Solar System Cratering Chronology and Dating of the Surface Structures of the Terrestrial-Type Planets

Conference paper
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (ASIC, volume 85)


The ancient impact record of the terrestrial-type planets Mercury, Mars, earth’s moon, and of the satellites of Jupiter and Saturn is discussed on the basis of data from spacecraft imagery. The mass-velocity distribution of the impactors seems to have been the same or very similar in the inner part of the solar system and probably also at Jupiter and Saturn. Ancient impact rates appear to have been comparable. The time dependence of the impact rate in the earth-moon system and by analogy at the other terrestrial-type planets is in accordance with a smooth rapid decay during the first 1000 million years of solar system history rather than with a peak in impact rate (cataclysm) at 4000 million years ago. From the reconstruction of the martian impact chronology, Mars appears to have been geologically active in its early times essentially.


Impact Velocity Impact Rate Impact Crater Crater Diameter Crater Size 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Allgemeine und Angewandte GeologieLudwig-Maximilians-UniversitätMünchen 2Germany

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