After the development of shock compression methods for obtaining pressure-density Hugoniot curves, it became clear that these could be applied to both determining the equations-of-state and investigation of polymorphic phase changes in silicate minerals of planetary mantles and crusts, as well as, the iron alloys of the metallic cores of terrestrial planets. These data, when taken with seismological models of the Earth, yield constraints on the composition of the Earth’s mantle and core. Shock data for molten silicates provide a basis for understanding the initial layering of a cooling terrestrial magma ocean. Application of shock-wave data is critical to delineating the energy partitioning upon hypervelocity impact on planetary surfaces, and permits calculation of the mass of melt and vapor produced by impactors as a function of impact velocity, as well as, providing a quantitative basis for determining the degree of erosion or accretion upon planetary impact as a function of impact and planetary escape velocity.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.