• Mid-sized complex crater formation in mixed crystalline-sedimentary targets: Insight from modeling and observation

      Collins, G. S.; Kenkmann, T.; Osinski, G. R.; Wünnemann, K. (The Meteoritical Society, 2008-01-01)
      Large impact crater formation is an important geologic process that is not fully understood. The current paradigm for impact crater formation is based on models and observations of impacts in homogeneous targets. Real targets are rarely uniform; for example, the majority of Earths surface is covered by sedimentary rocks and/or a water layer. The ubiquity of layering across solar system bodies makes it important to understand the effect target properties have on the cratering process. To advance understanding of the mechanics of crater collapse, and the effect of variations in target properties on crater formation, the first Bridging the Gap workshop recommended that geological observation and numerical modeling focussed on mid-sized (15-30 km diameter) craters on Earth. These are large enough to be complex; small enough to be mapped, surveyed and modelled at high resolution; and numerous enough for the effects of target properties to be potentially disentangled from the effects of other variables. In this paper, we compare observations and numerical models of three 18-26 km diameter craters formed in different target lithology: Ries, Germany; Haughton, Canada; and El'gygytgyn, Russia. Based on the first-order assumption that the impact energy was the same in all three impacts we performed numerical simulations of each crater to construct a simple quantitative model for mid-sized complex crater formation in a subaerial, mixed crystalline-sedimentary target. We compared our results with interpreted geological profiles of Ries and Haughton, based on detailed new and published geological mapping and published geophysical surveys. Our combined observational and numerical modeling work suggests that the major structural differences between each crater can be explained by the difference in thickness of the pre-impact sedimentary cover in each case. We conclude that the presence of an inner ring at Ries, and not at Haughton, is because basement rocks that are stronger than the overlying sediments are sufficiently close to the surface that they are uplifted and overturned during excavation and remain as an uplifted ring after modification and post-impact erosion. For constant impact energy, transient and final crater diameters increase with increasing sediment thickness.
    • Validation of numerical codes for impact and explosion cratering: Impacts on strengthless and metal targets

      Pierazzo, E.; Artemieva, N.; Asphaug, E.; Baldwin, E. C.; Cazamias, J.; Coker, R.; Collins, G. S.; Crawford, D. A.; Davison, T.; Elbeshausen, D.; et al. (The Meteoritical Society, 2008-01-01)
      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 between 10 and 20%, similar to the inter-code variability.