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Bolides and crater diameters
Eugene Shoemaker describes a formula for calculating the
relationships between a bolide's kinetic energy and what
the associated crater diameter would be if it should hit
The calculations are slightly involved so I will only summarize
how his model works. Get the article if you want to try this
at home ;-)
D = C Kn W
where D=crater diameter in km
C=collapse factor(1 for craters <=3km and 1.3 for those >=4km
Kn=(0.074 km kilotons)^-1/3.4
W = the kinetic energy of the incoming body...
The constant (Kn) was derived using empirical data from the Jangle U
nuclear test site in Yucca Flat, Nevada.
I did a few simulations using this formula. The first three
cases assume a bolide with a density of 3grams/cc hits Earth.
CASE 1 bolide diameter = 10km
bolide velocity = 20km/sec
resultant crater= 136km diameter
CASE 2 Same bolide at twice the velocity(40 km/sec)
resultant crater= 205km diameter
Note: You can see why 10km is a convenient estimate for the size of
the bolide that resulted in the Chicxulub(180km) structure.
CASE 3 What if fragment "G" of SL9 which recently hit Jupiter
were to hit the Earth instead?
resultant crater= 60km diameter
CASE 4 "Reverse engineer" the Barringer Crater(Meteor Crater, AZ).
Since we have evidence for an iron/nickel body, let's assume
the density to be 10g/cc. The original bolide would then have
a diameter of 40meters.
Asteroid and Comet Bombardment of the Earth,
Eugene M. Shoemaker, Ann. Rev. Earth Planet Sci., 1983,41.