elib
DLR-Header
DLR-Logo -> http://www.dlr.de
DLR Portal Home | Imprint | Privacy Policy | Contact | Deutsch
Fontsize: [-] Text [+]

Mercury’s Weather-Beaten Surface: Understanding Mercury in the Context of Lunar and Asteroidal Space Weathering Studies

Domingue, Deborah L. and Chapman, Clark R. and Killen, R. and Zurbuchen, Thomas H. and Gilbert, Jason A. and Sarantos, Menelaos and Benna, Mehdi and Slavin, James A. and Schriver, David and Trávníček, Pavel M. and Orlando, Thomas M. and Sprague, A.L. and Blewett, David T. and Gillis-Davis, Jeffrey J. and Feldman, W.C. and Lawrence, David J. and Ho, George C. and Ebel, D. S. and Nittler, Larry R. and Vilas, F. and Pieters, Carle M. and Solomon, Sean C. and Johnson, Catherine L. and Winslow, Reka M. and Helbert, Jörn and Peplowski, Patrick N. and Weider, Shoshana Z. and Mouawad, Nelly and Izenberg, Noam R. and McClintock, William E. (2014) Mercury’s Weather-Beaten Surface: Understanding Mercury in the Context of Lunar and Asteroidal Space Weathering Studies. Space Science Reviews, 181 (1-4), pp. 121-214. Springer. DOI: 10.1007/s11214-014-0039-5 ISSN 0038-6308

Full text not available from this repository.

Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11214-014-0039-5

Abstract

Mercury's regolith, derived from the crustal bedrock, has been altered by a set of space weathering processes. Before we can interpret crustal composition, it is necessary to understand the nature of these surface alterations. The processes that space weather the surface are the same as those that form Mercury's exosphere (micrometeoroid flux and solar wind interactions) and are moderated by the local space environment and the presence of a global magnetic field. To comprehend how space weathering acts on Mercury's regolith, an understanding is needed of how contributing processes act as an interactive system. As no direct information (e.g., from returned samples) is available about how the system of space weathering affects Mercury's regolith, we use as a basis for comparison the current understanding of these same processes on lunar and asteroidal regoliths as well as laboratory simulations. These comparisons suggest that Mercury's regolith is overturned more frequently (though the characteristic surface time for a grain is unknown even relative to the lunar case), more than an order of magnitude more melt and vapor per unit time and unit area is produced by impact processes than on the Moon (creating a higher glass content via grain coatings and agglutinates), the degree of surface irradiation is comparable to or greater than that on the Moon, and photon irradiation is up to an order of magnitude greater (creating amorphous grain rims, chemically reducing the upper layers of grains to produce nanometer scale particles of metallic iron, and depleting surface grains in volatile elements and alkali metals). The processes that chemically reduce the surface and produce nanometer-scale particles on Mercury are suggested to be more effective than similar processes on the Moon. Estimated abundances of nanometer-scale particles can account for Mercury's dark surface relative to that of the Moon without requiring macroscopic grains of opaque minerals. The presence of nanometer-scale particles may also account for Mercury's relatively featureless visible-near-infrared reflectance spectra. Characteristics of material returned from asteroid 25143 Itokawa demonstrate that this nanometer-scale material need not be pure iron, raising the possibility that the nanometer-scale material on Mercury may have a composition different from iron metal [such as (Fe,Mg)S]. The expected depletion of volatiles and particularly alkali metals from solar-wind interaction processes are inconsistent with the detection of sodium, potassium, and sulfur within the regolith. One plausible explanation invokes a larger fine fraction (grain size <45 μm) and more radiation-damaged grains than in the lunar surface material to create a regolith that is a more efficient reservoir for these volatiles. By this view the volatile elements detected are present not only within the grain structures, but also as adsorbates within the regolith and deposits on the surfaces of the regolith grains. The comparisons with findings from the Moon and asteroids provide a basis for predicting how compositional modifications induced by space weathering have affected Mercury's surface composition.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/94325/
Document Type:Article
Title:Mercury’s Weather-Beaten Surface: Understanding Mercury in the Context of Lunar and Asteroidal Space Weathering Studies
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Domingue, Deborah L.PSI, Tucson, AZ, USAUNSPECIFIED
Chapman, Clark R.Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO, USAUNSPECIFIED
Killen, R.Univ. MarylandUNSPECIFIED
Zurbuchen, Thomas H.Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, University of Michigan, USAUNSPECIFIED
Gilbert, Jason A.Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, University of Michigan, USAUNSPECIFIED
Sarantos, MenelaosHeliophysics Science Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight CenterUNSPECIFIED
Benna, MehdiSolar System Exploration Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight CenterUNSPECIFIED
Slavin, James A.Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, University of MichiganUNSPECIFIED
Schriver, DavidInstitute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of CaliforniaUNSPECIFIED
Trávníček, Pavel M.Space Sciences Laboratory, University of CaliforniaUNSPECIFIED
Orlando, Thomas M.chool of Chemistry and Biochemistry and School of Physics, Georgia Institute of TechnologyUNSPECIFIED
Sprague, A.L.Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, United StatesUNSPECIFIED
Blewett, David T.The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD 20723, USA.UNSPECIFIED
Gillis-Davis, Jeffrey J.Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822, United StatesUNSPECIFIED
Feldman, W.C.LANLUNSPECIFIED
Lawrence, David J.LANLUNSPECIFIED
Ho, George C.The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD 20723, USA.UNSPECIFIED
Ebel, D. S.American Museum of Natural History / Lamont-Doherty Earth ObservatoryUNSPECIFIED
Nittler, Larry R.Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, DC 20015, USAUNSPECIFIED
Vilas, F.Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ 85719, USAUNSPECIFIED
Pieters, Carle M.Brown University, Providence, RI, United States.UNSPECIFIED
Solomon, Sean C.Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964, USAUNSPECIFIED
Johnson, Catherine L.Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4UNSPECIFIED
Winslow, Reka M.Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4UNSPECIFIED
Helbert, Jörnjoern.helbert (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Peplowski, Patrick N.Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, DC 20015, USAUNSPECIFIED
Weider, Shoshana Z.Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, DC 20015, USAUNSPECIFIED
Mouawad, NellyDepartment of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, DC 20015, USAUNSPECIFIED
Izenberg, Noam R.The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD 20723, USA.UNSPECIFIED
McClintock, William E.Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space PhysicsUNSPECIFIED
Date:May 2014
Journal or Publication Title:Space Science Reviews
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:181
DOI :10.1007/s11214-014-0039-5
Page Range:pp. 121-214
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0038-6308
Status:Published
Keywords:Mercury (planet), Space Weathering, Surface processes, Exosphere, Surface composition, Space environment
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:08 Jan 2015 13:50
Last Modified:03 Aug 2018 15:29

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Browse
Search
Help & Contact
Information
electronic library is running on EPrints 3.3.12
Copyright © 2008-2017 German Aerospace Center (DLR). All rights reserved.