Evidence for the interior evolution of Ceres from geologic analysis of fractures

Geophysical Research Letters
By: , and 



Ceres is the largest asteroid belt object, and the Dawn spacecraft observed Ceres since 2015. Dawn observed two morphologically distinct linear features on Ceres's surface: secondary crater chains and pit chains. Pit chains provide unique insights into Ceres's interior evolution. We interpret pit chains called the Samhain Catenae as the surface expression of subsurface fractures. Using the pit chains' spacings, we estimate that the localized thickness of Ceres's fractured, outer layer is approximately ≥58 km, at least ~14 km greater than the global average. We hypothesize that extensional stresses, induced by a region of upwelling material arising from convection/diapirism, formed the Samhain Catenae. We derive characteristics for this upwelling material, which can be used as constraints in future interior modeling studies. For example, its predicted location coincides with Hanami Planum, a high-elevation region with a negative residual gravity anomaly, which may be surficial evidence for this proposed region of upwelling material.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Evidence for the interior evolution of Ceres from geologic analysis of fractures
Series title Geophysical Research Letters
DOI 10.1002/2017GL075086
Volume 44
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Astrogeology Science Center
Description 9 p.
First page 9564
Last page 9572
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