The University of Arizona

Hydrocode modeling of the Sierra Madera impact structure

T. J. GOLDIN, K. WNNEMANN, H. J. MELOSH, G. S. COLLINS

Abstract


We present the first hydrocode simulations of the formation of the Sierra Madera structure (west Texas, USA), which was caused by an impact into a thick sedimentary target sequence. We modeled Sierra Madera using the iSALE hydrocode, and here we present two best-fit models: 1) a crater with a rim (final crater) diameter of ~12 km, in agreement with previous authors interpretations of the original structure, and 2) a crater ~16 km in diameter with increased postimpact erosion. Both models fit some of the geologic observational data, but discrepancies with estimates of peak shock pressure, extent of deformation, and stratigraphic displacement remain. This study suggests that Sierra Madera may be a larger crater than previously reported and illustrates some of the challenges in simulating impact deformation of sedimentary lithologies. As many terrestrial craters possess some amount of sedimentary rocks in the target sequence, numerical models of impacts into sedimentary targets are essential to our understanding of target rock deformation and the mechanics of crater formation.

Keywords


Impact modeling;Impact;Impact cratering;Impact Crater Sierra Madera Texas USA

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