Old and Wrinkly
This image is a portion of the MDIS global mosaic basemap that was acquired during MESSENGER's first year in orbit. The scene shows a region of smooth, volcanic plains that have been heavily modified by tectonic structures termed "wrinkle ridges". Occurring on the Moon and Mars as well as on Mercury, wrinkle ridges are low, sinuous features that form when lavas cool and subside, causing the crust to contract horizontally. These landforms are often concentrated around buried crater rims, forming circular wrinkle ridges like those in the center right of the image.
Date acquired: February 10, 2012
Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington