Investigating the Neruda-Paramour thrust system, Mercury

Man, Ben; Rothery, David; Balme, Matthew; Conway, Susan and Wright, Jack (2020). Investigating the Neruda-Paramour thrust system, Mercury. In: EPSC Abstracts, article no. 794.




Our tectonic mapping as part of a larger morphostratigraphic mapping effort of the H13, Neruda Quadrangle has led us to recognise the “Neruda-Paramour” thrust system. The system appears to extend from the southern limits of H13 north through H09 and H08 and simplifies at its northern end into Paramour Rupes. Mercury’s tectonic evolution is dominated by global scale contractional structures of which the Neruda-Paramour system is part. These structures are believed to have formed either by secular cooling of the planet, tidal despinning, mantle overturn, true polar wander or a combination of these processes. Regardless of the process, Mercury’s surface exhibits abundant evidence of global contraction in the form of shortening structures such as lobate scarps, high relief ridges and wrinkles ridges. These features are widely accepted as the surface expressions of thrust faulting and folding, produced by lithospheric horizontal compression. Often, these contractional features comprise major thrust systems as linked segments with a consistent trend. In order to understand the development of the Neruda-Paramour system and to ascertain if there is any sequence of movements, we are first mapping the system in its entirety followed by age dating of each thrust segment’s last movement using the buffered crater counting (BCC) technique.

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