• Characteristics of oceanic impact-induced large water waves—Re-evaluation of the tsunami hazard

      Wünnemann, K.; Weiss, R.; Hofmann, K. (The Meteoritical Society, 2007-01-01)
      The potential hazard of a meteorite impact in the ocean is controversial with respect to the destructive power of generated large ocean waves (tsunamis). We used numerical modeling of hypervelocity impact to investigate the generation mechanism and the characteristics of the resulting waves up to a distance of 100-150 projectile radii. The wave signal is primarily controlled by the ratio between projectile diameter and water depth, and can be roughly classified into deep-water and shallow-water impacts. In the latter, the collapse of the crater rim results in a wave signal similar to solitary waves, which propagate and decay in agreement with shallow-water wave theory. The much more likely scenario for an asteroid impact on Earth is a relatively small body (much smaller than the water depth) striking the deep sea. In this case, the collapse of the transient crater results in a significantly different and much more complex wave signal that is characterized by strong nonlinear behavior. We found that such waves decay much more rapidly than previously assumed and cannot be treated as long waves. For this reason, the shallow-water theory is not applicable for the computation of wave propagation, and more complex models (full solution of the Boussinesq equations) are required.
    • Coupled effects of impact and orogeny: Is the marine Lockne crater, Sweden, pristine?

      Kenkmann, T.; Kiebach, F.; Rosenau, M.; Raschke, U.; Pigowske, A.; Mittelhaus, K.; Eue, D. (The Meteoritical Society, 2007-01-01)
      Our current understanding of marine-impact cratering processes is partly inferred from the geological structure of the Lockne crater. We present results of a mapping campaign and structural data indicating that this crater is not pristine. In the western part of the crater, pre-impact, impact, and post-impact rocks are incorporated in Caledonian thrust slices and are subjected to folding and faulting. A nappe outlier in the central crater depression is a relic of the Caledonian nappe cover that reached a thickness of more than 5 km. The overthrusted crater is gently deformed. Strike of strata and trend of fold axes deviate from standard Caledonian directions (northeast-southwest). Radially oriented crater depressions, which were previously regarded as marine resurge gullies formed when resurging seawater erosively cut through the crater brim, are interpreted to be open synclines in which resurge deposits were better preserved. The presence of the impact structure influenced orogenesis due to morphological and lithological anomalies of the crater: i) a raised crater brim zone acted as an obstacle during nappe propagation, (ii) the occurrence of a central crater depression caused downward sagging of nappes, and (iii) the lack of an appropriate detachment horizon (alum shale) within the crater led to an enhanced mechanical coupling and internal deformation of the nappe and the overthrusted foreland. Preliminary results of 3-Danalogue experiments suggest that a circular high-friction zone representing the crater locally hinders nappe propagation and initiates a circumferentially striking ramp fault that delineates the crater. Crustal shortening is also partitioned into the crater basement and decreases laterally outward. Deformation of the foreland affected the geometry of the detachment and could be associated with the activation of a deeper detachment horizon beneath the crater. Strain gradients both vertically and horizontally result in non-plane strain deformation in the vicinity of the crater. The strain tensors in the hanging and foot walls may deviate up to 90 degrees from each other and rotated by up to 45 degrees with respect to the standard regional orientation. The observed deflection of strata and fold axes within the Lockne crater area as revealed by field mapping is in agreement with the pattern of strain partitioning shown in the analogue models.
    • Laboratory impacts into dry and wet sandstone with and without an overlying water layer: Implications for scaling laws and projectile survivability

      Baldwin, E. C.; Milner, D. J.; Burchell, M. J.; Crawford, I. A. (The Meteoritical Society, 2007-01-01)
      Scaling laws describing crater dimensions are defined in terms of projectile velocity and mass, densities of the material involved,strength of the target, and the local gravity. Here, the additional importance of target porosity and saturation, and an overlying water layer, are considered through 15 laboratory impacts of 1 mm diameter stainless steel projectiles at 5 km s^(-1) into a) an initially uncharacterized sandstone (porosity ~17%) and b) Coconino Sandstone (porosity ~23%). The higher-porosity dry sandstone allows a crater to form with a larger diameter but smaller depth than in the lower-porosity dry sandstone. Furthermore, for both porosities, a greater volume of material is excavated from a wet target than a dry target (by 27-30%). Comparison of our results with Pi-scaling (dimensionless ratios of key parameters characterizing cratering data over a range of scales) suggests that porosity is important for scaling laws given that the new data lie significantly beneath the current fit for ice and rock targets on a pi-v versus pi-3 plot (pi-v gives cratering efficiency and pi-3 the influence of target strength). An overlying water layer results in a reduction of crater dimensions, with larger craters produced in the saturated targets compared to unsaturated targets. A water depth of approximately 12 times the projectile diameter is required before craters are no longer observed in the targets. Previous experimental studies have shown that this ratio varies between 10 and 20 (Gault and Sonett 1982). In our experiments ~25% of the original projectile mass survives the impact.
    • Sedimentological analysis of resurge deposits at the Lockne and Tvären craters: Clues to flow dynamics

      Ormö, J.; Sturkell, E.; Lindström, M. (The Meteoritical Society, 2007-01-01)
      The Lockne and Tvären craters formed about 455 million years ago in an epicontinental sea where seawater and mainly limestones covered a crystalline basement. The target water depth for Tvären (apparent basement crater diameter D = 2 km) was probably not over 150 m, and for Lockne (D = 7.5 km) recent best-fit numerical simulations suggest the target water depth of 500-700 m. Lockne has crystalline ejecta that partly cover an outer crater (14 km diameter) apparent in the target sediments. Tvären is eroded with only the crater infill preserved. We have line-logged cores through the resurge deposits within the craters in order to analyze the resurge flow. The focus was clast lithology, frequencies, and size sorting. We divide the resurge into resurge proper, with water and debris shooting into the crater and ultimately rising into a central water plume, anti-resurge, with flow outward from the collapsing plume, and oscillating resurge (not covered by the line-logging due to methodological reasons), with decreasing flow in diverse directions. At Lockne, the deposit of the resurge proper is coarse and moderately sorted, whereas the anti-resurge deposit is fining upwards and better sorted. The Tvären crater has a smoothly fining-up section deposited by the resurge proper and may lack anti-resurge deposits. At Lockne, the content of crystalline relative to limestone clasts generally decreases upwards, which is the opposite of Tvären. This may be a consequence of factors such as crater size (i.e., complex versus simple) and the relative target water depth. The mean grain size (i.e., the mean phi value per meter, phi) and standard deviation, i.e., size sorting (sigma) for both craters, can be expressed by the equation sigma = 0.60phi 1.25.