Imperial College London

Dr Gareth Collins

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Reader in Planetary Science



+44 (0)20 7594 1518g.collins Website




4.83Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus





Impact is a fundamental solar system process: it builds planets from dust, it shapes planetary surfaces, it causes mass extinction and it threatens the survival of humankind. My research explores the many consequences of impacts in the solar system through the development and application of numerical impact models.



Reader, Imperial College London


Senior Lecturer, Imperial College London


NERC Advanced Research Fellow, Imperial College London


NERC Postdoctoral Research Fellow (EMS), Imperial College London


Research Associate, Lunar and Planetary Lab., University of Arizona


PhD Geology (Numerical Modelling of Large Impact Crater Collapse), Imperial College London


BSc Geophysics (with Mathematics), University of Liverpool

Recent Measures of Esteem

  • 2016- Science Team Member AIDA candidate mission (ESA / NASA)
  • 2014- Associate Editor JGR Planets
  • 2013  Invited talk Herdman Society Symposium, University of Liverpool
  • 2007-12 NERC Advanced Research Fellowship
  • 2012  Invited talk AGU Fall Meeting
  • 2011  Scientific committee for the "Bombardment II" workshop
  • 2010  Invited talk European Planetary Science Conference, Rome.
  • 2004-7  NERC Research Fellowship
  • 2007  Scientific committee for the "Bridging the Gap II" impact cratering workshop
  • 2007  Invited talk British Geophysical Association

Research Interests

My interests include all aspects of impact cratering and other, related violent geologic processes. 

I develop and use numerical models to study impact processes, their consequences on Earth and in our Solar System, and related large, rapid, violent geologic processes, such as large rock avalanches.

For more information on my research, please visit my research pages.

To learn more about impact cratering and the potential effects of impacts on Earth, try the calculators that I have helped develop:

Impact: Earth!

The Earth Impact Effects Program

Cratering in the News

There are ~185 known impact craters on Earth, and more are found each year.  Some recent media articles I have been involved in:

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Kring DA, Kramer GY, Collins GS, et al., Peak-Ring Structure and Kinematics from a Multi-disciplinary Study of the Schrödinger Impact Basin, Nature Communications, ISSN:2041-1723

Milbury C, Johnson BC, Melosh HJ, et al., 2015, Preimpact porosity controls the gravity signature of lunar craters, Geophysical Research Letters, Vol:42, ISSN:0094-8276, Pages:9711-9716

Bland PA, Collins GS, Davison TM, et al., 2014, Pressure-temperature evolution of primordial solar system solids during impact-induced compaction, Nature Communications, Vol:5, ISSN:2041-1723

Miljkovic K, Wieczorek MA, Collins GS, et al., 2015, Excavation of the lunar mantle by basin-forming impact events on the Moon, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol:409, ISSN:0012-821X, Pages:243-251

Jacobs CT, Goldin TJ, Collins GS, et al., 2015, An improved quantitative measure of the tendency for volcanic ash plumes to form in water: implications for the deposition of marine ash beds, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Vol:290, ISSN:0377-0273, Pages:114-124

Collins GS, 2014, Numerical simulations of impact crater formation with dilatancy, Journal of Geophysical Research-planets, Vol:119, ISSN:2169-9097, Pages:2600-2619

Hill J, Collins GS, Avdis A, et al., 2014, How does multiscale modelling and inclusion of realistic palaeobathymetry affect numerical simulation of the Storegga Slide tsunami?, Ocean Modelling, Vol:83, ISSN:1463-5003, Pages:11-25

Potter RWK, Kring DA, Collins GS, 2013, Quantifying the attenuation of structural uplift beneath large lunar craters, Geophysical Research Letters, Vol:40, ISSN:0094-8276, Pages:5615-5620

Miljkovic K, Collins GS, Mannick S, et al., 2013, Morphology and population of binary asteroid impact craters, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol:363, ISSN:0012-821X, Pages:121-132

Potter RWK, Kring DA, Collins GS, et al., 2012, Estimating transient crater size using the crustal annular bulge: Insights from numerical modeling of lunar basin-scale impacts, Geophysical Research Letters, Vol:39, ISSN:0094-8276

Collins GS, Melosh HJ, Osinski GR, 2012, The Impact-Cratering Process, Elements, Vol:8, ISSN:1811-5209, Pages:25-30

Collins GS, Elbeshausen D, Davison TM, et al., 2011, The size-frequency distribution of elliptical impact craters, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol:310, ISSN:0012-821X, Pages:1-8

Collins GS, Melosh HJ, Wuennemann K, 2011, Improvements to the epsilon-alpha porous compaction model for simulating impacts into high-porosity solar system objects, International Journal of Impact Engineering, Vol:38, ISSN:0734-743X, Pages:434-439

Schulte P, Alegret L, Arenillas I, et al., 2010, The Chicxulub Asteroid Impact and Mass Extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene Boundary, Science, Vol:327, ISSN:0036-8075, Pages:1214-1218

Elbeshausen D, Wuennemann K, Collins GS, 2009, Scaling of oblique impacts in frictional targets: Implications for crater size and formation mechanisms, Icarus, Vol:204, ISSN:0019-1035, Pages:716-731

Christeson GL, Collins GS, Morgan JV, et al., 2009, Mantle deformation beneath the Chicxulub impact crater, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol:284, ISSN:0012-821X, Pages:249-257

Collins GS, Morgan J, Barton P, et al., 2008, Dynamic modeling suggests terrace zone asymmetry in the Chicxulub crater is caused by target heterogeneity, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol:270, ISSN:0012-821X, Pages:221-230

Wuennemann K, Collins GS, Osinski GR, 2008, Numerical modelling of impact melt production in porous rocks, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol:269, ISSN:0012-821X, Pages:529-538

Wunnemann K, Collins GS, Melosh HJ, 2006, A strain-based porosity model for use in hydrocode simulations of impacts and implications for transient crater growth in porous targets, Icarus, Vol:180, ISSN:0019-1035, Pages:514-527

Collins GS, Wunnemann K, 2005, How big was the Chesapeake Bay impact? Insight from numerical modeling, Geology, Vol:33, ISSN:0091-7613, Pages:925-928

Collins GS, Melosh HJ, Marcus RA, 2005, Earth Impact Effects Program: A Web-based computer program for calculating the regional environmental consequences of a meteoroid impact on Earth, Meteoritics & Planetary Science, Vol:40, ISSN:1086-9379, Pages:817-840

Melosh HJ, Collins GS, 2005, Meteor Crater formed by low-velocity impact - The paucity of melted rock in this crater may be due to the striking projectile's speed, Nature, Vol:434, ISSN:0028-0836, Pages:157-157

Collins GS, Melosh HJ, Ivanov BA, 2004, Modeling damage and deformation in impact simulations, Meteoritics & Planetary Science, Vol:39, ISSN:1086-9379, Pages:217-231

Collins GS, Melosh HJ, Morgan JV, et al., 2002, Hydrocode Simulations of Chicxulub crater collapse and peak-ring formation, Icarus, Vol:157, ISSN:0019-1035, Pages:24-33

Morgan JV, Warner MR, Collins GS, et al., 2000, Peak-ring formation in large impact craters: geophysical constraints from Chicxulub, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol:183, ISSN:0012-821X, Pages:347-354

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