Impact cratering of granular mixture targets made of H2O ice-CO2 ice-pyrophylite

Arakawa M, Higa M, Leliwa-Kopystyński J, Maeno N

Planetary and Space Science

48(15), 2000, 1437-1446, 10.1016/S0032-0633(00)00088-X

Experiments related to impacts onto three-component targets which could simulate cometary nucleus or planetary regolith cemented by ices are presented here. The impact velocities are from 133 to 632 m s−1. The components are powdered mineral (pyrophylite), H2O ice, and CO2 ice mixed 1:1:0.74 by mass. The porosity of fresh samples is about 0.48. Two types of the samples were studied: nonheated samples and samples heated by thermal radiation. Within the samples a layered structure was formed. The cratering pattern strongly depended on the history of the samples. The craters formed in nonheated targets had regular shapes. The volume was easy to be determined and it was proportional to impact energy E. The crater depth scales as E0.5. Impacts on the thermally stratified target led to ejection of a large amount of material from the loose sub-crustal layer. For some particular interval of impact velocity a cratering pattern can demonstrate unusual properties: small hole through the rigid crust and considerable mass transfer (radially, outward of the impact point) within sub-crustal layer.