Tectonism and magmatism identified on asteroids
Published:January 01, 2015
Debra L. Buczkowski, Danielle Y. Wyrick, 2015. "Tectonism and magmatism identified on asteroids", Volcanism and Tectonism Across the Inner Solar System, T. Platz, M. Massironi, P. K. Byrne, H. Hiesinger
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Linear features generally accepted as tectonic structures have been observed on several asteroids and their presence has implications for the internal structure, strength and evolution of these various bodies. Lineaments observed on the Martian moon Phobos led to the prediction that other cratered small bodies would be similarly lineated. Observations of several small bodies, including Gaspra, Ida, Mathilde, Eros, Itokawa, Steins, Lutetia and Vesta, have identified different physical mechanisms by which linear features can be formed. Analysis shows that asteroid lineaments appear to have different origins, including impact, and that lineament orientations and magnitudes provide important constraints on the interior structure of these bodies. Being a differentiated proto-planet, Vesta is a unique body with which to study the role that internal rheologies and structures play on surface tectonic expression. Vesta presents fractures and grooves similar to the other observed asteroids, but also large-scale graben and trough structures more characteristic of terrestrial planet tectonics. Unlike many terrestrial planets, Vesta’s main stressors have, however, been primarily exogenic (e.g. impacts) rather than internally driven. Nevertheless, while the search for volcanic features on Vesta has not been successful, the evaluation of the Brumalia Tholus feature suggests that the geological history of Vesta may have included magmatism.
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Volcanism and Tectonism Across the Inner Solar System
Volcanism and tectonism are the dominant endogenic means by which planetary surfaces change. This book aims to encompass the broad range in character of volcanism, tectonism, faulting and associated interactions observed on planetary bodies across the inner solar system - a region that includes Mercury, Venus, Earth, the Moon, Mars and asteroids. The diversity and breadth of landforms produced by volcanic and tectonic processes is enormous, and varies across the inner solar system bodies. As a result, the selection of prevailing landforms and their underlying formational processes that are described and highlighted in this volume are but a primer to the expansive field of planetary volcanism and tectonism. This Special Publication features 22 research articles about volcanic and tectonic processes manifest across the inner solar system.