Rampart craters on Ganymede: Their implications for fluidized ejecta emplacement

Joseph Boyce, Nadine Barlow, Peter Mouginis-Mark, Sarah Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Some fresh impact craters on Ganymede have the overall ejecta morphology similar to Martian double-layer ejecta (DLE), with the exception of the crater Nergal that is most like Martian single layer ejecta (SLE) craters (as is the terrestrial crater Lonar). Similar craters also have been identified on Europa, but no outer ejecta layer has been found on these craters. The morphometry of these craters suggests that the types of layered ejecta craters identified by Barlow et al. (2000) are fundamental. In addition, the mere existence of these craters on Ganymede and Europa suggests that an atmosphere is not required for ejecta fluidization, nor can ejecta fluidization be explained by the flow of dry ejecta. Moreover, the absence of fluidized ejecta on other icy bodies suggests that abundant volatiles in the target also may not be the sole cause of ejecta fluidization. The restriction of these craters to the grooved terrain of Ganymede and the concentration of Martian DLE craters on the northern lowlands suggests that these terrains may share key characteristics that control the development of the ejecta of these craters. In addition, average ejecta mobility (EM) ratios indicate that the ejecta of these bodies are self-similar with crater size, but are systematically smaller on Ganymede and Europa. This may be due to the effects of the abundant ice in the crusts of these satellites that results in increased ejection angle causing ejecta to impact closer to the crater and with lower horizontal velocity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)638-661
Number of pages24
JournalMeteoritics and Planetary Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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