Ejection behavior characteristics in experimental cratering in sandstone targets


Corresponding author. E-mail: frank.sommer@geologie.uni-freiburg.de


Abstract– Within the frame of the MEMIN research unit (Multidisciplinary Experimental and Numerical Impact Research Network), impact experiments on sandstone targets were carried out to systematically study the influence of projectile mass, velocity, and target water saturation on the cratering and ejection processes. The projectiles were accelerated with two-stage light-gas guns (Ernst-Mach-Institute) onto fine-grained targets (Seeberger sandstone) with about 23% porosity. Collection of the ejecta on custom-designed catchers allowed determination of particle shape, size distribution, ejection angle, and microstructures. Mapping of the ejecta imprints on the catcher surface enabled linking of the different patterns to ejection stages observed on high-speed videos. The increase in projectile mass from 0.067 to 7.1 g correlates with an increase in the total ejected mass; ejecta angles, however, are similar in range for all experiments. The increase in projectile velocity from 2.5 to 5.1 km s−1 correlates with a total ejecta mass increase as well as in an increase in comminution efficiency, and a widening of the ejecta cone. A higher degree of water saturation of the target yields an increase in total ejecta mass up to 400% with respect to dry targets, higher ejecta velocity, and a steeper cone. These data, in turn, suggest that the reduced impedance contrast between the quartz grains of the target and the pores plays a primary role in the ejecta mass increase, while vaporization of water determines the ejecta behavior concerning ejecta velocity and particle distribution.