We modeled gravity data to explore Mercury's internal structure and show the presence of crustal heterogeneities in density. We first evaluated the lithospheric flexure occurring in the spherical harmonic degree range 5-80, according to the flexural isostatic response curve. We thus estimated a mean elastic lithosphere thickness of about 30 [Formula: see text] 10 km and modeled the crust-mantle interface, which varies from 19 to 42 km depth, according to a flexural compensation model. The isostatic gravity anomalies were then obtained as the residual field with respect to the contributions from topography and lithospheric flexure. Isostatic anomalies are mainly related to density variations in the crust: gravity highs mostly correspond to large-impact basins suggesting intra-crustal magmatic intrusions as the main origin of these anomalies. Isostatic gravity lows prevail, instead, above intercrater plains and may represent the signature of a heavily fractured crust.

Gravity evidence for a heterogeneous crust of Mercury / Buoninfante, Salvatore; Milano, Maurizio; Negri, Barbara; Plainaki, Christina; Sindoni, Giuseppe; Fedi, Maurizio. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - 13:1(2023), p. 19854. [10.1038/s41598-023-46081-4]

Gravity evidence for a heterogeneous crust of Mercury

Buoninfante, Salvatore
Methodology
;
Milano, Maurizio
Conceptualization
;
Fedi, Maurizio
Supervision
2023

Abstract

We modeled gravity data to explore Mercury's internal structure and show the presence of crustal heterogeneities in density. We first evaluated the lithospheric flexure occurring in the spherical harmonic degree range 5-80, according to the flexural isostatic response curve. We thus estimated a mean elastic lithosphere thickness of about 30 [Formula: see text] 10 km and modeled the crust-mantle interface, which varies from 19 to 42 km depth, according to a flexural compensation model. The isostatic gravity anomalies were then obtained as the residual field with respect to the contributions from topography and lithospheric flexure. Isostatic anomalies are mainly related to density variations in the crust: gravity highs mostly correspond to large-impact basins suggesting intra-crustal magmatic intrusions as the main origin of these anomalies. Isostatic gravity lows prevail, instead, above intercrater plains and may represent the signature of a heavily fractured crust.
2023
Gravity evidence for a heterogeneous crust of Mercury / Buoninfante, Salvatore; Milano, Maurizio; Negri, Barbara; Plainaki, Christina; Sindoni, Giuseppe; Fedi, Maurizio. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - 13:1(2023), p. 19854. [10.1038/s41598-023-46081-4]
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Buoninfante et al. 2023 - Gravity evidence for a heterogeneous crust of Mercury.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Versione Editoriale (PDF)
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 3.78 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
3.78 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/946283
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact