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Large floor-fractured craters and isostatic crater modification: Implications for lithospheric thickness on VenusSeveral of the largest craters on Venus, including Mead, Meitner and Isabella, exhibit well-developed floor fracture patterns combining a central set of radial features with a peripheral set of concentric fractures. This pattern strongly resembles the fracture patterns observed in the largest floor-fractured craters on the Moon (e.g. Humboldt, Gauss, Petavius). Although most lunar floor-fractured craters apparently reflect crater modification by igneous intrusions and volcanism, we propose that the fractures in these larger craters represent domical flexure events in response to post-impact isostatic uplift. Since the extent of uplift and surface failure in this model depends on both the size of the basin cavity and the local lithospheric thickness, this interpretation also provides a means for constraining lithospheric thicknesses on Venus. Based on the apparent onset diameter of isostatic crater modification, we derive lithospheric thickness estimates for the Moon of approximately 80 - 100 km, and for Venus of approximately 50 - 70 km.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Wichman, R. W. (North Dakota Univ. Grand Forks, ND, United States)
Schultz, P. H. (Brown Univ. Providence, RI., United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Twenty-Fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 3: N-Z
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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