Ero's Rahe Dorsum: Implications for internal structure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

An intriguing discovery of the NEAR imaging and laser-ranging experiments was the ridge system known as Rahe Dorsum and its possible relation with global-scale internal structure. The curved path of the ridge over the surface roughly defines a plane cutting through Eros. Another lineament on the other side of Eros, Calisto Fossae, seems to lie nearly on the same plane. The NEAR teams interpret Rahe as the expression of a compressive fault (a plane of weakness), because portions are a scarp, which on Earth would be indicative of horizontal compression, where shear displacement along a dipping fault has thrust the portion of the lithosphere on one side of the fault up relative to the other side. However, given the different geometry of Eros, a scarp may not have the same relationship to underlying structure as it does on Earth. The plane through Eros runs nearly parallel to, and just below, the surface facet adjacent to Rahe Dorsum. The plane then continues lengthwise through the elongated body, a surprising geometry for a plane of weakness on a battered body. Moreover, an assessment of the topography of Rahe Dorsurn indicates that it is not consistent with displacement on the Rahe plane. Rather, the topography suggests that Rahe Dorsum results from resistance of the Rahe plane to impact erosion. Such a plane of strength might have formed in Eros' parent body by a fluid intrusion (e.g., a dike of partial melt) through undifferentiated material, creating a vein of stronger rock. Albedo, color and near-infrared spectra could be consistent with a distinct material composition and such a history, although the instruments' resolution was not adequate for a definitive detection of such a spatially limited component. However the plane of strength formed, such structural reinforcing might have enabled and controlled the elongated irregular shape of Eros, as well as Rahe Dorsum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-449
Number of pages15
JournalMeteoritics and Planetary Science
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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