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New craters on Mars: An updated catalog

July 1, 2022

We present a catalog of new impacts on Mars. These craters formed in the last few decades, constrained with repeat orbital imaging. Crater diameters range from 58 m down to <1 m. For each impact, we report whether it formed a single crater or a cluster (58% clusters); albedo features of the blast zone (88% halos; 64% linear rays; 10% arcuate rays; majority dark-toned; 4% light-toned; 14% dual-toned); and exposures of ice (4% definite; 2% possible). We find no trends in the occurrences of clusters with latitude, elevation, or impact size. Albedo features do not depend on atmospheric fragmentation. Halos are more prevalent at lower elevations, indicating an atmospheric pressure dependence; and around smaller impacts, which could be an observational bias. Linear rays are more likely to form from larger impacts into more consolidated material and may be enhanced by lower atmospheric pressure at higher elevations. Light- and dual-toned blast zones occur in specific regions and more commonly around larger impacts, indicating excavation of compositionally distinct material. Surfaces covered with bright dust lacking cohesion are favored to form detectable surface features. The slope of the cumulative size frequency distribution for this data set is 2.2 for diameters >8 m (differential slope 2.9), significantly shallower than the slope of new lunar craters. We believe that no systematic biases exist in the Martian data set sufficient to explain the discrepancy. This catalog is complete at the time of writing, although observational biases exist, and new discoveries continue.

Publication Year 2022
Title New craters on Mars: An updated catalog
DOI 10.1029/2021JE007145
Authors Ingrid J. Daubar, Colin M. Dundas, Alfred S. McEwen, Annabelle Gao, D. Wexler, Sylvain Piqueux, Gareth S. Collins, Katarina Miljkovic, T. Neidhart, J. Eschenfelder, Gwen D. Bart, Kiri L. Wagstaff, Gary Doran, Liliya Posiolova, Michael C. Malin, Gunnar Speth, David Susko, A. Werynski
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets
Index ID 70248034
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Astrogeology Science Center