Ceres’ impact craters – Relationships between surface composition and geology

K. Stephan, R. Jaumann, F. Zambon, F. G. Carrozzo, R. Wagner, A. Longobardo, E. Palomba, M. C. De Sanctis, F. Tosi, E. Ammannito, J. P. Combe, L. A. Mc Fadden, K. Krohn, F. Schulzeck, I. von der Gathen, David Williams, J. E.C. Scully, N. Schmedemann, A. Neesemann, T. RoatschK. D. Matz, F. Preusker, C. A. Raymond, C. T. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Impact craters of different geological ages, sizes and morphologies are not only the most obvious surface features on Ceres’ surface. The investigation of their spectral properties in combination with Ceres’ geology and topography reveals not only lateral compositional variations in Ceres’ surface material but also possible stratigraphic differences within Ceres’ crust. Spectral properties of impact craters with different ages do show distinct trends implying variations with increasing exposure duration of the impact material onto Ceres’ surface. Local concentrations of H2O ice and carbonates are associated with the youngest, either recently emplaced or excavated, surface deposits. On the contrary, regionally higher amounts of ammoniated phyllosilicates originate from deeper regions of Ceres’ crust and strengthen the theory of ammonia being a primordial constituent of Ceres. The blue spectral slope, clearly associated with relatively weak absorptions of OH-bearing and/or ammoniated phyllosilicates, is limited to fresh impact material. Either, the blue spectral slope diminishes slowly with increasing geologic age due to space weathering processes, or shortly as a result of gravitation-induced slumping, forming a fine and loosely consolidated regolith.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-74
Number of pages19
StatePublished - Jan 15 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Ceres’ impact craters – Relationships between surface composition and geology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this