Distribution of large-scale contractional tectonic landforms on Mercury: Implications for the origin of global stresses

Thomas R. Watters, Michelle M. Selvans, Maria E. Banks, Steven A. Hauck, Kris J. Becker, Mark Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The surface of Mercury is dominated by contractional tectonic landforms that are evidence of global-scale crustal deformation. Using MESSENGER orbital high-incidence angle imaging and topographic data, large-scale lobate thrust fault scarps have been mapped globally. The spatial distribution and areal density of the contractional landforms are not uniform; concentrations occur in longitudinal bands and between the north and south hemispheres. Their orientations are generally north-south at low latitude to midlatitude and east-west at high latitudes. The spatial distribution and distribution of orientations of these large-scale contractional features suggest that planet-wide contraction due to interior cooling cannot be the sole source of global stresses. The nonrandom orientations are best explained by a combination of stresses from global contraction and tidal despinning combined with an equator-to-pole variation in lithospheric thickness, while the nonuniform areal density of the contractional features may indicate the influence of mantle downwelling or heterogeneities in lithospheric strength.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3755-3763
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume42
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - May 28 2015

Fingerprint

landforms
landform
tectonics
contraction
spatial distribution
spin reduction
MESSENGER (spacecraft)
escarpments
temperate regions
crustal deformation
downwelling
equators
thrust fault
hemispheres
tropical regions
polar regions
planets
Earth mantle
poles
planet

Keywords

  • Mercury
  • stress
  • tectonics
  • thrust fault

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Geophysics

Cite this

Distribution of large-scale contractional tectonic landforms on Mercury : Implications for the origin of global stresses. / Watters, Thomas R.; Selvans, Michelle M.; Banks, Maria E.; Hauck, Steven A.; Becker, Kris J.; Robinson, Mark.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 42, No. 10, 28.05.2015, p. 3755-3763.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Watters, Thomas R. ; Selvans, Michelle M. ; Banks, Maria E. ; Hauck, Steven A. ; Becker, Kris J. ; Robinson, Mark. / Distribution of large-scale contractional tectonic landforms on Mercury : Implications for the origin of global stresses. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 2015 ; Vol. 42, No. 10. pp. 3755-3763.
@article{9686080fed4546bc959f3d419f1d2691,
title = "Distribution of large-scale contractional tectonic landforms on Mercury: Implications for the origin of global stresses",
abstract = "The surface of Mercury is dominated by contractional tectonic landforms that are evidence of global-scale crustal deformation. Using MESSENGER orbital high-incidence angle imaging and topographic data, large-scale lobate thrust fault scarps have been mapped globally. The spatial distribution and areal density of the contractional landforms are not uniform; concentrations occur in longitudinal bands and between the north and south hemispheres. Their orientations are generally north-south at low latitude to midlatitude and east-west at high latitudes. The spatial distribution and distribution of orientations of these large-scale contractional features suggest that planet-wide contraction due to interior cooling cannot be the sole source of global stresses. The nonrandom orientations are best explained by a combination of stresses from global contraction and tidal despinning combined with an equator-to-pole variation in lithospheric thickness, while the nonuniform areal density of the contractional features may indicate the influence of mantle downwelling or heterogeneities in lithospheric strength.",
keywords = "Mercury, stress, tectonics, thrust fault",
author = "Watters, {Thomas R.} and Selvans, {Michelle M.} and Banks, {Maria E.} and Hauck, {Steven A.} and Becker, {Kris J.} and Mark Robinson",
year = "2015",
month = "5",
day = "28",
doi = "10.1002/2015GL063570",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "42",
pages = "3755--3763",
journal = "Geophysical Research Letters",
issn = "0094-8276",
publisher = "American Geophysical Union",
number = "10",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Distribution of large-scale contractional tectonic landforms on Mercury

T2 - Implications for the origin of global stresses

AU - Watters, Thomas R.

AU - Selvans, Michelle M.

AU - Banks, Maria E.

AU - Hauck, Steven A.

AU - Becker, Kris J.

AU - Robinson, Mark

PY - 2015/5/28

Y1 - 2015/5/28

N2 - The surface of Mercury is dominated by contractional tectonic landforms that are evidence of global-scale crustal deformation. Using MESSENGER orbital high-incidence angle imaging and topographic data, large-scale lobate thrust fault scarps have been mapped globally. The spatial distribution and areal density of the contractional landforms are not uniform; concentrations occur in longitudinal bands and between the north and south hemispheres. Their orientations are generally north-south at low latitude to midlatitude and east-west at high latitudes. The spatial distribution and distribution of orientations of these large-scale contractional features suggest that planet-wide contraction due to interior cooling cannot be the sole source of global stresses. The nonrandom orientations are best explained by a combination of stresses from global contraction and tidal despinning combined with an equator-to-pole variation in lithospheric thickness, while the nonuniform areal density of the contractional features may indicate the influence of mantle downwelling or heterogeneities in lithospheric strength.

AB - The surface of Mercury is dominated by contractional tectonic landforms that are evidence of global-scale crustal deformation. Using MESSENGER orbital high-incidence angle imaging and topographic data, large-scale lobate thrust fault scarps have been mapped globally. The spatial distribution and areal density of the contractional landforms are not uniform; concentrations occur in longitudinal bands and between the north and south hemispheres. Their orientations are generally north-south at low latitude to midlatitude and east-west at high latitudes. The spatial distribution and distribution of orientations of these large-scale contractional features suggest that planet-wide contraction due to interior cooling cannot be the sole source of global stresses. The nonrandom orientations are best explained by a combination of stresses from global contraction and tidal despinning combined with an equator-to-pole variation in lithospheric thickness, while the nonuniform areal density of the contractional features may indicate the influence of mantle downwelling or heterogeneities in lithospheric strength.

KW - Mercury

KW - stress

KW - tectonics

KW - thrust fault

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84931417149&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84931417149&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/2015GL063570

DO - 10.1002/2015GL063570

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84931417149

VL - 42

SP - 3755

EP - 3763

JO - Geophysical Research Letters

JF - Geophysical Research Letters

SN - 0094-8276

IS - 10

ER -