Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

2015 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Hargitai, Ákos Kereszturi

Rima, Rimae

  • Henrik Hargitai
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3134-3_315

A descriptor term used in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.


Fissure (IAU Gazetteer 2014).

Previous Definitions

Rima, rille; Rimae, network or group of rilles (Andersson and Whitaker 1982, p. 9); Rille, narrow, elongate depression (sinuous, arcuate or straight) (Wilhelms 1987, p. 3.); Rifts (translated from French rainures) (Sadler 1962).

Origin of Term

Fissure, opening, Latin from lacrima: tear, Latin


English equivalent is rille (as in German “groove”) and not rill (as in English “stream”).

History of Nomenclature

Introduced in Latin in 1961 (Sadler 1962). Names of lunar rimae are in reverse order (descriptor term is the first element).

See Also


  1. Andersson LE, Whitaker EA (1982) NASA catalogue of lunar nomenclature. NASA reference publication, TucsonGoogle Scholar
  2. IAU Gazetteer (2014) Gazetteer of planetary nomenclature. International Astronomical Union Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature. http://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov/DescriptorTerms
  3. Sadler DH (ed) (1962) Commission Pour L’etude Physique des Planetes et des Satellites. In: Proceedings of the eleventh general assembly (Berkeley, 1961). Transactions of the IAU, vol XIB. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  4. Wilhelms DE (1987) The geologic history of the moon. USGS professional paper, vol 1348, p 11Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NASA Ames Research Center/NPPMoffett FieldUSA