Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

2015 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Hargitai, Ákos Kereszturi


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3134-3_342


An opening in the roof of a cave or lava tube that admits light into subsurface cavernous space (Larson 1992).


A type of  pit


Atypical pit crater (Cushing et al. 2007; Cushing 2012); Breakdown;  Ceiling collapse;  Collapse hole;  Collapse pit;  Drainback; Entrance; Pit or steep walled pit (Robinson et al. 2012); Vertical hole (Haruyama et al. 2009); Well; Window.


Skylights are rimless openings in the roof of a subsurface void space. They tend to exhibit steep walls, can have either flat or sloping floors, and the associated roofs often overhang subsurface caverns. Pit craters do not access significant subsurface spaces; thus, they are not skylights (Halliday et al. 2012).


  • Mars: Observed diameters range from 100 m to 225 m, and derived minimum depths range between 68 m and 130 m (Cushing et al. 2007).

  • Moon: Measured diameters range from 13 m to 140 m, with calculated depths ranging from 5 m to 105 m (Robinson et al. 2012; Wagner and...

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für PlanetologieWestfälische Wilhelms-Universität MünsterMünsterGermany
  2. 2.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA