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Animations of Impact Blast Effects

As discussed and illustrated in Chapter 12 of the guidebook, the energy of the Meteor Crater impact produced severe environmental effects that devastated the local area. The environmental effects are also discussed and illustrated in map form elsewhere among LPI’s educational resources.

More recently, the LPI created two short animations that show that type of damage in the vicinity of a populated city. For illustration purposes, the first animation uses the LPI as the point of impact and a second animation uses the Houston Museum of Natural Science as the point of impact.

These animations assume the energy of the impact event was 20 megatons, which scientists with the USGS had calculated was a minimum impact energy for the Meteor Crater impact event. More recent calculations suggest the impact energy may have been slightly smaller.  (See Chapter 10 of the guidebook for a discussion of impact energy). If so, then the radial extent of the damage would be smaller than shown in the animations.

This type of environmental assessment of the Meteor Crater blast began with a study by David A. Kring (Air blast produced by the Meteor Crater impact event and a reconstruction of the affected environment, Meteoritics and Planetary Science 32, 517-530, 1997).

The animations can be seen here:

Impact event centered on the LPI (credit: LPI)

Impact event centered on the HMNS (credit: LPI)

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