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Flood Volcanism in the Northern High Latitudes of Mercury Revealed by MESSENGER

Head, James W. and Chapman, Clark R. and Strom, Robert G. and Fassett, Caleb I. and Denevi, Brett W. and Blewett, David T. and Ernst, Carolyn M. and Watters, Thomas R. and Solomon, Sean C. and Murchie, Scott L. and Prockter, Louise M. and Chabot, Nancy L. and Gillis-Davis, Jeffrey J. and Whitten, Jennifer L. and Goudge, Timothy A. and Baker, David M. H. and Hurwitz, Debra M. and Ostrach, Lillian R. and Xiao, Zhiyong and Merline, William J. and Kerber, Laura and Dickson, James L. and Oberst, Jürgen and Byrne, Paul K. and Klimczak, Christian and Nittler, Larry R. (2011) Flood Volcanism in the Northern High Latitudes of Mercury Revealed by MESSENGER. Science, 333 (6051). pp. 1853-1856. ISSN 0036-8075.

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MESSENGER observations from Mercury orbit reveal that a large contiguous expanse of smooth plains covers much of Mercury’s high northern latitudes and occupies more than 6% of the planet’s surface area. These plains are smooth, embay other landforms, are distinct in color, show several flow features, and partially or completely bury impact craters, the sizes of which indicate plains thicknesses of more than 1 kilometer and multiple phases of emplacement. These characteristics, as well as associated features, interpreted to have formed by thermal erosion, indicate emplacement in a flood-basalt style, consistent with x-ray spectrometric data indicating surface compositions intermediate between those of basalts and komatiites. The plains formed after the Caloris impact basin, confirming that volcanism was a globally extensive process in Mercury’s post–heavy bombardment era.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Information
Head, James W.0000-0003-2013-560X
Fassett, Caleb I.0000-0001-9155-3804
Ernst, Carolyn M.0000-0002-9434-7886
Murchie, Scott L.0000-0002-1616-8751
Goudge, Timothy A.0000-0003-4297-9838
Nittler, Larry R.0000-0002-5292-6089
Additional Information:© 2011 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received 1 August 2011; accepted 5 September 2011. We thank the MESSENGER team for development and flight operations. The NASA Discovery Program supports the MESSENGER mission through contract NAS5-97271 to The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and NASW-00002 to the Carnegie Institution of Washington.
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Issue or Number:6051
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20161129-100856093
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Official Citation:Flood Volcanism in the Northern High Latitudes of Mercury Revealed by MESSENGER By James W. Head, Clark R. Chapman, Robert G. Strom, Caleb I. Fassett, Brett W. Denevi, David T. Blewett, Carolyn M. Ernst, Thomas R. Watters, Sean C. Solomon, Scott L. Murchie, Louise M. Prockter, Nancy L. Chabot, Jeffrey J. Gillis-Davis, Jennifer L. Whitten, Timothy A. Goudge, David M. H. Baker, Debra M. Hurwitz, Lillian R. Ostrach, Zhiyong Xiao, William J. Merline, Laura Kerber, James L. Dickson, Jürgen Oberst, Paul K. Byrne, Christian Klimczak, Larry R. Nittler Science 30 Sep 2011: Vol. 333, Issue 6051, pp. 1853-1856 DOI: 10.1126/science.1211997
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:72395
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:29 Nov 2016 18:54
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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