Lobate and flow-like features on asteroid Vesta

David Williams, David P. O'Brien, Paul M. Schenk, Brett W. Denevi, Uri Carsenty, Simone Marchi, Jennifer E C Scully, Ralf Jaumann, Maria Cristina De Sanctis, Ernesto Palomba, Eleonora Ammannito, Andrea Longobardo, Gianfranco Magni, Alessandro Frigeri, Christopher T. Russell, Carol A. Raymond, Thomas M. Davison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We studied high-resolution images of asteroid Vesta's surface (~70 and 20-25 m/pixel) obtained during the High- and Low-Altitude Mapping Orbits (HAMO, LAMO) of NASA's Dawn mission to assess the formation mechanisms responsible for a variety of lobate, flow-like features observed across the surface. We searched for evidence of volcanic flows, based on prior mathematical modeling and the well-known basaltic nature of Vesta's crust, but no unequivocal morphologic evidence of ancient volcanic activity has thus far been identified. Rather, we find that all lobate, flow-like features on Vesta appear to be related either to impact or erosional processes. Morphologically distinct lobate features occur in and around impact craters, and most of these are interpreted as impact ejecta flows, or possibly flows of impact melt. Estimates of melt production from numerical models and scaling laws suggests that large craters like Marcia (~60 km diameter) could have potentially produced impact melt volumes ranging from tens of millions of cubic meters to a few tens of cubic kilometers, which are relatively small volumes compared to similar-sized lunar craters, but which are consistent with putative impact melt features observed in Dawn images. There are also examples of lobate flows that trend downhill both inside and outside of crater rims and basin scarps, which are interpreted as the result of gravity-driven mass movements (slumps and landslides).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-35
Number of pages12
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
Volume103
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 15 2014

Fingerprint

Vesta asteroid
asteroid
impact melts
crater
craters
melt
volcanology
lunar craters
escarpments
landslides
low altitude
mass movement
image resolution
formation mechanism
ejecta
high altitude
rims
scaling laws
landslide
crusts

Keywords

  • Asteroids
  • Dawn
  • Impact cratering
  • Vesta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Williams, D., O'Brien, D. P., Schenk, P. M., Denevi, B. W., Carsenty, U., Marchi, S., ... Davison, T. M. (2014). Lobate and flow-like features on asteroid Vesta. Planetary and Space Science, 103, 24-35. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2013.06.017

Lobate and flow-like features on asteroid Vesta. / Williams, David; O'Brien, David P.; Schenk, Paul M.; Denevi, Brett W.; Carsenty, Uri; Marchi, Simone; Scully, Jennifer E C; Jaumann, Ralf; De Sanctis, Maria Cristina; Palomba, Ernesto; Ammannito, Eleonora; Longobardo, Andrea; Magni, Gianfranco; Frigeri, Alessandro; Russell, Christopher T.; Raymond, Carol A.; Davison, Thomas M.

In: Planetary and Space Science, Vol. 103, 15.11.2014, p. 24-35.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Williams, D, O'Brien, DP, Schenk, PM, Denevi, BW, Carsenty, U, Marchi, S, Scully, JEC, Jaumann, R, De Sanctis, MC, Palomba, E, Ammannito, E, Longobardo, A, Magni, G, Frigeri, A, Russell, CT, Raymond, CA & Davison, TM 2014, 'Lobate and flow-like features on asteroid Vesta', Planetary and Space Science, vol. 103, pp. 24-35. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2013.06.017
Williams D, O'Brien DP, Schenk PM, Denevi BW, Carsenty U, Marchi S et al. Lobate and flow-like features on asteroid Vesta. Planetary and Space Science. 2014 Nov 15;103:24-35. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2013.06.017
Williams, David ; O'Brien, David P. ; Schenk, Paul M. ; Denevi, Brett W. ; Carsenty, Uri ; Marchi, Simone ; Scully, Jennifer E C ; Jaumann, Ralf ; De Sanctis, Maria Cristina ; Palomba, Ernesto ; Ammannito, Eleonora ; Longobardo, Andrea ; Magni, Gianfranco ; Frigeri, Alessandro ; Russell, Christopher T. ; Raymond, Carol A. ; Davison, Thomas M. / Lobate and flow-like features on asteroid Vesta. In: Planetary and Space Science. 2014 ; Vol. 103. pp. 24-35.
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AU - Marchi, Simone

AU - Scully, Jennifer E C

AU - Jaumann, Ralf

AU - De Sanctis, Maria Cristina

AU - Palomba, Ernesto

AU - Ammannito, Eleonora

AU - Longobardo, Andrea

AU - Magni, Gianfranco

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AU - Russell, Christopher T.

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