Special Issue "Terrestrial Meteorite Impacts and Impact Cratering"

A special issue of Geosciences (ISSN 2076-3263).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 October 2023 | Viewed by 217

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Kord Ernstson
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Philosophy, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, 97074 Würzburg, Germany
Interests: meteorite impact cratering; meteorite mineralogy; shock metamorphism; impact rocks/impactites; geology and geophysics of impact structures; meteorite impact archeology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Allen West
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Comet Research Group, Prescott, AZ 86301, USA
Interests: Younger Dryas climate change; comet airbursts; impact dynamics; shock metamorphism; nanodiamonds; platinum-group elements; paleolimnology; paleoarcheology; radiocarbon dating; Bayesian analyses; chronostratigraphy; megafaunal extinctions
Dr. Gerhard Schmidt
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Formerly Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
Interests: geology/paleontology; field geology; impact craters; mineralogy; meteorites; cosmochemistry; geochemistry; isotope geochemistry; platinum-group elements; nuclear astrophysics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

When the Barringer Crater in Arizona was first recognized approximately 100 years ago, meteoritic impacts and their relevant processes were not widely accepted or understood. Even with the unmistakably dense covering of the lunar surface with craters, a majority of astronomers at that time attributed lunar craters to volcanism. 

As late as 1964, sedimentologist Prof. Amstutz placed impact craters on a par with flying saucers in his textbook of sedimentology. Not long after that, in 1966, there was a drastic change in the understanding of impact processes resulting from the first International Conference at NASA in Greenbelt, Maryland. The conference included such topics as impact structures on Earth, processes of crater formation, shock metamorphism in minerals and rocks, and shock experiments, followed by a powerful proceedings volume on the conference.

Another milestone was set in 1977 with the publication of the seminal book Impact and Explosion Cratering, Planetary and Terrestrial Implications, in which the ground-breaking astronomer and geologist Eugene Shoemaker proposed that impact events are probably the most important geological process in our planetary system. Since then, many meteorites have fallen to Earth, and depending on the counting method and classification of different databases, about 200 new impact structures have been discovered, further supporting Shoemaker’s proposition that impact cratering is common on Earth. 

Even with the increasing acceptance of impact events, there have often been heated disputes around new research results on impacts. Despite today’s widely developed understanding of the geology, physics, chemistry, and mineralogy–petrography of impacts and impact cratering, disputes around impact structures have not decreased; on the contrary, they have increased. 

For this Special Issue of Geosciences, we want to emphasize the positive developments and minimize the negative discussions of impact cratering without restricting constructive criticism. Hence, for this Special Issue, we invite recent advances in the investigation of terrestrial impacts and insights into the topics below. Review articles are especially welcome. Studies on extraterrestrial impacts on other planets and moons will only be considered if there are direct and informative links to terrestrial counterparts.

  • Impact cratering—modeling and experiments;
  • New proposed and proven impact sites;
  • Meteorite impacts and history of humankind;
  • New aspects of shock metamorphism;
  • Evidence of airburst impacts;
  • Regional impact research;
  • Digital terrain models of impact sites and structures;
  • Quaternary/Holocene impacts;
  • Impact threat to Earth;
  • Geochronology of impacts.

Prof. Dr. Kord Ernstson
Dr. Allen West
Dr. Gerhard Schmidt
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Geosciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • meteorite impact
  • meteorite craters
  • impact structures
  • impact cratering
  • impactites
  • shock metamorphism
  • cometary impacts
  • airburst impacts
  • impact modeling
  • impact geology
  • impact geophysics
  • impactite microscopy

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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