Shape of boulders ejected from small lunar impact craters

Yuan Li, A. T. Basilevsky, Minggang Xie, Wing Huen Ip

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The shape of ejecta boulders from 7 lunar impact craters <1 km in diameter of known absolute age was measured to explore whether it correlates with the crater age and the boulder size. The boulders were mapped and then measured by rectangular fitting and the shape was represented by the axial ratio or aspect ratio (A) of the rectangle. The main conclusions from the analysis of our measurement results are: 1) the percentages of the number of boulders of studied craters decrease with the increase of the axial ratio. Most (∼90%) of the boulders have the axial ratio in the range of 1–2; no boulder with axial ratio larger than 4 was found. 2) the axial ratios of mare ejecta boulders decrease with their exposure time, whereas that for highland ones show unchanged trend. This difference may be probably due to target properties. 3) The shape of ejecta boulders are influenced by mechanical strength of bedrocks and space erosion. 4) surface peak stresses caused by thermal fatigue maybe play a significant erosion role in the shape of boulders of various diameter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-77
Number of pages7
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • Axial ratio
  • Crater age
  • Moon
  • Shape of boulders


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