Wrinkle ridge

A wrinkle ridge is a type of feature commonly found on lunar maria. These features are low, sinuous ridges formed on the mare surface that can extend for up to several hundred kilometers. Wrinkle ridges are tectonic features created when the basaltic lava cooled and contracted. They frequently outline ring structures buried within the mare, follow circular patterns outlining the mare, or intersect protruding peaks. They are sometimes called veins due to their resemblance to the veins that protrude from beneath the skin.

Unnamed wrinkle ridges north of the lunar crater Flamsteed, Oceanus Procellarum, from Apollo 12
Lunar crater Krieger and vicinity, showing wrinkle ridges in the surrounding mare and sinuous rilles along the left edge, from Apollo 15

Wrinkle ridges are named with the Latin designation dorsum (plural dorsa). The standard IAU nomenclature uses the names of people to identify wrinkle ridges on the Moon. Thus the Dorsa Burnet are named for Thomas Burnet, and the Dorsum Owen is named after George Owen of Henllys.

Planet ridgesEdit

Wrinkle ridges can also be found on Mars, for example in Chryse Planitia, on several of the asteroids that have been visited by spacecraft, on Mercury, and certain moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Although several hypotheses have been advanced as causes of wrinkle ridges, today they are generally considered to be of tectonic origin. They involve folding and faulting.[1] If correctly interpreted as thrust faults, where a rupture occurs and one side of the rupture is pushed on top of the other, they are evidence of compressional stress in planetary crust.[2]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Kieffer, H, B. Jakosky, C. Snyder, M. Matthews (eds.). 1992. Mars. University of Arizona Press.
  2. ^ "HiRISE | Wrinkle Ridges and Pit Craters (ESP_046817_1775)". Uahirise.org. 2016-10-19. Retrieved 2018-10-22.


  • Golombek, M. P., F. S. Anderson, and M. T. Zuber (2001), Martian wrinkle ridge topography: Evidence for subsurface faults from MOLA, J. Geophys. Res., 106, 23,811–23,821, doi:10.1029/2000JE001308.
  • Montési, L. G. J., and M. T. Zuber (2003), Clues to the lithospheric structure of Mars from wrinkle ridge sets and localization instability, J. Geophys. Res., 108(E6), 5048, doi:10.1029/2002JE001974.
  • Watters, T. R. (1988), Wrinkle Ridge Assemblages on the Terrestrial Planets, J. Geophys. Res., 93(B9), 10,236–10,254, doi:10.1029/JB093iB09p10236.
  • Watters, et al., Evidence of Recent Thrust Faulting on the Moon Revealed by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera. Science 20 August 2010: 936–940. doi:10.1126/science.1189590