Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

2015 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Hargitai, Ákos Kereszturi

Crustal Plateau

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3134-3_85

Definition

Elevated, large crustal block.

Regional Variations

Mercury

Large expanses of high-standing topography in the northern hemisphere of Mercury do not appear to correlate spatially with free-air gravity anomalies (Smith et al. 2012). This observation suggests that topography on Mercury may be largely compensated isostatically, such that high-standing topography is underlain by thicker crust than surrounding lows.

Parts of this high topography are bounded by large-scale thrust systems, some of which form fold and thrust belts ( mountain belt), which may have isolated the thicker crustal blocks from neighboring thinner portions of Mercury’s crust. As the planet’s interior cooled, thicker crustal blocks thus likely overthrust neighboring low-lying terrain in response to lithospheric shortening (Byrne et al. 2014).

Venus

On Venus, the term crustal plateau is applied to large, tessera-bearing elevated blocks (see  crustal plateau (Venus)).

Moon

The Aristarchus Plateau (diameter: 240...

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References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NASA Ames Research Center/NPPMoffett FieldUSA
  2. 2.Lunar and Planetary InstituteUniversities Space Research AssociationHoustonUSA