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  Recent cryovolcanic activity at Occator crater on Ceres

Nathues, A., Schmedemann, N., Thangjam, G. S., Pasckert, J. H., Mengel, K., Castillo-Rogez, J., et al. (2020). Recent cryovolcanic activity at Occator crater on Ceres. Nature astronomy, 4(8), 794-801. doi:10.1038/s41550-020-1146-8.

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 Creators:
Nathues, Andreas1, Author              
Schmedemann, Nico1, Author              
Thangjam, Guneshwar Singh1, Author              
Pasckert, J. H., Author
Mengel, K.2, Author
Castillo-Rogez, J., Author
Cloutis, E. A., Author
Hiesinger, H., Author
Hoffmann, M.2, Author
Le Corre, L., Author
Li, J.-Y., Author
Pieters, C., Author
Raymond, C. A., Author
Reddy, V., Author
Ruesch, O., Author
Williams, D. A., Author
Affiliations:
1Department Planets and Comets, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society, ou_1832288              
2Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, 37077 Göttingen, DE, ou_1125546              

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 Abstract: NASA’s Dawn mission revealed a partially differentiated Ceres that has experienced cryovolcanic activity throughout its history up to the recent past. The Occator impact crater, which formed ~22 Myr ago, displays bright deposits (faculae) across its floor whose origins are still under debate: two competing hypotheses involve eruption of brines from the crust–mantle transition boundary (remnants of an ancient ocean) or alternatively from a shallow impact melt chamber. Here we report new constraints on the history of Occator that help in testing the hypotheses of its formation. We used high-resolution images of the Dawn Framing Camera obtained close to the end of the mission. We found a long-lasting and recent period of cryovolcanic activity, which started ≤9 Myr ago and lasted for several million years. Several resurfacing events, affecting the faculae and some (dark) solidified impact melt units, are shown to have occurred millions of years after crater formation and the dissipation of the impact-generated heat. These findings are indicative of a deep-seated brine source. Extensive volatile-driven emplacement of bright material occurred in the central floor, causing its subsidence due to mass loss at depth. Finally, a thick (extrusive) dome of bright material was raised in the central depression. The derived chronostratigraphy of Occator is consistent with a recently geologically active world, where salts play a major role in preserving liquid in a heat-starved body.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2020
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1038/s41550-020-1146-8
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Title: Nature astronomy
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London : Springer Nature
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 4 (8) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 794 - 801 Identifier: ISSN: 2397-3366
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/2397-3366