How does the drop height of the marble affect the size of the crater in sand?

Essay by sarahkazimHigh School, 10th grade July 2004

download word file, 9 pages 4.9 1 reviews

Downloaded 86 times


To determine whether the height at which a marble is dropped affect the size of the crater.

Scientific knowledge

Impact craters are geologic structures formed when a large meteorite, asteroid or comet smashes in to a planet or a satellite. Meteorites are small rocks in space that hit the earth's atmosphere at a high velocity. Throughout their history they have heavily bombarded all the inner bodies in our solar system. In this experiment we will use marbles as our meteorites, these will be free falling objects that will be used to copy an asteroid impact. The surfaces of the Moon, Mars and Mercury, where other geologic processes stopped millions of years ago, record this bombardment clearly. On the Earth, however, which has been even more heavily impacted than the Moon, craters are continually erased by erosion and redeposition as well as by volcanic resurfacing and tectonic activity. Thus only about 120 terrestrial impact craters have been recognized; the majority are in North America, Europe and Australia where most exploration has taken place.

The force that makes meteorites fall is gravity. Gravity attracts anything with a mass. The bigger the mass the greater the gravitational pull. The earth's gravitational field attracts meteorites and causes them to collide with the earth's surface.

Here are two examples of craters: -

In this experiment it is more likely that the shape of the crater will resemble the top diagram as the shape of the marble is circle and so it will form a simple crater. Below is another diagram of a common crater in more detail: -

The floor is bowl shaped or flat normally below surrounding ground level unless filled in with lava. The ejecta is a blandet of material surrounding the crater that was dig up during the impact event. The...