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Science. 2004 Nov 26;306(5701):1526-9.

Impact-induced seismic activity on asteroid 433 Eros: a surface modification process.

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  • 1Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA.


High-resolution images of the surface of asteroid 433 Eros revealed evidence of downslope movement of a loose regolith layer, as well as the degradation and erasure of small impact craters (less than approximately 100 meters in diameter). One hypothesis to explain these observations is seismic reverberation after impact events. We used a combination of seismic and geomorphic modeling to analyze the response of regolith-covered topography, particularly craters, to impact-induced seismic shaking. Applying these results to a stochastic cratering model for the surface of Eros produced good agreement with the observed size-frequency distribution of craters, including the paucity of small craters.

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