A standardized approach for quantitative characterization of impact crater topography

Prasun Mahanti, Mark Robinson, D. C. Humm, J. D. Stopar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Historically, topographic profiles provided a quantitative means to investigate the morphology and formation processes for impact craters, although no generic mathematical framework was developed to reduce profiles to morphology descriptors. Only need-specific polynomial expressions were utilized in previous studies, thus no standardized automated comparison of craters exists. We employ a Chebyshev polynomial function approximation to describe crater forms in a quantitative and repeatable manner. We show that the Chebyshev polynomials return coefficients that are relatable to crater morphologic characteristics, thus providing a standardized mathematical means for describing crater forms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-129
Number of pages16
StatePublished - Oct 2014


  • Cratering
  • Data reduction techniques
  • Image processing
  • Impact processes
  • Moon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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