The geomorphology of (21) Lutetia: Results from the OSIRIS imaging system onboard ESA's Rosetta spacecraft

Thomas, N.; Barbieri, C.; Keller, H. U.; Lamy, P.; Rickman, H.; Rodrigo, R.; Sierks, H.; Wenzel, K. P.; Cremonese, G.; Jorda, L.; Küppers, M.; Marchi, S.; Marzari, F.; Massironi, M.; Preusker, F.; Scholten, F.; Stephan, K.; Barucci, M. A.; Besse, S.; El-Maarry, M. R.; Fornasier, S.; Groussin, O.; Hviid, S. F.; Koschny, D.; Kührt, E.; Martellato, E.; Moissl, R.; Snodgrass, C.; Tubiana, C. and Vincent, J.-B. (2012). The geomorphology of (21) Lutetia: Results from the OSIRIS imaging system onboard ESA's Rosetta spacecraft. Planetary And Space Science, 66(1) pp. 96–124.



The surface of (21) Lutetia is highly complex with significant interactions between ancient and more recent structures. This work attempts to summarize the surface geomorphology observed using the high resolution images from OSIRIS, the imaging system onboard the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft. A wide range of surface morphologies are seen including heavily cratered terrain, extensive sets of lineaments, young impact craters, and a ridge, the height of which is more than 1/5th of the mean radius of the body. Very young and very old terrains (as inferred from crater densities) are seen in close proximity. The longest continuous lineament is over 80 km long. The lineaments show regional-dependent organization and structure. Several categories of lineament can be described. Lineaments radial to impact craters as seen on other asteroidal bodies are mostly absent. Although the lineaments may be of seismic origin (and possibly the result of several impact-induced events), impacts producing recent large craters place constraints on seismic phenomena. In particular, stronger attenuation of shocks than seen on other asteroidal bodies seems to be required. Inhomogeneous energy transport, possibly matching observed inhomogeneous ejecta deposition may offer explanations for some of the observed phenomena. Some impact craters show unusual forms, which are probably the result of impact into a surface with relief comparable to the resultant crater diameter and/or oblique impact. There is evidence that re-surfacing through landslides has occurred at several places on the object.

Viewing alternatives


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions