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Martian cratering revisited: Implications for early geologic evolution

Gurnis, Michael (1981) Martian cratering revisited: Implications for early geologic evolution. Icarus, 48 (1). pp. 62-75. ISSN 0019-1035. doi:10.1016/0019-1035(81)90154-8.

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Improved crater statistics from varied Martian terrains are compared to lunar crater populations. The distribution functions for the average Martian cratered terrain and the average lunar highlands over the diameter range 8–2000 km are quite similar. The Martian population is less dense by approximately 0.70 from 8 to 256 km diameter and diverges to proportionally lower densities at greater diameters. Crater densities on Martian "pure" terra give a lower limit to the Mars/Moon integrated crater flux of 0.75 since the last stabilization of the respective planetary crusts. The crater population >8 km diameter postdating the Martian northern plains is statistically indistinguishable from that population postdating the lunar maria. Monte Carlo simulations were performed to constrain plausible mechanisms of crater obliteration. The models demonstrate that if the crater density difference between the lunar and Martian terra has been due to resurfacing processes, random intercrater plains formation cannot be the sole process. If plains preferentially form in and obliterate larger craters, then the observed Martian distribution retains its "shape" as the crater density decreases. This result is consistent with the morphology of Martian intercrater plains.

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Gurnis, Michael0000-0003-1704-597X
Additional Information:© 1981 by Academic Press, Inc. Received May 4, 1981; revised August 28, 1981. I wish to thank C. Chapman, R. Pike, and W. Mc- Kinnon for careful reviews and many discussions. I am particularly grateful to Dr. Alex Woronow for his assistance through this entire project. This research is supported by NASA Grant NSG-7544.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
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Official Citation:Michael Gurnis, Martian cratering revisited: Implications for early geologic evolution, Icarus, Volume 48, Issue 1, October 1981, Pages 62-75, ISSN 0019-1035, 10.1016/0019-1035(81)90154-8.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:36582
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:30 Jan 2013 22:45
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:23

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