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  • Living reference work
  • © 2020

Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

  • Gives a widespread and comprehensive overview of the different types of planetary surface features, including their formation and evolution

  • Covers all solid-surface planetary bodies and moons in the Solar System, in an alphabetical approach

  • Includes original figures, line drawings, annotated photomosaics, and the latest spacecraft images, thematic, and distribution maps

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Table of contents (608 entries)

  1. “Cryokarst”

    • Ákos Kereszturi, Henrik Hargitai
  2. [Astrum, Astra]

    • Henrik Hargitai
  3. [Collis], Colles

    • Henrik Hargitai
  4. [Flumen], Flumina

    • Henrik Hargitai
  5. [Lenticula, Lenticulae]

    • Henrik Hargitai
  6. [Reticulum, Reticula]

    • Henrik Hargitai
  7. [Unda], Undae

    • Henrik Hargitai
  8. Ablation Hollow

    • Nicolas Mangold, Henrik Hargitai
  9. Aeolian Deposits

    • Henrik Hargitai, Ákos Kereszturi
  10. Aeolian Dust Deposits

    • Steven W. Ruff, Alexey A Pankine, Gabriella Barta
  11. Aeolian Ripple

    • Sharon A. Wilson
  12. Aeolian Sand Deposits

    • Henrik Hargitai
  13. Albedo Dichotomy or Color Dichotomy

    • Erzsébet Illés-Almár
  14. Albedo Feature

    • Péter Kardeván, Henrik Hargitai, Angelo Zinzi, Francesca Esposito
  15. Alluvial Fan

    • Henrik Hargitai
  16. Amphitheater-Headed Valley (Mars, Earth)

    • Gabriella Barta, Rene De Hon
  17. Amphitheater-Headed Valley (Venus)

    • Goro Komatsu, Henrik Hargitai
  18. Anastomosing Pattern

    • Bart Makaske

About this book

This encyclopedia provides a snapshot of our current geological knowledge on solid-surface Solar System bodies. Each entry contains information about the features’ morphology, its interpretation, proposed formation models, distribution and occurrence, planetary or terrestrial analogs, and research history. The entries are fully referenced. All image captions include original image IDs.
More than 600 named planetary feature types are discussed in the encyclopedia, covering a wide range of scales--from micrometers to global scale--and also include landform types (structural or topographic features), parts of landforms, terrain types or surface textures, surface patterns, and features identified at wavelengths extending from visible to radio waves (e.g., albedo, thermal infrared, and radar features). The book covers features formed by impact, aeolian, magmatic, volcanic, tectonic, fluvial, lacustrine, marine and coastal, mass movement, sedimentary, desiccation, liquefaction, periglacial, glacial, nival, sublimation, collapse, weathering, and selective erosion or other, including complex processes.
Depending on the information and formation models available, the entries have different approaches. Some of them discuss their subject from the point of view of the inferred process or origin, others are morphology or description-based. As a default, entries focus on extraterrestrial landforms, while also mentioning their proposed terrestrial analogs. Most planetary landforms are not body-specific, but some have no known terrestrial counterparts. Named historic (obsolete) landform types are also included to provide reference for previous key research papers.
To make it easier to find features with related origins, the encyclopedia contains entries that list landforms based on their formative processes. It also lists body-specific features on Mercury (5 feature types), Venus (40), the Earth (13), the Moon (15), Mars (87), Io (7), Europa (17), Callisto (7), Titan (9), Triton (2), mid-sized satellites (8), and small bodies (3). Also included are entries on the 51 planetary feature descriptor terms approved by IAU.            

Editors and Affiliations

  • Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary

    Henrik Hargitai

  • Institute for Advanced Study, Collegium Budapest, Budapest, Hungary

    Ákos Kereszturi

About the editors

Henrik Hargitai (Ph.D., 2007) is a planetary geomorphologist, media historian, and senior lecturer at the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary. He has Ph.D. in Earth Sciences and Philosophy (Aesthetics). He teaches planetary geomorphology (since 2002), planetary cartography, typography, and media history. His study fields include the distribution and morphology of the mountains of Io; lake ice and snow landforms; impact morphology;  and the history and localization of the planetary nomenclature. He participated in two Mars Desert Research Station simulations. He is the chair of the ICA Commission on Planetary Cartography and editor of the Central European edition of the series of “multilingual maps of terrestrial planets and their moons” and its 2014 special edition for children. He is the producer of numerous public outreach programs in planetary science for radio.

Ákos Kereszturi (Ph.D.) is a geologist, working on planetary science and astrobiology as researcher at the Research Center for Astronomy and Earth Sciences, where he leads the Astrophysical and Geochemical Laboratory. He is member of the NASA Astrobiology Institute TDE Focus Group, teaches planetary science at Eötvös Loránd University, serves on the editorial board of two international and one national journals, is vice president of the Hungarian
Astronomical Association, and contributes in the popularization activity of the Polaris Observatory in Budapest. His main research area is the geology of Mars, Europa satellite, craters of Mercury, water in the Solar System and beyond, Mars analog field work, survival of extremophile organisms, analysis of asteroid surfaces, and geological history based on mineral characteristics of meteorites.     

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

  • Editors: Henrik Hargitai, Ákos Kereszturi

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer New York, NY

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference Earth & Environm. Science, Reference Module Physical and Materials Science

  • Number of Pages: 1100

  • Number of Illustrations: 220 b/w illustrations, 10 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Planetary Science, Geographical Information System, Space Physics, Environmental Sciences