New Craters on Mars: An Updated Catalog

I. J. Daubar, C. M. Dundas, A. S. McEwen, A. Gao, D. Wexler, S. Piqueux, G. S. Collins, K. Miljkovic, T. Neidhart, J. Eschenfelder, G. D. Bart, K. L. Wagstaff, G. Doran, L. Posiolova, M. Malin, G. Speth, D. Susko, A. Werynski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present a catalog of new impacts on Mars. These craters formed in the last few decades, constrained with repeat orbital imaging. Crater diameters range from 58 m down to <1 m. For each impact, we report whether it formed a single crater or a cluster (58% clusters); albedo features of the blast zone (88% halos; 64% linear rays; 10% arcuate rays; majority dark-toned; 4% light-toned; 14% dual-toned); and exposures of ice (4% definite; 2% possible). We find no trends in the occurrences of clusters with latitude, elevation, or impact size. Albedo features do not depend on atmospheric fragmentation. Halos are more prevalent at lower elevations, indicating an atmospheric pressure dependence; and around smaller impacts, which could be an observational bias. Linear rays are more likely to form from larger impacts into more consolidated material and may be enhanced by lower atmospheric pressure at higher elevations. Light- and dual-toned blast zones occur in specific regions and more commonly around larger impacts, indicating excavation of compositionally distinct material. Surfaces covered with bright dust lacking cohesion are favored to form detectable surface features. The slope of the cumulative size frequency distribution for this data set is 2.2 for diameters >8 m (differential slope 2.9), significantly shallower than the slope of new lunar craters. We believe that no systematic biases exist in the Martian data set sufficient to explain the discrepancy. This catalog is complete at the time of writing, although observational biases exist, and new discoveries continue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2021JE007145
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Volume127
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Keywords

  • impact craters
  • Mars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

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