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MEMIN Sub-Project: Projectile-target interaction, melting and vaporization in hypervelocity experiments and natural impactites

Einschläge im Laborformat. Foto: DFG Forschergruppe MEMIN

MEMIN overview

In this subproject we investigate the chemical and physical interaction between projectile and target materials during hypervelocity impacts. Using a combination of conventional impact experiments, innovative laser-melting experiments, and petrological investigations of natural terrestrial impactites we try to better understand processes and products of impact melting and vaporization. We specifically focus on the fate of carbonates upon impact and investigate whether melting or decomposition of carbonates occur under high pressure and temperaturs. To this end we combine results obtained from state-of-the-art impact experiments and innovative laser-melting experiment with observations from natural impact melt rocks and glasses.

Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Duration: 11/2013 – 10/2016

Project website:

Selected Publications and conference contributions:

  • Hamann C., Stöffler D., and Reimold W. U. 2015. Interaction of aluminum projectiles with quartz sand in impact experiments: formation of khatyrkite (CuAl2) and reduction of SiO2 to Si. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.
  • Van Roosbroeck N., Hamann C., McKibbin S., Greshake A., Wirth R., Pittarello L., Hecht L., Claeys P., and Debaille V. 2016. Immiscible silicate liquids and phosphoran olivine in Netschaëvo IIE silicate: analogue for planetesimal core–mantle boundaries. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.
  • Ebert M., Hamann C., Hecht L. 2017. Laser-induced melting experiments: simulation of short-term high-temperature impact processes. Meteoritics & Planetary Science.
  • Schultze D.S., Jourdan F., Hecht L., Reimold W.U., Schmitt R.-T. 2016. Tenoumer impact crater, Mauritania: Impact melt genesis from a lithologically diverse target. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 51, 323-350.
  • Ebert M., Hecht L., Deutsch A., Kenkmann T., Wirth R., and Berndt J. 2014. Geochemical processes between steel projectiles and silica-rich targets in hypervelocity impact experiments. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 133, 257–279.
  • Ebert M., Hecht L., Deutsch A., and Kenkmann T. 2013. Chemical modification of projectile residues in a MEMIN cratering experiment. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 48, 134–149.
  • Hamann C., Hecht L., Ebert M., and Wirth R. 2013. Chemical projectile–target interaction and liquid immiscibility in impact glass from the Wabar craters, Saudi Arabia. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 121, 291–310.