Mass Accumulation of Earth from Interplanetary Dust, Meteoroids, Asteroids and Comets

Gerhard Drolshagen, Detlef Koschny, Sandra Drolshagen, Jana Kretschmer, Björn Poppe

Planetary and Space Science
SI:Meteoroids 2016
Available online 14 February 2017


“Using new data and recent models this paper derives a total combined flux model of the mass reaching Earth as interplanetary material. For the small sizes the interplanetary flux model by Grün et al. (1985) was used which describes the mass flux at 1 AU for meteoroids in the mass range 10–21 kg to about 10−1 kg. For the large objects the flux models by Brown et al. (2002) were used which were derived for bodies greater than 1 m and are based on sensor data of fireballs that entered the Earth atmosphere. For the intermediate size range interpolations and alternative models based on meteor and fireball data were used. All flux models were converted to an altitude of 100 km above the Earth surface to make them comparable. The total combined flux model covers more than 34 orders of magnitude in mass. Using recent measurements and alternative flux models the uncertainties of the obtained model were estimated. Recent measurements include in-situ impact data on retrieved space hardware and optical meteor and fireball data. Depending on the models and interpolation used the interplanetary material that enters the Earth atmosphere per day is in the range of 30 − 180 t with a best guess value of 54 t per day for an upper cut-off size of 1 km. If the upper size limit is placed at 0.5 m which is the largest size where statistically a daily impact is expected, the expected mass influx is slightly more than 32 t per day. The combined models with interpolations suggest deviations from a simple power law. The flux in the diameter range of 0.01 m – 0.1 m appears not as large as suggested by a simple power law interpolation.”