Modeling the impact of asteroids over Mexican territory


  • Raul Gutierrez-Zalapa Posgrado en Ciencias de la Tierra. Escuela Nacional de Estudios Superiores Morelia. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
  • Mario Rodríguez-Martínez Escuela Nacional de Estudios Superiores Morelia. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
  • Ernesto Aguilar-Rodríguez Instituto de Geofísica Unidad Michoacán. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
  • Joaquin Estevez-Delgado Facultad de Ciencias Físico-Matemáticas. Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidlago



Asteroids impact, Chicxulub impact event, Numerical model for asteroids' impacts, Environmental and infrastructural damage by asteroids' impacts


This work focuses on knowing the physical, environmental and population effects from the impact of an asteroid occurring in the Mexican territory. The work consists of the adaptation of routines product of previous works in the literature to generate a numerical code written in PyThon that allowed modeling this kind of phenomenon. Firstly, a map of the superficial densities of the Mexican territory has been developed with a resolution of $0.5^\circ$ of longitude by $0.5^\circ$ of latitude of the Earth. The map allows us to find the value of surface density in a specific geological area of the country. Once the surface density value was obtained, it is established as the value of the impact site (target). The model requires using fixed parameters, such as the diameter of the body, its density or mass, the angle of incidence and the density value at the impact site. The output, provides the impact velocity, as well as the energy released, diameter and depth of the crater, the magnitude of the earthquake as well as the damage on the surface. We studied the Chicxulub asteroid event in two hypothetical scenarios. Firstly, the atmospheric density profile was modified, allowing the calculation of a new value for the impact velocity. Secondly, we assume that the object hits with a fraction of the initial mass, and with this the impact velocity and its effects were recalculated for three different targets. They were used to calculate the infrastructure damage they would cause if the impact could occur today. Finally, the results obtained by our model were compared with the literature, showing that they are consistent with the observational data. Models such as this one contribute to having tools for the attention towards the prevention of this kind of event that in the context of the study risks from the space are necessary in Mexico.

Author Biography

Mario Rodríguez-Martínez, Escuela Nacional de Estudios Superiores Morelia. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

Laboratoriode Ciencias Geoespaciales


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How to Cite

R. Gutierrez-Zalapa, M. Rodríguez-Martínez, E. Aguilar-Rodríguez, and J. Estevez-Delgado, “Modeling the impact of asteroids over Mexican territory”, Rev. Mex. Fís., vol. 70, no. 1 Jan-Feb, pp. 010701 1–, Jan. 2024.



07 Gravitation, Mathematical Physics and Field Theory