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Journal Articles Science Year : 2016

The formation of peak rings in large impact craters.

1 Department of Earth Science and Technology [Imperial College London]
2 IG - Institute of Geophysics [Austin]
3 Penn State Department of Geosciences
4 BGS - Biogéosciences [UMR 6282]
5 Analytical, Environmental and Geo- Chemistry
6 SUPA School of Physics and Astronomy [Edinburgh]
7 WA-OIGC - WA-Organic and Isotope Geochemistry Centre
8 NHM - Natural History Museum [Vienna]
9 AWI - Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung = Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research = Institut Alfred-Wegener pour la recherche polaire et marine
10 International Research Institute of Disaster Science
11 LPI - Lunar and Planetary Institute [Houston]
12 Department of Geology [Leicester]
13 Géosciences Montpellier
14 School of Earth Sciences [Wuham]
15 The Lyell Centre
16 ICPEES - Institut de chimie et procédés pour l'énergie, l'environnement et la santé
17 Department of Physics and Astronomy [London, ON]
18 CPSX - Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration [London, ON]
19 Instituto de Geofísica
20 School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
21 Geology
22 Department of Geology and Geophysics
23 Unidad de Ciencias del Agua
24 Institut für Geologie
25 JAMSTEC - Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology
26 Department of Physics [Edmonton]
27 FALW - Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences [Amsterdam]
28 Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences [Piscataway]
29 Kochi Institute for Core Sample Research
30 Department of Geosciences
31 Physical Sciences
32 Department of Chemistry
33 NAI - NASA Astrobiology Institute
34 CEREGE - Centre européen de recherche et d'enseignement des géosciences de l'environnement
Sean P.S. Gulick
Elise Chenot
Gail Christeson
Ludovic Ferrière
Johanna Lofi
Claire Mellett
  • Function : Author
Michael Poelchau
Ulrich Riller
Jan Smit
Axel Wittmann


Large impacts provide a mechanism for resurfacing planets through mixing near-surface rocks with deeper material. Central peaks are formed from the dynamic uplift of rocks during crater formation. As crater size increases, central peaks transition to peak rings. Without samples, debate surrounds the mechanics of peak-ring formation and their depth of origin. Chicxulub is the only known impact structure on Earth with an unequivocal peak ring, but it is buried and only accessible through drilling. Expedition 364 sampled the Chicxulub peak ring, which we found was formed from uplifted, fractured, shocked, felsic basement rocks. The peak-ring rocks are cross-cut by dikes and shear zones and have an unusually low density and seismic velocity. Large impacts therefore generate vertical fluxes and increase porosity in planetary crust.


Earth Sciences

Dates and versions

hal-01399386 , version 1 (18-11-2016)



Joanna V. Morgan, Sean P.S. Gulick, Timothy Bralower, Elise Chenot, Gail Christeson, et al.. The formation of peak rings in large impact craters.. Science, 2016, 354 (6314), pp.878-882. ⟨10.1126/science.aah6561⟩. ⟨hal-01399386⟩
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