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Impacts in Ice: Commissions of Solar System Crater PopulationsThe classical phases of cratering are compression, excavation, and modification. Recent theory, however, supports and alternative sequence of physical events: (1) coupling - energy and momentum are transferred, and the cratering flow field is set up; (2) power-law-growth the flow field expands, with transient cavity dimensions expressible as a simple power law function of time; and (3) late phase - some combination of gravity, strength, and viscosity limits cavity growth, initially causing a deviation from power-law behavior and eventually determining the size and shape of the final (transient) crater. The dominant mechanism that limits cavity growth defines a cratering regime and a single variable, the coupling parameter, determines the scaling laws in the various regimes. The coupling parameter is intermediate in dimensionality between energy and momentum and its exact form is determined. For simple materials with rate and scale independent strength, the transition crater diameter between the strength and gravity regimes is, within reasonable bounds, independent of velocity. Even the smallest craters observed by Voyager appear to be gravity dominated.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Mckinnon, W. B.
(Washington Univ. Saint Louis, MO, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 1985
Publication Information
Publication: NASA, Washington Repts. of Planetary Geol. and Geophys. Program, 1984
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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