Impact Crater Formation in Icy Layered Terrains on Mars

DSpace/Manakin Repository

Impact Crater Formation in Icy Layered Terrains on Mars

Citable link to this page


Title: Impact Crater Formation in Icy Layered Terrains on Mars
Author: Stewart, Sarah; Senft, Laurel E.

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Senft, Laurel E., and Sarah T. Stewart. 2008. Impact crater formation in icy layered terrains on Mars. Meteoritics and Planetary Science 43: 1993–2013.
Full Text & Related Files:
Abstract: We present numerical simulations of crater formation under Martian conditions with a single near-surface icy layer to investigate changes in crater morphology between glacial and interglacial periods. The ice fraction, thickness, and depth to the icy layer are varied to understand the systematic effects oil observable crater features. To accurately model impact cratering into ice, a new equation of state table and strength model parameters for H2O are fitted to laboratory data. The presence of an icy layer significantly modifies the cratering mechanics. Observable features demonstrated by the modeling include variations in crater morphometry (depth and rim height) and icy infill of the crater floor during the late stages of crater formation. In addition, an icy layer modifies the velocities, angles, and volumes of ejecta, leading to deviations of ejecta blanket thickness from the predicted power law. The dramatic changes in crater excavation are a result of both the shock impedance and the strength mismatch between layers of icy and rocky materials. Our simulations suggest that many of the unusual features of Martian craters may be explained by the presence of icy layers, including shallow craters with well-preserved ejecta blankets, icy flow related features, some layered ejecta structures, and crater lakes. Therefore, the cratering record implies that near-surface icy layers are widespread on Mars.
Published Version:
Other Sources:
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at
Citable link to this page:
Downloads of this work:

Show full Dublin Core record

This item appears in the following Collection(s)


Search DASH

Advanced Search