Campo del Cielo modeling and comparison with observations: II. Funnels and cratersOPEN ACCESS 

R. Luther, A. Schmalen, N. Artemieva

Version of Record online: 22 November 2023


“The Campo del Cielo impact structure exhibits several penetration funnels and impact craters. Here, we model the formation of these funnels with pre-impact conditions consistent with the results of meteoroid entry models. We study vertical impacts to find the dependence of funnel geometry (depth, diameter) on impact velocity and target porosity. At velocities above 1 km s−1, we observe strong deformation of the projectile and transformation of funnels into regular impact craters. We also use 3-D impact models to study oblique impacts and find that in the case of impact angles <25° to the horizon, the projectile bounces off the target. Instead of a funnel, an elongated groove forms, while the fragmented projectile escapes and moves farther downrange. At steeper impact angles, funnels form with the projectile at its tip. Early interpretations of the Campo del Cielo impact angle at 9–10° were based on (i) an oversimplified atmospheric model allowing “correct” strewn field elongation and (ii) the results of excavation in which the sloping boundary between breccia-like materials and infilling loess was interpreted as a true crater floor and its slope was equated to the impact angle. As our models show, the projectile trajectory within the target is not a straight line, and the angle to horizon changes from a steep one at the impact point to zero and then to a negative value (the projectile is moving upward). We also model two impact craters (Hoyo de la Cañada and Laguna Negra) created by high-velocity fragments to demonstrate the projectile remnants ricochet in the downrange direction.”