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Title: Experimental studies on mechanical properties and ductile-to-brittle transition of ice-silica mixtures: Young's modulus, compressive strength, and fracture toughness: D/B Transition of Ice-Silica Mixtures
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Page Range / eLocation ID:
6014 to 6030
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. Abstract

    We present the results of a series of laboratory low-speed impacts (< 4 m s−1) of centimeter-sized spherical projectiles into simulated dry and icy regolith samples. The target material was comprised of JSC-1 (Johnson Space Center) lunar simulant grains in the size range 100–250μm, mixed with similar-sized water ice grains. Impacts were performed under vacuum, either at room temperature for JSC-1 samples or at cryogenic temperatures (<150 K) for icy mixtures. We measured the ejecta masses from a collection plate and impact crater dimensions from post-impact crater photographs. We find that both the ejecta masses and crater diameters followed trends predicted by established scaling laws, albeit with different fitting parameters, and we were able to fit a strength regimeπscaling to our measured crater diameters. The water ice in our target material took two forms: grains mixed with the regolith grains and frost from air condensation coating regolith grains. In both cases, the presence of water ice in the sample led to lower ejected masses and smaller crater sizes. In addition, our measured crater sizes were several orders of magnitude larger than expected for impacts into solid rock or water ice. Using our measured scaling parameters, we applied our findings to a planetary context for the study of secondary craters on icy moons, as well as eroding collisions occurring in Saturn’s rings. We found that the deviation of our measurements from solid targets and from commonly used scaling parameters allowed us to reconcile our measurements with the models in both cases.

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