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The role of impacts in the history of the early earthThe significant conclusions of a conference called 'Meteorite Impact and the Early Earth' are reported including data which support the notion that extraterrestrial impacts greatly influenced the development of the earth. The cratering of other planetary surfaces is discussed, and the energy added by meteorite impacts is characterized. The primary effects of large impacts are set forth in terms of atmospheric, oceanic, and biological considerations which suggest that the ramifications would have been significant. Contentious issues include the variation of impact rate with time in the early universe, the interpretation of the record of intense bombardment in the lunar highlands, and the effects related to alternative scenarios. Directions of future study are mentioned including the identification of terrestrial impact structures, conducting searches in the Archean, and assessing ancient impact rates.
Document ID
19910067423
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Authors
French, Bevan M. (NASA Solar System Exploration Div. Washington, DC, United States)
Date Acquired
August 14, 2013
Publication Date
September 1, 1991
Publication Information
Publication: Earth in Space
Volume: 4
ISSN: 1040-3124
Subject Category
GEOSCIENCES (GENERAL)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other