Constraints on the interpretation of the Eltanin impact from numerical simulations

Rainer.Gersonde [ at ]


The results of numerical simulations of the Eltanin impact are combined with the available geological data in order to reconstruct the impact dynamics and to get some constraints on the impact parameters. Numerical simulations show that the Eltanin projectile size should be less than 2 km for a 45° oblique impact and less than 1.5 km for a vertical impact. On the other hand, we demonstrate that the projectile diameter cannot be considerably smaller than 1 km; otherwise, the impact-induced water flow cannot transport eroded sediments across large distances. The maximum displacement approximately equals the water crater radius and rapidly decreases with increasing distances. Numerical simulations also show that ejecta deposits strongly depend on impact angle and projectile size and, therefore, cannot be used for reliable estimates of the initial projectile mass. The initial amplitudes of tsunami-like waves are estimated. The presence of clay-rich sediments, typical for the abyssal basins in cores PS2709 and PS2708 on the Freeden Seamounts (Bellingshausen Sea, Southern Ocean) combined with numerical data allow us to suggest a probable point of impact to the east of the seamounts. The results do not exclude the possibility that a crater in the ocean bottom may exist, but such a structure has not been found yet

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DOI 10.1111/maps.12326

Cite as
Shuvalov, V. and Gersonde, R. (2014): Constraints on the interpretation of the Eltanin impact from numerical simulations , Meteoritics and Planetary Science Journal, 49 (7), pp. 1171-1185 . doi: 10.1111/maps.12326

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