Geologic mapping of ejecta deposits in Oppia Quadrangle, Asteroid (4) Vesta

Dawn Science Team

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Oppia Quadrangle Av-10 (288-360°E, ±22°) is a junction of key geologic features that preserve a rough history of Asteroid (4) Vesta and serves as a case study of using geologic mapping to define a relative geologic timescale. Clear filter images, stereo-derived topography, slope maps, and multispectral color-ratio images from the Framing Camera on NASA's Dawn spacecraft served as basemaps to create a geologic map and investigate the spatial and temporal relationships of the local stratigraphy. Geologic mapping reveals the oldest map unit within Av-10 is the cratered highlands terrain which possibly represents original crustal material on Vesta that was then excavated by one or more impacts to form the basin Feralia Planitia. Saturnalia Fossae and Divalia Fossae ridge and trough terrains intersect the wall of Feralia Planitia indicating that this impact basin is older than both the Veneneia and Rheasilvia impact structures, representing Pre-Veneneian crustal material. Two of the youngest geologic features in Av-10 are Lepida (~45. km diameter) and Oppia (~40. km diameter) impact craters that formed on the northern and southern wall of Feralia Planitia and each cross-cuts a trough terrain. The ejecta blanket of Oppia is mapped as 'dark mantle' material because it appears dark orange in the Framing Camera 'Clementine-type' color-ratio image and has a diffuse, gradational contact distributed to the south across the rim of Rheasilvia. Mapping of surface material that appears light orange in color in the Framing Camera 'Clementine-type' color-ratio image as 'light mantle material' supports previous interpretations of an impact ejecta origin. Some light mantle deposits are easily traced to nearby source craters, but other deposits may represent distal ejecta deposits (emplaced >5 crater radii away) in a microgravity environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-119
Number of pages16
JournalIcarus
Volume244
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

Keywords

  • Asteroid Vesta
  • Asteroids, surfaces
  • Cratering
  • Geological processes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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