Asteroid impact effects and their immediate hazards for human populations

Rumpf, Clemens M., Lewis, Hugh G., Atkinson, Peter M.

Geophysical Research Letters
19 April 2017

PDF (OPEN ACCESS) until 19 May 2017

“A set of 50,000 artificial Earth impacting asteroids was used to obtain, for the first time, information about the dominance of individual impact effects such as wind blast, overpressure shock, thermal radiation, cratering, seismic shaking, ejecta deposition, and tsunami for the loss of human life during an impact event for impactor sizes between 15 and 400 m and how the dominance of impact effects changes over size. Information about the dominance of each impact effect can enable disaster managers to plan for the most relevant effects in the event of an asteroid impact. Furthermore, the analysis of average casualty numbers per impactor shows that there is a significant difference in expected loss for airburst and surface impacts and that the average impact over land is an order of magnitude more dangerous than one over water.”