Central Pit Crater

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-9213-9_418-2

Definition

A complex impact crater hosting a central depression (pit) at or near its center.

Description

Central pit craters are a type of complex crater displaying terraced rims and a central depression either on the crater floor (floor pits) or atop a central peak, in which the pit floor lies above the elevation of the crater floor (summit pits). The crater floor around the central pit can either be flat or slightly domed, although the domed examples are restricted to icy satellites and thought due to viscous relaxation over time, rather than being a primary characteristic of the crater type. Central floor pit craters are common on ice-rich planets and moons, such as Mars, Ganymede, and Callisto, but are significantly less common on volatile-poor rocky bodies. Summit pit craters are less common on icier bodies, but most of the central pit craters reported for the Moon and Mercury are summit pits (Xiao and Komatsu 2013; Xiao et al. 2014; Barlow 2014), suggesting a different formation...

Keywords

Titania Depression Mercury Explosive Excavation 
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access

References

  1. Allen CC (1975) Central peaks in lunar craters. Earth Moon Planets 12(4):463–474Google Scholar
  2. Alzate N, Barlow NG (2011) Central pit craters on Ganymede. Icarus 211(2):1274–1283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barlow NG (2010) Central pit craters: observations from mars and Ganymede and implications for formation models. In: Gibson, RL and Reimold, WU (ed) Large meteorite impacts and planetary evolution IV. Geological society of America special paper, vol 465, pp 15–27Google Scholar
  4. Barlow NG (2014) Morphometric characteristics of Martian central pit craters and comparison with central pit craters on Ganymede, Mercury, and the Moon. In: 8th international conference on Caltech, Pasadena, CA, USAGoogle Scholar
  5. Bray VJ (2009) Impact crater formation on the icy Galilean satellites. PhD thesis, Imperial College London, UKGoogle Scholar
  6. Bray VJ, Schenk PM (2015) Pristine Crater Morphology on Pluto - E xpectations for New Horizons. Icarus 246:156–164Google Scholar
  7. Bray VJ, Schenk PM, Melosh HJ, Morgan JV, Collins GS (2012) Ganymede crater dimensions – implications for peak and pit formation and development. Icarus Tucson, AZ, USA, 217:115–129Google Scholar
  8. Bray VJ, Collins GS, Morgan JV, Melosh HJ, Schenk PM (2014) Hydrocode simulation of Ganymede and Europa cratering trends – how thick is Europa’s crust? Icarus 231:394–406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Croft SK (1981) Cratering on Ganymede and Callisto: comparisons with the terrestrial planets. 12th Lunar Planet Sci Conf, Houston, pp 187–189Google Scholar
  10. Garner KML, Barlow NG (2012) Distribution of rimmed, partially rimmed, and non-rimmed central floor pits on Mars. 43rd Lunar Planet Sci Conf, abstract #1256, HoustonGoogle Scholar
  11. Greeley R, Fink JH, Gault DE, Guest JE (1982) Experimental simulation of impact cratering on icy satellites. In: Morrison D (ed) Satellites of Jupiter. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, pp 340–378Google Scholar
  12. Kagy HM, Barlow NG (2008) Topography of northern hemisphere Martian central pit craters. 39th Lunar Planet Sci Conf, abstract #1166, HoustonGoogle Scholar
  13. Passey QR, Shoemaker EM (1982) Craters and basins on Ganymede and Callisto: morphological indicators of crustal evolution. In: Morrison D (ed) Satellites of Jupiter. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, pp 340–378Google Scholar
  14. Peel SE, Fassett CI (2013) Valleys in pit craters on Mars: characteristics, distribution, and formation mechanisms. Icarus 225:272–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Schenk PM (1993) Central pit and dome craters: exposing the interiors of Ganymede and Callisto. J Geophys Res 98(E4):7475–7498. doi:10.1029/93JE00176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Schultz PH (1988) Cratering on Mercury: a relook. In: Vilas F, Chapman CR, Matthews MS (eds) Mercury. University of Arizona Press, pp 274–335Google Scholar
  17. Smith EI (1976) Comparison of the crater morphology-size relationship for Mars, Moon and Mercury. Icarus 28:543–550CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Williams NR, Bell JF, Christensen PR, Farmer JD (2014) Evidence for an explosive origin of central pit craters on Mars. In: 8th international conference on Caltech, Pasadena, CA, USA.Google Scholar
  19. Wood CA, Head JW, Cintala MJ (1978) Interior morphology of fresh Martian craters: the effects of target characteristics. Proc Lunar Planet Sci Conf 9th :3691–3709, HoustonGoogle Scholar
  20. Xiao Z, Komatsu G (2013) Impact craters with ejecta flows and central pits on Mercury. Planet Space Sci 82–83:62–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Xiao Z, Zeng Z, Komatsu G (2014) A global inventory of central pit craters on the Moon: distribution, morphology, and geometry. Icarus 227:195–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lunar and Planetary LaboratoryUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Physics and AstronomyNorthern Arizona UniversityFlagstaffUSA