Pit-Floor Crater

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-9213-9_268-1


Pit-floor craters are impact craters hosting pit craters that formed by magma withdrawal and collapse. The pits within pit-floor craters are rimless steep-sided depressions that are inferred to have formed by non-impact processes.

Related Terms

Endogenically modified impact crater; Pit within crater may be called caldera, collapse pit, collapse crater, subsidence crater, or collapse depression


Mercury: Host craters vary in size from 13 to 200 km in diameter, while the associated pit craters range from 10 to almost 80 km. The maximum diameter of a collapse feature must be larger than 10 km to be classified as a pit – on the basis of observation and the definition of planetary caldera from Mouginis-Mark and Rowland (2001). Below 10 km pits may form by many different mechanisms (e.g., pyroclastic eruption, venting of magmatic volatiles, hollows formation, collapse crust of a lava flow, collapse of a lava tube, and collapse of loose surface material into a...


Depression Mercury Boulder 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and PlanetologyUniversity of HawaiiHonoluluUSA