The University of Arizona

The effect of target properties on crater morphology: Comparison of central peak craters on the Moon and Ganymede

V. J. BRAY, G. S. COLLINS, J. V. MORGAN, P. M. SCHENK

Abstract


We examine the morphology of central peak craters on the Moon and Ganymede in order to investigate differences in the near-surface properties of these bodies. We have extracted topographic profiles across craters on Ganymede using Galileo images, and use these data to compile scaling trends. Comparisons between lunar and Ganymede craters show that crater depth, wall slope and amount of central uplift are all affected by material properties. We observe no major differences between similar-sized craters in the dark and bright terrain of Ganymede, suggesting that dark terrain does not contain enough silicate material to significantly increase the strength of the surface ice. Below crater diameters of ?12 km, central peak craters on Ganymede and simple craters on the Moon have similar rim heights, indicating comparable amounts of rim collapse. This suggests that the formation of central peaks at smaller crater diameters on Ganymede than the Moon is dominated by enhanced central floor uplift rather than rim collapse. Crater wall slope trends are similar on the Moon and Ganymede, indicating that there is a similar trend in material weakening with increasing crater size, and possibly that the mechanism of weakening during impact is analogous in icy and rocky targets. We have run a suite of numerical models to simulate the formation of central peak craters on Ganymede and the Moon. Our modeling shows that the same styles of strength model can be applied to ice and rock, and that the strength model parameters do not differ significantly between materials.

Keywords


Ganymede;Moon;Central peak;Impact craters

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