AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 59. Computational Techniques and Data Handling
Display, Wednesday, June 5, 2002, 10:00am-7:00pm, SW Exhibit Hall

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[59.03] Simulations of asteroid impacts on water

G. R. Gisler, R. P. Weaver (Los Alamos National Laboratory), M. L. Gittings (Science Applications International)

We have performed a series of two-dimensional and three-dimensional simulations of asteroid impacts into an ocean using the SAGE code from Los Alamos National Laboratory and Science Applications International Corporation. The SAGE code is a compressible Eulerian hydrodynamics code using continuous adaptive mesh refinement for following discontinuities with a fine grid while treating the bulk of the simulation more coarsely. We have used realistic equations of state for the atmosphere, sea water, the oceanic crust and mantle. In two dimensions, we threw asteroid impactors at 20 km/s vertically through an exponential atmosphere into a 5 km deep ocean. The impactors were composed of mantle material (3.32 g/cc) with diameters of 250m, 500m, and 1000m, chosen to compare with the previous work of Crawford and Mader. We also performed some runs with asteroids composed of iron (7.8 g/cc). Because some of the iron asteroids produced craters that penetrated the basalt crust, we included a layer of mantle material in all simulations. A vertical impact produces a large underwater cavity with nearly vertical walls followed by a collapse starting from the bottom and subsequent vertical jetting. Tsunamis up to a kilometer in initial height were generated and followed out to 100 km from the point of impact. In the three-dimensional run, an impactor of iron was thrown at 20 km/s at an angle of 45 degrees. Differences between this run and the vertical two-dimensional runs will be discussed.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: grg@lanl.gov

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.