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Mercury's hollows: Constraints on formation and composition from analysis of geological setting and spectral reflectance

Blewett, D T and Vaughan, W M and Xiao, Z and Chabot, C L and Denevi, B W and Ernst, C M and Helbert, Jörn and D'Amore, Mario and Maturilli, A and Head, J W and Solomon, Sean C. (2013) Mercury's hollows: Constraints on formation and composition from analysis of geological setting and spectral reflectance. Journal of Geophysical Research, 118 (5), pp. 1013-1032. Wiley. DOI: 10.1029/2012JE004174 ISSN 0148-0227

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Official URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012JE004174/full

Abstract

[1] Landforms unique to Mercury, hollows are shallow, flat-floored irregular depressions notable for their relatively high reflectance and characteristic color. Here we document the range of geological settings in which hollows occur. Most are associated with impact structures (simple bowl-shaped craters to multiring basins, and ranging from Kuiperian to Calorian in age). Hollows are found in the low-reflectance material global color unit and in low-reflectance blue plains, but they appear to be absent from high-reflectance red plains. Hollows may occur preferentially on equator- or hot-pole-facing slopes, implying that their formation is linked to solar heating. Evidence suggests that hollows form because of loss of volatile material. We describe hypotheses for the origin of the volatiles and for how such loss proceeds. Intense space weathering and solar heating are likely contributors to the loss of volatiles; contact heating by melts could promote the formation of hollows in some locations. Lunar Ina-type depressions differ from hollows on Mercury in a number of characteristics, so it is unclear if they represent a good analog. We also use MESSENGER multispectral images to characterize a variety of surfaces on Mercury, including hollows, within a framework defined by laboratory spectra for analog minerals and lunar samples. Data from MESSENGER's X-Ray Spectrometer indicate that the planet's surface contains up to 4% sulfur. We conclude that nanophase or microphase sulfide minerals could contribute to the low reflectance of the low-reflectance material relative to average surface material. Hollows may owe their relatively high reflectance to destruction of the darkening agent (sulfides), the presence of alteration minerals, and/or physical differences in particle size, texture, or scattering behavior.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/86934/
Document Type:Article
Title:Mercury's hollows: Constraints on formation and composition from analysis of geological setting and spectral reflectance
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Blewett, D TAPLUNSPECIFIED
Vaughan, W MBrown UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Xiao, ZASUUNSPECIFIED
Chabot, C LAPLUNSPECIFIED
Denevi, B WAPLUNSPECIFIED
Ernst, C MAPLUNSPECIFIED
Helbert, JörnJoern.Helbert (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5346-9505
D'Amore, MarioMario.DAmore (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-9325-6889
Maturilli, ADLRUNSPECIFIED
Head, J WBrown UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Solomon, Sean C.Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, DC 20015, USAUNSPECIFIED
Date:2013
Journal or Publication Title:Journal of Geophysical Research
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:118
DOI :10.1029/2012JE004174
Page Range:pp. 1013-1032
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:0148-0227
Status:Published
Keywords:Mercury, hollows, MESSENGER, sulfides, laboratory
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 BepiColombo (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Experimentelle Planetenphysik
Deposited By: Helbert, Dr.rer.nat. Jörn
Deposited On:06 Jan 2014 09:14
Last Modified:01 Dec 2018 19:50

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