Computing Crater Size from Projectile Diameter

H. Jay Melosh and Ross A. Beyer

This is a program to estimate the size of a gravity-dominated impact crater from the given size of the projectile that made it. Three different estimates are presented, but the pi-scaling method is currently considered the best!

Projectile Descriptors

Enter the projectile diameter in meters

Enter the projectile density in kg/m3 or

Impact Conditions

Enter the impact velocity in km/sec or

Enter the impact angle in degrees
The impact angle is measured between the approach trajectory and a plane tangent to the surface. This angle is 90 degrees for a vertical impact.

Target Descriptors

Enter the target density in kg/m3 or

Enter the acceleration of gravity in m/sec2 or

Target Type
liquid water
loose sand
competent rock or saturated soil

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Last Updated: 13 June 2000