Morphology of Planets and Satellites
In the broadest sense, we consider that the morphologies of rocky members of the Solar System (Table 1, listed in order of distance from their host) can be grouped into three categories: endogenic, exogenic, and exotic. Endogenic provinces are ones that were produced by internal forces that caused plate movements and interplate and intraplate magmatic/tectonic activities. Exogenic provinces are ones that owe their origin to external processes such as weathering, erosion, transportation, and deposition from earlier rock surfaces; therefore, they require the presence of a hydrosphere (or other liquid) and an atmosphere (Table 2, listed in order of decreasing diameter). Exotic provinces are ones created by bombardment of the planets or satellites by planetesimals and comets; this bombardment has produced large regions of terrae (impact craters), planitias (flat plains of debris ejected from impact sites), and impact melts (country rock melted by the kinetic energy of impact on rocky planets and moons).
KeywordsSolar System Country Rock Plate Movement Impact Crater Impact Site
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