Late movement of basin-edge lobate scarps on Mercury

Thèmes de recherche:
Année:
2017
Mots-clés:
geology, Lobate scarps, Mercury, Model ages, planetary, Planetary volcanism, Tectonics
Auteurs:
  • E. R. Fegan
  • D. A. Rothery
  • S. Marchi
  • M. Massironi
  • Susan Conway
  • M. Anand
Journal:
Icarus
Volume:
288
Pages:
226-234
Mois:
Mai
ISSN:
0019-1035
Résumé:
Abstract
Basin-edge lobate scarps are a sub-type of tectonic shortening structure on the surface of Mercury that have formed at the edge of volcanic units that fill or partly fill impact basins. We have performed a global survey of these features and find that they are widespread in basins across the planet. We obtained model ages from crater size–frequency distribution analysis for a subset of our surveyed basins, for both the smooth plains infill and for the last resolvable tectonic activity on the associated basin-edge scarps. Our results indicate that some of these lobate scarps were still accumulating strain in the late Mansurian (approximately 1 Ga). From a photogeological assessment, we find that the orientations of these basin-edge lobate scarps are similar to those reported for the global population of lobate scarps in earlier studies, appearing to align ∼north–south at low latitudes and ∼east–west at higher latitudes. However, reassessing these landforms’ orientation with artificially illuminated topographic data does not allow us to rule out the effect of illumination bias. We propose that these landforms, the result of crustal shortening in response to global contraction, formed along the interface between the basin floor and the smooth plains unit, which acted as a mechanical discontinuity along which shortening strains were concentrated.