Mare, [Maria]

  • Henrik Hargitai
Living reference work entry

A descriptor term used in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.


“Sea”; large circular plain; on Titan, large expanses of dark materials thought to be liquid hydrocarbons (IAU Gazetteer 2014).

Large dark area (Sadler 1962).

Previous Definitions

Dark, smooth plains [on the Moon] (Wilhelms 1987).

Origin of Term

Sea, Latin.

Notes: There are several uses of the term mare.
  1. 1.

    As albedo unit: large dark patches, as contrasted to bright units, e.g., terra on the Moon (without genetic implication) – may be composed of dust-free dark bedrock or dark sand on Mars (Dark Deposits, Mars) or basaltic lava on the Moon (Mare, Moon) or probably liquid material on Titan.

  2. 2.

    As terrain type on the Moon: smooth plains mostly in and around depressed parts of large circular basins (without genetic implication); Mare (Moon).

  3. 3.

    As material unit (specific geologic definition): plain-forming basaltic materials (mare materials, mare deposits), only on the Moon (Mare (Moon), Volcanic Plain).




Liquid Hydrocarbon Dark Patch Genetic Implication Basaltic Material Circular Basin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Planetary Science Research GroupEötvös Loránd University, Institute of Geography and Earth SciencesBudapestHungary