The Morphometry of Impact Craters on Bennu

R. T. Daly, E. B. Bierhaus, O. S. Barnouin, M. G. Daly, J. A. Seabrook, J. H. Roberts, C. M. Ernst, M. E. Perry, H. Nair, R. C. Espiritu, E. E. Palmer, R. W. Gaskell, J. R. Weirich, H. C.M. Susorney, C. L. Johnson, K. J. Walsh, M. C. Nolan, E. R. Jawin, P. Michel, D. TrangD. S. Lauretta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Bennu is an ~500-m-diameter rubble-pile asteroid that is the target of detailed study by the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security–Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission. Here we use data from the OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter to assess depth-to-diameter ratios (d/D) of 108 impact craters larger than 10 m in diameter. The d/D of craters on Bennu ranges from 0.02 to 0.19. The mean is 0.10 ± 0.03. The smallest craters show the broadest range in d/D, consistent with d/D measurements on other asteroids. A few craters have central mounds, which is interpreted as evidence that a more competent substrate lies a few meters beneath them. The range of d/D narrows as crater size increases, with craters larger than 80 m tending toward smaller d/D. At large scales, increases in target strength with depth, combined with target curvature, may affect crater morphometry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2020GL089672
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 28 2020


  • Bennu
  • crater morphometry
  • depth-diameter ratio
  • impact crater
  • small body

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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