Author Information

Brianne McDonough


In this study, two-dimensional linear elasticity theory is used to model the lithospheric stress field that produces radial extensional fractures observed at Pantheon Fossae in the Caloris Basin of Mercury. These fractures were imaged by the MESSENGER mission flyby of Mercury on January 14, 2008 and show radial fractures extending outward from a 40-kilometer impact crater named Apollodorus. Recent studies have proposed several different mechanisms to explain these fractures, including magmatic processes, central basin uplift, and stresses produced by the formation of the impact crater itself.

Note on the Author

Brianne McDonough is a graduating Earth Science major with a concentration in Geology. Through the Adrian Tinsley Program, Brianne completed her project titled, A Two-Dimensional, Linear-Elastic Model to Explain Radial Extensional Fractures, Pantheon Fossae, Caloris Basin, Mercury, under the guidance of Dr. Robert Cicerone.

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