Geological Society of London
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A downscaling approach for geological characterization of the Raditladi basin of Mercury

posted on 2016-06-21, 11:37 authored by Paolo Mancinelli, Francesco Minelli, Alessandro Mondini, Cristina Pauselli, Costanzo Federico

In this work, we combined multi-scale geological maps of Mercury to produce a new global map where geological units are classified based on albedo, crater density and morphological relationships with other units. To create this map, we used the 250 m/pixel mosaic of images acquired by the narrow- and wide-angle cameras onboard the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft during its orbital phase. The geological mapping is supported by digital terrain model data and surface mineralogical variation from the global mosaic of MESSENGER Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer observations. This map comprises the global-scale intercrater plains, smooth plains and Odin-type units as reported in previous studies, as well as units we term bright intercrater plains, Caloris rough ejecta and dark material deposits. We mapped a portion of the Raditladi quadrangle (19–35°N, 106–133°E) at a regional scale at a resolution of 166 m/pixel. We characterized the geological context of the area and evaluated the stratigraphic relationships between the units. To obtain a representative geological section, we analysed and corrected available topographical data. The geological cross-section derived from our regional mapping suggests that volcanic emplacement of Raditladi's inner plains followed the topography of the basin after the deposition of impact-related units (i.e. melts, breccias and rim collapse) and was driven by low-viscosity flows. Hollows that appear on Raditladi's peak ring were possibly formed from low-reflectance intercrater plains materials exposed through the peak ring unit.