* Astronomy

Members Login
Post Info TOPIC: Impact rate


L

Posts: 129963
Date:
Terrestrial impact cratering
Permalink  
 


Title: A tale of clusters: No resolvable periodicity in the terrestrial impact cratering record
Author: Matthias M. M. Meier (1), Sanna Holm-Alwmark (2) ((1) ETH Zurich, Institute of Geochemistry and Petrology, Clausiusstrasse 25, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland, (2) Lund University, Department of Geology, Sölvegatan 12, 22362 Lund, Sweden)

Rampino & Caldeira (2015) carry out a circular spectral analysis (CSA) of the terrestrial impact cratering record over the past 260 million years (Ma), and suggest a ~26 Ma periodicity of impact events. For some of the impacts in that analysis, new accurate and high-precision ("robust"; 2SE<2%) 40Ar-39Ar ages have recently been published, resulting in significant age shifts. In a CSA of the updated impact age list, the periodicity is strongly reduced. In a CSA of a list containing only impacts with robust ages, we find no significant periodicity for the last 500 Ma. We show that if we relax the assumption of a fully periodic impact record, assuming it to be a mix of a periodic and a random component instead, we should have found a periodic component if it contributes more than ~80% of the impacts in the last 260 Ma. The difference between our CSA and the one by Rampino & Caldeira (2015) originates in a subset of "clustered" impacts (i.e., with overlapping ages). The ~26 Ma periodicity seemingly carried by these clusters alone is strongly significant if tested against a random distribution of ages, but this significance disappears if it is tested against a distribution containing (randomly-spaced) clusters. The presence of a few impact age clusters (e.g., from asteroid break-up events) in an otherwise random impact record can thus give rise to false periodicity peaks in a CSA. There is currently no evidence for periodicity in the impact record.

Read more (1032kb, PDF)



__________________


L

Posts: 129963
Date:
RE: Impact rate
Permalink  
 


Title: Bayesian time series analysis of terrestrial impact cratering
Authors: C.A.L. Bailer-Jones (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg)
(Version v2)

Giant impacts by comets and asteroids have probably had an important influence on terrestrial biological evolution. We know of around 180 high velocity impact craters on the Earth with ages up to 2400Myr and diameters up to 300km. Some studies have identified a periodicity in their age distribution, with periods ranging from 13 to 50Myr. It has further been claimed that such periods may be causally linked to a periodic motion of the solar system through the Galactic plane. However, many of these studies suffer from methodological problems, for example misinterpretation of p-values, overestimation of significance in the periodogram or a failure to consider plausible alternative models. Here I develop a Bayesian method for this problem in which impacts are treated as a stochastic phenomenon. Models for the time variation of the impact probability are defined and the evidence for them in the geological record is compared using Bayes factors. This probabilistic approach obviates the need for ad hoc statistics, and also makes explicit use of the age uncertainties. I find strong evidence for a monotonic decrease in the recorded impact rate going back in time over the past 250Myr for craters larger than 5km. The same is found for the past 150Myr when craters with upper age limits are included. This is consistent with a crater preservation/discovery bias modulating an otherwise constant impact rate. The set of craters larger than 35km (so less affected by erosion and infilling) and younger than 400Myr are best explained by a constant impact probability model. A periodic variation in the cratering rate is strongly disfavoured in all data sets. There is also no evidence for a periodicity superimposed on a constant rate or trend, although this more complex signal would be harder to distinguish.

Read more (1097kb, PDF)

General list of impact structures for google earth.

Google earth file: Impact structures (96kb, kmz)



__________________


L

Posts: 129963
Date:
Impact risk
Permalink  
 


Title: Jupiter - friend or foe? I: the asteroids
Authors: J. Horner, B. W. Jones (The Open University, UK)
(Version v3)

The asteroids are the major source of potential impactors on the Earth today. It has long been assumed that the giant planet Jupiter acts as a shield, significantly lowering the impact rate on the Earth from both cometary and asteroidal bodies. Such shielding, it is claimed, enabled the development and evolution of life in a collisional environment which is not overly hostile. The reduced frequency of impacts, and of related mass extinctions, would have allowed life the time to thrive, where it would otherwise have been suppressed. However, in the past, little work has been carried out to examine the validity of this idea. In the first of several papers, we examine the degree to which the impact risk resulting from a population representative of the asteroids is enhanced or lessened by the presence of a giant planet, in an attempt to fully understand the impact regime under which life on Earth has developed. Our results show that the situation is far less clear cut that has previously been assumed - for example, the presence of a giant planet can act to enhance the impact rate of asteroids on the Earth significantly.

Read more (833kb, PDF)

__________________


L

Posts: 129963
Date:
Impact rate
Permalink  
 


Title: Jupiter - friend or foe? I: the asteroids
Authors: J. Horner, B. W. Jones (The Open University, UK)

The asteroids are the major source of potential impactors on the Earth today. It has long been assumed that the giant planet Jupiter acts as a shield, significantly lowering the impact rate on the Earth from both cometary and asteroidal bodies. Such shielding, it is claimed, enabled the development and evolution of life in a collisional environment which is not overly hostile. The reduced frequency of impacts, and of related mass extinctions, would have allowed life the time to thrive, where it would otherwise have been suppressed. However, in the past, little work has been carried out to examine the validity of this idea. In the first of several papers, we examine the degree to which the impact risk resulting from a population representative of the asteroids is enhanced or lessened by the presence of a giant planet, in an attempt to fully understand the impact regime under which life on Earth has developed. Our results show that the situation is far less clear cut that has previously been assumed - for example, the presence of a giant planet can act to enhance significantly the impact rate of asteroids at the Earth.

Read more (832kb, PDF)

__________________
Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.



Create your own FREE Forum
Report Abuse
Powered by ActiveBoard