For the sake of the example, let's assume a crater on Earth roughly twelve miles in diameter.

Is there a way to calculate a range between how deep or shallow this crater would be?


1 Answer 1


If you search the internet there will be a number of papers discussing the depth to diameter ratios of craters on various bodies throughout the solar system (Moon, Mars, Vesta, asteroid 162173 Ryugu). Ultimately the depth and the overall wall angle of a crater will depend on the type of geological material hosting the crater.

Craters in loose material, such as sand, will have shallow craters with shallow wall angles. Craters in competent material such a basalt will have deeper craters and walls with higher slope angles.

On Vesta the depth to diameter ratios vary between 0.05 and 0.4. Where as on the Moon,

Their depths are only a small fraction, about 1/15 to 1/25, of their diameters. So these “deep pits” are actually shallower than dinner plates.

In decimals, they are ratios between 0.067 and 0.04.

Newer lunar craters, such as Linne, with a diameter of 2.2 km and a depth of 550 m has a ratio of 0.25.

The differences in depth to diameter ratios reflects to the different rock types where the craters are located and the properties for those rock types.


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