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Rock fluidization during peak-ring formation of large impact structures

Title: Rock fluidization during peak-ring formation of large impact structures
Authors: Riller, U
Poelchau, MH
Rae, A
Schulte, FM
Collins, GS
Melosh, HJ
Grieve, RAF
Morgan, JV
Gulick, SPS
Lofi, J
Diaw, A
McCall, N
Kring, DA
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Large meteorite impact structures on the terrestrial bodies of the Solar System contain pronounced topographic rings, which emerged from uplifted target (crustal) rocks within minutes of impact. To flow rapidly over large distances, these target rocks must have weakened drastically, but they subsequently regained sufficient strength to build and sustain topographic rings. The mechanisms of rock deformation that accomplish such extreme change in mechanical behaviour during cratering are largely unknown and have been debated for decades. Recent drilling of the approximately 200-km-diameter Chicxulub impact structure in Mexico has produced a record of brittle and viscous deformation within its peak-ring rocks. Here we show how catastrophic rock weakening upon impact is followed by an increase in rock strength that culminated in the formation of the peak ring during cratering. The observations point to quasi-continuous rock flow and hence acoustic fluidization as the dominant physical process controlling initial cratering, followed by increasingly localized faulting.
Issue Date: 24-Oct-2018
Date of Acceptance: 15-Aug-2018
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/63770
DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0607-z
ISSN: 0028-0836
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Start Page: 511
End Page: 518
Journal / Book Title: Nature
Volume: 562
Copyright Statement: © 2018 Springer Nature Limited. All rights reserved.
Sponsor/Funder: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Funder's Grant Number: ST/N000803/1
NE/P011195/1
NER/C/C/2000/00571
NE/P005217/1
Keywords: Science & Technology
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
ACOUSTIC FLUIDIZATION
CHICXULUB CRATER
SIMULATIONS
DEFORMATION
VREDEFORT
ASYMMETRY
COLLAPSE
EXAMPLE
SUDBURY
TARGET
IODP–ICDP Expedition 364 Science Party
General Science & Technology
Publication Status: Published
Online Publication Date: 2018-10-24
Appears in Collections:Earth Science and Engineering
Faculty of Engineering