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Mercury’s Caloris basin: Continuity between the interior and exterior plains

Rothery, David A.; Mancinelli, Paolo; Guzzetta, Laura and Wright, Jack (2017). Mercury’s Caloris basin: Continuity between the interior and exterior plains. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 122(3) pp. 560–576.

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The smooth plains on the floor of Mercury's Caloris basin and those almost entirely surrounding it beyond its rim are usually accepted to be younger than the rim materials and to be lava flows rather than impact melt. High-resolution imaging shows that the emplacement of interior and exterior plains was concurrent, with evidence of both inward and outward flow while they were being emplaced. The Caloris rim is breached in two places by continuous smooth plains that seamlessly connect interior and exterior plains. The gross-scale spectral and compositional distinctiveness of interior and exterior plains is blurred on a scale of several tens of kilometers, which could reflect interfingering of flow units less than a few hundred kilometers long that tapped melt sources of different composition and/or depth inside and outside the basin followed by local mixing of regolith. Flows occurring both inside and outside the basin should be included in estimates of the total erupted volume.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2017 The Authors
ISSN: 2169-9100
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Extension of MIXS lead scientistST/M002101/1UK Space Agency (UKSA)
Astronomy and Planetary Sciences at the Open UniversityST/L000776/1STFC (Science & Technology Facilities Council)
Bridging funds for MIXS lead Co-InvestigatorST/N00339X/1STFC (Science & Technology Facilities Council)
Keywords: Mercury; MESSENGER; Caloris basin; lava
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Physical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Item ID: 49054
Depositing User: David Rothery
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2017 12:40
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2020 22:43
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