MEMIN, image courtesy EMI, Freiburg


Impact cratering is a fundamental geologic process throughout the solar system. Understanding this process requires multi- and interdisciplinary research that includesstudies of natural craters, laboratory experiments, and numerical simulations. In thisgeneral context we propose a Multidisciplinary Experimental and Modeling Impact Research Network (MEMIN Forschergruppe) comprising geoscientists, physicists,and engineers. Central to MEMIN is a newly designed two-stage light gas gun capableto produce craters in the decimeter-range in solid rocks, a size previously notachieved at the laboratory scale that enables detailed spatial analyses. The proposedcratering experiments on sandstone targets comprise a parametric study of the role of water, porosity, target layering, and impact velocity on cratering mechanics, shock effects, and projectile distribution during cratering. The work program includes (i) complete mineralogical-petrophysical, and mechanical characterization of the target prior to and after the experiment using, for example, state-of-the-art geophysical toolsfor meso-scale tomography and microstructural analyses at the nano-scale, (ii) stringent control of the impact experiment itself with newly developed in-situ real-time measurements of fracture propagation, stresses, crater growth and ejecta dynamics, and (iii) numerical modeling of the complete process. MEMIN is designed to yield a solid data base for validation and refining of numerical cratering models that will allow scaling of meso-scale observations to the size of natural craters. MEMIN will further our understanding of impact damaging of rocks and, hence, the nature of geophysical signatures of terrestrial craters.


since 2009

Selected Publications

  • Güldemeister N., Wünnemann K., Durr N., Hiermaier S. Propagation of impact-induced shock waves in heterogeneous sandstone using mesoscale modeling. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, special issue. (submitted)
  • Ebert M., Hecht L., Deutsch A., and Kenkmann T. Chemical modification of projectile residuesand target material in a MEMIN cratering experiment. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, special issue. (accepted)
  • Kowitz A., Schmitt R.T., Reimold W.U. and Hornemann U. First MEMIN shock recovery experiments at low shock pressure (5-12.5 GPa) with dry, porous sandstone. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, special issue.(submitted)

External links

Last update: 09.04.2014