Surface expressions of structural features on Eros

Louise Prockter, Peter Thomas, Mark Robinson, Jonathan Joseph, Ashley Milne, Ben Bussey, Joseph Veverka, Andrew Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


NEAR Shoemaker imaging of the asteroid Eros has revealed a variety of surface forms that probably reflect underlying structures. They range from global to local in scale. The most prominent positive topographic feature is a long ridge, Rahe Dorsum, which extends over 18 km and has the morphology of a thrust fault. Two large, ancient trough systems are also present. Grooves are ubiquitous, commonly occur in suborthogonal sets, and have linear or scalloped outlines. The grooves on Eros are similar in morphology and scale to those on other small bodies such as Gaspra, Ida, and Phobos and are likely to have a similar mode of origin, namely drainage of regolith into underlying fractures. Models that use groove dimensions as indicators of regolith thickness imply depths of up to several tens of meters. Many craters have been subjected to structural control, resulting in squared outlines. We find no evidence that specific groove sets are associated with individual impact events; however, evidence exists that preexisting structures have been reactivated by later impact activity. The large scale of Rahe Dorsum and many grooves on Eros's surface suggests that the asteroid is a largely coherent, but fractured body.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number96770
Pages (from-to)75-93
Number of pages19
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Asteroid surfaces
  • Asteroids
  • Eros
  • Impact processes
  • Regoliths
  • Tectonics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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