Impact Effects

Gareth Collins, Robert Marcus, and H. Jay Melosh

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

Select Impact Effect:

Your Inputs:

Projectile diameter: 4.00 km ( = 2.48 miles )
Projectile Density: 100 kg/m3
Impact Velocity: 50.00 km per second ( = 31.10 miles per second )
Impact Angle: 45 degrees
Target Density: 2500 kg/m3
Target Type: Sedimentary Rock

Energy:

Energy before atmospheric entry: 4.19 x 1021 Joules = 1.00 x 106 MegaTons TNT
The average interval between impacts of this size somewhere on Earth during the last 4 billion years is 4.6 x 106years

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.

Crater Dimensions:

What does this mean?


Transient Crater Diameter: 15.7 km ( = 9.78 miles )
Transient Crater Depth: 5.57 km ( = 3.46 miles )

Final Crater Diameter: 22.7 km ( = 14.1 miles )
Final Crater Depth: 757 meters ( = 2480 feet )
The crater formed is a complex crater.
The volume of the target melted or vaporized is 23.6 km3 = 5.65 miles3
Roughly half the melt remains in the crater, where its average thickness is 121 meters ( = 397 feet ).


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