Center latitude: 60.31°N; longitude: 36.87°E
Scale: The large ghost crater at the center of the image (indicated with arrows) is about 103 km (64 mi) in diameter
Mendelssohn latitude: 70.4°N; longitude: 36.87°E
This image utilizes enhanced-color to emphasize different types of rocks on Mercury’s surface. In the bottom right portion of the image is the 291-kilometer-diameter (181 mile) Mendelssohn impact basin.
Mercury's northern region is dominated by expansive smooth plains, created by huge amounts of volcanic material flooding across the planet’s surface in the past. These northern volcanic lava flows cover a vast area equivalent to approximately 60% of the continental United States and are more than a mile deep in some areas. Pre-existing craters were buried by the flows, leaving only traces of their rims visible, creating what are called ghost craters (indicated by arrows in the left image). Around the ghost craters and throughout the images are low, sinuous features called wrinkle ridges. Wrinkle ridges and small troughs within the ghost craters form when lava cools and subsides, causing the crust to contract horizontally. The northern plains are often described as smooth since their surface has fewer impact craters than the rest of Mercury, and thus has been less battered by such events. This indicates that these volcanic plains are younger than Mercury's rougher surfaces.