Discovery Rupes latitude: -55.0°N; longitude: 322.2°E
The field of view in this image is about 260 km (162 mi.) from top to bottom. In this dramatic view of Discovery Rupes, taken with the Sun low in the sky, the relief along the 400-km-long structure can be clearly seen as it cross-cuts Rameau crater.

Enterprise Rupes latitude: -31.56°N; longitude: 74.97°E
Enterprise Rupes (indicated here with white arrows) is about 822 km (510 mi.) in length with over 3 km of relief and is the largest scarp on Mercury. It cuts across the majestic Rembrandt impact basin, some 716 km (445 mi) across.

Carnegie Rupes latitude: 58.18°N; longitude: 307.69°E
An oblique view of the 280 km-long Carnegie Rupes. The color scale on this figure represents elevation in which red is high and blue is low. Notice that the terrain on the left side of the scarp stands about 2 km higher than that of the right side of the scarp. To give you a sense of the scale of this scarp, the state of Delaware has been superposed on the figure.

Across Mercury's surface are long cliff-like structures that formed when the planet's interior cooled and shrank over time, thereby causing the outer crust to also contract and fracture. These scarps or rupes (latin for cliff) are the surface expressions of deeper faults. Most of Mercury's scarps are tens to hundreds of kilometers long and display hundreds to thousands of meters of relief and, together with some smaller, possibly younger scarps, they have accommodated a loss of up to 7 km of the planet’s radius throughout history. On Mercury, rupes are named after the ships of famous explorers, and names include Discovery Rupes, for a ship of Captain Cook, Santa Maria Rupes, for a ship of Christopher Columbus, and Victoria Rupes, for a ship of Ferdinand Magellan.

Learn more about scarps (a.k.a. rupes) on Mercury!