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Title: Laboratory studies of hypervelocity impacts on solar system analogues
Author: Morris, Andrew James Wulfric
ISNI:       0000 0004 5366 103X
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2015
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Impact cratering and asteroid collisions are major processes throughout the Solar System. Although previous collision-related impact investigations exist (Flynn et al. 2015, Holsapple et al. 2002 and Burchell et al. 1998 are good examples), in the works covering this broad range of investigation, the targets are non-rotating (for the purposes of catastrophic disruption) and different temperature conditions are not considered (for impact cratering). Accordingly, I present experimental processes and data, regarding hypervelocity impact experiments into analogues of (1) rotating asteroids and (2) temperature dependant terrestrial planetary rock. During the course of this work, it was necessary to develop new apparatus and new experimental techniques such as three separate target holders to aid in both catastrophic disruption and heated impact projects, a 3-dimensional model analysis of craters and a completely new, statistically robust, technique to determine a complete crater profile called the KDM method where KDM is Kinnear-Deller-Morris. The main result from this work showed that during an asteroid impact collision where the asteroid is not rotating, the impact energy density for catastrophic disruption is Q*static = 1442 ± 90 J kg-1. However, when the target asteroid was rotating, the condition Q*rotation = 1097 ± 296 J kg-1. The mean value of Q* had thus reduced, but the spread in the data on individual experiments was larger. This leads to two conclusions. The mean value for Q*, based on measurements of many impacts, falls, due to the internal forces acting in the body which are associated with the rotation. This energy term reduction means that the amount of energy to instigate catastrophic disruption is lower and that a rotating asteroid is effectively weaker upon impact than a stationary asteroid. However, the spread in the results indicates that this is not a uniform process, and an individual result for Q* for a rotating or spinning target may be spread over a large range. For the temperature related impacts, as the targets were heated to approximately 1000 K, the target rocks showed an impact dependence more similar to a plastic phase-state than to solidus, due to being held close to temperatures associated with semi-plastic phases. Basalt impact craters displayed this relationship greatest with crater sizes becoming smaller at the higher temperature ranges but larger in the colder brittle solidus temperatures, partly explained in experiments by increased spallation.
Supervisor: Burchell, Mark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Q Science ; QB Astronomy