Modeling Ejecta Distribution and Modification at Monturaqui Crater

46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2015)
MULTI-SOURCE APPLICATION OF ARCGIS. K. Rathbun1 and I. Ukstins Peate1, 1Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences, 121 Trowbridge Hall, Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City IA 52242 USA ([email protected])
Introduction: Monturaqui Crater is a small, welloriginal ejecta thickness were made following the
preserved, simple crater located near the southern edge
equations of Melosh [6] assuming a flat pre-impact
of the Salar de Atacama basin in northern Chile
surface and circular crater morphology. In order to
qualitatively estimate paths of material removal, hy(2355’41” S, 6815’42” W). The crater is sub-circular
drology tools in ArcMap were used in conjunction with
with a preferential NW-SE elongation (370 m E-W,
the 2-m DEM, and erosion rate estimates from various
350 m N-S, 34 m average depth) and the southern rim
peer-reviewed sources were applied to assess a miniis 10-15 m higher than the northern [1].The target is
mum value for eroded volume. Estimates of erosion
comprised of Ordovician granitic basement cut by sevrates in the Atacama Desert vary, but a commonly cited
eral 1 – 2 m wide mafic dikes and overlain by thin (0 –
figure is <0.1 m Myr-1 [e.g., 7].
5 m), discontinuous Pliocene Tucucaro ignimbrite [2].
Distribution and modification of ejecta: Use of
Granite and ignimbrite are both exposed in the crater
the ASTER TIR and IKONOS images for mapping
walls. Ejecta consist of unshocked and shocked granite
ejecta beyond the rim area was ultimately impractical
and ignimbrite with small volumes of dark impact melt
due to their low resolution. However, it is likely that
rich in Fe and Ni. Previous field mapping collected
most of the granitic fragments within the continuous
GPS locations for the dark impact melt, which is prefejecta blanket is granitic ejecta. Samples collected beerentially located on the southern and eastern flanks of
yond the rim show evidence of shock metamorphism
the crater and is discontinuous [3]. The impact event
[8] and a few samples of ignimbrite from the surroundthat formed Monturaqui 663 ± 90 kya [4] restructured
ing area exhibit a frothy texture not commonly seen
pre-existing drainage patterns and the ejecta blanket
elsewhere in the Tucucaro. Field mapping in proximity
has been subsequently dissected by numerous channels
to the rim shows distinct populations of granite and
that are currently inactive. Although located within the
ignimbrite. The 2-m DEM generated in this project
hyperarid part of the Atacama Desert, the area is subshows that most areas of higher elevation are comjected to infrequent and low-volume precipitation
prised of granite. This also corresponds to higher albeevents that facilitate erosion [5]. Monturaqui is of indo areas in IKONOS imagery. Dark impact melt occurs
terest due to its uneven distribution of granitic and dark
only on the SE flank of the crater. It has been hypotheimpact melt ejecta. The distribution could be a primary
remnant of the impact event or a result of preferential erosion. Field observations suggest much of the
ejecta have been removed [3] although this has yet
to be confirmed by studying the stratigraphic profile
at the site. The objective of this study is to digitize
and combine existing data to assess the evolution of
ejecta distribution around Monturaqui since its emplacement.
Data and Methods: Due to the isolated nature
of the field area, a remote sensing approach was
combined with field-based data previously collected.
Multispectral and panchromatic imagery at 1-m and
4-m resolution were acquired from IKONOS for use
as a base map and to digitize geographic features.
The global 10-m resolution digital elevation model
(DEM) and multiple thermal infrared (TIR) images
from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission
and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) onboard Terra
were obtained to model topography and map surFig. 1. Lithologies at Monturaqui superimposed on a 2 m DEM of the site.
face ejecta. A 2-m resolution DEM of the local
Warmer colors are higher in elevation than the blues. On top, pale yellow is granarea was generated by digitizing contours in
ite, bright green is the mafic dikes, the red line denotes the crater rim, and uncolored areas are ignimbrite. After Cukierski [9].
ArcMap from existing maps and calculations of
46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2015)
sized that this could be directly related to the trajectory
196. [6] Melosh H.J. (1989) Impact Cratering: A geoof the projectile [3].
logic process, Oxford University Press, 245 pp. [7]
The ejecta blanket has been dissected by new
Nishiizumi K. et al. (2005) EPSL, 237,499-507. [8]
drainage patterns in the past 663 kyr that seldom reacKloberdanz C. (2010) Geochemical analysis of the
tivate due to the hyperarid nature of the Atacama. All
Monturaqui impact crater, Chile. M.S. thesis, Univ. of
of the fine-grained ejecta at the surface has been blown
Iowa, 188 pp. [9] Cukierski D. (2013) Textural and
away although fine-grained material is present a few
compositional analysis of Fe-Ni metallic spherules in
centimeters below the surface [3]. It is uncertain if this
impact melt from Monturaqui Crater, Chile. M.S. thematerial is impact-related or not and further analysis
sis, Univ. of Iowa, 135 pp.
must be done to confirm its origin. Modeling
of flow paths in ArcMap suggests larger material may have been removed via two primary channels on the NW and SE sides of the
crater, although this only represents paths of
highest probable flow accumulation and is
only an approximation since it is based on a
DEM. Numerous smaller channels that originate on the crater flanks are clearly visible in
satellite images. The northern channel dissects an area with little granite but granite is
abundant in the area of the southern channel.
It remains unclear whether the uneven distribution of granitic ejecta is a primary artifact
or the result of preferential erosion.
Assuming there were approximately 4 – 5
m of ejecta deposited within the continuous
ejecta zone, several meters of ejecta could
still persist given the Atacama’s extremely
low rates of erosion, and particularly concerning the granitic fragments. If the <0.1 m
Myr-1 rate represents a minimum value, and
not accounting for grain size distributions, <7
cm depth of material, or ~54,000 m3, could
have been removed from the continuous ejecta
blanket alone. Future work should generate a
larger field map of the ejecta and determine its
actual thickness and distribution.
Conclusions: The uneven distribution of
granitic ejecta cannot be easily explained without further study. Dark impact melt is present
only on the SE flank but this is more likely related to the trajectory of the projectile preferential than erosion. Previous field observations of
ejecta thickness do not agree with calculated
estimates and further work must be done to accurately map ejecta distribution and measure its
actual thickness.
References: [1] Ugalde H. et al. (2007) Meteoritics & Planet. Sci., 42, 2153-2163. [2]
Ramirez C. and Gardeweg M. (1982) Carta
Geologica de Chile, Hoja Toconao. [3] Ukstins
Peate I. (2014) pers. comm. [4] Ukstins Peate I.
Fig. 2. (top) Ejecta thickness contours calculated after Melosh [6] and modeled in
et al. (2010) LPS MMX, Abstract #2161. [5]
ArcMap. The current model does not account for topography or the lithologic distribuHaug E.W. et al. (2010) Geomorph., 121, 184tion of ejecta. (bottom) A Flow Accumulation model from ArcMap superimposed on
calculated ejecta zone limits. Darker lines represent areas of higher probable flow