The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLI-B4
14 Jun 2016
 | 14 Jun 2016


P. M. Schenk, R. A. Beyer, J. M. Moore, J. R. Spencer, W. B. McKinnon, A. D. Howard, O. M. White, O.M. Umurhan, K. Singer, S. A. Stern, H. A. Weaver, L. A. Young, K. Ennico Smith, C. Olkin, and New Horizons Geology and Geophysics Imaging Team

Keywords: Pluto, Charon, Topographic Mapping, Spatial Databases

Abstract. New Horizons 2015 flyby of the Pluto system has resulted in high-resolution topographic maps of Pluto and Charon, the most distant objects so mapped. DEM’s over ~30% of each object were produced at 100-300 m vertical and 300-800 m spatial resolutions, in hemispheric maps and high-resolution linear mosaics. Both objects reveal more relief than was observed at Triton. The dominant 800-km wide informally named Sputnik Planum bright ice deposit on Pluto lies in a broad depression 3 km deep, flanked by dispersed mountains 3-5 km high. Impact craters reveal a wide variety of preservation states from pristine to eroded, and long fractures are several km deep with throw of 0-2 km. Topography of this magnitude suggests the icy shell of Pluto is relatively cold and rigid. Charon has global relief of at least 10 km, including ridges of 2-3 km and troughs of 3-5 km of relief. Impact craters are up to 6 km deep. Vulcan Planum consists of rolling plains and forms a topographic moat along its edge, suggesting viscous flow.