A survey of published descriptions of 32 of the largest, least eroded terrestrial impact structures reveals that the amount of melt at craters in crystalline rocks is approximately 2 orders of magnitude greater than at craters in sedimentary rocks. In this paper we present a model for the impact process; calculations show that the volume of material shocked to pressures sufficient for melting should not be significantly different in sedimentary and crystalline rocks. We conclude that shock melt is formed in the early stages of the cratering process by impacts into rocks rich in volatiles but is destroyed by the cratering process. -from Authors
Additional Publication Details
The role of volatiles and lithology in the impact cratering process.