Imperial College London

Professor Gareth Collins

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Professor of Planetary Science



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




4.83Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Collins, G and Patel, N and Davison, T and Rae, A and Morgan, J and Gulick, S and IODPICDP, Expedition 364 & Third-Party Scientists},
doi = {10.1038/s41467-020-15269-x},
journal = {Nature Communications},
title = {A steeply-inclined trajectory for the Chicxulub impact},
url = {},
volume = {11},
year = {2020}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - The environmental severity of large impacts on Earth is influenced by their impact trajectory. Impact direction and angle to the target plane affect the volume and depth of origin of vaporized target, as well as the trajectories of ejected material. The asteroid impact that formed the 66 Ma Chicxulub crater had a profound and catastrophic effect on Earth’s environment,but the impact trajectory is debated. Here we show that impact angle and direction can be diagnosed by asymmetries in the subsurface structure of the Chicxulub crater. Comparison of 3D numerical simulations of Chicxulub-scale impacts with geophysical observations suggests that the Chicxulub crater was formed by a steeply-inclined (45 -60° to horizontal) impact from the northeast; several lines of evidence rule out a low angle (< 30°) impact. Asteeply-inclined impact produces a nearly symmetric distribution of ejected rock and releases more climate-changing gases per impactor mass than either a very shallow or near-vertical impact.
AU - Collins,G
AU - Patel,N
AU - Davison,T
AU - Rae,A
AU - Morgan,J
AU - Gulick,S
AU - IODPICDP,Expedition 364 & Third-Party Scientists
DO - 10.1038/s41467-020-15269-x
PY - 2020///
SN - 2041-1723
TI - A steeply-inclined trajectory for the Chicxulub impact
T2 - Nature Communications
UR -
UR -
VL - 11
ER -