Mercury's Crustal Thickness Correlates With Lateral Variations in Mantle Melt Production

  title={Mercury's Crustal Thickness Correlates With Lateral Variations in Mantle Melt Production},
  author={Mikael Beuthe and Bernard Charlier and Olivier Namur and Attilio Rivoldini and Tim Van Hoolst},
  journal={Geophysical Research Letters},
Over the first billion years of Mercury's history, mantle melting and surface volcanism produced a secondary magmatic crust varying spatially in composition and mineralogy. By combining geochemical mapping from MESSENGER with laboratory experiments on partial melting, we translate the surface mineralogy into lateral variations of surface density and calculate the degree of mantle melting required to produce surface rocks. If lateral density variations extend through the whole crust, the local… 

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The growth of thickened crustal units both depletes the mantle of heat producing elements, and thermally insulates it. These effects either cool or heat the mantle, respectively, and play an

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Regional averages of the major element chemistry of ocean ridge basalts, corrected for low-pressure fractionation, correlate with regional averages of axial depth for the global system of ocean

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