Dr Elizaveta Kovaleva, Earth Science Department, University of the Western Cape

E Thursday 25–Friday 26 January 11.15 am COURSE FEES R220; Staff and students R110

The first lecture will cover the history of meteor crater research, before taking participants to the formation of the solar system and the early Earth, explaining the significance of the collision process for planetary evolution. The formation of planets and asteroids, lunar-forming impact events, and late heavy bombardment will be discussed. The effect of asteroid collisions on the surface morphology of various planets and moons will also be explained.

The second lecture will introduce participants to the meteorite impact process and answer the following questions: At what conditions, why, and how exactly do the meteorite craters form, and how do we recognise them? What are the stages of the meteorite impact cratering process and what types of craters exist? What are ‘impactites’ and what can they tell us? How many impact craters have been described on Earth? Can meteorite craters be useful for mankind? What are the largest and most ‘famous’ terrestrial impact craters?

Lecture titles

  1. Impact cratering as a planetary process
  2. Anatomy of the impact process and its products

Recommended reading

McSween, Jr, H., Moersch, J., Burr, D., Dunne, W., Emery, J., Kah, L. and McCanta, M. 2019. Planetary Geoscience. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

French, B.M. 1998. Traces of Catastrophe: A Handbook of Shock-Metamorphic Effects in Terrestrial Meteorite Impact Structures. Houston: Lunar and Planetary Institute.

Osinski, G.R. and Pierazzo, E. 2012. Impact Cratering: Processes and Products. Wiley.