Numerical modelling of large scale asteroid impact events: Crater Formation on Continental and Oceanic targets, environmental pertubations and code development II

Asteroid collisions with the Earth have occurred throughout the entire history of our planet and brought catastrophe to the regional geology and global environment. The importance of past impacts on the evolution of Earth and life as it exists today, and the threat of future such events make the reconstruction of the cratering process a crucial endeavour. In particular, evaluating the environmental perturbations assigned to a certain impact event requires accurate determination of the size and velocity of the impactor. Furthermore, despite the fact that the impact of an asteroid on an oceanic target is the most likely case there exists no definitive assessment of the influence of a water layer on the impact process. Specifically, the quantification of related processes like the generation of tsunami waves is so far lacking. It is the aim of this proposal to develop a state-of-the-art, predictive, quantitative model of the cratering process that may be used to understand the geological and environmental devastation for any impact event. The project will focus on utilising numerical modelling in 2D and 3D to clarify the important and unanswered questions (i) how the observed morphology of large impact craters relate to the size and velocity of the impactor and the target stratigraphy and (ii) how oceanic impacts differ from those on the continents. Resolving these two issues will greatly improve estimates of environmental consequences of an impact event including, for the first time, an accurate assessment of the role of tsunami waves.

Principal Investigators
Wünnemann, Kai Dr. (Details) (Outside Custodies)

Duration of Project
Start date: 10/2007
End date: 12/2009

Last updated on 2020-09-03 at 17:06