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: 58.00 km ( = 36.00 miles )
Projectile diameter: 140.00 meters ( = 459.00 feet )
Projectile Density: 8000 kg/m3
Impact Velocity: 30.00 km per second ( = 18.60 miles per second )
Impact Angle: 90 degrees
Target Density: 2500 kg/m3
Target Type: Sedimentary Rock


Energy before atmospheric entry: 5.17 x 1018 Joules = 1.24 x 103 MegaTons TNT
The average interval between impacts of this size somewhere on Earth during the last 4 billion years is 3.8 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 23300 meters = 76300 ft
The projectile reaches the ground in a broken condition. The mass of projectile strikes the surface at velocity 29.4 km/s = 18.3 miles/s
The impact energy is 4.98 x 1018 Joules = 1.19 x 103MegaTons.
The broken projectile fragments strike the ground in an ellipse of dimension 0.239 km by 0.239 km

Crater Dimensions:

What does this mean?

Crater shape is normal in spite of atmospheric crushing; fragments are not significantly dispersed.

Transient Crater Diameter: 4.52 km ( = 2.81 miles )
Transient Crater Depth: 1.6 km ( = 0.993 miles )

Final Crater Diameter: 5.54 km ( = 3.44 miles )
Final Crater Depth: 495 meters ( = 1620 feet )
The crater formed is a complex crater.
The volume of the target melted or vaporized is 0.0443 km3 = 0.0106 miles3
Roughly half the melt remains in the crater, where its average thickness is 2.76 meters ( = 9.04 feet ).

Thermal Radiation:

What does this mean?

Time for maximum radiation: 116 milliseconds after impact

Visible fireball radius: 3.15 km ( = 1.96 miles )
The fireball appears 12.3 times larger than the sun
Thermal Exposure: 6.37 x 105 Joules/m2
Duration of Irradiation: 44.4 seconds
Radiant flux (relative to the sun): 14.4

Effects of Thermal Radiation:

Seismic Effects:

What does this mean?

The major seismic shaking will arrive approximately 11.6 seconds after impact.
Richter Scale Magnitude: 6.7
Mercalli Scale Intensity at a distance of 58 km:


What does this mean?

The ejecta will arrive approximately 1.82 minutes after the impact.
At your position there is a fine dusting of ejecta with occasional larger fragments
Average Ejecta Thickness: 1.92 cm ( = 0.755 inches )
Mean Fragment Diameter: 14.5 cm ( = 5.72 inches )

Air Blast:

What does this mean?

The air blast will arrive approximately 2.93 minutes after impact.
Peak Overpressure: 23000 Pa = 0.23 bars = 3.26 psi
Max wind velocity: 49.5 m/s = 111 mph
Sound Intensity: 87 dB (Loud as heavy traffic)
Damage Description:

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