Complex Crater (Low Gravity)
Complex crater on low-gravity bodies characterized by broad central structures and bowl-shaped cavity.
Description and Regional Variations
These craters exhibit both the bowl-shaped cavity of simple craters and the central structure and slump features of complex craters, making them transitional between simple and complex craters. These craters mostly occur only on large asteroids (Vesta) or smaller icy satellites (e.g., Hyperion) where gravity is weak but internal strength is large enough to keep the body’s material together without disintegrating.
The nearly bowl-shaped cavity is significantly shallower than the similar-sized simple craters on other bodies. The elevated conical central structure may be well developed in larger basins, for example, Rheasilvia (Schenk et al. 2013), but less developed in smaller craters, which show irregular, broad intracrater mounds that may be putative central peaks (Schenk et al. 2013) or slump features (Transitional Crater).
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- Schenk P, Vincent J-B, Marchi S, O’Brien DP, Gaskell R, Preusker F, Raymond CA, Russell CT (2013) Impact crater morphologies on Vesta in solar system context. 44th LPSC #2039Google Scholar