Big Things Have Small Beginnings
The surface of Mercury has been extensively deformed by tectonic activity, with most of that activity due to the global-scale contraction of the planet as its interior cooled. This tectonic deformation is largely manifest as contractional lobate scarps, many of which are hundreds or even thousands of meters high. This image shows a scarp only 150 m (500 ft.) high, considerably smaller than many of its peers across the planet. This structure's relatively small size suggests either that it accommodated but a relatively small amount of deformation over its lifetime, or that it is one of the youngest lobate scarps on Mercury.
Date acquired: April 04, 2012
Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington