Impact craters are the most common surface features on the Moon and Mercury. On these two bodies, we recognized and mapped large landslides on the walls of impact craters. Through visual inspection of high-resolution imagery, we compiled an inventory of 60 landslides on the Moon and a second inventory of 58 landslides on Mercury. Adopting categories used to catalog terrestrial mass movements, we classified the landslides on the Moon and Mercury as rock slides. We determined the probability density distribution of their planimetric area, and we compared the distributions with similar distributions for terrestrial and martian landslides using data from the literature. We found that rock slides mapped in impact craters on the Moon are, on average, larger than analogous rock slides on Mercury. The relationship between the area of the individual rock slides and the area of the hosting crater suggests that rock slides on Mercury initiate in smaller craters. We hypothesize that the above findings are an effect of the weaker surface gravity of the Moon compared to that of Mercury and/or an effect of the rock material properties.

Large rock slides in impact craters on the Moon and Mercury

KOMATSU, Goro;
2015-01-01

Abstract

Impact craters are the most common surface features on the Moon and Mercury. On these two bodies, we recognized and mapped large landslides on the walls of impact craters. Through visual inspection of high-resolution imagery, we compiled an inventory of 60 landslides on the Moon and a second inventory of 58 landslides on Mercury. Adopting categories used to catalog terrestrial mass movements, we classified the landslides on the Moon and Mercury as rock slides. We determined the probability density distribution of their planimetric area, and we compared the distributions with similar distributions for terrestrial and martian landslides using data from the literature. We found that rock slides mapped in impact craters on the Moon are, on average, larger than analogous rock slides on Mercury. The relationship between the area of the individual rock slides and the area of the hosting crater suggests that rock slides on Mercury initiate in smaller craters. We hypothesize that the above findings are an effect of the weaker surface gravity of the Moon compared to that of Mercury and/or an effect of the rock material properties.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/639581
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