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Near-surface seismic investigation of Barringer (Meteor) Crater, Arizona


We investigated the shallow subsurface of Barringer (Meteor) Crater, Arizona using high-resolution seismic methods. The seismic surveys were conducted in May, 2010 during a joint expedition by the University of Houston, the University of Texas at Austin, and the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI). We performed compressional (P)-wave refraction analysis on the seismic data and found P-wave velocities of 450-2,500 m/s for a 55-m deep model. Away from the crater rim (toward the south), the shallow P-wave low-velocity layers thin. We also estimated a near-surface, shear (S)-wave velocity structure using a surface-wave inversion method. S-wave velocities vary from 200-700 m/s for the top 16-20 m, increasing to 900-1,000 m/s at 38-m depth. We interpret a prominent change in S-wave velocity (at around 500-600 m/s) as the transition from the ejecta blanket (a sheet of debris thrown out of the crater during the impact) to the bed-rock Moenkopi sandstone. The ejecta is characterized as unconsolidated, low velocity, and low density. This S-wave transition takes place at a depth range of 12-20 m near the crater rim with a thinning away from the crater rim. This consistent P-wave and S-wave structure is interpreted as the ejecta blanket. Ultrasonic measurements on hand samples collected during the expedition give a range of P-wave velocities of 800-1,600 m/s for the Moenkopi. Predicted bulk densities from estimated S-wave velocities using modified Gardner's equation fall in the range of 1.8-2.5 gm/cm (super 3) , with low-density materials (ejecta) underlain by high-density materials (bedrock). These density results, along with available drilling information and residual gravity anomalies, also support the thinning of the ejecta blanket.

ISSN: 1083-1363
EISSN: 1943-2658
Serial Title: Journal of Environmental & Engineering Geophysics
Serial Volume: 17
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Near-surface seismic investigation of Barringer (Meteor) Crater, Arizona
Affiliation: University of Houston, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Houston, TX, United States
Pages: 117-127
Published: 201209
Text Language: English
Publisher: Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society, Englewood, CO, United States
References: 18
Accession Number: 2012-086277
Categories: Applied geophysics
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sects.
N34°15'00" - N37°00'00", W113°19'60" - W110°45'00"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2018, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, copyright, Environmental & Engineering Geophysical Society. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201245
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