Mohawk Crater, as seen by HiRISE. Images to the right are enlargements. Far left image shows northern wall, part of crater floor, and the central uplift. Layers in the mantle layer are visible in the far right image. Scale bar is 500 meters long.
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Mantle layers are present near the crater. A smooth mantle covers much of Mars. Some parts are eroded, revealing rough surfaces. Some parts possess layers. It’s generally accepted that mantle is ice-rich dust that fell from the sky as snow and ice-coated dust grains during a different climate.
Impact craters generally have a rim with ejecta around them, in contrast volcanic craters usually do not have a rim or ejecta deposits. As craters get larger (greater than 10 km in diameter) they usually have a central peak. The peak is caused by a rebound of the crater floor following the impact.
Mohawk Crater, as seen by CTX camera (on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter).
Why are Craters important?
The density of impact craters is used to determine the surface ages of Mars and other solar system bodies. The older the surface, the more craters present. Crater shapes can reveal the presence of ground ice.
The area around craters may be rich in minerals. On Mars, heat from the impact melts ice in the ground. Water from the melting ice dissolves minerals, and then deposits them in cracks or faults that were produced with the impact. This process, called hydrothermal alteration, is a major way in which ore deposits are produced. The area around Martian craters may be rich in useful ores for the future colonization of Mars.
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- Pollack, J., D. Colburn, F. Flaser, R. Kahn, C. Carson, and D. Pidek. 1979. Properties and effects of dust suspended in the martian atmosphere. J. Geophys. Res. 84, 2929-2945.>
- Hugh H. Kieffer (1992). Mars. University of Arizona Press. ISBN 978-0-8165-1257-7. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
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