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Impact mechanics of the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction bolideAn examination of the mechanics of asteroidal, cometary, and meteor swarm impact on the earth determined if the enrichment of projectile material in the K-T layer is consistent with melts and impact breccias on the earth and moon, the size of the impacters, the distribution of the kinetic energy, and the sequence of impacts that could give rise to observed extinction phenomena. Flows resulting from spherical projectile impacts onto layers of air, water, and silicates were modeled and Eulerian finite difference algorithms were employed to solve conservation equations and equations of state. A range of speeds and impacter densities were considered, along with sizes from 0.17 km, which would be consumed in the atmosphere, to a 10 km object, which would have had a diameter greater than a reference 7.1 km atmosphere depth. It is concluded that an impact of the K-T bolide could result in global biotic extinction and worldwide material deposition.
Document ID
19820055157
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Authors
Okeefe, J. D. (California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Ahrens, T. J. (California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 10, 2013
Publication Date
July 8, 1982
Publication Information
Publication: Nature
Volume: 298
Subject Category
LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NSG-7129
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other