Central Pit Crater

  • Veronica J. BrayEmail author
  • Nadine G. Barlow
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-9213-9_418-2


A complex impact crater hosting a central depression (pit) at or near its center.


Central pit craters are a type of complex crater displaying terraced rims and a central depression either on the crater floor (floor pits) or atop a central peak, in which the pit floor lies above the elevation of the crater floor (summit pits). The crater floor around the central pit can either be flat or slightly domed, although the domed examples are restricted to icy satellites and thought due to viscous relaxation over time, rather than being a primary characteristic of the crater type. Central floor pit craters are common on ice-rich planets and moons, such as Mars, Ganymede, and Callisto, but are significantly less common on volatile-poor rocky bodies. Summit pit craters are less common on icier bodies, but most of the central pit craters reported for the Moon and Mercury are summit pits (Xiao and Komatsu 2013; Xiao et al. 2014; Barlow 2014), suggesting a different formation...


Central Peak Crater Diameter Crater Floor Large Crater Crater Center 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lunar and Planetary LaboratoryUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Physics and AstronomyNorthern Arizona UniversityFlagstaffUSA