Orientale and Caloris

Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors

DOI: 10.1016/0031-9201(77)90033-4



Applications of experimental explosion-crater data to Orientale and recent geologic mapping of the basin have produced a new stratigraphy and genetic model for Orientale that are also applicable to Caloris. The inner-basin scarp of Orientale is thought to be a bench separating the upper parts of the basin from its deep bowl-shaped interior. The elongated and complexly fractured domes of the basin floor formed by inward compression in the terminal stages of the cratering sequence. The Inner Montes Rook are considered a central peak ring. The Montes Rook and the nonlineated knobby and associated smoother materials that overlie the Cordillera scarp around much of its circumference are the uppermost parts of the overturned rim flap which formed early in the cratering event. The knobs and smaller massifs are probably coherent blocks quarried from deep within the moon. They were among the last materials to leave the basin and had little radial momentum unlike the lineated Hevelius which formed earlier by disaggregation of the rim flap, secondary cratering, and the ground surge. The Cordillera scarp, best seen on the east side of the basin but poorly developed and discontinuous on the west, is a primary feature formed early in the crater excavation process by basinward motions of the walls and the fractured zone beyond the rim of the expanding cavity. The Cordillera scarp is overlain by ejecta over most of its extent, and post-basin internal slumping, previously thought to be important, must be a subordinate process in development of the scarp. The basin fill in Caloris has no counterpart in Orientale but the materials between the most prominent scarp and the weakly developed outer scarp appear to be the degraded and possibly mantled equivalents of the massifs and knobs associated with the Montes Rook. The radially lineated terrain that generally lies beyond the outer scarp of Caloris is considered the subdued counterpart of the Hevelius Formation, which generally shows the same relation to the Cordillera scarp at Orientale. Thus, the prominent innermost scarp of the Caloris basin is the equivalent of the Montes Rook. Beyond this scarp is the overturned flap covered by large blocks and massifs derived from a deep horizon in Mercury where the bedrock is more coherent than the upper impact-brecciated layers. The radially lineated deposits, as in Orientale, are earlier-arriving basin ejecta and secondary-crater materials mixed with the pre-basin surface all of which were modified by the ground surge. This comparison between Orientale and Caloris suggests that one or more buried ring structures should be present inside Caloris and that Mercury is also layered internally as is the moon. The differences in spacing and development of the ring structures or circumferential scarps of Orientale and Caloris are probably gravitational effects. ?? 1977.

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Orientale and Caloris
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Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors
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Amsterdam, Netherlands
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