David Kring received his Ph.D. in earth and planetary sciences from Harvard University. He specializes in impact cratering processes produced when asteroids and comets collide with planetary surfaces. He has worked extensively at Meteor Crater, which is one of the world’s most spectacular NEA impact sites. Kring is perhaps best known, however, for his work with the discovery of the Chicxulub impact crater, which he linked to the K-T boundary mass extinction of dinosaurs and over half of the plants and animals that existed on Earth 65 million years ago. He has also studied the environmental effects of impact cratering and shown how impact processes can affect both the geological and biological evolution of a planet. Dr. Kring has led a decade-long campaign to test the lunar cataclysm hypothesis, which is one of the great intellectual legacies of the Apollo program. Kring has suggested that the impact bombardment created vast subsurface hydrothermal systems that were crucibles for pre-biotic chemistry and provided habitats for the early evolution of life. He calls this concept the impact-origin of life hypothesis.
Title: Examples and Consequences of NEA Impacts
Abstract: Local, regional, and global consequences of impact cratering events will be outlined and illustrated with several examples (e.g., Odessa, Meteor Crater, and Chicxulub). The consequences of those events in the geologic past will be examined and the implications for future impacts of similar sizes will be explored.
Curious about the NASA Asteroid Grand Challenge to “discover all asteroids that could threaten human populations and find out how to deal with them”? NASA is sponsoring a series of virtual seminars on the properties of Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and what is being done to learn more about the hazards and the opportunities they may pose for us here on Earth. The purpose is to inform interested astronomers (both amateur and professional), students, teachers, and others who are potentially interested in contributing to studies of NEAs. Each seminar will focus on some aspect of the asteroid population, how we discover and track NEAs, and what we need to know about them if we are ever required to change the orbit of a NEA that is an impact threat.
The seminar format will be a 40-minute talk by an asteroid expert followed by 20 minutes for questions from the audience. They will be broadcast over the Internet. The audience will watch, listen and post questions by Adobe Connect using an Internet connection and a web browser.