Melosh, 1989

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Melosh, H. J. - Impact cratering: A geologic process (1989)



This is a major work summarizing in reasonably accessible language our understanding of, and the history of our understanding of, the impact craters observed on bodies throughout the solar system, including the Earth and Moon.

Additional Information

  • From the NASA ADS review:
    • The mechanisms involved in the formation of impact craters are examined theoretically, reviewing the results of recent investigations. Topics addressed include crater morphology, stress waves in solids, the contact and compression stage, the excavation stage, and ejecta deposits. Consideration is given to the scaling of crater dimensions, the crater modification stage, multiring basins, cratered landscapes, atmospheric interactions, and the implications of impact cratering for planetary evolution. Extensive diagrams, graphs, tables, and images of typical craters are provided.

  • Contents of the 1989 edition:
    • 1. Themes in the Study of Impact Cratering 3
    • 2. Crater Morphology 14
    • 3. Stress Waves in Solids 29
    • 4. Cratering Mechanics: Contact and Compression Stage 46
    • 5. Cratering Mechanics: Excavation Stage 60
    • 6. Ejecta Deposits 87
    • 7. Scaling of Crater Dimensions 112
    • 8. Cratering Mechanics: Modification Stage 126
    • 9. Multiring Basins 163
    • 10. Cratered Landscapes 184
    • 11. Atmospheric Interactions 205
    • 12. Impact Cratering and Planetary Evolution 215
    • Appendix I Derivation of the Hugoniot Equations 228
    • Appendix II Equations of the State for Impact Cratering 230
    • General Bibliography 235
    • Index 241
  • In addition to the General Bibliography, the references sections at the end of each chapter give useful synopses of the books and articles making major contributions to the subject of the chapter, and how they relate to one another.
  • The 1996 edition is possibly a paperback reprinting of the 1989 first edition(?).

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