Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 5 sessions for 4 weeks, 2 hours / session


Permission of instructor


There are now about 170 identified impact craters on the Earth, and this number is growing, ever since the well known discovery of Meteor Crater in 1920s. Currently, multi-interdisciplinary research studies of impact structures are getting conducted in fields like mineralogy, petrology, environmental geology, and marine biology. The course objectives are to introduce basic principles of impact cratering, understand the application of analytical tools, and become familiar with geological, geochemical and environmental studies.

Course Objectives are to Understand

  1. Basics of terrestrial impact cratering: general characteristics, formation, identification.
  2. Salient features of some terrestrial impact structures: Chicxulub, Mjolnir, Sudbury and Vredefort.
  3. Basic principles of tools of analysis: aeromagnetic survey, gravity anamoly, argon dating, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, instrumental neutron activation analysis and hydrocode modeling.
  4. Chesapeake bay impact structure: examples of hydrogeological and geochemical studies.
  5. Economic potential, environmental effects and modeling of impact hazard and response of terrestrial impact cratering.


Students will attend five 2-hour class sessions. There will be 4 sets of study assignments. Each student will be expected to write a report on a selected element after doing a literature survey, and also give presentation.


Activities Percentages
Class attendence and participation 25%
Assignments 20%
Element report: literature survey 30%
Project presentation 25%

Required percentage to pass this course is 95%.

Course Info

As Taught In
January IAP 2008
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Written Assignments with Examples