• Laboratory investigations of marine impact events: Factors influencing crater formation and projectile survivability

      Milner, D. J.; Baldwin, E. C.; Burchell, M. J. (The Meteoritical Society, 2008-01-01)
      Given that the Earths surface is covered in around two-thirds water, the majority of impact events should have occurred in marine environments. However, with the presence of a water layer, crater formation may be prohibited. Indeed, formation is greatly controlled by the water depth to projectile diameter ratio, as discussed in this paper. Previous work has shown that the underlying target material also influences crater formation (e.g., Gault and Sonett 1982; Baldwin et al. 2007). In addition to the above parameters we also show the influence of impact angle, impact velocity and projectile density for a variety of water depths on crater formation and projectile survivability. The limiting ratio of water depth to projectile diameter on cratering represents the point at which the projectile is significantly slowed by transit through the water layer to reduce the impact energy to that which prohibits cratering. We therefore study the velocity decay produced by a water layer using laboratory, analytical and numerical modelling techniques, and determine the peak pressures endured by the projectile. For an impact into a water depth five times the projectile diameter, the velocity of the projectile is found to be reduced to 26-32% its original value. For deep water impacts we find that up to 60% of the original mass of the projectile survives in an oblique impact, where survivability is defined as the solid or melted mass fraction of the projectile that could be collected after impact.
    • The effect of target properties on crater morphology: Comparison of central peak craters on the Moon and Ganymede

      Bray, V. J.; Collins, G. S.; Morgan, J. V.; Schenk, P. M. (The Meteoritical Society, 2008-01-01)
      We examine the morphology of central peak craters on the Moon and Ganymede in order to investigate differences in the near-surface properties of these bodies. We have extracted topographic profiles across craters on Ganymede using Galileo images, and use these data to compile scaling trends. Comparisons between lunar and Ganymede craters show that crater depth, wall slope and amount of central uplift are all affected by material properties. We observe no major differences between similar-sized craters in the dark and bright terrain of Ganymede, suggesting that dark terrain does not contain enough silicate material to significantly increase the strength of the surface ice. Below crater diameters of ~12 km, central peak craters on Ganymede and simple craters on the Moon have similar rim heights, indicating comparable amounts of rim collapse. This suggests that the formation of central peaks at smaller crater diameters on Ganymede than the Moon is dominated by enhanced central floor uplift rather than rim collapse. Crater wall slope trends are similar on the Moon and Ganymede, indicating that there is a similar trend in material weakening with increasing crater size, and possibly that the mechanism of weakening during impact is analogous in icy and rocky targets. We have run a suite of numerical models to simulate the formation of central peak craters on Ganymede and the Moon. Our modeling shows that the same styles of strength model can be applied to ice and rock, and that the strength model parameters do not differ significantly between materials.