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Do young martian ray craters have ages consistent with the crater count system ?

Abstract : McEwen et al. (McEwen, A.S., Preblich, B.S., Turtle, E.P., Artemieva, N.A., Golombek, M.P., Hurst, M., Kirk, R.L., Burr, D.M., Christensen, P. [2005]. Icarus 176, 351-381) developed a useful test for the internal consistency of crater-count chronometry systems. They argued that certain multi-kilometer, fresh-looking martian craters with prominent rays should be the youngest or near-youngest craters in their size range. The "McEwen et al. test" is that the ages determined from crater densities of the smallest superimposed craters (typically diameter D similar to 5-20 m) should thus be comparable to the expected formation intervals of the host primary. McEwen et al. concluded from MOC data that crater chronometry failed this test by factors of 700-2000. We apply HiRISE and other imagery to eight different young craters in order to re-evaluate their arguments. We use existing crater chronology systems as well as the reported observed production rate of 16 m craters (Malin, MC., Edgett, K., Posiolova, L., McColley, S., Noe Dobrea, E. [2006]. Science 314, 1573-1557; Hartmann, W.K., Quantin, C., Mangold, N. [2007]. Icarus 186, 11-23; Kreslavsky [2007]. Seventh International Conference on Mars, 3325). Every case passes the McEwen et al. test. We conclude that the huge inconsistencies suggested by McEwen et al. are spurious. Many of these craters show evidence of impact into ice-rich material, and appear to have ice-flow features and sublimation pits on their floors. As production rate data improve, decameter-scale craters will provide a valuable way of dating these young martian geological formations and the processes that modify them
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Submitted on : Monday, April 16, 2012 - 9:07:13 AM
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William K. Hartman, Cathy Quantin, Stephanie C. Werner, Olga Popova. Do young martian ray craters have ages consistent with the crater count system ?. Icarus, Elsevier, 2010, 208 (2), pp.621-635. ⟨10.1016/j.icarus.2010.03.030⟩. ⟨insu-00687917⟩

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