Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

2015 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Hargitai, Ákos Kereszturi

Secondary-Crater Chain

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3134-3_345


Secondary-crater chains are lines of regularly spaced rows of three or more secondary craters with similar sizes and apparently identical ages spread out up to tens of kilometers, formed from the ejecta of a single impact event owing to their radial alignment with respect to a nearby large crater.



Craters in secondary chains can be roughly circular to irregular in shape, in many cases overlapping sequentially outward. Secondary chains are usually associated with other secondary craters ( secondary-crater field) in a broad zone concentric to the source crater and just beyond the continuous ejecta blanket.


(1) Radial or (rarely) (2) concentric to the parent crater


These crater chains are interpreted to form by the ejecta of large, basin-forming impacts, usually radial to their source basin, containing craters that overlap sequentially outward (McEwen and Bierhaus 2006). Craters often...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lunar and Planetary InstituteHoustonUSA