Numerical Modeling of the Largest Terrestrial Meteorite Craters
Multi-ring impact basins have been found on the surfaces of almost all planetary bodies in the Solar system with solid crusts. The details of their formation mechanism are still unclear. We present results of our numerical modeling of the formation of the largest known terrestrial impact craters. The geological and geophysical data on these structures accumulated over many decades are used to place constraints on the parameters of available numerical models with a dual purpose: (i) to choose parameters in available mechanical models for the crustal response of planetary bodies to a large impact and (ii) to use numerical modeling to refine the possible range of original diameters and the morphology of partially eroded terrestrial craters. We present numerical modeling results for the Vredefort, Sudbury, Chicxulub, and Popigai impact craters and compare these results with available geological and geophysical information.