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Genetic implications of the shapes of martian and lunar craters

Icarus

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Abstract

Craters on Mars and the Moon are alike in that larger craters differ in shape from smaller ones, and older craters differ in shape from younger ones. Smoothed depth-diameter curves for 41 large martian craters photographed by Mariner IV inflect at a crater diameter of 10-20km in a manner similar to curves for lunar craters. Below 10-20km, both depth-diameter curves are linear with a slope of roughly 1.0; above this threshold range, the curves assume a much lower slope. Diminution of lunar crater depth-diameter ratios with age indicates that the shapes of lunar and, by inference, martian craters have changed systematically since formation. Martian craters sampled here are shallower than most pre-Imbrian lunar craters. By analogy with the Moon, martian craters seem both to vary in initial shape according to the energy of the impact that formed them and to have been modified subsequently by endogenic and surface processes. A proposed model for the geologic development of large martian and lunar craters outlines a time- dependent sequence of events. Craters which have undergone rapid isostatic adjustment on the Moon have distinctive morphologies and occur preferentially along mare basin-upland margins. ?? 1972.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Genetic implications of the shapes of martian and lunar craters
Series title:
Icarus
Volume
15
Issue:
3
Year Published:
1971
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Icarus
First page:
384
Last page:
395