, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 365-377

Structural and mineralogical evaluation of an experimentally produced impact crater in granite

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A crater 30 cm in diameter and 4.4 cm in depth was produced upon impact of an aluminium sphere with a homogeneous granite target. The volume excavated was 748 cm3, the mass ejected 1933 g. The crater geometry is compared with previous laboratory experiments.

Mineralogical investigations revealed that shock induced, microscopic fracturing is lowest in the direction of uniaxial compression, followed by a 45° profile. Due to reflections of stress waves at the free surface, the horizontal profile displayed the highest fracture index.

Kinking of biotite was very common in samples close to the crater walls (≈ 50 kb). However it faded out at a distance which corresponds to approximately 10 kb. This seems to be the lower pressure limit for the formation of kink bands under shock conditions.

Contribution No. 1568, Division of Geological Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California.
The manuscript was prepared under NASA-Grant NGR-05-002-005.