Distribution Patterns of Martian Craters
                         with Cracked Floors
Cochise College     Geology Home Page  
Martian Landforms Distribution  Patterns
Cochise College- Mars Landforms

Mars Explored

Roger Weller, geology instructor ( wellerr@cochise.edu  )
last edited:  6/5/15    


types of features being studied

    There are more than 135 craters on Mars that display crater floors that are cracked. 
 Our Moon also has many craters with cracked floors, but the phenomena responsible
 for these features on both Mars and the Moon may be different
On the Moon impact
 craters that are situated on grabens that ring the lunar maria have volcanic materials
 coming up from the fissures, filling the craters. Subsequent injections of magma
 beneath the floor fillings can lift and crack the crater floors.   In a similar manner, the
 withdrawal of lava from below the crater floors or contraction due to cooling can cause
collapse fractures. (ref: "Lunar Craters with Cracked Floors", Roger Weller, M.S. thesis,
University of Arizona, 1972)
 
     The Martian craters with cracked floors have much wider cracks than their lunar
counterparts.  Also , the Martian craters seem to be made of less coherent materials
that were later eroded away by surface flows.  The cause of cracking is also tied to the
fluids that flowed along the cracked blocks.

examples 

 
  crater diameter- 48 kilometers
 


 
crater diameter-43 kilometers
 

  crater diameter-27 kilometers
 

 
 similar craters with cracked floors also occur on the Moon
 
 
Lavoisier H1
 


planetary distribution patterns of chaos features
 
 
Mars centered at 0 degrees latitude
 
 
  same view in diagram format


  Mars centered at 180 degrees latitude
 

  same view in diagram format
 

maximum density of craters with cracked floors-latitude -23 degrees west
lower portion of belt



maximum density of craters with cracked floors-latitude -23 degrees west
upper portion of belt



discussion