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Buried impact basins, the evolution of planetary surfaces and the Chicxulub multi-ring crater



Impact craters are distinctive landforms on Moon, Mars, Venus and other bodies of the Solar System. In contrast, the Earth has few craters, due to the dynamic nature of the planet, where craters and other geological structures are destroyed, modified or covered. Planetary missions have also shown that in other worlds where craters are numerous and well preserved, the crater record has been modified, through the identification of buried structures. Studies of the concealed crater record have major implications for the crater-size frequency distribution and crater-counting chronologies. On Earth, Chicxulub is an example of a large multi-ring buried basin. Its study provides clues for the investigation other planetary surfaces. In addition, geophysical surveys have unravelled its deep 3-D structure, providing data and constraints for new planetary missions.