(redirected from Paterae)
Also found in: Encyclopedia.


 (pä′tə-rə, păt′ə-)
n. pl. pa·te·ras also pa·te·rae (-rē)
1. A shallow bowl or dish, especially one used ceremonially by the ancient Romans in pouring libations.
2. A shallow crater on the surface of a solar system body, having an irregular or scalloped rim, caused either by past volcanic activity or by the impact of a much smaller solar system body.

[Latin, perhaps from patina, shallow dish (influenced by crātēra, vessel for mixing wine with water); see paten.]


1. (Archaeology) archaeol a shallow ancient Roman bowl used in rituals
2. (Architecture) architect a saucer-shaped decorative element, often on walls or ceilings
3. (Astrology) astrology a shallow planetary crater
References in periodicals archive ?
The highly detailed, colourful map reveals a number of volcanic features, including: paterae (caldera-like depressions), lava flow fields, tholi (volcanic domes), and plume deposits, in various shapes, sizes and colors, as well as high mountains and large expanses of sulfur- and sulfur dioxide-rich plains.
The mapping identified 425 paterae, or individual volcanic centres.
Interestingly, although Io is so volcanically active, more than 25 times more volcanically active than Earth, most of the long-term surface changes resulting from volcanism are restricted to less than 15 percent of the surface, mostly in the form of changes in lava flow fields or within paterae.