Earth Impact Effects Program

Robert Marcus, H. Jay Melosh, and Gareth Collins

Please note: the results below are estimates based on current (limited) understanding of the impact process and come with large uncertainties; they should be used with caution, particularly in the case of peculiar input parameters. All values are given to three significant figures but this does not reflect the precision of the estimate. For more information about the uncertainty associated with our calculations and a full discussion of this program, please refer to this article

Your Inputs:

Distance from Impact: 1000.00 meters ( = 3280.00 feet )
Projectile diameter: 140.00 meters ( = 459.00 feet )
Projectile Density: 3000 kg/m3
Impact Velocity: 17.00 km per second ( = 10.60 miles per second )
Impact Angle: 45 degrees
Target Density: 1000 kg/m3
Target Type: Liquid water of depth 1000.0 meters ( = 3280.0 feet ), over crystalline rock.


Energy before atmospheric entry: 6.23 x 1017 Joules = 1.49 x 102 MegaTons TNT
The average interval between impacts of this size somewhere on Earth during the last 4 billion years is 1.5 x 104years

Major Global Changes:

The Earth is not strongly disturbed by the impact and loses negligible mass.
The impact does not make a noticeable change in the tilt of Earth's axis (< 5 hundreths of a degree).
The impact does not shift the Earth's orbit noticeably.

Atmospheric Entry:

The projectile begins to breakup at an altitude of 54000 meters = 177000 ft
The projectile reaches the ground in a broken condition. The mass of projectile strikes the surface at velocity 11.8 km/s = 7.36 miles/s
The impact energy is 3.03 x 1017 Joules = 7.23 x 101MegaTons.
The broken projectile fragments strike the ground in an ellipse of dimension 0.822 km by 0.581 km

Crater Dimensions:

What does this mean?

The crater opened in the water has a diameter of 3.11 km ( = 1.93 miles ).

For the crater formed in the seafloor:
The result of the impact is a crater field, not a single crater. The following dimensions are for the crater produced by the largest fragment.

Transient Crater Diameter: 135 meters ( = 443 feet )
Transient Crater Depth: 47.8 meters ( = 157 feet )

Final Crater Diameter: 169 meters ( = 554 feet )
Final Crater Depth: 36 meters ( = 118 feet )
The crater formed is a simple crater

The floor of the crater is underlain by a lens of broken rock debris (breccia) with a maximum thickness of 16.7 meters ( = 54.7 feet ).
At this impact velocity ( < 12 km/s), little shock melting of the target occurs.

Thermal Radiation:

What does this mean?

At this impact velocity ( < 15 km/s), little vaporization occurs; no fireball is created, therefore, there is no thermal radiation damage.

Seismic Effects:

What does this mean?

The major seismic shaking will arrive approximately 200 milliseconds after impact.
Richter Scale Magnitude: 3.3
Mercalli Scale Intensity at a distance of 1 km:


What does this mean?

The ejecta will arrive approximately 14.3 seconds after the impact.
At your position there is a fine dusting of ejecta with occasional larger fragments
Average Ejecta Thickness: 2.98 mm ( = 1.17 tenths of an inch )
Mean Fragment Diameter: 188 meters ( = 618 feet )

Air Blast:

What does this mean?

The air blast will arrive approximately 3.03 seconds after impact.
Peak Overpressure: 1.76e+07 Pa = 176 bars = 2490 psi
Max wind velocity: 3360 m/s = 7520 mph
Sound Intensity: 145 dB (Dangerously Loud)
Damage Description:

Tsunami Wave:

What does this mean?

Your location is within the crater formed in the water layer. This is where the impact tsunami wave is generated.

Tell me more...

Click here for a pdf document that details the observations, assumptions, and equations upon which this program is based. It describes our approach to quantifying the important impact processes that might affect the people, buildings, and landscape in the vicinity of an impact event and discusses the uncertainty in our predictions. The processes included are: atmospheric entry, impact crater formation, fireball expansion and thermal radiation, ejecta deposition, seismic shaking, and the propagation of the atmospheric blast wave.

Earth Impact Effects Program Copyright 2004, Robert Marcus, H.J. Melosh, and G.S. Collins
These results come with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY