Comet and Asteroid Impact Hazards explores the anticipated consequences of comet and asteroid impact. It presents the first computer simulations of the hazards of comet and asteroid bombardment of a populated Earth. Previous estimates of fatality and damage rates on the 100 to 10,000 year time scale are shown to be too low because they neglect rare, highly lethal outriders of the populations of bombarding objects, those with exceptional strength, unusually low entry velocity, and near-horizontal entry angles. This is the first realistic assessment of both the mean casualty rate and the expected statistical fluctuations in that rate. A breakdown of fatality and damage rates by impactor energy and compositional class suggests lessons for both asteroid search strategies and interdiction techniques. This book is written so that anyone with college level experience in the physical sciences can understand it. It includes a disk that allows the reader to simulate impact catastrophes. It serves as a useful resource in various physical sciences courses such as astronomy, planetary science, and environmental science.

Key Features

@bul:* Quantatively rigorous treatment of the state of impact hazard prediction, including stuctural blast damage, firestorm ignition, tsunami generation * Realistic treatment of the impact on population, composition, and orbits * Attention to economic and public policy issues of warning, interdiction, and asteroid and comet search strategies * Comparison of simulation results to historical records * Detailed and realistic Monte Carlo simulation software included


Undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and researchers, as well as the general public interested in astronomy and star-gazing.

Table of Contents

Preface.Introduction. The Impact Flux. The Impactor. The Impact Process. The Target. Method of Calculation. Results. Implications for Hazard Assessment and Abatement. Areas Requiring Further Study. Conclusions. References. Appendix A: Program HAZARDS Version 5.5 Owner's Manual. Appendix B: Program HAZARDS Version 5.5 Program Listing. Appendix C: Program HAZARDS Version 5.5 Sample Output. References. Index.


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© 2000
Academic Press
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Electronic ISBN:


"...perhaps the most thorough study available on this subject...the writing is clear, engaging, and even humorous in places...recommended for upper-division undergraduates as well as public libraries." @source:--CHOICE