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A late Miocene dust shower from the break-up of an asteroid in the main belt

Farley, Kenneth A. and Vokrouhlický, David and Bottke, William F. and Nesvorný, David (2006) A late Miocene dust shower from the break-up of an asteroid in the main belt. Nature, 439 (7074). pp. 295-297. ISSN 0028-0836.

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Throughout the history of the Solar System, Earth has been bombarded by interplanetary dust particles (IDPs), which are asteroid and comet fragments of diameter ~1–1,000 μm. The IDP flux is believed to be in quasi-steady state: particles created by episodic main belt collisions or cometary fragmentation replace those removed by comminution, dynamical ejection, and planetary or solar impact. Because IDPs are rich in ^(3)He, seafloor sediment ^(3)He concentrations provide a unique means of probing the major events that have affected the IDP flux and its source bodies over geological timescales. Here we report that collisional disruption of the >150-km-diameter asteroid that created the Veritas family 8.3 ± 0.5 Myr ago5 also produced a transient increase in the flux of interplanetary dust-derived ^(3)He. The increase began at 8.2 ± 0.1 Myr ago, reached a maximum of approx4 times pre-event levels, and dissipated over ~1.5 Myr. The terrestrial IDP accretion rate was overwhelmingly dominated by Veritas family fragments during the late Miocene. No other event of this magnitude over the past ~10^8 yr has been deduced from main belt asteroid orbits. One remarkably similar event is present in the ± record 35 Myr ago, but its origin by comet shower or asteroid collision remains uncertain.

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Farley, Kenneth A.0000-0002-7846-7546
Additional Information:© 2006 Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. Received 21 June 2005; Accepted 31 October 2005. Financial support for this project was provided by NASA’s Planetary Geology & Geophysics program (W.F.B., D.N. and K.A.F.). Financial and travel support for D.V. was provided by the Czech Republic grant agency and NSF’s COBASE program. We also thank D. Durda, A. Morbidelli, M. Sykes and S. Mukhopadhyay for several discussions, and S. Goldstein and J. Burns for comments and suggestions. Author Contributions: K.A.F. measured 3He in the seafloor sediments. D.N. determined the age of the Veritas family using numerical integration methods. D.V., W.F.B. and D.N. constructed the Monte Carlo dust evolution code and analysed the results.
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Czech Republic grant agencyUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7074
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130129-140306410
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:36663
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:29 Jan 2013 23:49
Last Modified:03 Mar 2020 13:01

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