# Crater depth

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The depth of an impact crater in a solid planet or moon may be measured from the local surface to the bottom of the crater, or from the rim of the crater to the bottom. An impact crater is an approximately circular depression in the surface of a planet, moon, or other solid body in the Solar System or elsewhere, formed by the hypervelocity impact of a smaller body. In contrast to volcanic craters, which result from explosion or internal collapse, impact craters typically have raised rims and floors that are lower in elevation than the surrounding terrain. Impact craters range from small, simple, bowl-shaped depressions to large, complex, multi-ringed impact basins. Meteor Crater is a well-known example of a small impact crater on Earth. A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or stellar remnant that is massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity, is not massive enough to cause thermonuclear fusion, and has cleared its neighbouring region of planetesimals. A natural satellite, or moon, is, in the most common usage, an astronomical body that orbits a planet or minor planet.

The diagram above shows the full (side) view of a typical crater. Depth "A" measures from the surface to the bottom of the crater. Depth "B" measures from the mean height of the rim to the bottom of the crater.

## Concepts and Measurement

Using the following concepts, a crater is measured:

• Measurement
• Scales
• Geometry
• Graphing data
• Drawing conclusions 

A method of measuring a crater is to find the length of the shadow cast by the crater's rim and the angle at which the light source enters. In this measurement, use the geometry of triangles to calculate d (shadow depth) using L (shadow length) and Ø (shadow angle). So, tan Ø = d/L and L * tan Ø = d 

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A hypsometer is an instrument for measuring height or elevation. Two different principles may be used: trigonometry and atmospheric pressure. A sine bar consists of a hardened, precision ground body with two precision ground cylinders fixed at the ends. The distance between the centers of the cylinders is precisely controlled, and the top of the bar is parallel to a line through the centers of the two rollers. The dimension between the two rollers is chosen to be a whole number and forms the hypotenuse of a triangle when in use. Solar irradiance (SI) is the power per unit area, received from the Sun in the form of electromagnetic radiation as reported in the wavelength range of the measuring instrument. Solar irradiance is often integrated over a given time period in order to report the radiant energy emitted into the surrounding environment, during that time period. This integrated solar irradiance is called solar irradiation, solar exposure, solar insolation, or insolation. Hydraulic head or piezometric head is a specific measurement of liquid pressure above a vertical datum. The rim or edge of an impact crater is the part that extends above the height of the local surface, usually in a circular or elliptical pattern. In a more specific sense, the rim may refer to the circular or elliptical edge that represents the uppermost tip of this raised portion. If there is no raised portion, the rim simply refers to the inside edge of the curve where the flat surface meets the curve of the crater bottom. The coastline paradox is the counterintuitive observation that the coastline of a landmass does not have a well-defined length. This results from the fractal-like properties of coastlines, i.e., the fact that a coastline typically has a fractal dimension. The first recorded observation of this phenomenon was by Lewis Fry Richardson and it was expanded upon by Benoit Mandelbrot. In engineering, draft is the amount of taper for molded or cast parts perpendicular to the parting line. It can be measured in degrees or mm/mm (in/in). A Wilhelmy plate is a thin plate that is used to measure equilibrium surface or interfacial tension at an air–liquid or liquid–liquid interface. In this method, the plate is oriented perpendicular to the interface, and the force exerted on it is measured. Based on the work of Ludwig Wilhelmy, this method finds wide use in the preparation and monitoring of Langmuir–Blodgett films. A glossmeter is an instrument which is used to measure specular reflection gloss of a surface. Gloss is determined by projecting a beam of light at a fixed intensity and angle onto a surface and measuring the amount of reflected light at an equal but opposite angle.

Tree height is the vertical distance between the base of the tree and the tip of the highest branch on the tree, and is difficult to measure accurately. It is not the same as the length of the trunk. If a tree is leaning, the trunk length may be greater than the height of the tree. The base of the tree is where the projection of the pith (center) of the tree intersects the existing supporting surface upon which the tree is growing or where the seed sprouted. If the tree is growing on the side of a cliff, the base of the tree is at the point where the pith would intersect the cliff side. Roots extending down from that point would not add to the height of the tree. On a slope this base point is considered as halfway between the ground level at the upper and lower sides of the tree. Tree height can be measured in a number of ways with varying degrees of accuracy.

Tree volume is one of many parameters that are measured to document the size of individual trees. Tree volume measurements serve a variety of purposes, some economic, some scientific, and some for sporting competitions. Measurements may include just the volume of the trunk, or the volume of the trunk and the branches depending on the detail needed and the sophistication of the measurement methodology.

A schema for horizontal dials is a set of instructions used to construct horizontal sundials using compass and straightedge construction techniques, which were widely used in Europe from the late fifteenth century to the late nineteenth century. The common horizontal sundial is a geometric projection of an equatorial sundial onto a horizontal plane.

1. "Crater Depth", National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Retrieved February 29, 2016