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Title: Computational Simulationsof Chelyabinsk and Tunguska Airbursts.


Abstract not provided.

Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
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DOE Contract Number:
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Resource Relation:
Conference: Proposed for presentation at the 2013 IAA Planetary Defense Conference held April 14-19, 2013 in Flagstaff, AZ.
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Boslough, Mark Bruce Elrick. Computational Simulationsof Chelyabinsk and Tunguska Airbursts.. United States: N. p., 2013. Web.
Boslough, Mark Bruce Elrick. Computational Simulationsof Chelyabinsk and Tunguska Airbursts.. United States.
Boslough, Mark Bruce Elrick. 2013. "Computational Simulationsof Chelyabinsk and Tunguska Airbursts.". United States. doi:.
title = {Computational Simulationsof Chelyabinsk and Tunguska Airbursts.},
author = {Boslough, Mark Bruce Elrick},
abstractNote = {Abstract not provided.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2013,
month = 4

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  • The Lena-Tunguska petroleum province lies within the ancient craton of the Siberian platform and occupies an area of 2,570,000 km{sup 2}. It includes the Anabar, Baikit, Nepa-Botuoba, Aldan anteclises, Turukhan-Norilsk uplift, Angara-Lena step, Kureika, Pre-Sayany-Yenisei syneclises, and Predpatomskii regional trough. The sedimentary cover of the Lena-Tunguska province is divided into the following large petroleum-bearing complexes: Riphean, Vendian, upper Vendian-Lower Cambrian, Cambrian, Ordovician-Devonian, and Carbonaceous-Triassic complexes. More than 80% of initial oil gas resources are found in the upper Proterozoic and Lower Cambrian. The main source rocks are confined to the Riphean, Vendian, and Cambrian. Five percent of hydrocarbon resources aremore » converted into reserves. The province is divided into twelve petroleum-bearing regions; North Tunguska, South Tunguska, Baikit, Katanga, Pre-Sayany-Yenisei, Angara-Lena, Nepa Botuoba, Predpatoma, Syugdzhersk, Anabar, West Vilyui, and North Aldan regions, and Turukhan-Norilsk individual petroliferous area. Oil and gas pools in the Riphean complex are in the Baikit and Predpatoma petroliferous regions. The Vendian petroliferous complex is commercially important in the Baikit, Katanga, Angara-Lena, Nepa, Botuoba, and Predpatoma petroliferous regions. In the Vendian-Cambrian petroliferous complex oil, oil and gas and gas pools are in the South Tunguska, Nepa-Botuoba, Baikit and Predpatoma petroliferous region. The Cambrian petroliferous complex produces gas in the South Tunguska and Angara-Lena petroliferous region and the Turukhan-Norilsk petroliferous area.« less
  • Damage to the Earth`s surface from colliding asteroids and comets is of great concern, and the first conference on this subject, ``Space Protection of the Earth,`` took place September 26--30, 1995 (Snezhinsk, Chelyabinsk region, Russia). The explosion over Tunguska, Central Siberia, in 1908 is believed to be due to breakup of a stony asteroids. However, because no significant fragments have been located in the area of the explosion, the nature of the object over Tunguska remains to be determined. Recent theoretical models and results of experiments performed to evaluate material erosion in high-heat-load environments are used to analyze the interactionmore » between the Tunguska object and Earth`s atmosphere. Models and laboratory experimental data that indicate the possibility of full destruction of such large-sized asteroid objects are presented.« less
  • Ongoing simulations of low-altitude airbursts from hypervelocity asteroid impacts have led to a re-evaluation of the impact hazard that accounts for the enhanced damage potential relative to the standard point-source approximations. Computational models demonstrate that the altitude of maximum energy deposition is not a good estimate of the equivalent height of a point explosion, because the center of mass of an exploding projectile maintains a significant fraction of its initial momentum and is transported downward in the form of a high-temperature jet of expanding gas. This 'fireball' descends to a depth well beneath the burst altitude before its velocity becomesmore » subsonic. The time scale of this descent is similar to the time scale of the explosion itself, so the jet simultaneously couples both its translational and its radial kinetic energy to the atmosphere. Because of this downward flow, larger blast waves and stronger thermal radiation pulses are experienced at the surface than would be predicted for a nuclear explosion of the same yield at the same burst height. For impacts with a kinetic energy below some threshold value, the hot jet of vaporized projectile loses its momentum before it can make contact with the Earth's surface. The 1908 Tunguska explosion is the largest observed example of this first type of airburst. For impacts above the threshold, the fireball descends all the way to the ground, where it expands radially, driving supersonic winds and radiating thermal energy at temperatures that can melt silicate surface materials. The Libyan Desert Glass event, 29 million years ago, may be an example of this second, larger, and more destructive type of airburst. The kinetic energy threshold that demarcates these two airburst types depends on asteroid velocity, density, strength, and impact angle. Airburst models, combined with a reexamination of the surface conditions at Tunguska in 1908, have revealed that several assumptions from the earlier analyses led to erroneous conclusions, resulting in an overestimate of the size of the Tunguska event. Because there is no evidence that the Tunguska fireball descended to the surface, the yield must have been about 5 megatons or lower. Better understanding of airbursts, combined with the diminishing number of undiscovered large asteroids, leads to the conclusion that airbursts represent a large and growing fraction of the total impact threat.« less