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  • ICARUS
Date Range
2014 2015

Explosive extrusion of cold material from the interior of icy bodies, or cryovolcanism, has been observed on Enceladus and, perhaps, Europa, Triton, and Ceres. It may explain the observed evidence for a young surface on Charon (Pluto’s surface is masked by frosts). Here, we evaluate prerequisites for cryovolcanism on dwarf planet-class Kuiper belt objects (KBOs). We first review the likely spatial and temporal extent of subsurface liquid, proposed mechanisms to overcome the negative buoyancy of liquid water in ice, and the volatile inventory of KBOs. We then present a new geochemical equilibrium model for volatile exsolution and its ability to ...

Contributors
Neveu, Marc, Desch, Steven, Shock, Everett, et al.
Created Date
2015-01-15

We produced a geologic map of the Av-9 Numisia quadrangle of asteroid Vesta using Dawn spacecraft data to serve as a tool to understand the geologic relations of surface features in this region. These features include the plateau Vestalia Terra, a hill named Brumalia Tholus, and an unusual “dark ribbon” material crossing the majority of the map area. Stratigraphic relations suggest that Vestalia Terra is one of the oldest features on Vesta, despite a model crater age date similar to that of much of the surface of the asteroid. Cornelia, Numisia and Drusilla craters reveal bright and dark material in ...

Contributors
Buczkowski, D.L., Wyrick, D.Y., Toplis, M., et al.
Created Date
2014-03-14

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the Geologic Mapping of Vesta Special Issue/Section of Icarus, which includes several papers containing geologic maps of the surface of Vesta made to support data analysis conducted by the Dawn Science Team during the Vesta Encounter (July 2011–September 2012). In this paper we briefly discuss pre-Dawn knowledge of Vesta, provide the goals of our geologic mapping campaign, discuss the methodologies and materials used for geologic mapping, review the global geologic context of Vesta, discuss the challenges of mapping the geology of Vesta as a small airless body, and describe the content of ...

Contributors
Williams, David, Yingst, R. Aileen, Garry, W. Brent, et al.
Created Date
2014-03-03

Vesta is a unique, intermediate class of rocky body in the Solar System, between terrestrial planets and small asteroids, because of its size (average radius of ∼263 km) and differentiation, with a crust, mantle and core. Vesta’s low surface gravity (0.25 m/s[superscript 2]) has led to the continual absence of a protective atmosphere and consequently impact cratering and impact-related processes are prevalent. Previous work has shown that the formation of the Rheasilvia impact basin induced the equatorial Divalia Fossae, whereas the formation of the Veneneia impact basin induced the northern Saturnalia Fossae. Expanding upon this earlier work, we conducted photogeologic ...

Contributors
Scully, Jennifer E.C., Yin, A., Russell, C.T., et al.
Created Date
2014-01-29

Deposits of dark material appear on Vesta’s surface as features of relatively low-albedo in the visible wavelength range of Dawn’s camera and spectrometer. Mixed with the regolith and partially excavated by younger impacts, the material is exposed as individual layered outcrops in crater walls or ejecta patches, having been uncovered and broken up by the impact. Dark fans on crater walls and dark deposits on crater floors are the result of gravity-driven mass wasting triggered by steep slopes and impact seismicity. The fact that dark material is mixed with impact ejecta indicates that it has been processed together with the ...

Contributors
Jaumann, R., Nass, A., Otto, K., et al.
Created Date
2014-09-15

In this paper we present a time-stratigraphic scheme and geologic time scale for the protoplanet Vesta, based on global geologic mapping and other analyses of NASA Dawn spacecraft data, complemented by insights gained from laboratory studies of howardite–eucrite–diogenite (HED) meteorites and geophysical modeling. On the basis of prominent impact structures and their associated deposits, we propose a time scale for Vesta that consists of four geologic time periods: Pre-Veneneian, Veneneian, Rheasilvian, and Marcian. The Pre-Veneneian Period covers the time from the formation of Vesta up to the Veneneia impact event, from 4.6 Ga to >2.1 Ga (using the asteroid flux-derived ...

Contributors
Williams, David, Jaumann, R., McSween, H. Y., et al.
Created Date
2014-12-01

We used Dawn spacecraft data to identify and delineate geological units and landforms in the Marcia quadrangle of Vesta as a means to assess the role of the large, relatively young impact craters Marcia (∼63 km diam.) and Calpurnia (∼53 km diam.) and their surrounding ejecta field on the local geology. We also investigated a local topographic high with a dark-rayed crater named Aricia Tholus, and the impact crater Octavia that is surrounded by a distinctive diffuse mantle. Crater counts and stratigraphic relations suggest that Marcia is the youngest large crater on Vesta, in which a putative impact melt on ...

Contributors
Williams, David, Denevi, Brett W., Mittlefehldt, David W., et al.
Created Date
2014-12-01

We produced two 1:250,000 scale geologic maps of the adjacent quadrangles Av-6 Gegania and Av-7 Lucaria, located in the equatorial region of (4) Vesta (0–144°E, 22°S to 22°N). The mapping is based on clear and color filter images of the Framing Camera (FC) onboard the Dawn spacecraft, which has captured the entire illuminated surface of Vesta with high spatial resolution (up to ∼20 m/pixel), and on a digital terrain model derived from FC imagery. Besides the geologic mapping itself, a secondary purpose of this work is to investigate one of the most prominent morphological features on Vesta, namely the aggregation ...

Contributors
Schaefer, Michael, Nathues, Andreas, Williams, David, et al.
Created Date
2014-12-01

As part of systematic global mapping of Vesta using data returned by the Dawn spacecraft, we have produced a geologic map of the north pole quadrangle, Av-1 Albana. Extensive seasonal shadows were present in the north polar region at the time of the Dawn observations, limiting the ability to map morphological features and employ color or spectral data for determination of composition. The major recognizable units present include ancient cratered highlands and younger crater-related units (undivided ejecta, and mass-wasting material on crater floors). The antipode of Vesta’s large southern impact basins, Rheasilvia and Veneneia, lie within or near the Av-1 ...

Contributors
Blewett, David T., Buczkowski, Debra L., Ruesch, Ottaviano, et al.
Created Date
2014-12-01

A variety of geologic landforms and features are observed within quadrangle Av-13 Tuccia in the southern hemisphere of Vesta. The quadrangle covers parts of the highland Vestalia Terra as well as the floors of the large Rheasilvia and Veneneia impact basins, which results in a substantial elevation difference of more than 40 km between the northern and the southern portions of the quadrangle. Measurements of crater size–frequency distributions within and surrounding the Rheasilvia basin indicate that gravity-driven mass wasting in the interior of the basin has been important, and that the basin has a more ancient formation age than would ...

Contributors
Kneissl, T., Schmedemann, N., Reddy, V., et al.
Created Date
2014-12-01