Shock Wave Effects from the Impacts of Cosmic Objects with Diameters from 20 m to 3 km

D. O. Glazachev, O. P. Popova, E. D. Podobnaya, N. A. Artemieva, V. V. Shuvalov & V. V. Svetsov

Izvestiya, Physics of the Solid Earth, Volume 57, pages 698–709 (2021)
Published: 03 November 2021


“Destruction on the Earth’s surface caused by a shock wave is one of the most important and dangerous effects from asteroid and comet impacts. The overpressure and wind speed behind the shock wave front, leading to various dangerous effects, can be estimated on the basis of specially developed models of the interaction of cosmic objects with the atmosphere and the Earth’s surface. The shock wave is also the cause of seismic effects, but this work only considers the direct effect of the shock wave. A serial numerical modeling of the interaction of cosmic objects with the atmosphere has previously been performed for a large number of different scenarios under the hydrodynamic model. Analysis of the modeling results provides scaling relations that allow you to estimate the overpressure, wind speed behind the shock wave and their distribution on the surface, if you know the impactor’s parameters, its velocity and trajectory inclination angle. These relations take into account the spatial inhomogeneity of the overpressure distribution on the Earth’s surface. The suggested scaling relations were tested on the data of the Chelyabinsk and Tunguska events, which showed a good correspondence with the observed destruction data. The obtained scaling relations are used in the online calculator (, which allows you to quickly and quite accurately estimate the various effects of impacts.”