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Composition and structure of the shallow subsurface of Ceres revealed by crater morphology

Bland, M. T. and Raymond, C.A. and Schenk, P.M. and Fu, R.R. and Kneissl, T. and Pasckert, J. H. and Hiesinger, H. and Preusker, Frank and Park, R.S. and Marchi, S. and King, S.D. and Castillo-Rogez, J. and Russell, C.T. (2016) Composition and structure of the shallow subsurface of Ceres revealed by crater morphology. Nature Geoscience, 9, pp. 538-542. Nature Publishing Group. DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2743 ISBN 1752-0894 ISSN 1752-0894

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Official URL: http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v9/n7/full/ngeo2743.html


Before NASA’s Dawn mission, the dwarf planet Ceres was widely believed to contain a substantial ice-rich layer below its rocky surface. The existence of such a layer has significant implications for Ceres’s formation, evolution, and astrobiological potential. Ceres is warmer than icy worlds in the outer Solar System and, if its shallow subsurface is ice-rich, large impact craters are expected to be erased by viscous flow on short geologic timescales. Here we use digital terrain models derived from Dawn Framing Camera images to show that most of Ceres’s largest craters are several kilometres deep, and are therefore inconsistent with the existence of an ice-rich subsurface. We further show from numerical simulations that the absence of viscous relaxation over billion-year timescales implies a subsurface viscosity that is at least one thousand times greater than that of pure water ice. We conclude that Ceres’s shallow subsurface is no more than 30% to 40% ice by volume, with a mixture of rock, salts and/or clathrates accounting for the other 60% to 70%. However, several anomalously shallow craters are consistent with limited viscous relaxation and may indicate spatial variations in subsurface ice content.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/109578/
Document Type:Article
Title:Composition and structure of the shallow subsurface of Ceres revealed by crater morphology
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Bland, M. T.usgs astrogeology science centerUNSPECIFIED
Raymond, C.A.jet propulsion laboratory, california institute of technology, pasadena, ca 91109-8099, usaUNSPECIFIED
Schenk, P.M.lunar and planetary institute, 3600 bay area blvd, houston tx 77058, usaUNSPECIFIED
Fu, R.R.columbia university, ny, usaUNSPECIFIED
Kneissl, T.freie universität berlin, inst. of geosciences, planetology and remote sensingUNSPECIFIED
Pasckert, J. H.institut für planetologie, westfälische wilhelms-universität münster, wilhelm-klemm-strasse 10, 48149 münster, germanyUNSPECIFIED
Hiesinger, H.westfälische wilhelms-universität münsterUNSPECIFIED
Preusker, Frankfrank.preusker (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Park, R.S.jet propulsion laboratory,california institute of technology, pasadena, ca, usaUNSPECIFIED
Marchi, S.department of astronomy, university of paduaUNSPECIFIED
King, S.D.virginia institute of technology, blacksburg, va, usaUNSPECIFIED
Castillo-Rogez, J.jet propulsion laboratory, california institute of technology,UNSPECIFIED
Russell, C.T.institute of geophysics, university of california, los angeles, los angeles, ca 90095UNSPECIFIED
Date:29 June 2016
Journal or Publication Title:Nature Geoscience
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1038/ngeo2743
Page Range:pp. 538-542
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
Keywords:Dawn, Ceres, composition, subsurface, crater morphology
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Science and Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Projekt DAWN
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Geodesy
Deposited By: Scholten, Dipl.-Ing. Frank
Deposited On:15 Dec 2016 10:26
Last Modified:06 Sep 2019 15:21

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