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Effusive and Explosive Volcanism on Mercury from MESSENGER Orbital Observations

Head, J. W., III and Solomon, S. C. and Fassett, C. I. and Murchie, S. L. and Prockter, L. M. and Blewett, D. T. and Denevi, B. W. and Watters, T. R. and Strom, R. G. and Chapman, C. R. and Gillis-Davis, J. J. and Zuber, M. T. and Smith, D. E. and Oberst, J. and Gwinner, Klaus and Ernst, C. M. and Ostrach, L. R. and Byrne, P. K. and Klimczak, C. and Xiao, Z. (2012) Effusive and Explosive Volcanism on Mercury from MESSENGER Orbital Observations. In: EGU General Assembly 2012, p. 9925. COPERNICUS. EGU General Assembly 2012, 22-27 April, 2012, Vienna, Austria.

Full text not available from this repository.

Official URL: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2012EGUGA..14.9925H

Abstract

Observations from the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft, after one Earth year in orbit about Mercury, have provided new insights into the nature of volcanic activity on the innermost planet and shown that volcanic characteristics on Mercury differ from those on other terrestrial planetary bodies. MESSENGER observations reveal no evidence for large shield volcanoes like those on Earth, Mars, and Venus, and small numbers of low shield-like constructs, pit craters, and candidate calderas. No evidence has been discerned for extensive centers of volcanism as seen on Mars (e.g., Tharsis, Elysium) or Venus (e.g., Beta and Atla Regiones), or less well-developed ones as seen on the Moon (e.g., Marius and Rumker Hills). Nor has evidence been seen for any Venus-like coronae or related annular deformational features displaying associated volcanism. Only one radial graben structure (Pantheon Fossae), centrally located in the Caloris basin, has been documented. Observations of Mercury to date also reveal no evidence for several types of volcanic features (cones, leveed flows, or widespread sinuous rilles). Instead, we see evidence on Mercury for extensive flooding of the surface to form regional smooth plains that appear to be very extensive lava sheet flows, and intercrater plains (found between large, old impact craters) that may also have been formed by volcanic eruptions. Smooth volcanic plains filling the interior of the Caloris basin show generally uniform ages and spectral characteristics and are up to several kilometers thick. Exterior plains of volcanic origin have similar to slightly younger ages. Contiguous plains at northern high latitudes cover ~6% of the surface of Mercury, have surface ages and spectral properties that show no resolvable variation, and have no locatable source regions. The general characteristics of the plains deposits and features on Mercury strongly suggest that they were emplaced by flood-lava-style eruptions rather than collections of narrow, leveed flows typical of small dike-emplacement events and more limited-volume surface eruptions. In summary, effusive volcanic deposits on Mercury appear to be characterized predominantly by: (1) deep magma sources of large volume, (2) little very shallow crustal storage of magma, and (3) high-volume eruption rates of lava and correspondingly voluminous outpourings that produced long and wide lava flows that covered extensive areas. These observations are consistent with theoretical predictions of vertically extensive and wide dikes penetrating through the lithosphere and crust. Deposits of pyroclastic origin and associated source depressions are globally distributed. The dimensions of individual pyroclastic deposits around vents signal the involvement of substantial amounts of magmatic volatiles in the eruptions. Observations by the suite of instruments on the ESA/JAXA BepiColombo spacecraft will markedly improve our knowledge of volcanism on Mercury.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/80785/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Title:Effusive and Explosive Volcanism on Mercury from MESSENGER Orbital Observations
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Head, J. W., IIIBrown University, Geological Sciences, Providence, RI 02912 United StatesUNSPECIFIED
Solomon, S. C.Department of Terrestial Magnetism, Carnegie Institute of Washington, Washington, DC 20015 United StatesUNSPECIFIED
Fassett, C. I.Department of Astronomy, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA 01075 United StatesUNSPECIFIED
Murchie, S. L.The Johns Hopkins Universitiy Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD 20723 United StatesUNSPECIFIED
Prockter, L. M.The Johns Hopkins Universitiy Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD 20723 United StatesUNSPECIFIED
Blewett, D. T.The Johns Hopkins Universitiy Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD 20723 United StatesUNSPECIFIED
Denevi, B. W.The Johns Hopkins Universitiy Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD 20723 United StatesUNSPECIFIED
Watters, T. R.Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560 United StatesUNSPECIFIED
Strom, R. G.Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 United StatesUNSPECIFIED
Chapman, C. R.Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO, USAUNSPECIFIED
Gillis-Davis, J. J.University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USAUNSPECIFIED
Zuber, M. T.Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USAUNSPECIFIED
Smith, D. E.Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139–4307, USAUNSPECIFIED
Oberst, J.Juergen.Oberst (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Gwinner, KlausKlaus.Gwinner (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Ernst, C. M.JHU/Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD, USAUNSPECIFIED
Ostrach, L. R.School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USAUNSPECIFIED
Byrne, P. K.Centre for Sustainable Management, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster, United KingdomUNSPECIFIED
Klimczak, C.Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D. C., USAUNSPECIFIED
Xiao, Z.Department of Planetary Sciences, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, Tucson, AZ, USAUNSPECIFIED
Date:April 2012
Journal or Publication Title:EGU General Assembly 2012
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Page Range:p. 9925
Publisher: COPERNICUS
Status:Published
Keywords:Volcanism, Mercury, MESSENGER
Event Title:EGU General Assembly 2012
Event Location:Vienna, Austria
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:22-27 April, 2012
Organizer:European Geosciences Union
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 - Vorhaben Exploration des Sonnensystems
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Geodesy
Deposited By: Beisembin, Bauyrzhan
Deposited On:21 Jan 2013 09:32
Last Modified:01 Dec 2018 19:49

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