impact angle of ∼25-45°.

  5. Exhumed Craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    5 July 2004 Burial and exhumation is a theme that repeats itself, all over the surface of Mars. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows several north mid-latitude meteor impact craters with bouldery ejecta deposits. Each of the craters was once buried and later exhumed. Mesas on the floors of these craters are remnants of the materials that once filled and covered them. The craters are located near 39.7oN, 206.0oW. The image covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) wide; sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left.

  6. Zhamanshin and Aouelloul - Craters produced by impact of tektite-like glasses?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Keefe, John A.

    1987-09-01

    It is shown that the enhanced abundance of siderophile elements and chromium in tektite-like glasses from the two impact craters of Zhamanshin and Aouelloul cannot be explained as a result of contamination of the country rock by meteorites nor, probably, comets. The pattern is, however, like that found in certain Australasian tektites, and in Ivory Coast tektites. It is concluded, in agreement with earlier suggestions by Campbell-Smith and Hey, that these craters were formed by the impact of large masses of tektite-like glass, of which the glasses which were studied are fragments. It follows that it is necessary, in considering an impact crater, to bear in mind that the projectile may have been a glass.

  7. Zhamanshin and Aouelloul - Craters produced by impact of tektite-like glasses?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    O'Keefe, John A.

    1987-01-01

    It is shown that the enhanced abundance of siderophile elements and chromium in tektite-like glasses from the two impact craters of Zhamanshin and Aouelloul cannot be explained as a result of contamination of the country rock by meteorites nor, probably, comets. The pattern is, however, like that found in certain Australasian tektites, and in Ivory Coast tektites. It is concluded, in agreement with earlier suggestions by Campbell-Smith and Hey, that these craters were formed by the impact of large masses of tektite-like glass, of which the glasses which were studied are fragments. It follows that it is necessary, in considering an impact crater, to bear in mind that the projectile may have been a glass.

  8. Reconstruction of hypervelocity impact crater progenitors utilising experimental data and hydrocode modelling at micron-scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, Mark C.; Kearsley, Anton T.; Burchell, Mark J.

    2009-06-01

    We have used the Ansys Inc. AUTODYN software to hydrodynamically model small particle impacts into aluminium foil under the conditions of the Stardust encounter with comet 81P/Wild 2 (i.e., normal incidence, 6.1 km s-1). We compare results of impact models, based on carefully defined particle structures inferred from experimental data, with three-dimensional crater shapes reported from Stardust. This allows us to assess the extent to which the particle's structure (and composition) is reflected in the resulting impact feature. Our aim is to improve interpretation of comet Wild 2's dust characteristics, especially sub-grain dimensions, internal porosity and overall grain density. Here we present a simulation of the formation of a complex crater seen on Stardust foil C029W,1 and demonstrate that a reasonably simple model for the impactor results in a simulated crater morphology very consistent with the measured morphology.

  9. ChemCam investigation of the John Klein and Cumberland drill holes and tailings, Gale crater, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, R. S.; Wiens, R. C.; Vaniman, D. T.; Beegle, L.; Gasnault, O.; Newsom, H. E.; Maurice, S.; Meslin, P.-Y.; Clegg, S.; Cousin, A.; Schröder, S.; Williams, J. M.

    2016-10-01

    The ChemCam instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory rover analyzed the rock surface, drill hole walls, tailings, and unprocessed and sieved dump piles to investigate chemical variations with depth in the first two martian drill holes and possible fractionation or segregation effects of the drilling and sample processing. The drill sites are both in Sheepbed Mudstone, the lowest exposed member of the Yellowknife Bay formation. Yellowknife Bay is composed of detrital basaltic materials in addition to clay minerals and an amorphous component. The drill tailings are a mixture of basaltic sediments and diagenetic material like calcium sulfate veins, while the shots on the drill site surface and walls of the drill holes are closer to those pure end members. The sediment dumped from the sample acquisition, processing, and handling subsystem is of similar composition to the tailings; however, due to the specifics of the drilling process the tailings and dump piles come from different depths within the hole. This allows the ChemCam instrument to analyze samples representing the bulk composition from different depths. On the pre-drill surfaces, the Cumberland site has a greater amount of CaO and evidence for calcium sulfate veins, than the John Klein site. However, John Klein has a greater amount of calcium sulfate veins below the surface, as seen in mapping, drill hole wall analysis, and observations in the drill tailings and dump pile. In addition, the Cumberland site does not have any evidence of variations in bulk composition with depth down the drill hole, while the John Klein site has evidence for a greater amount of CaO (calcium sulfates) in the top portion of the hole compared to the middle section of the hole, where the drill sample was collected.

  10. Melt production in large-scale impact events: Implications and observations at terrestrial craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

    The volume of impact melt relative to the volume of the transient cavity increases with the size of the impact event. Here, we use the impact of chondrite into granite at 15, 25, and 50 km s(sup -1) to model impact-melt volumes at terrestrial craters in crystalline targets and explore the implications for terrestrial craters. Figures are presented that illustrate the relationships between melt volume and final crater diameter D(sub R) for observed terrestrial craters in crystalline targets; also included are model curves for the three different impact velocities. One implication of the increase in melt volumes with increasing crater size is that the depth of melting will also increase. This requires that shock effects occurring at the base of the cavity in simple craters and in the uplifted peaks of central structures at complex craters record progressively higher pressures with increasing crater size, up to a maximum of partial melting (approx. 45 GPa). Higher pressures cannot be recorded in the parautochthonous rocks of the cavity floor as they will be represented by impact melt, which will not remain in place. We have estimated maximum recorded pressures from a review of the literature, using such observations as planar features in quartz and feldspar, diaplectic glasses of feldspar and quartz, and partial fusion and vesiculation, as calibrated with estimates of the pressures required for their formation. Erosion complicates the picture by removing the surficial (most highly shocked) rocks in uplifted structures, thereby reducing the maximum shock pressures observed. In addition, the range of pressures that can be recorded is limited. Nevertheless, the data define a trend to higher recorded pressures with crater diameter, which is consistent with the implications of the model. A second implication is that, as the limit of melting intersects the base of the cavity, central topographic peaks will be modified in appearance and ultimately will not occur. That is

  11. Societal Implications of an Impact Crater - Chesapeake Bay Impact Structure, Virginia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emry, S.; McFarland, R.; Powars, D.

    2002-05-01

    Ground water plays an important role in the economy and quality of life in the Coastal Plain of Virginia. In 1990, the aquifers in the Coastal Plain supplied over 100 million gallons of water per day to the citizens, businesses, and industries of Virginia. In southeastern Virginia, the thirteen public water utilities serve approximately 1.5 million people in the Hampton Roads area. The role of ground water resources in sustaining this area is more critical than ever due to the relatively low relief of the Coastal Plain Province, providing few new surface water sources to meet the growing population and expanding economy and the increased regulatory obstacles to obtaining a permit to build new reservoirs. A zone of salty ground water, referred to as the "inland salt water wedge," is well known to ground water resource planners and scientists, but until recently the phenomenon has not been satisfactorily explained. In 1996, the directors of the water utilities in Hampton Roads were introduced to the most dramatic geological event that ever took place in the Chesapeake Bay region. Geologists from the U.S. Geological Survey provided evidence of a meteor impact that formed a crater over 35 million years ago. The contours of the inland saltwater wedge conform well to the shape of the crater's outer rim. Prior to the discovery of the impact crater, it was presumed that the ground water flow in the Coastal Plain aquifer system was a relatively simple system described as "alternating layers of aquifers and confining units gradually dipping and thickening from the west to the east." With the discovery of the impact crater, the rules changed. In 1997, the USGS and the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, representing the sixteen member jurisdictions, teamed up in a cooperative effort to redefine the hydrogeology of southeastern Virginia. In 1999, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy joined the team

  12. Search for Impact Craters in the Volcanic and Volcano-Sedimentary Terrains of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartali, R.; Fucugauchi, J. U.

    2011-12-01

    It has long been recognized that the numbers of impact craters documented in the terrestrial record are small compared to those of the Moon and other planets and satellites. Processes acting on the Earth surface including tectonics, volcanism and erosion contribute to erase, modify and cover evidence of crater-forming impacts that have occurred through Earth's history. Even evidence on large impact structures is limited to few examples, with only three complex multi-ring structures so far recognized. Chicxulub is a ~200 km diameter multi-ring crater formed by an impact in the southern Gulf of Mexico about 65.5 Ma ago at the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary. Chicxulub is the only impact structure documented in Mexico, Central and northern South America (http:www.unb.ca/passc/ImpactDatabase). Chicxulub, located in the Yucatan platform buried under a kilometer of carbonate rocks, was initially identified from its concentric semi-circular gravity and magnetic anomaly patterns. Yucatan peninsula has a low-relief topography and high contrasts in physical properties between carbonate rocks, impact lithologies and deformed target rocks. In contrast, most of the country has an abrupt topography with limited outcrops of Paleozoic and Precambrian terrains. The extensive igneous cover of the Sierra Madre Occidental, Trans-Mexican volcanic belt and Sierra Madre del Sur makes search for impact craters a difficult task. Early attempts were limited by the numerous volcanic craters and lack of high-resolution geophysical data. As part of a new country-wide search program, we have been conducting studies in northern Mexico using remote sensing and geophysical data to document circular and semi-circular crater-like features. The search has identified several structures, some well exposed and characterized by simple crater morphologies and topographic rims. These landforms have been mapped, estimating their dimensions, distribution and characterizing the surrounding terrains

  13. Secondary submicrometer impact cratering on the surface of asteroid 25143 Itokawa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harries, Dennis; Yakame, Shogo; Karouji, Yuzuru; Uesugi, Masayuki; Langenhorst, Falko

    2016-09-01

    Particle RA-QD02-0265 returned by the Hayabusa spacecraft from near-Earth asteroid 25143 Itokawa displayed a unique abundance of submicrometer-sized (≤500 nm) impact craters, which are rarely observed among the Hayabusa samples. The particle consists of intensely twinned diopside that was subjected to a large-scale shock event before exposure to the space environment on the surface of 25143 Itokawa. Intense (sub-)micrometer-scale impact cratering may suggest a long surface exposure and, hence, a long residence time of regolith material on the surface of small asteroids, bearing implications for the dynamical evolution of these bodies. However, our combined FE-SEM and FIB/TEM study shows that the degree of solar wind-induced space weathering and the accumulation of solar flare tracks are not exceptionally different from other Hayabusa particles with surface exposure ages estimated to be less than 1 ka. A 500 nm wide crater on the surface of RA-QD02-0265 exhibits microstructural damage to a depth of 400 nm below its floor and contains residues of Fe-Ni metal, excluding a formation by space craft exhausts or curatorial handling. The geometrical clustering among the 15 craters is unlikely random, and we conclude that the craters have formed through the impacts of secondary projectiles (at least partially Fe-Ni metal) created in a nearby (micro-)impact event. Besides structural damage by the solar wind and deposition of impact-generated melts and vapors, secondary impact cratering on the submicrometer-scale is another potential mechanism to modify the spectral properties of individual regolith grains. The lack of extensively exposed regolith grains supports a dynamic regolith on the surface of 25143 Itokawa.

  14. Impact cratering of the terrestrial planets and the Moon during the giant planet instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roig, Fernando Virgilio; Nesvorny, David; Bottke, William

    2016-10-01

    The dynamical instability of the giant planets and the planetesimal driven migration both have major implications for the crater record of the terrestrial planets and the Moon. The crater record can thus provide contraints to the behavior of the planets in the early Solar System. Here we determine the impact fluxes and the crater production rates on the terrestrial planets and the Moon from impactors originating in the primordial asteroid main belt (2.1 to 3.2 au) and the E-belt (1.5 to 2.1 au - Bottke et al. 2012). We determine the impact flux over the age of the Solar System, with particular focus on the instability of the giant planets in the jumping Jupiter model. We start with a population of asteroids uniformly distributed in the orbital parameters space, and numerically evolve them as test particles under the gravitational perturbations of the giant and terrestrial planets. We test the effects on this population due to different jumping Jupiter evolutions (the idealized jump as in Bottke et al. 2012 or models taken from Nesvorny & Morbidelli 2012). The number of impacts is determined by applying Opik's theory. We compute the impact rates on different targets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Moon, and Mars) and from different source regions in the asteroid belt (E-belt, inner belt, outer belt). By properly calibrating the impact rates, and using crater scaling laws, we estimate the number and size distribution of craters. We show how the impact flux and crater production rates depend on the different parameters of the model such as the initial orbital distribution of the asteroids, time of the instability, different evolution of the planets, initial size distribution of the impactors, etc.

  15. Young viscous flows in the Lowell crater of Orientale basin, Moon: Impact melts or volcanic eruptions?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Srivastava, N.; Kumar, D.; Gupta, R. P.

    2013-10-01

    Topographical, morphological and spectral reflectance studies have been carried out for a distinct resurface event inside Copernican aged Lowell crater (13.00°S 103.40°W), Orientale basin, using high resolution TC, MI-VIS, LROC-NAC, and M3 data from Kaguya, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and Chandrayaan-1 missions. The resurfacing is predominantly gabbroic/basaltic in composition and is confined to nearly a linear ~17 km long, a 3-6 km wide and a ~100 m deep channel, possibly a graben. It is characterised with distinct surface features such as small uplift with melt pond, several lava-like flows, cracks going up to decimetre size, 20-80 m pits/craters with small central uplifts or depressions and ~100 m craters that emanate liquid. A minimum of three generations of flows have been identified within the unit, the oldest one being less viscous and the subsequent younger ones showing well developed lobes due to the high viscosity. There is a conspicuous absence of unambiguously identified primary impact craters on these flows suggesting their fresh nature. On the basis of these integrated observations we hypothesise that at least the younger portions of this amazingly carved resurfaced unit might be composed of volcanic flows erupted from single or multiple sources subsequent to the emplacement of impact melts from a ~9 km diameter crater on the edge of Lowell crater. Gabbroic/basaltic signatures have also been identified at several other locations inside Lowell crater indicating that it would have impacted on a pre-existing basaltic surface or on a gabbroic pluton. These findings have implications to lunar magmatism and understanding of the genesis of young flows on the lunar surface.

  16. Can Spatial Statistics Provide Another Approach to Understanding Impact Crater Saturation Equilibrium?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirchoff, Michelle

    2013-10-01

    For several decades there has been a debate whether heavily cratered surfaces in our solar system are in “saturation equilibrium” [e.g., 1-3; a state where crater density reaches an (quasi-) equilibrium]. Saturation equilibrium is critical to understand because otherwise the crater size-frequency distribution (SFD) shape and/or impact flux may be misinterpreted. This work explores if spatial statistics (quantitative measures of objects' distributions in space) could be a complementary approach to crater SFDs [e.g., 1-3] in determining if a heavily cratered surface is saturated. The use of spatial statistics was introduced by Lissauer et al. [4] and Squyres et al. [5]. They proposed that a crater distribution would become more spatially uniform (more evenly spaced than expected for a random distribution) as it reached saturation equilibrium. Squyres et al. [5] combined a numerical simulation of a steeply-sloped SFD (cumulative slope = -2.7) with observations of heavily cratered terrains on Rhea and Callisto to empirically show this hypothesis could be valid for these cases. However, it is still uncertain whether populations with other slopes will also become more spatially uniform as they reach saturation equilibrium. My work continues the approach of Squyres et al. [5] by combining a new numerical simulation with new observations of cratered terrains throughout the solar system. The simulation is developed in IDL and varies the input SFD slope, importance of very small craters in erasing craters (“sandblasting”), and effectiveness of ejecta in erasing craters. I report preliminary results of this modeling and observations. MRK acknowledges the support of NASA PGG grant NNX12AO51G. References: [1] Woronow, A. (1977) JGR 82, 2447-56. [2] Hartmann, W. K. & Gaskell, R. W. (1997) MAPS 32, 109-21. [3] Marchi S., et al. (2012) EPSL 325-6, 27-38. [4] Lissauer, J. J., et al. (1988) JGR 93, 13776-804. [5] Squyres, S. W., et al. (1997) Icarus 125, 67-82.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koeberl, Christian; Fredriksson, Kurt; Goetzinger, Michael; Reimold, Wolf Uwe

    1989-01-01

    Quartz pebbles from the Roter Kamm impact crater (the Namib Desert, SWA/Namibia) were examined for evidence of impact-induced hydrothermal activity, using results from microprobe analyses, neutron activation analyses, transmission IR spectroscopy, and X-ray diffractometry. It was found that the pebbles consisted of pure quartz, which contains three different types of fluid inclusions. These were identified as primary inclusions (5-10 microns) that record the formation conditions of the quartz, very small (less than 1 micron) secondary inclusions associated with the grain boundaries, and late inclusions of irregular size. It is concluded that the quartz and the primary inclusions may provide evidence for a postimpact phase of extensive hydrothermal activity, generated by the residual heat from the kinetic energy of the impact.

  18. Impacts do not initiate volcanic eruptions: Eruptions close to the crater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivanov, B. A.; Melosh, H. J.

    2003-10-01

    Many papers on meteorite impact suggest that large impacts can induce volcanic eruptions through decompression melting of the underlying rocks. We perform numerical simulations of the impact of an asteroid with a diameter of 20 km striking at 15 km·s-1 into a target with a near-surface temperature gradient of 13 K·km-1 (“cold” case) or 30 K·km-1 (“hot” case). The impact creates a 250 300-km-diameter crater with ˜10,000 km3 of impact melt. However, the crater collapses almost flat, and the pressure field returns almost to the initial lithostat. Even an impact this large cannot raise mantle material above the peridotite solidus by decompression. Statistical considerations also suggest that impacts cannot be the common initiator of large igneous provinces any time in post heavy bombardment Earth history.

  19. Dimensioning the Lawn Hill Impact Structure: A Peak Ring Crater of NW Queensland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darlington, V. J.; Blenkinsop, T. G.

    2013-09-01

    The Lawn Hill Impact Structure had been described as complex with an area of central uplift. Field mapping, analysis of drill core and interpretation of geophysical data sets provide evidence of the remains of a peak ring.

  20. The Vichada Impact Crater in Northwestern South America and its Potential for Economic Deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernandez, O.; von Frese, R. R.

    2008-05-01

    A prominent positive free-air gravity anomaly mapped over a roughly 50-km diameter basin is consistent with a mascon centered on (4o30`N, -69o15`W) in the Vichada Department, Colombia, South America. The inferred large impact crater is nearly one third the size of the Chicxulub crater. It must have formed recently, in the last 30 m.a. because it controls the partially eroded and jungle-covered path of the Vichada River. No antipodal relationship has been detected. Thick sedimentary cover, erosional processes and dense vegetation greatly limit direct geological testing of the inferred impact basin. However, EGM-96 gravity data together with ground gravity and magnetic profiles support the interpretation of the impact crater structure. The impact extensively thinned and disrupted the Precambrian cratonic crust and may be associated with mineral and hydrocarbon deposits. A combined EM and magnetic airborne program is being developed to resolve additional crustal properties of the inferred Vichada impact basin Keywords: Impact crater, economic deposits, free-air gravity anomalies

  1. Experimental Results Investigating Impact Velocity Effects on Crater Growth and the Transient Depth-to-Diameter Ratio

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barnouin, O. S.; Ernst, C. M.; Heinick, J. T.; Cintala, M. J.; Crawford, D. A.; Matsui, T.

    2011-01-01

    We performed vertical hypervelocity impacts (0.5-6 km/s) at the NASA Ames Vertical Gun Range to evaluate if increasing impact velocity, which alters the coupling time between the projectile and target, might change the rates of crater growth and transient crater shape.

  2. Peak-ring formation in large impact craters: geophysical constraints from Chicxulub

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morgan, J. V.; Warner, M. R.; Collins, G. S.; Melosh, H. J.; Christeson, G. L.

    2000-12-01

    A seismic reflection and three-dimensional wide-angle tomographic study of the buried, ˜200-km diameter, Chicxulub impact crater in Mexico reveals the kinematics of central structural uplift and peak-ring formation during large-crater collapse. The seismic data show downward and inward radial collapse of the transient cavity in the outer crater, and upward and outward collapse within the central structurally uplifted region. Peak rings are formed by the interference between these two flow regimes, and involve significant radial transport of material. Hydrocode modeling replicates the observed collapse features. Impact-generated melt rocks lie mostly inside the peak ring; the melt appears to be clast-rich and undifferentiated, with a maximum thickness of 3.5 km in the center.

  3. New geological and geophysical antecedents at the Monturaqui Impact Crater, Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ugalde, H.; Valenzuela, M.; Casas, E.; Milkereit, B.; Grandon, M.; Contreras, S.

    2004-05-01

    Impact structures are a common and important landform on planetary surfaces. Currently there are 168 confirmed impact structures in the Earth [1]. Out of those, the Monturaqui crater (<400 m diameter, 0.1 Ma [2]), located in the north of Chile, represents a grand opportunity for a detailed study of simple impact craters: it is accessible, well preserved and exposed. In December 2003 a field expedition accomplished detailed geological and geophysical mapping on it. The geology of the Monturaqui area is characterized by a basement of Paleozoic granites overlain by Pliocene ignimbrite units [3]. The granite outcrops mostly at the higher terrain in the crater rim, while the ignimbrites outcrop at lower levels filling the crater. Gravity, magnetic, differential GPS surveying and geological mapping built a detailed dataset of the crater. From the DGPS survey, its dimensions are 370 m EW, 350 m NS, and ~34 m deep. In the centre it has an uplift of 3 m approx, coincident with lime sediments. The northern edge of the crater exhibits magnetic anomalies with inverted polarization, presumably due to magnetic remanence. This could have been caused by post-impact alteration [4]. The Bouguer gravity anomaly shows a negative anomaly of ~1mGal at the centre, associated with fracturing and brecciation of the target rocks. Due to its lower competence than the granite, the shock wave fractured the ignimbrite instead of deforming it, building the regolith that presently fills the crater. Then the shock wave melted the basement locally. Breccia and melt were ejected hundreds of metres around the crater, and excavation raised the edges of the ignimbrite strata and granite. Late erosion was controlled mainly by mechanical weathering due to the extreme arid conditions of the area since the mid-Miocene [5]. References: [1] Earth Impact Database, www.unb.ca/passc/ImpactDatabase/, 2003; [2] Buchwald V. F. Handbook of Iron meteorites. University of California Press, v3, 1975; [3] Ramírez, C

  4. Eastern rim of the Chesapeake Bay impact crater: Morphology, stratigraphy, and structure

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Poag, C.W.

    2005-01-01

    This study reexamines seven reprocessed (increased vertical exaggeration) seismic reflection profiles that cross the eastern rim of the Chesapeake Bay impact crater. The eastern rim is expressed as an arcuate ridge that borders the crater in a fashion typical of the "raised" rim documented in many well preserved complex impact craters. The inner boundary of the eastern rim (rim wall) is formed by a series of raterfacing, steep scarps, 15-60 m high. In combination, these rim-wall scarps represent the footwalls of a system of crater-encircling normal faults, which are downthrown toward the crater. Outboard of the rim wall are several additional normal-fault blocks, whose bounding faults trend approximately parallel to the rim wall. The tops of the outboard fault blocks form two distinct, parallel, flat or gently sloping, terraces. The innermost terrace (Terrace 1) can be identified on each profile, but Terrace 2 is only sporadically present. The terraced fault blocks are composed mainly of nonmarine, poorly to moderately consolidated, siliciclastic sediments, belonging to the Lower Cretaceous Potomac Formation. Though the ridge-forming geometry of the eastern rim gives the appearance of a raised compressional feature, no compelling evidence of compressive forces is evident in the profiles studied. The structural mode, instead, is that of extension, with the clear dominance of normal faulting as the extensional mechanism. ?? 2005 Geological Society of America.

  5. Origin of complex impact craters on native oxide coated silicon surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samela, Juha; Nordlund, Kai; Popok, Vladimir N.; Campbell, Eleanor E. B.

    2008-02-01

    Crater structures induced by impact of keV-energy Arn+ cluster ions on silicon surfaces are measured with atomic force microscopy. Complex crater structures consisting of a central hillock and outer rim are observed more often on targets covered with a native silicon oxide layer than on targets without the oxide layer. To explain the formation of these complex crater structures, classical molecular dynamics simulations of Ar cluster impacts on oxide coated silicon surfaces, as well as on bulk amorphous silica, amorphous Si, and crystalline Si substrates, are carried out. The diameter of the simulated hillock structures in the silicon oxide layer is in agreement with the experimental results, but the simulations cannot directly explain the height of hillocks and the outer rim structures when the oxide coated silicon substrate is free of defects. However, in simulations of 5keV /atom Ar12 cluster impacts, transient displacements of the amorphous silicon or silicon oxide substrate surfaces are induced in an approximately 50nm wide area surrounding the impact point. In silicon oxide, the transient displacements induce small topographical changes on the surface in the vicinity of the central hillock. The comparison of cluster stopping mechanisms in the various silicon oxide and silicon structures shows that the largest lateral momentum is induced in the silicon oxide layer during the impact; thus, the transient displacements on the surface are stronger than in the other substrates. This can be a reason for the higher frequency of occurrence of the complex craters on oxide coated silicon.

  6. Reconstruction of the subsurface structure of the Marquez impact crater in Leon County, Texas, based on well-log and gravity data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Alan M.; Reid, Arch M.; Hall, Stuart A.; Sharpton, Virgil L.

    2001-11-01

    In Leon County, Texas the Marquez Dome, an approximately circular 1.2 km diameter zone of disturbed Cretaceous rocks surrounded by shallow dipping Tertiary sediments, has been interpreted by Gibson and Sharpton (1989) and Sharpton and Gibson (1990) as the surface expression of a buried complex impact crater. New gravity and magnetic anomaly data collected over the Marquez Dome have been combined with well log and seismic reflection information to develop a better estimate of the overall geometry of the structure. A three dimensional model constructed to a depth of 2000 m from all available information indicates a complex crater 13 km in diameter with an uplift in the center of at least 1120 m. The zone of deformation associated with the cratering event is limited to a depth of less than 1720 m. No impact breccias were recovered in drilling at two locations, 1.1 and 2 km from the center of the structure, and the central uplift may be the only prominent remnant of this impact into unconsolidated, water-rich sediments. The magnetic anomaly field shows no correlation with the location and extent of the structure.

  7. Cosmic wabi-sabi: Tell-tale morphological imperfections in impact crater shapes revealed by numerical analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tabares-Rodenas, Pascual; Ormö, Jens; King, David T.

    2013-09-01

    Geomorphological features result from a combination of factors such as material strength, structure, and the forces of nature. An impact crater is a good example. In an ideally simple situation (e.g., a vertical impact of a spherical object into a homogeneous target), the resulting crater will obtain a perfectly circular shape. Any deviation from the perfect circle can reveal important information about the cratering process, target properties, and even the surficial environment in which the impact occurred (e.g. the presence of an atmosphere). However, irregularities in the crater shape are not always obvious. What appears to be a perfect circle may hide subtle information undetectable to the naked eye. Here we present a new method of numerical aspect classification that allows even the slightest morphological irregularities to be detected. Our method is based on a numerical analysis of dip directions of segments within a digital terrain model (DTM) of the crater rim. We show the successful application of our method on a crater with well-known polygonal shape (Meteor Crater, USA) as well as two apparently circular Martian impact craters. Our Crater Aspect Classification (CAC) can be applied on any other micro- to mega-scale structures for which a DTM can be produced, thus allowing applications to fields of science and technology within and beyond the scope of geomorphology.

  8. Derivation of particulate directional information from analysis of elliptical impact craters on LDEF

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newman, P. J.; Mackay, N.; Deshpande, S. P.; Green, S. F.; Mcdonnell, J. A. M.

    1993-01-01

    The Long Duration Exposure Facility provided a gravity gradient stabilized platform which allowed limited directional information to be derived from particle impact experiments. The morphology of impact craters on semi-infinite materials contains information which may be used to determine the direction of impact much more accurately. We demonstrate the applicability of this technique and present preliminary results of measurements from LDEF and modelling of interplanetary dust and space debris.

  9. Lunar Impact Basins: Stratigraphy, Sequence and Ages from Superposed Impact Crater Populations Measured from Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fassett, C. I.; Head, J. W.; Kadish, S. J.; Mazarico, E.; Neumann, G. A.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.

    2012-01-01

    Impact basin formation is a fundamental process in the evolution of the Moon and records the history of impactors in the early solar system. In order to assess the stratigraphy, sequence, and ages of impact basins and the impactor population as a function of time, we have used topography from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) to measure the superposed impact crater size-frequency distributions for 30 lunar basins (D = 300 km). These data generally support the widely used Wilhelms sequence of lunar basins, although we find significantly higher densities of superposed craters on many lunar basins than derived by Wilhelms (50% higher densities). Our data also provide new insight into the timing of the transition between distinct crater populations characteristic of ancient and young lunar terrains. The transition from a lunar impact flux dominated by Population 1 to Population 2 occurred before the mid-Nectarian. This is before the end of the period of rapid cratering, and potentially before the end of the hypothesized Late Heavy Bombardment. LOLA-derived crater densities also suggest that many Pre-Nectarian basins, such as South Pole-Aitken, have been cratered to saturation equilibrium. Finally, both crater counts and stratigraphic observations based on LOLA data are applicable to specific basin stratigraphic problems of interest; for example, using these data, we suggest that Serenitatis is older than Nectaris, and Humboldtianum is younger than Crisium. Sample return missions to specific basins can anchor these measurements to a Pre-Imbrian absolute chronology.

  10. Lunar impact basins: Stratigraphy, sequence and ages from superposed impact crater populations measured from Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fassett, C. I.; Head, J. W.; Kadish, S. J.; Mazarico, E.; Neumann, G. A.; Smith, D. E.; Zuber, M. T.

    2012-02-01

    Impact basin formation is a fundamental process in the evolution of the Moon and records the history of impactors in the early solar system. In order to assess the stratigraphy, sequence, and ages of impact basins and the impactor population as a function of time, we have used topography from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) to measure the superposed impact crater size-frequency distributions for 30 lunar basins (D ≥ 300 km). These data generally support the widely used Wilhelms sequence of lunar basins, although we find significantly higher densities of superposed craters on many lunar basins than derived by Wilhelms (50% higher densities). Our data also provide new insight into the timing of the transition between distinct crater populations characteristic of ancient and young lunar terrains. The transition from a lunar impact flux dominated by Population 1 to Population 2 occurred before the mid-Nectarian. This is before the end of the period of rapid cratering, and potentially before the end of the hypothesized Late Heavy Bombardment. LOLA-derived crater densities also suggest that many Pre-Nectarian basins, such as South Pole-Aitken, have been cratered to saturation equilibrium. Finally, both crater counts and stratigraphic observations based on LOLA data are applicable to specific basin stratigraphic problems of interest; for example, using these data, we suggest that Serenitatis is older than Nectaris, and Humboldtianum is younger than Crisium. Sample return missions to specific basins can anchor these measurements to a Pre-Imbrian absolute chronology.

  11. Computer modeling of large asteroid impacts into continental and oceanic sites: Atmospheric, cratering, and ejecta dynamics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roddy, D. J.; Schuster, S. H.; Rosenblatt, M.; Grant, L. B.; Hassig, P. J.; Kreyenhagen, K. N.

    1988-01-01

    Numerous impact cratering events have occurred on the Earth during the last several billion years that have seriously affected our planet and its atmosphere. The largest cratering events, which were caused by asteroids and comets with kinetic energies equivalent to tens of millions of megatons of TNT, have distributed substantial quantities of terrestrial and extraterrestrial material over much or all of the Earth. In order to study a large-scale impact event in detail, computer simulations were completed that model the passage of a 10 km-diameter asteroid through the Earth's atmosphere and the subsequent cratering and ejecta dynamics associated with impact of the asteroid into two different targets, i.e., an oceanic site and a continental site. The calcuations were designed to broadly represent giant impact events that have occurred on the Earth since its formation and specifically represent an impact cratering event proposed to have occurred at the end of Cretaceous time. Calculation of the passage of the asteroid through a U.S. Standard Atmosphere showed development of a strong bow shock that expanded radially outward. Behind the shock front was a region of highly shock compressed and intensely heated air. Behind the asteroid, rapid expansion of this shocked air created a large region of very low density that also expanded away from the impact area. Calculations of the cratering events in both the continental and oceanic targets were carried to 120 s. Despite geologic differences, impacts in both targets developed comparable dynamic flow fields, and by approx. 29 s similar-sized transient craters approx. 39 km deep and approx. 62 km across had formed. For all practical purposes, the atmosphere was nearly completely removed from the impact area for tens of seconds, i.e., air pressures were less than fractions of a bar out to ranges of over 50 km. Consequently, much of the asteroid and target materials were ejected upward into a near vacuum. Effects of secondary

  12. Maximum Velocity of a Boulder Ejected From an Impact Crater Formed on a Regolith Covered Surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bart, G. D.; Melosh, H. J.

    2007-12-01

    We investigate the effect of regolith depth on boulder ejection velocity. A "boulder" refers to an apparently intact rock or rock fragment lying on a planetary surface, regardless of emplacement mechanism. Boulders appear in planetary images as positive relief features --- bright, sun-facing pixels adjacent to dark, shadowed pixels. We studied 12 lunar craters in high resolution (1~m) photographs from Lunar Orbiter III and V. Local regolith depth was measured using the method of small crater morphology. Ejection velocities of boulders were calculated assuming a ballistic trajectory to the final boulder location. A plot of regolith depth/crater diameter vs. maximum boulder ejection velocity shows that craters formed in deeper regolith (with respect to crater size) eject boulders at lower velocities. When ejection velocity (EjV) is in m/s, and regolith depth (Dr) and crater diameter (Dc) are in meters, the data fit the relation Dr / Dc = 1053 × EjVmax-2.823. To explain the data, we turn to impact cratering theory. An ejected particle will follow a streamline from its place of origin to its ejection point (the Z-model), and then follow a ballistic trajectory. Material ejected along more shallow streamlines is ejected at greater velocities. If shallow regolith covers the surface, the most shallow (greatest velocity) streamlines will travel only through the regolith. Boulders, however, must be ejected from the bedrock below the regolith. Thus, the boulder ejected with the greatest velocity originates just below the regolith, along the most shallow streamline through the bedrock. If the regolith is deeper, the most shallow streamline through the bedrock will be deeper, and the maximum velocity of an ejected boulder will be lower. Hence, the regolith depth and maximum ejection velocity of a boulder are correlated: greater boulder ejection velocities correspond to thinner regolith. We observe this correlation in the data.

  13. A geomorphic analysis of Hale crater, Mars: The effects of impact into ice-rich crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, A. P.; McEwen, A. S.; Tornabene, L. L.; Baker, V. R.; Melosh, H. J.; Berman, D. C.

    2011-01-01

    Hale crater, a 125 × 150 km impact crater located near the intersection of Uzboi Vallis and the northern rim of Argyre basin at 35.7°S, 323.6°E, is surrounded by channels that radiate from, incise, and transport material within Hale's ejecta. The spatial and temporal relationship between the channels and Hale's ejecta strongly suggests the impact event created or modified the channels and emplaced fluidized debris flow lobes over an extensive area (>200,000 km 2). We estimate ˜10 10 m 3 of liquid water was required to form some of Hale's smaller channels, a volume we propose was supplied by subsurface ice melted and mobilized by the Hale-forming impact. If 10% of the subsurface volume was ice, based on a conservative porosity estimate for the upper martian crust, 10 12 m 3 of liquid water could have been present in the ejecta. We determine a crater-retention age of 1 Ga inside the primary cavity, providing a minimum age for Hale and a time at which we propose the subsurface was volatile-rich. Hale crater demonstrates the important role impacts may play in supplying liquid water to the martian surface: they are capable of producing fluvially-modified terrains that may be analogous to some landforms of Noachian Mars.

  14. Workshop on The Role of Volatile and Atmospheres on Martian Impact Craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    This volume contains abstracts that have been accepted for presentation at the Workshop on the Role of Volatiles and Atmospheres on Martian Impact Craters, July 11-14,2005, Laurel, Maryland. Administration and publications support for this meeting were provided by the staff of the Publications and Program Services Department at the Lunar and Planetary Institute.

  15. Integrated method for crater detection from topography and optical images and the new PH9224GT catalogue of Phobos impact craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salamunićcar, Goran; Lončarić, Sven; Pina, Pedro; Bandeira, Lourenço; Saraiva, José

    2014-06-01

    In a large majority of lunar and planetary surface images, impact craters are the most abundant geological features. Therefore, it is not surprising that crater detection algorithms (CDAs) are one of the most studied subjects of image processing and analysis in lunar and planetary science. In this work we are proposing an Integrated CDA, consisting of: (1) utilization of DEM (digital elevation map)-based CDA; (2) utilization of an optical-based CDA; (3) re-projection of used datasets and crater coordinates from normal to rotated view and back; (4) correction of the brightness and contrast of a used optical image; and (5) tile generation for the optical-based CDA and an assembling of results with an elimination of multiple detections, in combination with a pyramid approach down to the resolution of the available DEM image; and (6) a final integration of the results of DEM-based and optical-based CDAs, including a removal of duplicates. The proposed CDA is applied to one specific asteroid-like body, the small Martian moon Phobos. The experimental evaluation of the proposed CDA is done by a manual verification of crater-candidates and a search for uncatalogued craters. The evaluation has shown that the proposed CDA was used successfully for cataloging Phobos craters. The major result of this paper is the PH9224GT - currently the most complete global catalogue of the 9224 Phobos craters. The possible applications of the new catalogue are: (1) age estimations for any selected location; and (2) comparison/evaluation of the different chronology and production functions for Phobos. This confirms the practical applicability of the new Integrated CDA - an additional result of this paper, which can be used in order to considerably extend the current crater catalogues.

  16. Ponded Impact Melt Dynamics and its Effects on Pond Surface Morphology - Insights from King Crater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashley, J. W.; DiCarlo, N.; Enns, A. C.; Hawke, B. R.; Hiesinger, H.; Robinson, M. S.; Sato, H.; Speyerer, E.; van der Bogert, C.; Wagner, R.; Young, K. E.; LROC Science Team

    2011-12-01

    King crater is a 77-km diameter impact feature located at 5.0°N and 120.5°E on the lunar farside. Previous work delimited King crater with an asymmetric distribution of ejecta that includes a large impact melt pond (~385 square kilometer surface area), located in nearby Al-Tusi crater. The pond provides an opportunity to study the behavior of a large impact melt deposit. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Wide Angle Camera (WAC) and Narrow Angle Cameras (NAC) [1] imaged King crater from a nominal 50 km altitude at pixel scales of 100 meters and up to 0.5 meters, respectively providing the means to create geologic maps for the region. Digital terrain/elevation models (DTMs) were derived [2] from both WAC and NAC images for the area, and supplemented the mapping effort. The high-resolution (50 cm/p) NAC images show fine details within the Al-Tusi melt pond that raise questions about melt pond dynamics and evolution. These include both positive- and negative-relief features, anomalous crater morphologies, and flow features that show variable degrees of melt viscosity. WAC DTM processing reveals a horizontal and relatively flat (at the 20 m contour interval) pond, demonstrating that an equipotential surface was achieved during initial melt accumulation. The NAC DTM shows kilometer-scale zones of topographic down-warping within the 20 m contour interval. The perimeters of these depressed areas show moderate to high spatial correlation with the occurrence of negative relief features (~10 to 100 m in length). Such sagging may have occurred as the result of contraction and/or compaction within the melt both during and following cooling, with the negative relief features resulting from consequent structural failure and separation of the thickening surface crust. The variability in the degree of contraction/compaction may be explained by the presence of underlying hummocky ejecta deposits (which probably also explains the positive relief features) emplaced by

  17. Impact cratering mechanics - Relationship between the shock wave and excavation flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melosh, H. J.

    1985-05-01

    This paper describes the relationship between the shock wave produced by an impact and the excavation flow that opens the crater. The excavation flow velocity is shown to be a nearly constant fraction of the peak particle velocity in the wave. The existence of an excavation flow is due to thermodynamically irreversible processes in the shock. The excavation flow velocity is thus very sensitive to nonideal constitutive effects such as porosity, plastic yielding, and unreversed phase transformations. Cratering computations that do not model these effects correctly may produce misleading results.

  18. Viscous relaxation of impact crater relief on Venus - Constraints on crustal thickness and thermal gradient

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grimm, Robert E.; Solomon, Sean C.

    1988-01-01

    Models for the viscous relaxation of impact crater topography are used to constrain the crustal thickness (H) and the mean lithospheric thermal gradient beneath the craters on Venus. A general formulation for gravity-driven flow in a linearly viscous fluid has been obtained which incorporates the densities and temperature-dependent effective viscosities of distinct crust and mantle layers. An upper limit to the crustal volume of Venus of 10 to the 10th cu km is obtained which implies either that the average rate of crustal generation has been much smaller on Venus than on earth or that some form of crustal recycling has occurred on Venus.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koeberl, Christian

    1992-01-01

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

  20. Impact melt- and projectile-bearing ejecta at Barringer Crater, Arizona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osinski, Gordon R.; Bunch, Ted E.; Flemming, Roberta L.; Buitenhuis, Eric; Wittke, James H.

    2015-12-01

    Our understanding of the impact cratering process continues to evolve and, even at well-known and well-studied structures, there is still much to be learned. Here, we present the results of a study on impact-generated melt phases within ejecta at Barringer Crater, Arizona, one of the first impact craters on Earth to be recognized and arguably the most famous. We report on previously unknown impact melt-bearing breccias that contain dispersed fragments of the projectile as well as impact glasses that contain a high proportion of projectile material - higher than any other glasses previously reported from this site. These glasses are distinctly different from so-called ;melt beads; that are found as a lag deposit on the present-day erosion surface and that we also study. It is proposed that the melts in these impact breccias were derived from a more constrained sub-region of the melt zone that was very shallow and that also had a larger projectile contribution. In addition to low- and high-Fe melt beads documented previously, we document Ca-Mg-rich glasses and calcite globules within silicate glass that provide definitive evidence that carbonates underwent melting during the formation of Barringer Crater. We propose that the melting of dolomite produces Ca-Mg-rich melts from which calcite is the dominant liquidus phase. This explains the perhaps surprising finding that despite dolomite being the dominant rock type at many impact sites, including Barringer Crater, calcite is the dominant melt product. When taken together with our estimate for the amount of impact melt products dispersed on, and just below, the present-day erosional surface, it is clear that the amount of melt produced at Barringer Crater is higher than previously estimated and is more consistent with recent numerical modeling studies. This work adds to the growing recognition that sedimentary rocks melt during hypervelocity impact and do not just decompose and/or devolatilize as was previously thought

  1. Constraining the Origin of Impact Craters on Al Foils from the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stroud, Rhonda M.; Achilles, Cheri; Allen, Carlton; Ansari, Asna; Bajt, Sasa; Bassim, Nabil; Bastien, Ron S.; Bechtel, H. A.; Borg, Janet; Brenker, Frank E.; Bridges, John; Brownlee, Donald E.; Burchell, Mark; Burghammer, Manfred; Butterworth, Anna L.; Changela, Hitesh; Cloetens, Peter; Davis, Andrew M.; Doll, Ryan; Floss, Christine; Flynn, George; Fougeray, Patrick; Frank, David; Sandford, Scott A.; Zolensky, Michael E.

    2012-01-01

    Preliminary examination (PE) of the aerogel tiles and Al foils from the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector has revealed multiple impact features. Some are most likely due to primary impacts of interstellar dust (ISD) grains, and others are associated with secondary impacts of spacecraft debris, and possibly primary impacts of interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) [1, 2]. The current focus of the PE effort is on constraining the origin of the individual impact features so that definitive results from the first direct laboratory analysis of contemporary ISD can be reported. Because crater morphology depends on impacting particle shape and composition, in addition to the angle and direction of impact, unique particle trajectories are not easily determined. However, elemental analysis of the crater residues can distinguish real cosmic dust from the spacecraft debris, due to the low cosmic abundance of many of the elements in the spacecraft materials. We present here results from the elemental analysis of 24 craters and discuss the possible origins of 4 that are identified as candidate ISD impacts

  2. Numerical modelling of impact crater formation associated with isolated lunar skylight candidates on lava tubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martellato, E.; Foing, B. H.; Benkhoff, J.

    2013-09-01

    Skylights are openings on subsurface voids as lava tubes and caves. Recently deep hole structures, possibly skylights, were discovered on lunar photo images by the JAXA SELenological and ENgineering Explorer (SELENE)-Kaguya mission, and successively confirmed by the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission. Vertical hole structures and possibly underlying subsurface voids have high potential as resources for scientific study, and future unmanned and manned activities on the Moon. One mechanism proposed for their formation is impact cratering. The collapse of craters is due to the back spallation phenomena on the rear surface of the lava tube roofs. Previous analysis in this topic was based on small-scales laboratory experiments. These have pointed out that (i) the target thickness-to-crater diameter ratio is 0.7, and (ii) the projectile diameter-to-target thickness ratio is 0.16, at the ballistic limit once extrapolated to planetary conditions.

  3. Drill core LB-08A, Bosumtwi impact structure, Ghana: Geochemistry of fallback breccia and basement samples from the central uplift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrière, Ludovic; Koeberl, Christian; Reimold, Wolf Uwe; Mader, Dieter

    The 1.07 Myr old Bosumtwi impact structure in Ghana (West Africa), which measures 10.5 km in diameter and is largely filled by Lake Bosumtwi, is associated with one of four currently known tektite strewn fields. Two boreholes were drilled to acquire hard-rock samples of the deep crater moat and from the flank of the central uplift (LB-07A and LB-08A, respectively) during a recent ICDP-sponsored drilling project. Here we present results of major and trace element analysis of 112 samples from drill core LB-08A. This core, which was recovered between 235.6 and 451.33 m depth below lake level, contains polymict lithic breccia intercalated with suevite, which overlies fractured/brecciated metasediment. The basement is dominated by meta-graywacke (from fine-grained to gritty), but also includes some phyllite and slate, as well as suevite dikelets and a few units of a distinct light greenish gray, medium-grained meta-graywacke. Most of the variations of the major and trace element abundances in the different lithologies result from the initial compositional variations of the various target rock types, as well as from aqueous alteration processes, which have undeniably affected the different rocks. Suevite from core LB-08A (fallback suevite) and fallout suevite samples (from outside the northern crater rim) display some differences in major (mainly in MgO, CaO, and Na2O contents) and minor (mainly Cr and Ni) element abundances that could be related to the higher degree of alteration of fallback suevites, but also result from differences in the clast populations of the two suevite populations. For example, granite clasts are present in fallout suevite but not in fallback breccia, and calcite clasts are present in fallback breccia and not in fallout suevite. Chondrite-normalized rare earth element abundance patterns for polymict impact breccia and basement samples are very similar to each other. Siderophile element contents in the impact breccias are not significantly

  4. The effect of a thin weak layer covering a basalt block on the impact cratering process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dohi, Koji; Arakawa, Masahiko; Okamoto, Chisato; Hasegawa, Sunao; Yasui, Minami

    2012-04-01

    To clarify the effect of a surface regolith layer on the formation of craters in bedrock, we conducted impact-cratering experiments on two-layered targets composed of a basalt block covered with a mortar layer. A nylon projectile was impacted on the targets at velocities of 2 and 4 km s-1, and we investigated the crater size formed on the basalt. The crater size decreased with increased mortar thickness and decreased projectile mass and impact velocity. The normalized crater volume, πV, of all the data was successfully scaled by the following exponential equation with a reduction length λ0: π=b0πY-b1exp(-λ/λ0), where λ is the normalized thickness T/Lp, T and Lp are the mortar thickness and the projectile length, respectively, b0 and b1 are fitted parameters obtained for a homogeneous basalt target, 10-2.7±0.7 and -1.4 ± 0.3, respectively, and λ0 is obtained to be 0.38 ± 0.03. This empirical equation showing the effect of the mortar layer was physically explained by an improved non-dimensional scaling parameter, πY∗, defined by πY∗=Y/(ρup2), where up was the particle velocity of the mortar layer at the boundary between the mortar and the basalt. We performed the impact experiments to obtain the attenuation rate of the particle velocity in the mortar layer and derived the empirical equation of {u}/{v}=0.50exp-{λ}/{1.03}, where vi is the impact velocity of the projectile. We propose a simple model for the crater formation on the basalt block that the surface mortar layer with the impact velocity of up collides on the surface of the basalt block, and we confirmed that this model could reproduce our empirical equation showing the effect of the surface layer on the crater volume of basalt.

  5. Terrace Zone Structure in the Chicxulub Impact Crater Based on 2-D Seismic Reflection Profiles: Preliminary Results From EW#0501

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDonald, M. A.; Gulick, S. P.; Gorney, D. L.; Christeson, G. L.; Barton, P. J.; Morgan, J. V.; Warner, M. R.; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J.; Melosh, H. J.; Vermeesch, P. M.; Surendra, A. T.; Goldin, T.; Mendoza, K.

    2005-05-01

    Terrace zones, central peaks, and flat floors characterize complex craters like the Chicxulub impact crater located near the northeast coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. The subsurface crater structure was studied using seismic reflection surveying in Jan/Feb 2005 by the R/V Maurice Ewing. We present 2-D seismic profiles including constant radius, regional, and grid profiles encompassing the 195 km width of the crater. These diversely oriented lines clearly show the terrace zones and aid in the search for crater ejecta as we investigate the formation of the crater including the incidence angle and direction of the extraterrestrial object that struck the Yucatan Peninsula 65 million years ago (K-T boundary). Terrace zones form in complex craters after the modification stage as a result of the gravitational collapse of overextended sediment back into the crater cavity. The terrace zone is clearly imaged on seismic profiles confirming the complex structure of the Chixculub crater. Recent work on reprocessed 1996 profiles found different sizes and spacing of the terraces and concluded that the variations in radial structure are a result of an oblique impact. A SW-NE profile from this study was the only line to show a concentration of deformation near the crater rim hinting that the northeast was the downrange direction of impact. We confirm this narrowing in terrace spacing using a profile with a similar orientation in the 2005 images. Through integration of the new dense grid of profiles and radial lines from the 1996 and 2005 surveys we map the 3-D variability of the terrace zones to further constrain impact direction and examine the formative processes of the Chixculub and other large impact craters.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roedder, Edwin

    1990-01-01

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

  7. Analysis of Cometary Dust Impact Residues in the Aluminum Foil Craters of Stardust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Graham, G. A.; Kearsley, A. T.; Vicenzi, E. P.; Teslich, N.; Dai, Z. R.; Rost, D.; Horz, F.; Bradley, J. P.

    2007-01-01

    In January 2006, the sample return capsule from NASA s Stardust spacecraft successfully returned to Earth after its seven year mission to comet Wild-2. While the principal capture medium for comet dust was low-density graded silica aerogel, the 1100 series aluminum foil (approximately 100 m thick) which wrapped around the T6064 aluminum frame of the sample tray assembly (STA) contains micro-craters that constitute an additional repository for Wild-2 dust. Previous studies of similar craters on spacecraft surfaces, e.g. the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF), have shown that impactor material can be preserved for elemental and mineralogical characterization, although the quantity of impact residue in Stardust craters far exceeds previous missions. The degree of shock-induced alteration experienced by the Wild-2 particles impacting on foil will generally be greater than for those captured in the low-density aerogel. However, even some of the residues found in LDEF craters showed not only survival of crystalline silicates but even their solar flare tracks, which are extremely fragile structures and anneal at around 600 C. Laboratory hypervelocity experiments, using analogues of Wild-2 particles accelerated into flight-grade foils under conditions close to