GEOSCAN Search Results: Fastlink


TitleScaling impact melting and crater dimensions: implications for the lunar cratering record
AuthorCintala, M J; Grieve, R A F
SourceMeteoritics and Planetary Science vol. 33, no. 4, 1998 p. 889-912,
Alt SeriesGeological Survey of Canada, Contribution Series 1997117
Mediapaper; digital; on-line
File formatpdf
Subjectsextraterrestrial geology; craters; meteorite craters; meteorites
Illustrationsgraphs; photographs; formulae; graphs; cross-sections, structural; schematic diagrams; tables
AbstractThe dimensions of large craters formed by impact are controlled to a large extent by gravity, whereas the volume of impact melt created during the same event is essentially independent of gravity. This “differential scaling” fosters size-dependent changes in the dynamics of impact-crater and basin formation as well as in the final morphologies of the resulting structures. A variety of such effects can be observed in the lunar cratering record, and some predictions can be made on the basis of calculations of impact melting and crater dimensions. Among them are the following: (1) as event magnitude increases, the volume of melt created relative to that of the crater will grow, and more will be retained inside the rim of the crater or basin. (2) The depth of melting will exceed the depth of excavation at diameters that essentially coincide with both the inflection in the depth-diameter trend and the simple-to-complex transition. (3) The volume of melt will exceed that of the transient cavity at a cavity diameter on the order of the diameter of the Moon; this would arguably correspond to a Moon-melting event. (4) Small lunar craters only rarely display exterior flows of impact melt because the relatively small volumes of melt created can become choked with clasts, increasing the melt's viscosity and chilling it rapidly. Larger craters and basins should suffer little from such a process. (5) Deep melting near the projectile's axis of penetration during larger events will yield a progression in central-structure morphology; with growing event magnitude, this sequence should range from single peaks through multiple peaks to peak rings. (6) The minimum depth of origin of central-peak material should coincide with the maximum depth of melting; the main central peak in a crater the size of Tycho should have had a preimpact depth of close to 15 km.

Date modified: