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Impact cratering experiments into quartzite, sandstone and tuff: The effects of projectile size and target properties on spallation

: Poelchau, M.; Kenkmann, T.; Hoerth, T.; Schäfer, F.; Rudolf, M.; Thoma, K.


Icarus 242 (2014), S.211-224
ISSN: 0019-1035
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG
Fraunhofer EMI ()

Impact cratering experiments were performed on quartzite, tuff, and dry and water-saturated sandstones in the framework of the MEMIN research unit. 2.5–12 mm diameter projectiles were accelerated to ∼5 km/s. Evaluation of the resulting craters shows that crater volumes and crater efficiencies of large-scale experiments are greater than predicted by strength scaling laws. A method to approximate the transient crater volume shows that this effect is largely due to an increase in spallation. Strength scaling laws are used to determine the reduction of tensile strength in large-scale experiments and show a decrease by a factor of 1.8–3.6. This strength reduction can be correlated with a decrease in strain rate for larger projectiles, and with the Weibull theory of strength reduction for larger rock sample sizes. Further variations in spallation are observed between different target materials; a decrease in spall is suggested to be controlled by increased porosity.