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Surface processes on the Moon, Mars and the Earth

Planetary surfaces hold evidence of past geological processes through the geomorphological record of landforms. Fast erosion rates, active tectonics, and a thick atmosphere contribute to partial or total loss of the terrestrial record, therefore leading to the misinterpretation and underestimation of the geological processes that formed it. Well-preserved extraterrestrial landforms, coupled with high resolution imagery, can compensate for the terrestrial missing geomorphological information. On the other hand, on Earth, we have direct access to landforms. Field observations are vital to gain insights into the mechanisms involved and into the environmental and climatic conditions in which landforms form. Therefore, the combination of terrestrial and planetary observations can be very effective in better understanding geological processes across the Solar System.

This talk will focus on long runout landslides and impact craters. I will discuss: a) the importance of comparative planetary geology in studying long runout landslides on Mars and Earth, in the attempt to understand their emplacement mechanisms and the link with climatic conditions; b) present day impact events on the Moon and the implications for Solar System chronology and impact flux rate.


Giulia Magnarini1
1Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom
GeoBerlin 2023