Science and Exploration

Dorsum Nicol

By Keith Cowing
August 2, 2014
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Dorsum Nicol
Dorsum Nicol

Dorsum Nicol is a wrinkle ridge found in southern Mare Serenitatis. The opening Featured Image is an LROC NAC image overlaid with a slope map of the region, with warmer colors representing steeper slopes.
Slope maps are useful to planetary scientists because topographic features like craters and small ridges really stand out. At the Featured Image location, the mare on the west side of the ridge is ~100 m higher in elevation than the mare on east side of the wrinkle ridge, and the peak of the ridge is ~50 m above that.

The difference in elevation between the eastern and western flanks of the ridge could be due to the lunar crust buckling and folding beneath the surface, or it could be from mare fill after the wrinkle ridge was formed. Dorsum Nicol has a width of 10 km at its widest, and 5 km at its narrowest.

Larger image

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.