Geology before Pluto: Pre-encounter considerations Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2014. The cameras of New Horizons will provide robust data sets that should be imminently amenable to geological analysis of the Pluto system's landscapes. In this paper, we begin with a brief discussion of the planned observations by the New Horizons cameras that will bear most directly on geological interpretability. Then we broadly review the major geological processes that could potentially operate on the surfaces of Pluto and its major moon Charon. We first survey exogenic processes (i.e. those for which energy for surface modification is supplied externally to the planetary surface): impact cratering, sedimentary processes (including volatile migration), and the work of wind. We conclude with an assessment of the prospects for endogenic activity in the form of tectonics and cryovolcanism.

altmetric score

  • 32.398

author list (cited authors)

  • Moore, J. M., Howard, A. D., Schenk, P. M., McKinnon, W. B., Pappalardo, R. T., Ewing, R. C., ... Beyer, R. A.

citation count

  • 21

publication date

  • January 2015

published in