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Impact Cratering: From Microstructure to Mass Extinction

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Eloise Matthews.

“Impacts are a ubiquitous planetary and geological process; affecting the growth of planets in the early solar system, processing planetary surfaces, generating hydrothermal systems and potential ecological niches, causing mass extinction, altering planetary atmospheres, and posing a hazard to present-day civilisation. Studying impact cratering is challenging because the Earth’s impact record has been severely affected by other geological processes. On other planetary bodies, the study of impact processes is limited to remote sensing or small sample volumes. Furthermore, all of the processes in an impact cratering event cannot be simultaneously reproduced by experiments in the laboratory. In this talk, I will demonstrate how observational geology, experimental methods, and numerical modelling can be used to understand the process and consequences of impact cratering. This talk will particularly focus of the formation of the Chicxulub impact structure, widely known for its role in the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period.”

This talk is part of the Sedgwick Club talks series.

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