The Michelangelo quadrangle is in the southern hemisphere of the planet Mercury, where the imaged part is heavily cratered terrain that has been strongly influenced by the presence of multiring basins. At least four such basins, now nearly obliterated, have largely controlled the distribution of plains materials and structural trends in the map area. Many craters, interpreted to be of impact origin, display a spectrum of modification styles and degradation states. The interaction between basins, craters, and plains in this quadrangle provides important clues to geologic processes that have formed the morphology of the mercurian surface.
Several low-albedo features are evident in Earth-based views of the Michelangelo quadrangle, but these features do not appear to correlate directly with any mapped terrain unit. Solitudo Promethei may correspond to a deposit of plains materials centered at –58°, 135°, and Solitudo Martis may correspond to similar materials at –30° to –40°, 90° to 100°. The color data (orange/ultraviolet) presented in Hapke and others (1980) likewise show no particular correlation with mapped terrain types. The “yellow” region (moderately high orange/ultraviolet) centered at –33°, 155° appears to correspond to a smooth plains deposit, but the region overlaps into adjacent cratered terrain.
Mariner 10 data include complete photographic coverage of the quadrangle at a resolution of about 2 km. In addition, twelve stereopairs cover scattered areas in the quadrangle; these photographs were used to supplement the geologic interpretation. About 10° of longitude of the H-13 quadrangle (Solitudo Persephones Province) adjacent to the west is included in the map area because not enough Mariner 10 data were acquired of this quadrangle to justify the production of another map.
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