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High-Reflectance Plains (Mercury)

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Plains whose material is bright relative to the surrounding materials on Mercury.


A type of smooth plains on Mercury (Robinson et al. 2008).


Light-colored interior plains (Murchie et al. 2008)


A geological terrain type that was identified based on reflectance variations related to compositional heterogeneities correlated with morphological features (Charlier et al. 2013). Its reflectances are up to 20 % above the global mean (in Caloris about 10 % higher) and have a redder spectral continuum (Murchie et al. 2008). This unit has relatively steep spectral slopes and typically displays sharp color and morphologic boundaries with surrounding terrain (Denevi et al. 2009).


High-reflectance plains are likely volcanic in origin (e.g., Prockter et al. 2010) and may be analogous to mare deposits on the Moon (Ernst et al. 2010) that similarly filled the floor of large impact basins, although mare material is darker than its surroundings....


  • Spectral Slope
  • Large Igneous Province
  • Basin Floor
  • Terrain Type
  • Plain Material

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Fig. 1


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Correspondence to Henrik Hargitai .

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Hargitai, H. (2014). High-Reflectance Plains (Mercury). In: Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms. Springer, New York, NY.

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