Boulder Track

  • Carolyn H. van der BogertEmail author
  • Jeffrey B. Plescia
Living reference work entry


Trails left by of rolling, bouncing, and skidding of rocks on sloping surfaces.



Continuous or discontinuous, near-linear, or sinuous surface markings. Boulders may be present at the ends of the trails. Trail width is typically ~60 % of boulder size (Filice 1967).


Boulder tracks are caused when boulders roll, bounce, and/or skid down slopes. The boulders may be dislodged from slopes or displaced as crater ejecta. Depending on local topography and the boulder shape/axis of rotation, some boulders stay constantly in contact with the surface, yielding a continuous trail, while others bounce, yielding discontinuous surface markings (Figs. 1 and 2). More irregularly shaped boulders yield more sinuous track shapes. Some tracks have visible berms along their edges, as well as a small berm in front of the boulder.


Lunar Regolith Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Tool Mark Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera Lake Earthquake 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carolyn H. van der Bogert
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jeffrey B. Plescia
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für PlanetologieWestfälische Wilhelms-Universität MünsterMünsterGermany
  2. 2.The Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics LaboratoryLaurelUSA