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Floor-Fractured Craters on Mars – Observations and Origin

Authors
Journal
Planetary and Space Science
0032-0633
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
98
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2013.09.017
Keywords
  • Distribution
  • Volcanic Activity
  • Fluvial Processes
  • Infilling
  • Polygons
  • Tectonic
Disciplines
  • Earth Science

Abstract

Abstract Floor-Fractured Craters (FFCs) represent an impact crater type, where the infilling is separated by cracks into knobs of different sizes and shapes. This work focuses on the possible processes which form FFCs to understand the relationship between location and geological environment. We generated a global distribution map using new High Resolution Stereo Camera and Context Camera images. Four hundred and twenty-one potential FFCs have been identified on Mars. A strong link exists among floor fracturing, chaotic terrain, outflow channels and the dichotomy boundary. However, FFCs are also found in the Martian highlands. Additionally, two very diverse craters are used as a case study and we compared them regarding appearance of the surface units, chronology and geological processes. Five potential models of floor fracturing are presented and discussed here. The analyses suggest an origin due to volcanic activity, groundwater migration or tensile stresses. Also subsurface ice reservoirs and tectonic activity are taken into account. Furthermore, the origin of fracturing differs according to the location on Mars.

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