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Complex craters: Relationship of stratigraphy and rings to impact conditions

O'Keefe, John D. and Ahrens, Thomas J. (1999) Complex craters: Relationship of stratigraphy and rings to impact conditions. Journal of Geophysical Research E, 104 (E11). pp. 27091-27104. ISSN 0148-0227. doi:10.1029/1998JE000596.

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One of the key issues associated with the understanding of large scale impacts is how the observable complex crater structural features (e.g., central peaks and pits, flat floors, ring shaped ridges and depressions, stratigraphic modifications, and faults) relate to the impactor's parameters (e.g., radius, velocity, and density) and the nonobservable transient crater measures (e.g., depth of penetration and diameter at maximum penetration). We have numerically modeled large-scale impacts on planets for a range of impactor parameters, gravity and planetary material strengths. From these we found that the collapse of the transient cavity results in the development of a tall, transient central peak that oscillates and drives surface waves that are arrested by the balance between gravitational forces and planetary strength to produce a wide range of the observed surface features. In addition, we found that the underlying stratigraphy is inverted outside of the transient cavity diameter (overturned flap region), but not inside. This change in stratigraphy is observable by remote sensing, drilling, seismic imaging and gravity mapping techniques. We used the above results to develop scaling laws and to make estimates of the impact parameters for the Chicxulub impact and also compared the calculated stratigraphic profile with the internal structure model developed by Hildebrand et. al. [1998], using gravity, seismic and other field data. For a stratigraphy rotation diameter of 90 km, the maximum depth of penetration is ∼43 km. The impactor diameter was also calculated. From the scaling relationships we get for a 2.7 g/cm^3 asteroid impacting at 20 km/s, or a 1.0 g/cm^3 comet impacting at 40 km/s, an impactor diameter of ∼13 km, and for a comet impacting at 60 km/s, an impactor diameter of ∼10 km.

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Additional Information:Copyright 1999 by the American Geophysical Union. Paper number 1998JE000596. Research was supported by NASA. We appreciate the computational assistance of M. E. Lainhart and thank Elizabeth Turtle (University of Arizona) and Sarah Stewart-Mukhopadhyay for their careful and insightful reviews. Contribution 8542, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology.
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences8542
Issue or Number:E11
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141024-113231744
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Official Citation:O'Keefe, J. D., and T. J. Ahrens (1999), Complex craters: Relationship of stratigraphy and rings to impact conditions, J. Geophys. Res., 104(E11), 27091–27104, doi:10.1029/1998JE000596
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:50788
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:24 Oct 2014 19:45
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 19:00

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