Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

2015 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Hargitai, Ákos Kereszturi

Conical Crater

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3134-3_66


Simple impact crater exhibiting a conical shape.


A conical crater lacks the characteristics of a complex crater like wall terraces and a central peak or pit. From this reason a conical crater is not classified as a complex but as a simple crater. However, while a classical simple crater has a nearly parabolic (bowl) shape (Melosh 1989), a conical crater is another type of simple crater exhibiting smooth, about constant-slope walls that taper towards the bottom. Its shape can be approximated by an inverted cone with a truncated cusp. The floor area is small compared to the rim area (Fig. 1). Visually a conical crater can be identified by its shadow contours (Fig. 2).
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Planetary GeodesyGerman Aerospace Center, Institute of Planetary ResearchBerlinGermany