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High-resolution imaging of the peak ring at the Chicxulub crater, and implications for peak ring formation

Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Joanna
Morgan (Imperial College)

Peak rings are a common feature of large craters on silicate bodies in our solar system, and are widely agreed to be formed by the hydrodynamic collapse of a gravitationally unstable central uplift. However, the precise lithological character, physical state, as well as the kinematics of peak ring formation remains unclear, and are the target for planned scientific drilling at the Chicxulub crater. Newly-developed imaging techniques (full seismic wavefield inversions) have the potential to resolve fine-scale structure, unrivalled by any other geophysical technique. These inversions show that the uppermost peak ring is formed from a thin layer of very low-velocity rocks, that
the peak ring is formed from low-velocity rocks, and that there are high-velocity-zones immediately adjacent to the peak ring. These results have a number of implications for models of peak ring formation.

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