Surface and Composition Working Group

BepiColombo will have a larger and more capable suite of instruments relevant for determination of the topographic, physical, chemical and mineralogical properties of the surface of Mercury than the previous two missions to have visited the planet.

We anticipate that insights gained into the planet's geological history and its current space environment will enable us to understand the relationships between surface composition and the composition of different types of crust.

This will enable estimation of the composition of the mantle from which the crust was derived, and lead to better constraints on models for Mecury's origin and the nature of the material from which it formed.

Primary Questions

  1. From what material did Mercury form and how?
  2. How and when did it become internally differentiated?
  3. Is there both primary and secondary crust on Mercury?
  4. How can we explain the surface abundance of volatiles?


Practical Questions

  1. What is the history of crust formation?
  2. How does the crustal composition vary...
    1. ... across the surface?
    2. ... with depth?
      • Crater formation.
      • Tectonics
  3. How are the surface and the exosphere related?
  4. How do the surface and magnetosphere interact?
  5. How does the regolith actually reflect Mercury?


Meetings (most recent firsT

All meeting presentations and MoMs can be access via the Livelink Documentation Server, and contains information from the following meetings:

2019, March, Tokyo Working Meeting

2016, May, ESTEC Working Group Meeting

2013, May, Chicheley Hill Working Group Meeting

2011, April, Berlin Working Group Meeting

2009, April, Vienna EGU Working Group Meeting

2009, March, LPSC Woodlands Working Group Meeting

2008, February,  COSPAR, Montreal Working Group Meeting

2009, September, Berling Working Group Meeting




  • Next SCWG meeting will be in 2015 - check back for details...

Working Group Chair

Other Information

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