Abstract

Magnetic data sets over deep ocean areas may contain clues to the existence of craters formed by the impact of an extraterrestrial body with the Earth's ocean crust. To aid in the magnetic exploration of the ocean crust for oceanic impact craters, basic but effective computations from an impact model are studied from an aeromagnetic point of view. The main assumption of the analysis is that a sufficiently large impact can excavate large volumes of magnetized basalt, vaporize basalt, and raise basalt to temperatures above the Curie temperature (approximately 500 degrees C) to alter the preimpact magnetization of the ocean floor and result in a magnetic anomaly being associated with an oceanic impact crater. In the absence of an existing theory on the influence of impacts on ocean crustal magnetization, the representation of a crater on the ocean floor by a simple potential provides, apparently for the first time, quantitative estimates of the crater's magnetic anomaly along a horizontal surface. Numerical results from the model suggest that the detection of the anomaly of a Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) type of impact is well within the capabilities of aeromagnetic technology.

This content is PDF only. Please click on the PDF icon to access.

First Page Preview

First page PDF preview
You do not currently have access to this article.