On the asymmetry of Nathair Facula

Rothery, David; Barraud, Océane; Besse, Sebastien; Carli, Cristian; Pegg, David; Wright, Jack and Zambon, Francesca (2020). On the asymmetry of Nathair Facula. In: EPSC Abstracts, article no. EPSC2020-782.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5194/epsc2020-782

URL: https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EPSC2020/E...


Nathair Facula is the largest and most spectrally distinct of nearly 200 ‘bright red’ spots on Mercury’s surface. Most are accepted to be deposits from explosive volcanic eruptions. Nathair Facula hosts a central pit, but the mid-point of this facula is displaced about 20 km northwards from the middle of the pit. This poses unresolved questions about the eruption mechanism. The vent area is almost certainly a ‘compound vent’ where the eruption site migrated between eruptive episodes. It is unclear how a consistent asymmetry could be repeatedly engendered and reinforced by a series of eruptions rather than averaging out to a symmetrical distribution.

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