Running Up that Hill
Volcanic smooth plains cover a large portion of Mercury's high northern latitudes. The plains are interrupted by a broad elevated area that rises about 1.5 km (1 mile) above the surroundings. The image presented here is part of the MDIS monochrome basemap that has been color-coded by elevation, with blue representing lower elevation and red representing high elevation. The northern rise, shown in the green and yellow colors (with a hint of red at its highest locations), appears to have formed after the plains were emplaced. The mechanism responsible for the uplift is not yet established; ideas include lithospheric deformation, magmatic intrusion, or mantle dynamic uplift.
Date acquired: November 14, 2012
Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington