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Breaking Mercury

Tuesday 21 May 2013

Image Credit : NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Mission: MESSENGER.

Instrument: Mercury Dual Imaging System.

The figure above shows an oblique view of a 280 km long scarp. The color scale on this figure represents elevation in which red is high and blue is low. This scarp is interpreted to be a surface-breaking thrust fault. Thrust faults are surface manifestations of the shrinkage of the planet resulting from the cooling of its interior. Notice that the terrain on the left side of the scarp stands about 2 kilometers higher than that of the right side of the scarp. To give you a sense of the scale of this scarp, the state of Delaware has been superposed on the figure.

Université Paris-Sud 11 Faculté des Sciences GEOPS CNRS
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