Planetary Surfaces

Surface evolution of planetary surfaces due to impact cratering


Lunar surfaceOur lab is a world leader of numerically quantifying the surface evolution of planetary bodies due to multiple cratering events. Over the last 4.5 Ga, planetary bodies have suffered a numerous number of impact events. Therefore, the surfaces that experienced impact craters are the record of the solar system. However, the currently observed surfaces may lose some craters because new craters may degrade old craters, implying that just observing the current conditions of the cratered surfaces might miss some critical clues of the evolution of the solar systems. Our lab approaches this problem numerically and analytically to quantify the physical processes of impact emplacements on planetary bodies. This problem is one of the critical problems in deep space missions. Some space missions such as sample returning, human explorations, and planetary resource explorations require detailed assessment for the landing missions. Direct observations might shed light on the surface conditions in details but might be difficult to give constraints on the subsurface structure. We incorporate our numerical and analytical techniques with observation data to provide key information of the cratered terrain conditions. We use statistical approaches of multiple crater emplacements and numerical computation of the formation of a single crater.

Last Updated: 10/2/17 9:13 AM