Patera, Paterae

  • Henrik HargitaiEmail author
Living reference work entry

A descriptor term used in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Current Definition

An irregular crater or a complex one with scalloped edges (de Vaucouleur et al. 1975; IAU 2014).

Other Definitions

Shallow, complex edge craters (Burba 1990).

Origin of Term

Flat, round dish or cup without a handle with a bulge in the middle; Latin (patella, dim.); from phiale: (1) libation vessel and (2) building or columned arcade around a fountain; ancient Greek.



“The term patera was originally applied to any large, flat-floored depression with irregular margins identified in Mariner 9 and Viking imagery and included volcanoes as well as impact craters” (Greeley and Spudis 1981). Over time, the sizes of several paterae have increased in the planetary nomenclature database from the sizes of the central depressions to the sizes of the entire edifices. In 2007, the sizes of these paterae have been adjusted to correspond only to the central depressions, and the entire constructs have been...


Cinder Cone Southern Highland Volcanic Crater Volcanic Terrain Lobate Deposit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Planetary Science Research GroupEötvös Loránd University, Institute of Geography and Earth SciencesBudapestHungary