Impact Basin Database

Impact basins are the most important landforms on the Moon. Few are well known, but many exist. I have compiled this table as a summary of the available information for each basin. Descriptions of columns are at the bottom of the list.                                                                                                                    Compiled by C.A. WOOD, August 14, 2004


Certainty     Rim Mare Mare Grav Anom   Superposed Rel Age Rel Age Rel Age Age   Photo
1=definite Dia Dia Dia Rim Dia Dia Dia Depth Depth Height Thickness Thickness Mascon mGal USGS Age Crater Density Basin Blanketing Mare Group Age/b.y. Wilh87 Farside/ Discoverer
Basin Name 3= uncert Lat Long 1 2 3 Dia 5 6 7 W&Z98 S&A96 S&A96 W&Z98 P&vF03 P&vF03 P&vF03b Wilh87 Craters/106km2 H&W71 H&W71 H&W71 Wilh87 Wilh87 Wood Note Nearside Wilhelms 1987 Reference for diameters
Al-Khwarizmi-King 3 N01 E112     250 590                     Pre-Nectarian 197       2       Farside Wilhelms & El Baz 1977 Spudis 1993
Amundsen-Ganswindt 2 S81 E120 175 335 Pre-Nectarian 108 7 Farside Baldwin 1969 Pike & Spudis 1987
Antoniadi 2 S69 W172     65 140                               12   LO4-M8 central peak ring basin Nearside Hartmann & Wood 1971 Hartmann & Wood 1971
Apollo 1 S36 W151 240 480 720 1 -39 Pre-Nectarian 119 12 2.4 9 LO5-M30 Farside Stewart-Alexander & Howard 1970 Pike & Spudis 1987
Australe 2 S52 E095     550 880         2.13 0.14   1.3   30 Pre-Nectarian >212       3   LO4-M9   Farside Stewart-Alexander & Howard 1970 Wilhelms 1987
Bailly 2 S67 W068 150 300 4.86 Nectarian ~31 12 8 11 LO4-M179 Nearside Hartmann & Wood 1971 Wilhelms 1987; depth: Williams & Zuber 1998
Bailly-Newton 4 S73 W057       330                                       Nearside Cook et al 2000 Cook et al 2000
Balmer-Kapteyn 3 S15 E070 260 500 750 1000 0.6 -4 Pre-Nectarian 2 Nearside Maxwell & Andre 1981 Pike & Spudis 1987
Birkhoff 2 N59 W147     150 325       4.76 3.83 1.27   0.5   -40 Pre-Nectarian 127 18     7   LO5-M29   Farside Hartmann & Wood 1971 Pike & Spudis 1987; depth:Williams & Zuber 1998
Compton 2 N59 W147 80 175 peak ring basin Farside Hartmann & Wood 1971 Hartmann & Wood 1971
Compton 2 N56 E104       162       3.85             Lower-Imbrium       1 12     Upwarped floor Farside Hartmann & Wood 1971 Williams & Zuber 1998
Coulomb-Sarton 3 N52 W123 200 490 6 1.2 Mascon 12 Pre-Nectarian 5 LO5-M25 Farside Hartmann & Wood 1971 Spudis et al 1994
Coulomb-Sarton 3 N52 W123   160 250 440 670     4.5 3.92 0.63   1.2 Mascon 12 Pre-Nectarian ~145 25     5   LO5-M25   Farside Hartmann & Wood 1971 Pike & Spudis 1987; depth: Williams & Zuber 1998
Coulomb-Sarton 3 N52 W123 180 400 530 1.2 Mascon 12 Pre-Nectarian 5 LO5-M25 Farside Hartmann & Wood 1971 Wilhelms 1987
Crisium 1 N18 E059   360 540 740 1080 1600     4.57 1.81 2.94 1.9 Mascon 95 Nectarian 53 17   0.5 11 3.84     Nearside Hartmann & Kuiper 1962 Pike & Spudis 1987
Dirichlet-Jackson 4 N14 W158 470 Farside Cook et al 2000
Fecunditatis 3 S04 E052       690 990       1.84 0.47         Pre-Nectarian         3       nearside Stewart-Alexander & Howard 1970 Wilhelms 1987
Flamsteed-Billy 3 S07 W045 320 570 Pre-Nectarian 2 Nearside Williams & McCauley 1971 Spudis 1993
Freundlich-Sharonov 3 N18.5 E175       600       6 3.57 0.55   1.6 Mascon 19 Pre-Nectarian 129       8   LO2-M34   Farside Stewart-Alexander 1978 Wilhelms 1987; depth: Williams & Zuber 1998
Grimaldi 1 S06 W068 230 300 440 3.46 1.4 Mascon 28 Pre-Nectarian ~97 16 3 0.75 9 LO4-M161 Nearside Hartmann & Kuiper 1962 Pike & Spudis 1987
Grissom-White 3 S44 W161       600?                     Pre-Nectarian         2       Farside Wilhelms 1987 Wilhelms 1987
Hertzsprung 1 N02 W128 150 255 380 570 5.31 4.5 1.06 1.3 Mascon -45 Nectarian 58 15 2.4 11 LO5-M28 Farside Stewart-Alexander & Howard 1970 Pike & Spudis 1987; depth: Williams & Zuber 1998
Humboldtianum 1 N59 E082 250 340 460 650 1050 1350   4.2 4.37 1.83   1.5 Mascon 26 Nectarian 62 15   1.5 11   LO4-M23   Nearside Hartmann & Kuiper 1962 Pike & Spudis 1987; depth: Williams & Zuber 1998
Humorum 1 S24 W039 210 340 425 570 800 1195 2.24 0.3 3.61 1.9 Mascon 65 Nectarian 56 25 0.85 11 LO4-M143 Nearside Hartmann & Kuiper 1962 Pike & Spudis 1987
Imbrium 1 N35 W017   550 790 1160 1700 2250 3200   2.9 2 5.24 1.1 Mascon 88 Imbrian   2.5   0.9 12 3.85     Nearside Gilbert 1893 Pike & Spudis 1987
Ingenii 2 S43 E165 165 315 450 660 0.9 -36 Pre-Nectarian 162 4 LO2-M75 Farside Stewart-Alexander 1978 Pike & Spudis 1987
Ingenii 2 S43 E165       560       4.5       0.9   -36 Pre-Nectarian         4   LO2-M75   Farside Stewart-Alexander 1978 Wilhelms 1987; depth: Williams & Zuber 1998
Insularum 3 N09 W018 600 1000 Pre-Nectarian 2 Farside Williams & McCauley 1971 Spudis 1993
Keeler-Heaviside 3 S10 E162     325 500 750 1000           0.3   -40 Pre-Nectarian 186       4   LO2-M75   Farside Stewart-Alexander 1978 Pike & Spudis 1987
Korolev 1 S04 W158 220 440 590 810 5.43 4.6 0.95 1.5 -30 Nectarian 79 15 10 LO1-M-38 Farside Hartmann & Wood 1971 Pike & Spudis 1987; depth: Williams & Zuber 1998
Lomonosov-Fleming 4 N19 E105       620         2.44 0.27         Pre-Nectarian 177       3       Farside Wilhelms & El Baz 1977 Wilhelms 1987
Lorentz 1 N34 W097 170 365 4.45 0.9 -33 Pre-Nectarian 169 23 6 LO4-M189 Farside Hartmann & Wood 1971 Pike & Spudis 1987; depth: Williams & Zuber 1998
Marginis 3 N20 E084       580                     Pre-Nectarian         2       Nearside Wilhelms & El Baz 1977 Wilhelms 1987
Mendeleev 2 N06 E141 140 365 4.78 1.98 1 -40 Nectarian 63 11 LO1-M136 Farside Wilhelms & El Baz 1977 Pike & Spudis 1987
Mendeleev 2 N06 E141       330       4.98       1     Nectarian 63       11       Farside Wilhelms & El Baz 1977 Wilhelms 1987; depth: Williams & Zuber 1998
Mendel-Rydberg 1 S50 W094 200 300 420 630 5.24 5.56 2.14 0.6 Mascon 31 Nectarian ~73 12 2.4 10 LO4-M186 Farside Hartmann & Kuiper 1962 Pike & Spudis 1987; depth: Williams & Zuber 1998
Mendel-Rydberg 1 S50 W094   200 460 630               0.6 Mascon 31 Nectarian ~73       10   LO4-M186   Farside Hartmann & Kuiper 1962 Wilhelms 1987
Milne 2 S31 E113 125 262 3.25 Pre-Nectarian 10 6 Farside Wilhelms 1987; depth Williams & Zuber 1998
Moscoviense 1 N26 E148 140 220 300 420 630       5.96 1.72   1.5 Mascon 7 Nectarian 87 14   ~4 10   LO5-M103   Farside Hartmann & Wood 1971 Pike & Spudis 1987
Moscoviense 1 N26 E148 445 5.25 1.5 Mascon 7 Nectarian 87 10 LO5-M103 Farside Hartmann & Wood 1971 Wilhelms 1987; depth: Williams & Zuber 1998
Mutus-Vlacq 2 S52 E021     500 700       3           0 Pre-Nectarian 225       3   LO4-M82   Nearside Wilhelms I-1162 1979 Spudis et al 1994
Nectaris 1 S16 E034 240 400 620 860 1320 5.38 1.31 0.84 1.2 Mascon 70 Nectarian 79 16 0.9 10 3.92 Nearside Baldwin 1949 Pike & Spudis 1987
Nubium 3 S21 W015       690         1.63           Pre-Nectarian         3       Nearside Stewart-Alexander & Howard 1970 Wilhelms 1987
Orientale 1 S19 W095 320 480 620 930 1300 1900 6.04 1.24 0.63 0.7 Mascon 18 Imbrian 2.4 1 12 LO4-M194 Farside Hartmann & Kuiper 1962 Pike & Spudis 1987
Pingre-Hausen 3 S56 W082       300?                     Pre-Nectarian   ~25 13   2       Nearside Hartmann & Kuiper 1962 Wilhelms 1987
Planck 2 S58 E136 160 325 4 Pre-Nectarian ~110 16 7 LO4-M8 Farside Hartmann & Wood 1971 Pike & Spudis 1987; depth: Williams & Zuber 1998
Poincare 1 S57 E146     160 325                     Pre-Nectarian ~190 17 7 1.6 4   LO5-M65   Farside Hartmann & Wood 1971 Pike & Spudis 1987
Procellarum 3 3200 1 Pre-Nectarian 1 Nearside Whitaker 1981
Schiller-Zucchius 1 S56 W045     175 335               0.9 Mascon 14 Pre-Nectarian ~112 26   ~5 7   LO4-M136   Nearside Hartmann & Kuiper 1962 Pike & Spudis 1987
Schrodinger 1 S76 E134 150 320 Imbrian 12 LO4-M8 peak ring basin Farside Hartmann & Wood 1971 Pike & Spudis 1987
Schrodinger 1 S75 E138       320       4.8             Lower-Imbrium   5   2.8 12   LO4-M8   Farside Hartmann & Wood 1971 Wilhelms 1987; depth: Williams & Zuber 1998
Schrodinger-Zeeman 4 S81 W165 150 250 12 Farside Cook et al 2000 Cook et al 2000
Serenitatis 2 N26 E018   410 620 920 1300 1800     2.14 0.16 4.3 1.3 Mascon 102 Nectarian ~83       11 3.87     Nearside Baldwin 1949 Pike & Spudis 1987
Sikorsky-Rittenhouse 3 S68 E111 310 Nectarian ~27 21 5 11 Farside Baldwin 1969 Wilhelms 1987
Smythii 2 S02 E087 260 370 540 740 1130       5 1.35 1.28 1.2 Mascon 43 Pre-Nectarian 166 27   1.9 5   AP16-M3035   Nearside Wilhelms & El Baz 1977 Pike & Spudis 1987
South Pole-Aitken 1 S56 E180 2000 2500 12 Pre-Nectarian 1 Farside Stewart-Alexander 1978 Spudis et al 1994
South Pole-Aitken 1 S56 E180       2500       8.53 9.44 1.78         Pre-Nectarian         1       Farside Hartmann & Kuiper 1962 Wilhelms 1987; depth: Williams & Zuber 1998
Sylvester-Nansen 4 N83 E045 300-500 Nearside Cook et al 2000 Cook et al 2000
Tranquillitatis 3 N07 E030       700 950                   Pre-Nectarian         3       Nearside Stewart-Alexander & Howard 1970 Spudis 1993
Tsiolkovsky-Stark 3 S15 E128 700 1.1 -51 Pre-Nectarian 2 Farside Baldwin 1969 Wilhelms 1987
Werner-Airy 3 S24 E012       500                     Pre-Nectarian         2   LO4-M82   Nearside Baldwin 1963 Wilhelms 1987
4 N50 E165 225 450 D'Alembert inner ring? Farside Spudis et al 1994 Spudis et al 1994
  4 S20 W70       300                                       Nearside Spudis 1995 Spudis 1995
4 N30 E165 330 4.5 Farside Spudis et al 1994 Spudis et al 1994; depth Spudis 1995
  4 N45 E055       350                                       Nearside Spudis 1995 Spudis 1995
4 N60 E139 400 Nearside Spudis 1995 Spudis 1995
  4 N55 W030       700                                       Nearside Spudis 1995 Spudis 1995
References
Baldwin, RB, 1949, The Face of the Moon, Univ. Chicago Press, Chicago.
Baldwin, RB, 1969
Cook, AC, MS Robinson & TR Watters, 2000, Planet-wide lunar digital elevation model. Lunar & Planetary Science XXXI, paper 1978.
Gilbert, , 1893
Hartmann, WK & CA Wood, 1971, Moon: Origin and evolution of multi-ring basins, The Moon 3, 3-78.
Hartmann, WK & GP Kuiper, 1962,
Potts, LV & RRB von Frese, 2003, Comprehensive mass modeling of the Moon from spectrally correlated free-air and terrain gravity data. J Geophys Res 108(E4), 5024, doi:10.1029/2000JE001440.
Potts, LV & RRB von Frese, 2003b, Crustal attributes of lunar basins from terrain-correlated free-air gravity anomalies. J Geophys Res 108(E5), 5037, doi:10.1029/2000JE001446.
Spudis, PD & CD Adkins, 1996, Morphometry of basins on the Moon: New results from Clementine laser altimetry, Lunar & Planet. Sci. Conf. Abstracts, 27th, 1253-1254.
Spudis, PD, 1993, The Geology of Multi-Ring Impact Basins: The Moon and Other Planets, Cambridge Univ. Press, New York.
Spudis, PD, 1995, Clementine laser altimetry and multi-ring basins on the Moon, Lunar & Planet. Sci. Conf. Abstracts, 26th, 1337-1338.
Steward-Alexander, D & K Howard, 1970
Steward-Alexander, D, 1978
Whitaker, EA, 1981, The lunarProcellarum Basin, in Multi-Ring Basins, Proc. Lunar Planet Sci. Conf. 12th, part A, 105-111.
Wilhelms, DE & F El Baz, 1977
Wilhelms, DE & McCauley, 19
Wilhelms, DE, 1987, The Gelogic History of the Moon. US Geol. Surv. Prof. Paper 1348.
Williams, KK & MT Zuber, 1998, Measurement and analysis of lunar basin depths from Clementine Altimetry. Icarus 131, 107-122.

Impact Basins Spreadsheet Explanations

Column A: Basin Name

Nearside basins contain maria and so have names derived from their mare names: e.g.  the Imbrium basin. When new basins were first discovered by Hartmann and Kuiper (1962) they gave locational names such as “the basin near Schiller”. The US Geological Survey decided – as far as I know without any IAU approval – to name basins after craters on either side of the basin; hence the basin near Schiller became the Zucchius-Schiller basin. Unfortunately, this hyphenated system is now standard.

Column B: Certainty of Existence

Some impact basins are well defined by multiple rings, central depressions, and surrounding ejecta deposits. Most basins lack some of these characteristics, but still can be relatively confidently identified as basins. Older and more obscure features have greater uncertainty, and Clementine altimetry data has led to the tentative identification of some possible basins that are defined solely as depressions. I here classify basins as certain (1), probable (2) or uncertain (3). However, this terminology may give the impression that some of the 2s and all of the 3s may not in actuality be basins. I doubt if that is correct, but some basins are so poorly imaged that we can not be 100% certain. Some recently proposed basins that have not yet been examined carefully are considered as proposed (4) – they will ultimately be upgraded or removed from the list.

Columns C & D: Latitude and Longitude

The center coordinates of basins; for strongly degraded basins these are often uncertain.

Column E to K: Basin Diameters

Impact basins typically have multiple concentric rings, with one, the rim (Col. H), being . considered equivalent to the rim of a normal impact crater. The rings tabulated here are mostly from Pike and Spudis (199x) and Wilhelms (1987). P&S generally identify more rings than any other lunar scientists, and various of their outer ones are very difficult to see.

Columns L & M: Depth

Measurements of impact basin depths have only been practical since the acquisition of altimetry data by the Clementine spacecraft. There are two main sources, papers by Spudis and colleagues (1993, 1995, 1996) and a single paper by Williams and Zuber (1998). Strangely, his most complete listing is in an abstract (Spudis & Adkins, 1996) which gives diameters, depths, volumes and rim heights for 21 basins. In general, the fact that these depths are less than those of Williams and Zuber follows from the averaging of multiple rim heights for each basin by Spudis and Adkins. Still, the worse differences – 6 km vs 3.57 km for Freundlich-Sharonov – suggest that care should be taken in using the data. Column L gives Williams & Zuber depths and Column M gives Spudis and Adkins values.

Column N: Rim Height

The only measures of basin rim heights are from Spudis and Adkins (1996) and were determined by subtracting the average surrounding elevation from the average rim elevations.

Columns O & P: Mare Thickness

Most nearside basins have a little (Nectaris) to a lot (Serentitatis) of mare on their floors, but the actual measurement of how much is difficult. Estimation of mare thicknesses have been made by a variety of inexact methods including a consideration of the inferred depths of almost lava filled craters and by modeling gravitationally anomalies. All methods are fraught with significant potential errors.  I have accepted results from two different methods that seem to span the range. Column P gives the gravitational estimates of Potts and von Frese (2003). This is the only method that has provided depth estimates for both sides of the Moon. But I do not believe that lavas in Imbrium are only 1.1 km deep when we see that the similar sized but unflooded Orientale is about 6 km deep! The crater morphometric method of Williams and Zuber (1998) give values (Col. O) that are geologically reassuring. “Crater morphometric” means assuming the depth to diameter ratios of least flooded basin are the same as the most flooded (and also compensating for subsidence) so that a diameter yields an original depth; subtracting the current depth yields lava flow thickness…we hope.

Column Q: Mascon Presence

When orbiting spacecraft are pulled sightly nearer the lunar surface than otherwise, we say that there is mascon. A mass concentration occurs where a multi-kilometer deep column of lunar rocks is denser than surrounding rocks. Mascons only occur in some basins, bur not all. Mascon basins generally have mare fill, but probably part of the mascon is due to upwarded mantle material under the basin.

Column R: Gravity Anomaly

Potts and von Frese (2003b) have calculated the size of gravitational anomaly for most basins. A plus value indicates a mascon, and a negative value, a maslite – a deficiency of mass.

Column S: USGS Age

The US Geological Survey developed a stratigraphic system to place all lunar landforms into a positional and time sequence. Here is the sequence:

Columns T and U: Superposed Crater Density

Wilhelms (1987, p 148; 179) counted the number of superposed impact craters larger than 20 km on each basin to determine a superposed crater density expressed in the units of number of craters per 106 km2. These densities provide an indication of relative basin age – a higher density indicates an older age. Unfortunately, unavoidable uncertainty is introduced by secondary craters from subsequent basins which may be 20+ km in diameter and may instantly age a basin. An earlier attempt to determine basin relative age sequence by Hartmann and Wood (1971) measured all visible craters superposed on basins and calculated a numerical relative age compared to a mean density of 1.0 for all nearside mare – highlands are saturated with a density of 32. While here is some agreement between the Wilhelms and H&W data there are significant differences (e.g. Apollo) that require investigation.

Columns V & W: Relative Ages of Plains and Mare Fill

Nearly all impact basins contain dark mare material and/or lighter-hued smooth plains. Just as they counter craters to determine basin relative age, Hartmann and Wood (1971) determined the relative ages of mare fill and light plains fill in basins. Again 1.0 is the average age of nearside lunar mare and 32 is the number for saturated highlands. The plains have relative ages of 2.5 to 13 and almost certainly are older mare lavas that have been lightened by crater rays and ejecta.

Column X: Age Groups

Wilhelms (1987, p 148) classified each Pre-Nectarian basin into age groups, ranging from oldest (Group 1) to youngest (group 9). The classification of at least one basin within each group was based on superposed crater density (Col. T) and/or superposition relations. Other basins were more tentatively assigned to each group according to more subjective morphological clues. Group 1 includes only the South Pole-Aitken basin and the Gargantuan basin, although other ancient basins undoubtedly were formed but are no longer identifiable. These are the two largest basins on the Moon and are saturated by later craters of basin size.

The existence of all Age Group 2 basins was considered by Wilhelms to be uncertain, and topographic data from Clementine has not documented depressions for any of them. They are heavily degraded and are identified by isolated peaks that seem to define circles.Wilhelms (1987, p 179) also classified the 12 known Nectarian age basins into groups, but he numbered them 1 and 2 rather than 10 and 11, which I have done in the table. I have also added a 12th group which contains the 5 youngest basins on the Moon: Imbrium, Orientale and Schrodinger, and Compton and Antoniadi – the latter two being peak ring basins. Antoniadi is often considered a transition between basins and craters, but since it is the best example on the Moon I include it in this basin list.

Column Y: Basin Age in Billions of Years

Only a few basin ages have been determined by dating of sample collected by Apollo astronauts. And while these radiometric dates can be remarkably precise, often there is only conjecture on the actual origin of the rock dated. Only the age on formation of Imbrium and perhaps Serenitatis can be confidently stated.

Column Z: Photos Source

Wilhelm’s (1987) provides a listing of best images to see a particular basin; I will add to this list images for newer basins and possible complementary images from Clementine.

Column AA: Notes

Comments about basin.

Column AB: Nearside-Farside

A column simply to make sorting easier.

Column AC: Basin Discoverer

Largely from Wilhelms (1987) with additions for more recently discovered basins.

Column AD: References

Principal reference is for source of information about basin diameter and rings. Some basins have multiple entries when significant differences occur in proposed ring diameters.