Accretion of Extraterrestrial Matter Throughout Earth’s History

  • Bernhard Peucker-Ehrenbrink
  • Birger Schmitz

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvi
  2. Stephen J. Kortenkamp, Stanley F. Dermott, Debra Fogle, Keith Grogan
    Pages 13-30
  3. Paolo Farinella, David Vokrouhlický, Alessandro Morbidelli
    Pages 31-49
  4. William M. Napier
    Pages 51-74
  5. George J. Flynn
    Pages 107-127
  6. Richard A. Muller
    Pages 143-161
  7. Susan Taylor, James H. Lever
    Pages 205-219
  8. Rainer Wieler, Thomas Graf
    Pages 221-240
  9. A. J. Timothy Jull
    Pages 241-266
  10. Birger Schmitz, Mario Tassinari
    Pages 319-331
  11. Christian Koeberl
    Pages 333-378
  12. Richard A. F. Grieve
    Pages 379-402
  13. Jennifer A. Grier, Alfred S. McEwen
    Pages 403-422
  14. Stephen J. Mojzsis, Graham Ryder
    Pages 423-446
  15. Richard A. Muller, Timothy A. Becker, Timothy S. Culler, Paul R. Renne
    Pages 447-452
  16. Back Matter
    Pages 453-466

About this book


Every year Earth is bombarded with about 40,000 tons of extraterrestrial material. This includes microscopic cosmic dust particles shed by comets and asteroids in outer space, meteorites, as well as large comets and asteroids that have led to catastrophic events in the geologic past. Originally considered only a curiosity, extraterrestrial matter found on Earth provides the only samples we have from comets, asteroids and other planets. Only recently mankind has started to actively collect extraterrestrial matter in space (Apollo program, Stardust mission) rather than to wait for its delivery to Earth. Still, most of our knowledge of the origin and evolution of our solar system is based on careful studies of meteorites, cosmic dust, and traces of large impact events in the geologic record such as the mass extinction that terminated the Cretaceous Period and led to the extinction of the dinosaurs.
This book summarizes our current knowledge of the properties, origin, orbital evolution and accretion mechanism of extraterrestrial matter accreted on Earth and sheds light on accretion processes and fluxes in the geologic past. The chapters in the first part of the book are arranged in order to follow extraterrestrial matter from its origin in space, its orbital evolution on its way to Earth, its interaction with the Earth magnetosphere and atmosphere to its more or less violent collision with the Earth's surface. In the second part of the book several chapters deal with the present?day flux of cosmic dust and meteorites to Earth. Finally, several chapters deal with the reconstruction of the accretion history of extraterrestrial matter on Earth, starting with the most recent geologic past and ending with the very early, violent accretion period shortly after the formation of Earth, Moon and other solid planets in our solar system.


Planet Sediment Solar System asteroid cosmic ray earth moon solar

Editors and affiliations

  • Bernhard Peucker-Ehrenbrink
    • 1
  • Birger Schmitz
    • 2
  1. 1.Woods Hole Oceanographic InstitutionWoods HoleUSA
  2. 2.Earth Sciences CenterUniversity of GetenburgGotenburgSweden

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers, New York 2001
  • Publisher Name Springer, Boston, MA
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4613-4668-5
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4419-8694-8
  • Buy this book on publisher's site