The impact origin and evolution of Chryse Planitia on Mars revealed by buried craters

Abstract : Large impacts are one of the most important processes shaping a planet's surface. On Mars, the early formation of the Martian crust and the lack of large impact basins (only four unambiguously identified: Hellas, Argyre, Utopia, and Isidis) indicates that a large part of early records of Mars' impact history is missing. Here we show, in Chryse Planitia, the scarcity of buried impact craters in a near-circular area could be explained by a pre-existing topographic depression with more intense resurfacing. Spatially correlated with positive Bouguer anomaly, this near-circular region with a diameter of~1090 km likely originated from an impact. This proposed large impact basin must have been quickly relaxed or buried after its formation more than 4.0 billion years ago and heavily modified by subsequent resurfacing events. We anticipate our study to open a new window to unravelling the buried records of early Martian bombardment record.
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Lu Pan, Cathy Quantin-Nataf, Sylvain Breton, Chloé Michaut. The impact origin and evolution of Chryse Planitia on Mars revealed by buried craters. Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2019, 10 (1), ⟨10.1038/s41467-019-12162-0⟩. ⟨hal-02296349⟩

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