SMALL CRATERS AND THEIR DIAGNOSTIC POTENTIAL
Keywords: Moon, Lunar science, Tycho crater, cratering, geochronology, geomorphology
Abstract. I analysed and compared the size-frequency distributions of craters in the Apollo 17 landing region, comprising of six mare terrains with varying morphologies and cratering characteristics, along with three other regions allegedly affected by the same secondary event (Tycho secondary surge). I propose that for the smaller crater sizes (in this work 9–30 m), a] an exponential curve of power −0.18D can approximate Nkm−2 crater densities in a regime of equilibrium, while b] a power function D−3 closely describes the factorised representation of craters by size (1 m). The saturation level within the Central Area suggests that c] either the modelled rates of crater erosion on the Moon should be revised, or that the Tycho event occurred much earlier in time than the current estimate. We propose that d] the size-frequency distribution of small secondary craters may bear the signature (in terms of size-frequency distribution of debris/surge) of the source impact and that this observation should be tested further.