The effects of destruction are quite visible above the ground, but our information about how it affects the underlying area is severely limited. Say a large meteor or a nuke just hit the ground, what changed beneath the surface? This is the question that physicists at Duke University are trying to answer.
The team has developed a technique to use artificial soils in the lab and stimulate high speed impacts on them. They then intend to observe what happens beneath the soil in super slow motion. The results have been quite informative.