A Global Analysis of Crater Depth/Diameter Ratios on the Moon

Bo Wu, Yiran Wang, Stephanie C. Werner, Nils C. Prieur, Zhiyong Xiao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


On the Moon, the old anorthositic highland rocks and younger basaltic mare units show distinguishable differences in appearance. The craters on the lunar highlands and maria also show variation in morphological characteristics. We analyzed the crater morphologies on a global scale, based on our new global catalog of lunar impact craters (≥1 km in diameter) with morphological information for each crater. We find that there is a global power-law relationship with an offset term between crater depth-to-diameter ratios and crater densities. Small craters (less than ∼4 km in diameter) on the lunar maria are found to be deeper than those on the highlands, indicating differences in target properties and crater degradations. Furthermore, the depths of the deepest simple craters identified on the lunar maria and the highlands provide references that the mare basalts and highland upper megaregolith have thicknesses of ∼2.3 and ∼3.3 km, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2022GL100886
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2022


  • crater morphology
  • depth/diameter ratio
  • impact craters
  • Moon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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