9.3-Geology of Moon and Mercury, 9.4-Geology of Mars

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University of Toronto St. George
Astronomy & Astrophysics

9.3 Geology of the Moon and Mercury Geology of the Moon -maria is dark and smoother, lunar highlands are brighter and heavily cratered -maria is the only noticeable volcanic features on the Moon -flat surfaces of maria lunar lava spread easily and far traced back to Moons formation -no water or other gases are a part of the Moon because the giant impact released it and Moon was formed from the giant impact debris -few tectonic features found on the maria -surface wrinkles small-scale tectonic stresses -the side we dont see has higher altitude than the near side -allowed lava to well up and fill crater basins only on the near side -has very few marias on this side Moon today -desolate and nearly unchanging -geologically dead since maria formed more than 3 billion years ago -tiny particles burn up and rain directly onto the surface of Moon -the micrometeorites gradually pulverize the surface rock why the lunar surface is covered by a thin layer of powdery soil Geology of Mercury -impact craters visible everywhere on Mercury -less crowded together molten lava covered some up during the heavy bombardment) -these lava flows probably occurred when heat from radioactive decay accumulated to melt part of the mantle -Caloris Basin largest single surface feature, huge impact crater more than 12 of radius -has tremendous cliffs past tectonics quite different from other terrestrials -tectonic forces compressed the crust surface crumple
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