Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Archean impact

  1. Jul 26, 2009 #1
    What would it be like if a 300 km diameter meteorite hit the early (first 1 Byrs) Archean surface?

    Hint: a smaller impact on Kilawea surface in Hawaii.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 26, 2009 #2


    User Avatar

    Global tsumani...

  4. Jul 29, 2009 #3
    such Archean surface (not crust) would have no silicates, since anoxic environment. so seemingly not much ejected material into atmosphere. So except for direct hit, seemingly not much of a geological effect?
  5. Jul 30, 2009 #4
    There is a web page for doing impact calculations:

    http://www.lpl.arizona.edu/impacteffects/" [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  6. Jul 30, 2009 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Says who? Ejecta is going to be thrown up regardless of the crustal composition. In an asteroid impact, huge portions of both the crust and the impactor are almost instantaneously vaporized and even larger portions surrounding the impact site are pulverized. The expanding vaporized material blows the pulverized stuff outward as it blasts out the crater. The crust could be made of solid iron and you'd still have massive amounts of material ejected into the upper atmosphere.
  7. Aug 7, 2009 #6
    Such shallow Archean sea impact would vaporize impacted water, which is compressable, as well as extruded into atmosphere. Hence wouldn't there seem to result in an inflow of surrounding waters into vaporized volume of water? Perhaps after any outgoing wave.
  8. Aug 7, 2009 #7


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Yes, and the incoming water creates a kilometers-high jet of water after filling the void. The collapse of this jet is the main cause of the tsunamis.
  9. Aug 10, 2009 #8
    "such Archean surface (not crust) would have no silicates, since anoxic environment"

    The above statement is incorrect. Silicates will automatically crystalise from silicate melts, which in turn are the natural product of a proto-planet heated by gravitational contraction, impacts and considerable radioactivity. Since oxygen is the commonest element in the mantle and the crust (and probably, on balance, in the whole Earth) one can hardly describe the enviroment as anoxic.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook