Three. The Contact and Compression Stage of Impact Cratering

  1. Gordon R. Osinski2 and
  2. Elisabetta Pierazzo3
  1. H. Jay Melosh

Published Online: 25 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118447307.ch3

Impact Cratering: Processes and Products

Impact Cratering: Processes and Products

How to Cite

Melosh, H. J. (2012) The Contact and Compression Stage of Impact Cratering, in Impact Cratering: Processes and Products (eds G. R. Osinski and E. Pierazzo), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118447307.ch3

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Departments of Earth Sciences/Physics and Astronomy, Western University, 1151 Richmond Street, London, ON, N6A 5B7, Canada

  2. 3

    Planetary Science Institute, 1700 E. Fort Lowell Road, Suite 106, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA

Author Information

  1. Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences Department, 550 Stadium Mall Drive, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 OCT 2012
  2. Published Print: 30 NOV 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405198295

Online ISBN: 9781118447307



  • impact cratering, contact and compression stage;
  • initial contact and compression, the briefest of stages;
  • contact and compression, and jetting;
  • planar impact approximation, pressure equal in target/projectile;
  • energy partition in compression, jet velocity and target angle;
  • target/projectile sudden compression, rarefaction thermodynamics;
  • projectile ‘footprint’ on target, guide to shocked region geometry;
  • end of contact and compression, and oxygen/melt loss;
  • problems, on aftermath of solid strong shock compression


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • Maximum pressures during contact and compression

  • Jetting during contact and compression

  • The isobaric core

  • Oblique impact

  • The end of contact and compression

  • References