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The extremely important role of groundwater has been largely overlooked in studies of meteorite and comet impact processes. Beyond the radius of plasma generation, impacts can produce massive shattering in saturated porous rocks. Fluid pressure rise reduces rock strength and facilitates hydrofracture, to produce intraformational monomict breccias, faulting, and generation of mobile polymict breccia slurries. Decompression of a deep “transient” crater accounts for complex central uplift and gravitational collapse of tremendous slide blocks that in turn cause injection and ejection of fluidized breccia. As pore fluid pressures equilibrate, frictional strength increases, and the structural form is locked into stability....

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