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Morphologic and structural mapping of the central uplift of Betio crater, Thaumasia Planum, Mars

By
A.M. Nuhn
A.M. Nuhn
Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration/Department of Earth Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 5B7, Canada
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L.L. Tornabene
L.L. Tornabene
Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration/Department of Earth Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 5B7, Canada
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G.R. Osinski
G.R. Osinski
Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration/Department of Earth Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 5B7, Canada, and Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 5B7, Canada
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A.S. McEwen
A.S. McEwen
Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA
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Published:
October 01, 2015

The ~31.7-km-diameter Betio crater (23.15°S, 281.38°E), located within the Hesperian-aged Ridged Plains material in Thaumasia Planum, Mars, contains a well-preserved asymmetrical central floor pit (~10.8 km NW-SE and ~8.8 km NE-SW in diameter) covering an area of ~67 km2 that exposes discrete megablocks of layered bedrock and preserves a variety of impact-generated deposits. High-resolution images taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) are combined with other data sets to study and map the morphology and structure of the central floor pit. The excellent bedrock exposure of the floor pit enables the comparison of mapped structures with observations from terrestrial craters. Our mapping of the central uplift has revealed a variety of faults, folds (likely radial transpression ridges), and many breccia dikes, in addition to different types of impactites (e.g., breccias, impact melt deposits, and uplifted bedrock [i.e., parautochthonous bedrock]). Through structural mapping, we show that the central portion of the central uplift is characterized by smaller (~60–300 m in diameter) blocks with high dips of ~45°–85°, and the outer sections of the floor pit have larger (>800 m in diameter) blocks with shallow dip angles of ~5°–15°. Our work shows that extensive brittle deformation and brecciation increase toward the center of the crater and particularly in the SW sector of the central pit. There is also an overall decrease in block size toward the center of the crater.

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GSA Special Papers

Large Meteorite Impacts and Planetary Evolution V

Gordon R. Osinski
Gordon R. Osinski
Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration, Departments of Earth Sciences and Physics and Astronomy, University of Western Ontario, 1151 Richmond St., London, ON N6A 3K7, Canada
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David A. Kring
David A. Kring
Center for Lunar Science and Exploration, Lunar and Planetary Institute, 3600 Bay Area Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77058, USA, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Lunar Science Institute, and NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute
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Geological Society of America
Volume
518
ISBN print:
9780813725185
Publication date:
October 01, 2015

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