Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

2015 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Hargitai, Ákos Kereszturi

Circular Graben

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3134-3_452


Ring-shaped fracture produced by processes related to an underlying crater.


A type of  ghost crater.


 Ring fracture; Ring moat (obs.)


While “ring fracture” and “circular graben” are technically synonyms, they are generally used to refer to features with very different formation mechanisms. “Ring fracture” is commonly used to refer to features associated with ring dikes and collapsed volcanic depressions. “Circular graben” is more often used to describe the fractures that form over buried impact craters. However, both terms can be used to refer to the other type of feature. This entry is about the structures that are related to impact craters. For the lunar features, the term ring moat was used in the 1970s.



  1. (1)

    Km-scale single circular structures stealth QCD  quasi-circular depression (Ghent et al. 2012) (Figs. 1 and 2)

  2. (2)

    Double circular structures on polygonally patterned ground (Buczkowski and Cooke 2004) (Fig. 3)

  3. (3)

    Hundreds m...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NASA Ames Research Center/NPPMoffett FieldUSA