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Pluto: Pits and mantles on uplands north and east of Sputnik Planitia

Abstract : The highlands region north and east of Sputnik Planitia can be subdivided into seven terrain types based on their physiographic expression. The northern rough uplands are characterized by jagged uplands and broad troughs, and it may contain a deeply-eroded ancient mantle. Dissected terrain has been interpreted to have been eroded by paleo-glaciation. The smooth uplands and pits terrain contains broad, rolling uplands surrounding complexes of pits, some of which contain smooth floors. The uplands are mantled by smooth-surfaced deposits possibly derived from adjacent pits through low-power explosive cryovolcanism or through slow vapor condensation. The eroded smooth uplands appear to have originally been smooth uplands and pits terrain modified by small-scale sublimation pitting. The bright pitted uplands features intricate texturing by reticulate ridges that may have originated by sublimation erosion, volatile condensation, or both. The bladed terrain is characterized by parallel ridges oriented north-south and is discussed in a separate paper. The dark uplands are mantled with reddish deposits that may be atmospherically deposited tholins. Their presence has affected long-term landform evolution. Widespread pit complexes occur on most of the terrain units. Most appear to be associated with tectonic lineations. Some pits are floored by broad expanses of ices, whereas most feature deep, conical depressions. A few pit complexes are enclosed by elevated rims of uncertain origin.
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Submitted on : Thursday, June 9, 2022 - 6:02:08 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, June 25, 2022 - 3:06:23 AM




Alan D. Howard, Jeffrey M. Moore, Oliver L. White, Orkan M. Umurhan, Paul M. Schenk, et al.. Pluto: Pits and mantles on uplands north and east of Sputnik Planitia. Icarus, 2017, 293, pp.218-230. ⟨10.1016/j.icarus.2017.02.027⟩. ⟨insu-03692481⟩



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