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The morphology of Mercury’s Caloris basin as seen in MESSENGER stereo topographic models

Oberst, Jürgen and Preusker, Frank and Phillips, Roger J. and Watters, Thomas R. and Head, James W. and Zuber, Maria T. and Solomon, Sean C. (2010) The morphology of Mercury’s Caloris basin as seen in MESSENGER stereo topographic models. Icarus: International Journal of Solar System Studies, 209 (1), pp. 230-238. Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2010.03.009.

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Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6WGF-4YMB68G-1&_user=100058&_coverDate=09%2F30%2F2010&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_origin=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000007338&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=100058&md5=49c855537

Abstract

A digital terrain model (1000-m effective spatial resolution) of the Caloris basin, the largest well-characterized impact basin on Mercury, was produced from 208 stereo images obtained by the MESSENGER narrow-angle camera. The basin rim is far from uniform and is characterized by rugged terrain or knobby plains, often disrupted by craters and radial troughs. In some sectors, the rim is represented by a single marked elevation step, where height levels drop from the surroundings toward the basin interior by approximately 2 km. Two concentric rings, with radii of 690 km and 850 km, can be discerned in the topography. Several pre-Caloris basins and craters can be identified from the terrain model, suggesting that rugged pre-impact topography may have contributed to the varying characteristics of the Caloris rim. The basin interior is relatively smooth and shallow, comparable to typical lunar mascon mare basins, supporting the idea that Caloris was partially filled with lava after formation. The model displays long-wavelength undulations in topography across the basin interior, but these undulations cannot readily be related to pre-impact topography, volcanic construction, or post-volcanic uplift. Because errors in the long-wavelength topography of the model cannot be excluded, confirmation of these undulations must await data from MESSENGER’s orbital mission phase.

Document Type:Article
Title:The morphology of Mercury’s Caloris basin as seen in MESSENGER stereo topographic models
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Oberst, Jürgenjuergen.oberst@dlr.de
Preusker, Frankfrank.preusker@dlr.de
Phillips, Roger J.Planetary Science Directorate, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO 80302, USA
Watters, Thomas R.Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560, USA
Head, James W.Department of Geological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA
Zuber, Maria T.Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307, USA
Solomon, Sean C.Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, DC 20015, USA
Date:September 2010
Journal or Publication Title:Icarus: International Journal of Solar System Studies
Refereed publication:Yes
In Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:209
DOI:10.1016/j.icarus.2010.03.009
Page Range:pp. 230-238
Publisher:Elsevier
Status:Published
Keywords:morphology, Mercury, Caloris basin, MESSENGER, stereo topographic models, NAC
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben Planetenforschung (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Geodesy
Deposited By: Marita Wählisch
Deposited On:10 Jan 2011 09:15
Last Modified:26 Mar 2013 13:25

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