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Academic & Professional Books  Earth System Sciences  Geosphere  Geomorphology

Terrestrial Impact Structures: The TanDEM-X Atlas (2-Volume Set)

Atlas
By: Manfred Gottwald(Author), Thomas Kenkmann(Author), Wolf Uwe Reimold(Author)
608 pages, 435 colour photos & colour illustrations, 205 colour maps
NHBS
The stunningly produced Terrestrial Impact Structures is a large-format atlas that maps all currently known impact craters and is an instant must-have reference work for any geology or astronomy library.
Terrestrial Impact Structures: The TanDEM-X Atlas (2-Volume Set)
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  • Terrestrial Impact Structures: The TanDEM-X Atlas (2-Volume Set) ISBN: 9783899372618 Hardback slipcase Nov 2020 In stock
    £135.00
    #251970
Price: £135.00
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About this book

Impact cratering is one of the fundamental processes in the solar system and, with all certainty, beyond. This process played a major role when the planets and their moons began to form from the protoplanetary disk, and throughout planetary evolution since then. On Earth, impacts of certain size even affected the evolution of life.

Lunar and interplanetary spaceflight over the past 50 years has provided us with detailed maps of the old, impact-crater covered surfaces of our Solar System neighbors. For Earth, the global impact crater record only represents a fraction of the bombardment that our planet has had to endure. Tectonic activity, erosion and weathering, and post-impact burial under sedimentary covers have erased most of the terrestrial impact history. Many of the remaining recognized crater structures have either been modified almost beyond recognition, or are buried entirely.

Mapping what is left of the terrestrial impact record from a satellite platform in low-earth orbit is often obscured by dense clouds and dust-laden air layers in our atmosphere; or even the lack of solar illumination prevents us to see the bare ground. Remote sensing methods developed in the past decades have given us tools, however, to tackle the challenge of mapping the Earth's surface with high precision.

Between 2010 and 2016 the German TanDEM-X radar X-band mission, operated and managed by DLR, the German Aerospace Center, generated the first global space-borne terrestrial digital elevation model of high resolution, based on Synthetic Aperture Radar interferometric measurements. We have used these data and produced the first topographic atlas of all currently confirmed terrestrial impact structures. Terrestrial Impact Structures provides the readership with the basic principles of impact cratering, of radar remote sensing, and of the TanDEM-X mission. It addresses the updated terrestrial impact crater record with more than 200 high-resolution maps, supplemented by geological descriptions and a plethora of field photographs for most structures. Thus, this atlas provides a comprehensive overview of the impact crater record for each continent.

Contents

Volume 1: Africa, North/Central America, South America (pp. 1-310)

Preface (p. 7)
1.  Small Bodies in the Solar System (p. 9)
2.  Impacts (p. 11)
3.  Terrestrial Impact Structures (p. 19)
4.  Radar Remote Sensing (p. 23)
5.  The TanDEM-X Mission (p. 26)
6.  TanDEM-X Maps of Impact Structures (p. 30)
7.  The Atlas (p. 33)
7.1 Africa [21 impact structures] (p. 35)
7.2 North/Central America [64 impact structures] (p. 100)
7.3 South America [14 impact structures] (p. 257)
Geologic Timescale (p. 304)


Volume 2: Asia, Australia, Europe (pp. 311-608)

7.4 Asia [24 impact structures] (p. 311)
7.5 Australia [30 impact structures] (p. 373)
7.6 Europe [52 impact structures] (p. 449)
Geologic Timescale (p. 573)
Selected References (p. 575)
Glossary (p. 593)
Chemical Elements (p. 599)
Abbreviations and Acronyms (p. 599)
Impact Geology Index (p. 601)
Cartographic Index (p. 604)
Authors (p. 607)

Customer Reviews (1)

  • A stunningly produced must-have reference work
    By Leon (NHBS Catalogue Editor) 5 Dec 2020 Written for Hardback


    When Google Earth first launched in 2001, I, like many others, found myself poring over satellite imagery. Identifying familiar and unfamiliar landmarks always brought a certain thrill, and spotting craters was part of that. But to properly map impact structures, you need a better dataset. The stunningly produced Terrestrial Impact Structures is a large-format atlas that maps all currently accepted ones, plus some likely candidates, and makes for an instant must-have reference work for any geology or astronomy library.

    This atlas is, furthermore, a beautiful example of one field of scientific enquiry playing off another. The TanDEM-X in the subtitle refers to the German satellite mission that, during six years, collected the precise planetary-wide elevation data that is the bedrock of this atlas. To be clear, this book was obviously not the reason these satellites were put in orbit. But, once gathered, such data can have many uses and scientists can apply to get access to it, which is exactly what these three authors did.

    Next to introducing the satellite mission and the principles behind radar remote sensing (specifically synthetic aperture radar interferometry), the six chapters in the 33-page introductory section provide very readable overviews of asteroid and comet formation, a blow-by-blow analysis of the first seconds and minutes following a typical hypervelocity impact, and the geological traces these leave. This last one is a  particularly important chapter. After all, how do you determine if a crater resulted from volcanism, tectonics, or an impact? Especially when you keep in mind that ancient craters are modified over time by erosion, sediment deposition, and tectonic deformation. The answer is that the forces unleashed by an impact are unlike any other geological process on our planet and modify rocks in a unique way, something known as shock metamorphism. Thus, features such as shatter cones, microscopic planar and feather fractures, and specific lithologies – impact breccias, impact melt rock, and (micro)tektites – are important diagnostic criteria.

    The atlas forms the bulk of this book. The authors draw on the widely respected and accepted Earth Impact Database. This contains 190 structures to which the authors add another 18 recent ones that are confirmed according to shock metamorphism criteria. Each entry contains a full-page topographical map, coloured to show elevation, with a legend detailing longitude and latitude, the structure's diameter, and the currently accepted age estimate. For craters that are clearly visible on the surface, additional satellite imagery is included, while for those that have been well researched the authors include geological maps or cross-sections, field photos of characteristic rock outcrops, or photos of diagnostic rock samples showing traces of shock metamorphism.

    Short fact sheets detail the geological setting of the impact location, the topology and age of the crater as far as known, and the history of its discovery. A short separate section gives tips on how to reach the location, ranging from "take exit so-and-so" to "requires permits / extensive expedition planning / a helicopter". Finally, there is a list of selected references that are a goldmine in themselves, pointing to non-English publications, proceedings, and unpublished master's theses. Mercifully, these are also compiled at the end of volume 2 in one large bibliography, together with a six-page glossary, lists of chemical elements and abbreviations, and two separate indices, one cartographic and one general. The geologic timescale is included at the end of each volume. This is thus a fully self-contained reference work.

    Aside from famous impact structures such as Meteor Crater or Chicxulub, the majority will be little known outside the impact geology research community. This is where the descriptions are as revealing as the maps themselves. Many of these structures are either eroded beyond obvious recognition or were buried following impact, leaving no visible traces at the surface. Some were revealed when aerial surveys showed magnetic or gravitational anomalies, while others were discovered by companies prospecting for minerals or hydrocarbons. Further fascinating insights are the now obsolete history of explaining these structures in a uniformitarian framework as the result of cryptovolcanism or cryptoexplosions, rather than accepting catastrophist explanations. The authors are particularly mindful to highlight the rationale behind disagreements on age or size estimates. Their rigour also shows in their decision to relegate some structures, widely accepted in the community but still in need of further work to close the case, to a separate "further confirmation required" section at the end of each continent's chapter.

    It would be tempting to call this work unprecedented, and it is certainly a step up from Paul Hodge's 1994 Meteorite Craters and Impact Structures of the Earth that contained 139 entries. But there is one potential fly in the ointment: the publication last year by Springer of the Encyclopedic Atlas of Terrestrial Impact Craters that draws on the same Earth Impact Database. That atlas is based on the Italian COSMO-SkyMed mission, which also used synthetic aperture radar operating in the X-band. From what I can deduce, though, that mission did not rely on an interferometry setup with two satellites flying in tandem and did not yield elevational data.

    Not having read it, I cannot speak for the quality of the scholarship of that book, though I can speak for the print quality. Like the vast majority of their publications, this is a print-on-demand book with desaturated and grainy colour images (pretty much as if they were printed on your home inkjet printer). I am very pleased, therefore, that the authors of the book under review worked with Pfeil. Terrestrial Impact Structures is a beautiful work consisting of two over-sized volumes measuring 24.5 × 32.6 cm in a very handsome slipcase, produced by traditional offset printing on thick, slightly glossy, high-quality paper stock. And all that at a lower price. In case you were in doubt which to choose, this, here, is the book to go for.

    Terrestrial Impact Structures is a feast for the eyes that is a mandatory reference work for any professional or amateur geology or astronomy library. If you are on the fence, I will let you in on one last detail. The acknowledgements mention that the printing costs were in part covered by two of the authors. I might be proven wrong, but I have a suspicion that once this book sells out, it will not be reprinted and will quickly become highly sought after.
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Biography

Manfred Gottwald was educated in astronomy and physics at the Ludwig-Maxi­milians-Universität in Munich. After his Ph.D. in 1983 he worked in high-energy astrophysics for the European Space Agency and the Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, studying objects far out in our galaxy and beyond. When he joined the German Aerospace Center at Oberpfaffenhofen, our solar system and Earth became the scientific topics of choice. At the Earth Observation Center he was involved in many space-borne missions investigating our atmosphere, our cryosphere and the terrestrial surface. Particularly challenging was his responsibility for the atmospheric science instrument SCIAMACHY on the European ENVISAT platform. Since the International Polar Year 2007/2008 he coordinated the national Earth Observation missions in support of polar science under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization. This familiarized him with the TanDEM-X radar mission, whose high-resolution digital elevation model allowed Manfred to engage in impact craters, a field where astronomy meets geology.

Thomas Kenkmann studied geology and paleontology at the University of Cologne and completed his dissertation in 1997 at the Freie Universität Berlin. Since 2010 he has been Professor of Geology and Structural Geology at the University of Freiburg, Germany. Thomas Kenkmann and his working group are investigating the structure and deformation inventory of impact craters on Earth and other planetary bodies at scales ranging from satellite imagery to micrometers. Thomas is a passionate field geologist, who has studied more than 40 terrestrial impact craters worldwide, and mapped many of them geologically, among them Upheaval Dome in the United States, Jebel Waqf as Suwwan in Jordan, Serra da Cangalha in Brazil, and Matt Wilson, and Gosses Bluff in Australia. He is responsible for a number of crater discoveries and confirmations such as Saqqar in Saudi Arabia, the Douglas crater strewn field in the United States, or Ramgarh in India. In 2018 he received the Barringer Medal and Award of the Meteoritical Society for his key contributions to the area of impact crater research.

Wolf Uwe Reimold holds M.Sc. (1977) and Ph.D. (1980) degrees in Mineralogy from the University of Münster (Germany). Post-doctoral research at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston (USA) was followed by research positions and then a Professorship in Mineralogy at the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa, 1984­2005). Uwe’s main research interests have been multidisciplinary Impact Crater and Shock Metamorphism studies, besides some Economic Geology and Regional Geology exploits in southern Africa and Ethiopia. Impact research was mainly focused on structures in Africa, Europe, and North America, including a major contribution to the understanding of the Vredefort impact structure in South Africa. Other main research targets were Bosumtwi (Ghana), Roter Kamm (Namibia), and various structures in Scandinavia, and in recent years in Brazil. In 2006, Uwe transferred to Humboldt University and the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin, where he served as Professor of Mineralogy and Petrography, and Head of the Evolution and Geosciences Division of the Museum. In 2018 Uwe took retirement in Berlin, and a new position as Professor Titular at the Institute of Geosciences at the University of Brasília, Brasil.

Atlas
By: Manfred Gottwald(Author), Thomas Kenkmann(Author), Wolf Uwe Reimold(Author)
608 pages, 435 colour photos & colour illustrations, 205 colour maps
NHBS
The stunningly produced Terrestrial Impact Structures is a large-format atlas that maps all currently known impact craters and is an instant must-have reference work for any geology or astronomy library.
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