Topography of lobate scarps on Mercury: New constraints on the planet's contraction

Thomas R. Watters, Mark Robinson, Anthony C. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Lobate scarps are landforms on Mercury that appear to have formed by thrust faulting and are thought to reflect global contraction due to cooling of the planet's interior. Topographic data for 10 mercurian lobate scarps, derived from Mariner 10 images using photoclinometry and digital stereoanalysis, indicate a range in maximum relief of 0.1 to 1.5 km and a range in horizontal shortening of 0.3 to 3.2 km, assuming fault-plane dips (θ) of 25°. Previous estimates of cumulative compressional strain recorded in the lobate scarps suggest a decrease in Mercury's radius of 1 to 2 km. Our estimate of compressional strain based on these new topographic measurements is ~0.056% (θ = 25°). This suggests that Mercury's radius decreased by <1 km.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)991-994
Number of pages4
JournalGeology
Volume26
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1998
Externally publishedYes

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contraction
planet
topography
fault plane
landform
dip
faulting
relief
thrust
cooling
mercury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

Cite this

Topography of lobate scarps on Mercury : New constraints on the planet's contraction. / Watters, Thomas R.; Robinson, Mark; Cook, Anthony C.

In: Geology, Vol. 26, No. 11, 11.1998, p. 991-994.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Watters, Thomas R. ; Robinson, Mark ; Cook, Anthony C. / Topography of lobate scarps on Mercury : New constraints on the planet's contraction. In: Geology. 1998 ; Vol. 26, No. 11. pp. 991-994.
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