Impact Crater with Peak

Scaled Image

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/ASU

About this image

This THEMIS visible image shows a classic example of a martian impact crater with a central peak. Central peaks are common in large, fresh craters on both Mars and the Moon. This peak formed during the extremely high-energy impact cratering event. In many martian craters the central peak has been either eroded or buried by later sedimentary processes, so the presence of a peak in this crater indicates that the crater is relatively young and has experienced little degradation. Observations of large craters on the Earth and the Moon, as well as computer modeling of the impact process, show that the central peak contains material brought from deep beneath the surface. The material exposed in these peaks will provide an excellent opportunity to study the composition of the martian interior using THEMIS multi-spectral infrared observations. The ejecta material around the crater can is well preserved, again indicating relatively little modification of this landform since its initial creation.The inner walls of this approximately 18 km diameter crater show complex slumping that likely occurred during the impact event. Since that time there has been some downslope movement of material to form the small chutes and gullies that can be seen on the inner crater wall. Small (50-100 m)mega-ripples composed of mobile material can be seen on the floor of the crater. Much of this material may have come from the walls of the crater itself, or may have been blown into the crater by the wind.

Please see the THEMIS Data Citation Note for details on crediting THEMIS images. 


Image ID: 
V01832003 (View data in Mars Image Explorer)
2002-05-14 03:27
Fri, 2002-06-14
1024 pixels (18 km)
3648 pixels (65 km)
0.018017 km/pixel
0.018148 km/pixel


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