Tooting (crater)

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Martian impact crater Tooting based on day THEMIS.png
Planet Mars
Coordinates 23°06′N207°06′E / 23.1°N 207.1°E / 23.1; 207.1 Coordinates: 23°06′N207°06′E / 23.1°N 207.1°E / 23.1; 207.1
Quadrangle Amazonis quadrangle
Diameter 28 km (17 mi)
Depth 1,200 metres (3,900 ft)
Eponym London suburb

Tooting is an impact crater (of the type rampart crater) with volcanic features at 23.1°N, 207.1°E, in Amazonis Planitia (Amazonis quadrangle), due west of the volcano Olympus Mons, on Mars. [1] It was identified by planetary geologist Peter Mouginis-Mark in September 2004. Scientists estimate that its age is on the order of hundreds of thousands of years, which is relatively young for a Martian crater. [2] A later study confirms this order of magnitude estimate. [3] A preliminary paper describing the geology and geometry of Tooting was published in 2007 by the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science, vol. 42, pages 1615–1625. Further papers have more recently been published, including a 2010 analysis of flows on the walls of Tooting crater by A. R. Morris et al. (Icarus vol. 209, p. 369–389), and a 2012 review paper by P.J. Mouginis-Mark and J.M. Boyce in Chemie der Erde Geochemistry, vol. 72, p. 1–23. A geologic map has also been submitted in 2012 to the U.S. Geological Survey for consideration and future publication.


Topography of crater based on MOLA Amazonia planitia - Tooting.png
Topography of crater based on MOLA


Tooting is named after the London suburb of the same name. This is in accordance with the International Astronomical Union's rules for planetary nomenclature, which specify that craters on Mars less than 60 km in diameter should be named after "villages of the world with a population of less than 100,000". [4] The discoverer named it after his home town because he "thought [his] mum and brother would get a kick out of having their home town paired with a land form on Mars". [5] This caused a stir in the British press, with many well-known media outlets reporting on the issue. [6] [7]


The crater's youth was inferred from the lack of superimposed cratering, preserved impact melt in the crater, and that the central peak of the crater has not been buried by sediment.

Research published in the journal Icarus has found pits in Tooting Crater that are caused by hot ejecta falling on ground containing ice. The pits are formed by heat forming steam that rushes out from groups of pits simultaneously, thereby blowing away from the pit ejecta. [8] [9]

Wall of Tooting Crater, as seen by HiRISE. Tooting Crater.JPG
Wall of Tooting Crater, as seen by HiRISE.
Viking orbiter 1 image of Tooting Tooting crater 512A53.jpg
Viking orbiter 1 image of Tooting

Due to the flatness of the surrounding lava flows (at 3872 m below Martian datum), it is possible to infer much about the crater's formation and ejecta blanket. For example, the volume of ejecta deposited from the formation of the crater is estimated to be 450 cubic kilometres and that this process took less than half an hour. [2] [10]


Tooting has been compared to the craters Santa Fe and Endeavour (of Opportunity [MER-B] fame). [11]

See also

Related Research Articles

Ejecta blanket

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Eberswalde (crater)

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Geology of Mars Scientific study of the surface, crust, and interior of the planet Mars

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Yuty (crater)

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Hale (Martian crater)

Hale is a 150 km × 125 km crater at 35.7°S, 323.4°E on Mars, just north of Argyre basin. The crater is in the Argyre quadrangle. It was named after American astronomer George Ellery Hale.

Zunil (crater) Crater on Mars

Zunil is an impact crater near the Cerberus Fossae on Mars, with a diameter of 10.26 kilometres. It is named after the town of Zunil in Guatemala. The crater is located in the Elysium quadrangle. Visible in images from the Viking 1 and Viking 2 Mars orbiters in the 1970s, Zunil was subsequently imaged at higher resolution for the first time by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) in 2000.

Cebrenia quadrangle

The Cebrenia quadrangle is one of a series of 30 quadrangle maps of Mars used by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Astrogeology Research Program. The quadrangle is located in the northeastern portion of Mars’ eastern hemisphere and covers 120° to 180° east longitude and 30° to 65° north latitude. The quadrangle uses a Lambert conformal conic projection at a nominal scale of 1:5,000,000 (1:5M). The Cebrenia quadrangle is also referred to as MC-7. It includes part of Utopia Planitia and Arcadia Planitia. The southern and northern borders of the Cebrenia quadrangle are approximately 3,065 km (1,905 mi) and 1,500 km (930 mi) wide, respectively. The north to south distance is about 2,050 km (1,270 mi). The quadrangle covers an approximate area of 4.9 million square km, or a little over 3% of Mars’ surface area.

Amazonis quadrangle

The Amazonis quadrangle is one of a series of 30 quadrangle maps of Mars used by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Astrogeology Research Program. The Amazonis quadrangle is also referred to as MC-8.

Phoenicis Lacus quadrangle

The Phoenicis Lacus quadrangle is one of a series of 30 quadrangle maps of Mars used by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Astrogeology Research Program. The Phoenicis Lacus quadrangle is also referred to as MC-17. Parts of Daedalia Planum, Sinai Planum, and Solis Planum are found in this quadrangle. Phoenicis Lacus is named after the phoenix which according to myth burns itself up every 500 years and then is reborn.

Ceraunius Fossae

The Ceraunius Fossae are a set of fractures in the northern Tharsis region of Mars. They lie directly south of the large volcano Alba Mons and consist of numerous parallel faults and tension cracks that deform the ancient highland crust. In places, younger lava flows cover the fractured terrain, dividing it into several large patches or islands. They are found in the Tharsis quadrangle.

In planetary geology, a pedestal crater is a crater with its ejecta sitting above the surrounding terrain and thereby forming a raised platform. They form when an impact crater ejects material which forms an erosion-resistant layer, thus causing the immediate area to erode more slowly than the rest of the region. Some pedestals have been accurately measured to be hundreds of meters above the surrounding area. This means that hundreds of meters of material were eroded away. The result is that both the crater and its ejecta blanket stand above the surroundings. Pedestal craters were first observed during the Mariner missions.

Zumba (crater)

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Mojave (crater)

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Rahe (crater)

Rahe is a crater on the planet Mars in the Tharsis quadrangle, positioned at 25.05° north latitude and 262.52° east longitude, between the volcanoes Ceraunius Tholus and Uranius Tholus. It measures approximately 34 kilometers in diameter and was named after Jürgen Rahe, a German-American astronomer and NASA science program director.

Amazonian (Mars) Time period on Mars

The Amazonian is a geologic system and time period on the planet Mars characterized by low rates of meteorite and asteroid impacts and by cold, hyperarid conditions broadly similar to those on Mars today. The transition from the preceding Hesperian period is somewhat poorly defined. The Amazonian is thought to have begun around 3 billion years ago, although error bars on this date are extremely large. The period is sometimes subdivided into the Early, Middle, and Late Amazonian. The Amazonian continues to the present day.

LARLE crater

A new class of Martian impact craters have been discovered by Northern Arizona University scientist Prof Nadine Barlow and Dr Joseph Boyce from the University of Hawaii in Oct 2013. They have termed it as ‘low-aspect-ratio layered ejecta (LARLE) craters’. Prof Nadine Barlow, a scientist Northern Arizona University described this class of craters with “thin-layered outer deposit” surpassing “the typical range of ejecta”. “The combination helps vaporize the materials and create a base flow surge. The low aspect ratio refers to how thin the deposits are relative to the area they cover,” Prof Barlow said. The scientists used data from continuing reconnaissance of Mars using the old Mars Odyssey Orbiter and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, discovered 139 LARLE craters ranging in diameter from 1.0 to 12.2 km, with 97 per cent of the LARLE craters are found poleward of 35N and 40S, while remaining mainly traced in the equatorial Medusae Fossae Formation.

Resen (crater)

Resen is a crater in the Mare Tyrrhenum quadrangle on Mars, located at 28.22° South and 251.13° West. It is measures 7.4 kilometers in diameter and was named after the town of Resen in North Macedonia. The naming was approved by IAU's Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature on 19 January 2011.

Bopolu (crater)

Bopolu is an impact crater located within the Meridiani Planum extraterrestrial plain of Mars. Bopulu was seen by Opportunity rover in 2010 in the distance, and with some of its rim visible. Bopoplu was officially named in 2006 along with 31 Mars craters. Research has indicated that the impact that is thought to have created Bopulu went so deep that it went through existing layers and ejected older material from Mars' Noachian period. Bopulu is a 19 kilometres (12 mi) diameter wide crater south of the Opportunity MER-B landing site, a rover which operated in the region starting in 2004 and therefore resulted in greater exploration and study of craters in this region. Bopulu was identified as a possible source for the Bounce Rock ejecta fragment Bounce rock, which was examined by the MER-B rover, was found to be similar in composition to the shergottite class of Mars meteorite found on Earth.

Auki (crater)

Auki is an impact crater in the Mare Tyrrhenum quadrangle of Mars, at 15.76 °S latitude and 263.13 °W longitude. It is 40.0 km in diameter and was named after Auki, a town in the Solomon Islands, in 2015 by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN).

There are a number of different types of craters that have been observed and studied on Mars. Many of them are shaped by the effects of impacts into ice-rich ground.


  1. "Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature" . Retrieved 2007-05-18.
  2. 1 2 "Tooting Crater's Tangled Tale" . Retrieved 2007-05-18.
  3. "Cratering age considerations for young terranes in the inner Solar System" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-05-18.
  4. "Categories for Naming Features on Planets and Satellites" . Retrieved 2007-05-18.
  5. "Mars crater named after Tooting". BBC News. 2005-11-01. Retrieved 2007-05-18.
  6. Brown, Andrew (2005-11-02). "Why Tooting is on another planet". The Guardian . London. Retrieved 2007-05-18.
  7. "Life on Mars - But the force is with Tooting". The Times . London. 2005-11-01. Retrieved 2007-05-18.
  8. Boyce, J. et al. 2012. "Origin of small pits in martian impact craters". Icarus. 221: 262-275.
  9. Tornabene, L. et al. 2012. "Widespread crater-related pitted materials on Mars. Further evidence for the role of target volatiles during the impact process". Icarus. 220: 348–368.
  10. Mouginis-Mark, P. J.; Garbeil, H. (2006). "Ejecta Thickness of the Martian Impact Crater Tooting". American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting. 2006: P34B–01. Bibcode:2006AGUFM.P34B..01M.
  11. Grant, J. A.; Crumpler, L. S.; Parker, T. J.; et al. (March 2015). "Degradation of Endeavour Crater, Mars" (PDF). 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Universities Space Research Association. Retrieved 27 January 2021.