Intercrater Plains

  • David A. RotheryEmail author
  • Ákos Kereszturi
Living reference work entry


Plains on Mercury and other bodies that show fewer craters than the oldest terrains on the planet (heavily cratered terrain) but which are more cratered (and so are older) than smooth plains


Intercrater plains are a terrain mapping unit on Mercury. Any plains units between craters could be also called as intercrater plains on Mars (Kadish et al. 2009; Murchie et al. 2009; Wray et al. 2011) or the Moon (Leake 1982; Hartmann 1995) as a purely descriptive term.


Intercrater plains on Mercury (Fig. 1) form a nearly level or rolling surfaces covering about 40 % of the planet. Intercrater plains resemble smooth plains in color and reflectance and probably have broadly similar composition (Denevi et al. 2009). Preliminary X-ray fluorescence data from MESSENGER show a higher Mg/Si ratio for intercrater plains than for smooth plains and considerably higher than for terrestrial or lunar lavas (Weider et al. 2012). The high Mg/Si and low Fe/Si ratios (Nittler et al. 2011...


Impact Crater Plain Material Lunar Maria Late Heavy Bombardment Lunar Highland 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physical SciencesOpen UniversityMilton KeynesUK
  2. 2.Konkoly Thege Miklos Astronomical InstituteResearch Center for Astronomy and Earth SciencesBudapestHungary