Ganymede Impact Crater Morphology as Revealed by Galileo

C. M. Weitz, J. W. Head, R. Pappalardo (Brown University), C. Chapman (Southwest Research Inst.), R. Greeley (Arizona State University), P. Helfenstein (Cornell University), G. Neukum (DLR), Galileo SSI Team

We have used the Galileo G1, G2, G7, and G8 images to study the morpholo- gy and degradation of impact craters on Ganymede. Results from the G1 and G2 data showed three types of degradation states: pristine, partially degraded, and heavily degraded. With the more recent G7 and G8 images, there are now several other distinct crater morphologies that we have identified. Enki Catena is about 120 km in length and consists of 13 attached impact craters. The six craters in the chain that impacted onto the bright terrain have visible bright ejecta while those that impacted onto the dark terrain have barely visible ejecta. Kittu crater is about 15 km in diameter and it has a bright central peak surrounded by a bright floor and hummocky wall material. The crater rim in the north is linear in appearance at the location that corresponds to the boundary between the groove terrain and the adjacent dark terrain, indicating structural control by the underlying topography. The dark rays that are easily seen in the Voyager images are barely visible in the Galileo image. Neith crater has a central fractured dome surrounded by a jagged central ring, smoother outer ejecta facies, and less prominent outer rings. Achelous crater and its neighbor, which were imaged at low sun angle to show topography, have smooth floors and subdued pedestal ejecta. Nicholson Regio has tectonically disrupted craters on the groove and fractured terrains while the surrounding smoother dark terrain has numerous degrad- ed craters that may indicate burial by resurfacing or by regolith development.