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Effect of impact cratering on the geologic evolution of Mars and implications for Earth

Nadine G. Barlow
Effect of impact cratering on the geologic evolution of Mars and implications for Earth (in Preservation of random megascale events on Mars and Earth; influence on geologic history, Mary G. Chapman (editor) and Laszlo P. Keszthelyi (editor))
Special Paper - Geological Society of America (2009) 453: 15-24

Abstract

Impact cratering has affected the surfaces of all bodies in our Solar System. These short-duration but energetic events can drastically affect the regional and occasionally the global environment of a planet. The cratering record is better preserved on Mars than on Earth due to longer-term stability of the Martian crust and lower degradation rates. Impact cratering had its greatest effect early in Solar System history when bombardment rates were higher than today and the sizes of the impacting objects were larger. The record from this period of time is largely lost on Earth. High bombardment rates early in Solar System history may have eroded the Martian atmosphere to its present thin state, causing dramatic climate change. The regolith covering much of the Martian surface and the large quantities of dust seen in the atmosphere and covering much of the ground have been attributed to fragmentation of target material by impacts. Heating associated with crater formation may have contributed volatiles to the Martian atmosphere and initiated some of the outflow channels. The effects of an impact event extend far beyond the crater rim, and the planet's volatile-rich environment likely contributes to the greater ejecta extents seen on Mars than on the Moon. The cratering record of Mars thus holds important implications for how impacts may have affected the geologic evolution of Earth.


ISSN: 0072-1077
EISSN: 2331-219X
Coden: GSAPAZ
Serial Title: Special Paper - Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 453
Title: Effect of impact cratering on the geologic evolution of Mars and implications for Earth
Title: Preservation of random megascale events on Mars and Earth; influence on geologic history
Author(s): Barlow, Nadine G.
Author(s): Chapman, Mary G.editor
Author(s): Keszthelyi, Laszlo P.editor
Affiliation: Northern Arizona University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Flagstaff, AZ, United States
Affiliation: U. S. Geological Survey, Flagstaff, AZ, United States
Pages: 15-24
Published: 2009
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 103
Accession Number: 2009-074400
Categories: Extraterrestrial geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus.
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 200940
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