slideshow 1 slideshow 2 slideshow 3 slideshow 4 slideshow 5 slideshow 6

You are here

Elisabetta Pierazzo

2008 Research Report

Mars Research:

Dr. Pierazzo and her team continued their investigation of Mars impacts focusing on characterization of mixed targets that is how to best model targets with mixed materials which is very important for realistic impact results. Our recent results suggest that the distribution of ice/water in the martian substrate is not important in the case of large impacts (producing craters >100 km in diameter) where the thermally important region driving the hydrothermal circulation, the central uplift, is made of dry rocks from the substrate. In that case, it is water presence around that region and its initial phase that may affect the development of any hydrothermal circulation.

Impacts and lithospheres:

Dr. Pierazzo and her team continue to investigate the effect of target lithologies on the impact cratering process. The nature of the target material is a very important parameter in impact cratering, influencing every stage of the impact event, and affecting the environment locally and/or globally. Our most recent work has involved three-dimensional (3D) simulations of the initial stages of the Canyon Diablo impact event to investigate target and projectile disruption and melting. The team is also investigating large terrestrial craters, such as Popigai, Vredefort and Sudbury, and the problem of distal ejecta and tektites.

Impact Hydrocodes Benchmarking and Validation:

Dr. Pierazzo has been leading a collective effort from the impact modeling community to uniformly compare, validate and benchmark the computer models ("hydrocodes") widely used by the impact community to model planetary scale impacts and their consequences, as well as by the defense community to model large explosions and the threat to civilization due to asteroid impact. The results of a series of tests have been summarized in a paper in press in MAPS. A new validation effort is currently on the way, focusing on experimental impacts into sand.

Origin and Evolution of planetary biospheres:

Dr. Pierazzo is continuing her research on the environmental and climatic effects of large impacts on the Earth. She has teamed with scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research with the intent of using WACCM, the 3D atmospheric general circulation model with interactive stratospheric chemistry, to investigate the effect on atmospheric dynamics and chemistry of medium-size impacts. Initial tests have been exploring the short term effects on the dynamics and chemistry of the atmosphere of the delivery of large amounts of energy to the upper atmosphere.

Education:

Pierazzo has been leading an Education/Public Outreach effort, housed by PSI, entitled "The Explorer's Guide to Impact Craters". Recent advances include the evaluation of the website by the Adler Education team, with suggestions to improve the effectiveness of the website. A team member, native Spanish-speaker Dr. Alexis Rodriguez, is currently translating the website into Spanish, for the creation of a Spanish mirror site. The continuation of this E/PO effort will focus on teacher training as well as continuing to improve the Explorer's Guide website.

Papers:

Pierazzo E., N. Artemieva, E. Asphaug, E. Baldwin, J. Cazamias, R. Coker, G.S. Collins, D.A. Crawford, T. Davison, D. Elbeshausen, K.A. Holsapple, K.R. Housen, D.G. Korycansky, K. Wünnemann: Validation of numerical codes for impact and explosion cratering. Meteoritics Planet. Sci. 2008. In Press (Dec 2008 issue).

Artemieva N.A., E. Pierazzo: The Canyon Diablo impact event: 1. Projectile motion through the atmosphere. MAPS. In Press.

Abstracts:

Pierazzo E., N. Artemieva, E. Asphaug, E. Baldwin, J. Cazamias, R. Coker, G.S. Collins, D.A. Crawford, T. Davison, D. Elbeshausen, K.A. Holsapple, K.R. Housen, D.G. Korycansky, K. Wünnemann: The impact hydrocode benchmark and validation project, Large Meteorite Impact and Planetary Evolution IV Conference (2008), Abst. #3022.

Pierazzo E., F. Sassi: Short-term effects of impact-related heating of the upper atmosphere, Large Meteorite Impact and Planetary Evolution IV Conference (2008), Abst. # 3081.

Pierazzo E., N. Artemieva, E. Asphaug, E. Baldwin, J. Cazamias, R. Coker, G.S. Collins, D.A. Crawford, G. Gisler, K.A. Holsapple, K.R. Housen, B. Ivanov, D.G. Korycansky, H.J. Melosh, Turtle, K. Wünnemann: The impact hydrocode benchmark and validation project: Results of validation tests, 39th LPSC (2008), Abst. #1177.

E. Pierazzo, B. Ivanov: Interaction of large impact craters with the Martian aquifer, 39th LPSC (2008), Abst. #1155.

Research Year: 
2008

PSI, a Nonprofit Corporation 501(c)(3), and an Equal Opportunity/M/F/Vet/Disabled/Affirmative Action Employer.
Corporate Headquarters: 1700 East Fort Lowell, Suite 106 * Tucson, AZ 85719-2395 * 520-622-6300 * FAX: 520-622-8060
Copyright © 2017 . All Rights Reserved.