Quantification of Impact-Induced Melt Production in Numerical Modeling Revisited

1,2Lukas Manske,1,2Kai Wünnemann,3Kosuke Kurosawa
Journal of Geophysical Research (Planets) (in Press) Open Access Link to Article [https://doi.org/10.1029/2022JE007426]
1Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Science, Berlin, Germany
2Department of Earth Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany
3Planetary Exploration Research Center, Chiba Institute of Technology, Narashino, Japan
Published by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons

Melting and vaporization of rocks in impact cratering is mostly attributed to be a consequence of shock compression. However, other mechanism such as plastic work and decompression by structural uplift also contribute to melt production. In this study we expand the commonly used method to determine shock-induced melting in numerical models from the peak shock pressure by a new approach to account for additional heating due plastic work and internal friction. We compare our new approach with the straight-forward method to simply quantify melting from the temperature relative to the solidus temperature at any arbitrary point in time in the course of crater formation. This much simpler method does account for plastic work but suffers from reduced accuracy due to numerical diffusion inherent to ongoing advection in impact crater formation models. We demonstrate that our new approach is more accurate than previous methods in particular for quantitative determination of impact melt distribution in final crater structures. In addition, we assess the contribution of plastic work to the overall melt volume and find, that melting is dominated by plastic work for impacts at velocities smaller than 7.5–12.5 km/s in rocks, depending on the material strength. At higher impact velocities shock compression is the dominating mechanism for melting. Here, the conventional peak shock pressure method provides similar results compared with our new model. Our method serves as a powerful tool to accurately determine impact-induced heating in particular at relatively low-velocity impacts.

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