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The new map presents and explains the locations of impact of meteorites and asteroids around the world



Serra da Cangalha, Brazil, Structure of the impact

Physical map of Serra da Cangalha, Brazil, the impact structure, created using a digital elevation model of the TanDEM-X mission. Image Providers: Gottwald, Kenkmann, Reimold: Terrestrial Impact Structures, TanDEM-X atlas, Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil

Professor Dr. Thomas Kenkmann, geologist from Freiburg University’s Institute of Earth Science and Environment, along with mineralogist Professor Dr. Wolf Uwe Reimold from the University of Brasilia, Brazil and Dr. Manfred Gottwald from The German Aerospace Center (DLR) has published a atlas that provides a comprehensive overview of all known craters on every continent. The authors present over 200 impact locations on the ground in high resolution topographic maps and satellite imagery, complete with detailed geological descriptions and images of crater and rock structures. of them. They also explain essential details of each impact event.

The formation of craters caused by asteroids and comets has always been a fundamental process in the solar system, Kenkmann explained. As planets evolve with their moons, these effects play an important part in the accretion of planetary mass, forming the surface of planetary celestial bodies, and subsequently affecting the emission development of them. And the collisions with larger asteroids eventually affected the development of life on Earth.

Today, the still-visible mapping of the structures that impact the Earth’s surface can be done by satellites in low-Earth orbit. From 2010 to 2016, the DLR successfully measured the Earth’s surface using the radar satellites of the TanDEM-X mission. For the first time, the obtained data allows for topographic modeling around the world with altitude accuracy up to one meter. From this global digital elevation model, the authors were able to create a complete 600-page topographic atlas with information on all known terrestrial craters.

See: Gottwald, M., Kenkmann, T., Reimold, WU (2020): Structural impact on the ground. TanDEM-X atlas. Parts 1 and 2. Munich.




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