Only a tiny fraction of the scientific work that needs to be done on Earth's known impact craters has been accomplished, and only a small fraction of the planet's craters have been discovered. Even more work remains to be done on other surfaces in the solar system. With the following list of questions, topics, and references to examples of specific kinds of work, I hope to save others a bit of time and effort if they are beginning to consider the field from the perspective of a researcher.
The order of the topics in the list is somewhat arbitrary, though I've tried to place them more-or-less sequentially in a manner such that each informs the following: ie: Prove there is a crater, describe its rough location, place it in time and in a contemporary geological setting, characterize the impactor, understand the geological and geographical setting at the time of impact, and so on. The list is far from exhaustive, and will grow with time.
Crater confirmation - Is the structure a crater?
Crater Morphometry - What is the structure's physical shape and size?
Context - What rocks were here and where have they moved to?
Impactites - How did impact alter the rocks?
Other High Pressure Polymorphs and Non-diagnostic Shock Effects
Historical / Paleo- Setting and Effects of the Impact:
Characterizing the impactor: dimensions, type, velocity, vector
Surface crater mapping: GIS topography, faults and rock units, Morphology and topography?
Subsurface and Remote Studies
Contribution to Global Understanding
Post-impact processes -
There are also non-crater-specific studies - impact modelling, high pressure mineral phases, crater accumulation rates, crater to impactor scaling, morphology to impact energy scaling, morphology to rock type scaling, hypervelocity impact physics, extinctions studies.
And non-traditional cratering questions: effects of impacts in water and in air (meteors).
And of indirect changes: proximal and distal ejecta studies (sometimes without an associated crater), Ir anomalies, sperules and spherule beds, tsunamite and paleoseismic deposits.
Inferred impact risk and impact risk abatement.
below this line are website development notes to myself:
finish integrating basic bibliographies
fix location of Glasford
convert all references to consistent format
Update LPSC, GSA, and AAPG abstracts:
Search GSA abstracts: https://gsa.confex.com/gsa/htsearch.cgi
Search LPSC abstracts:http://www.lpi.usra.edu/publications/abstracts.shtml
Search AAPG abstracts: http://www.searchanddiscovery.com/
update and upgrade summary graphics with citations
get copies of those publications not already on hand
provide well cited summary paragraph of basic metrics for each crater
cross-link to Odale pages, eg: http://ottawa-rasc.ca/wiki/index.php?title=Odale_articles_Glover_Bluff
Build and provide summary metrics of US craters on intro page
Note the notable gaps in knowledge about each crater on the associated individual crater pages.
Somehow distinguish key articles and field guides.