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Two- and three-dimensional asteroid impact simulations

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4 Author(s)
G. R. Gisler ; Los Alamos Nat. Lab., TX, USA ; R. P. Weaver ; C. L. Mader ; M. L. Gittings

Performing a series of simulations of asteroid impacts using the SAGE code, the authors attempt to estimate the effect of tsunamis and other important environmental events. The code they developed treats multiple fluids with different equations of state and different constitutive models for material strength. The adaptive mesh can refine based on a number of criteria including gradients in physical conditions or material properties. The code uses MPI for portability among many parallel-processing platforms, but hides much of this interface in a library that gives the programmer maximum flexibility. The authors' ocean impact simulations have as a goal the estimation of impact-generated tsunami events as a function of the size and energy of the projectile, partly to aid further studies of potential threats from modest-sized Earth-crossing asteroids. The authors also present a preliminary report on a simulation of the impact that created the Chicxulub crater in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, widely believed to be responsible for the mass extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous period. They also report on progress in developing better constitutive models for the geological materials involved in this impact and in cratering processes in general.

Published in:

Computing in Science & Engineering  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 3 )