The University of Arizona

Crater geometry and ejecta thickness of the Martian impact crater Tooting



We use Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) topographic data and Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) visible (VIS) images to study the cavity and the ejecta blanket of a very fresh Martian impact crater ~29 km in diameter, with the provisional International Astronomical Union (IAU) name Tooting crater. This crater is very young, as demonstrated by the large depth/ diameter ratio (0.065), impact melt preserved on the walls and floor, an extensive secondary crater field, and only 13 superposed impact craters (all 54 to 234 meters in diameter) on the ~8120 km^2 ejecta blanket. Because the pre-impact terrain was essentially flat, we can measure the volume of the crater cavity and ejecta deposits. Tooting crater has a rim height that has >500 m variation around the rim crest and a very large central peak (1052 m high and >9 km wide). Crater cavity volume (i.e., volume below the pre-impact terrain) is ~380 km^3 and the volume of materials above the pre-impact terrain is ~425 km^3. The ejecta thickness is often very thin (<20 m) throughout much of the ejecta blanket. There is a pronounced asymmetry in the ejecta blanket, suggestive of an oblique impact, which has resulted in up to ~100 m of additional ejecta thickness being deposited down-range compared to the up-range value at the same radial distance from the rim crest. Distal ramparts are 60 to 125 m high, comparable to the heights of ramparts measured at other multi-layered ejecta craters. Tooting crater serves as a fresh end-member for the large impact craters on Mars formed in volcanic materials, and as such may be useful for comparison to fresh craters in other target materials.


Impact craters;Impact ejecta;Planet Mars

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