The scaling of complex craters
Article first published online: 21 SEP 2012
Copyright 1985 by the American Geophysical Union.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth (1978–2012)
Volume 90, Issue S02, pages C828–C842, 15 February 1985
How to Cite
1985), The scaling of complex craters, J. Geophys. Res., 90(S02), C828–C842, doi:10.1029/JB090iS02p0C828.(
- Issue published online: 21 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 21 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 26 SEP 1984
- Manuscript Revised: 6 SEP 1984
- Manuscript Received: 17 MAY 1984
The empirical relation between the transient crater diameter (Dg) and final crater diameter (Dr) of complex craters and basins is estimated using cumulative terrace widths, central uplift diameters, continuous ejecta radii, and transient crater reconstructions determined from lunar and terrestrial impact structures. The ratio Dg/Dr is a power law function of Dr, decreasing uniformly from unity at the diameter of the simple-complex crater morphology transition to about 0.5 for large multiring basins like Imbrium on the moon. The empirical constants in the Dg/Dr relation are interpreted physically to mean that the position of the final rim relative to the transient crater, and hence the extent of collapse, is controlled or greatly influenced by the properties of the zone of dissociated material produced by the impact shock. The continuity of the Dg/Dr relation over the entire spectrum of morphologic types from complex craters to multiring basins implies that the rims of all these structures form in the same tectonic environment despite morphologic differences.