How It Works
PUBLIC DOMAIN Meteor_Crater_-_Arizona

Crater types

PUBLIC DOMAIN Meteor_Crater_-_Arizona

Simple
Relatively small objects create cone or bowl-shaped ‘simple’ craters usually 20 or so times bigger than the meteorite, eg the Barringer Crater in Arizona, USA.

 

 

 

Complex
Larger meteorites form ‘complex’ craters with flat floors and collapsed sides. After the initial impact, the ground bounces back to create a central mound.

 

 

 

 

 

Impact basins
The largest meteorites create impact basins with rings around the edge. Valhalla on Jupiter’s moon Callisto is the biggest of these in the Solar System.