ANALYSIS OF THE FORMATION OF METEOR CRATER, ARIZONA: A PRELIMINARY REPORT.
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CALIF
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A theoretical study is made of the cratering process accompanying the impact of a 12,000 ton iron projectile on a semi-infinite half space of soft rock at a velocity of 30 kmsec. The constituents and velocity approximate those involved in the formation of Meteor Crater, Arizona. The assumption is made that the process is hydrodynamic in nature, since the pressures generated so far exceed the strengths of the materials. At these high pressures, the compressibilities of the materials must be taken into account with the result that shocks are generated. The motion is solved by numerical means, and graphs showing details of the motion are presented. The conclusion in this preliminary report is that the meteorite had a mass of between 30,000 and 194,000 tons, the range being due to the uncertainty in the impact velocity. Author
- Geology, Geochemistry and Mineralogy