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April 6, 2021

Central peak formation in model impact craters

I produced the model impact crater with a combination of the same granular materials I use for tectonic models and a projectile fired from a powerful air rifle (a city-safe version of Gene Shoemaker’s approach). The model crater developed a nice central peak as well as terraced margins. The darker material is quartz sand, combined with a small amount of cornmeal to produce a minor amount of cohesion between sand grains. The white material comprising the central peak is glass microbeads.


October 2, 2018

Model impact craters, from a structural geologist’s perspective

I have always wondered what would happen if the sandpacks I use for structural models were struck by a high-velocity projectile. This turns out to be a fairly easy question to answer if you have sand and a quality pellet gun…