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The surface of Mars 1. Cratered terrains

Murray, Bruce C. and Soderblom, Laurence A. and Sharp, Robert P. and Cutts, James A. (1971) The surface of Mars 1. Cratered terrains. Journal of Geophysical Research, 76 (2). pp. 313-330. ISSN 0148-0227. doi:10.1029/JB076i002p00313.

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Mariner 6 and 7 pictures show that craters are the dominant landform on Mars and that their occurrence is not correlated uniquely with latitude, elevation, or albedo markings. Two distinct morphological classes are recognized: small bowl-shaped and large flat-bottomed. The former show little evidence of modifications, whereas the latter appear generally more modified than lunar upland craters of comparable size. A regional maria/uplands dichotomy like the moon has not yet been recognized on Mars. Crater modification on Mars has involved much greater horizontal redistribution of material than in the lunar uplands. It is possible that there are erosional processes only infrequently active. Analysis of the natures and fluxes of bodies that have probably impacted the moon and Mars leads to the likelihood that most of the large flat-bottomed craters on Mars have survived from the final phases of planetary accretion. Significant crater modification, however, has taken place more recently on Mars. Inasmuch as the present small bowl-shaped craters evidence little modification, the postaccretion crater-modification process on Mars may have been primarily episodic rather than continuous. The size-frequency distribution of impacting bodies that produced the present small Martian bowl-shaped craters differs from that responsible for post-mare primary impacts on the moon by a marked deficiency of large bodies. Survival of crater topography from the end of planetary accretion would make any hypothetical earthlike phase with primitive oceans there unlikely. The traditional view of Mars as an earthlike planetary neighbor in terms of its surface history is not supported by the picture data.

Item Type:Article
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Soderblom, Laurence A.0000-0002-0917-853X
Cutts, James A.0000-0002-1765-8322
Additional Information:Copyright 1971 by the American Geophysical Union. (Received July 31, 1970; revised September 17, 1970.) We are deeply indebted to all persons whose combined efforts made the Mariner 1969 flights to Mars a success. With respect to the series of four articles on Martian surface features published herein, we specifically acknowledge the valuable aid of the following: G. E. Danielson, S. A. Collins, J. J. van der Woude, T. C. Rindfieisch, J. A. Dunne, R. C. Dewar, and Patricia Conklin, all of the California Institute of Technology and JPL. Our colleagues of the Mariner TV team, M. E. Davies, A. H. Herriman, N.H. Horowitz, C. B. Leovy, B. A. Smith, and A. T. Young have provided counsel and information. Without the leadership and unending efforts of Principal Investigator R. B. Leighton, the TV project would never have succeeded. Robert A. West of the California Institute of Technology assisted in preparation of crater counts. The present paper has been substantially revised from its original form to take into account the careful and constructive criticism received from a number of reviewers, and we wish to acknowledge their contribution. The participation of Murray, Leighton, and Sharp has been underwritten by the California Institute of Technology. Cutts has been partly supported by NASA-105-69836 and Soderblom by NGL-05-002-003. Contribution 1891, Division of Geological Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.
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Subject Keywords:Mars: Geomorphology
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences1891
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141107-093416204
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Official Citation:Murray, B. C., L. A. Soderblom, R. P. Sharp, and J. A. Cutts (1971), The surface of Mars 1. Cratered terrains, J. Geophys. Res., 76(2), 313–330, doi:10.1029/JB076i002p00313.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:51422
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:07 Nov 2014 17:59
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 19:10

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