Plains—relatively flat or smoothly undulating surfaces—are ubiquitous on Mercury and the other terrestrial planets. They represent a canvas on which other landforms develop. The covering or destruction of a rough topography and the creation of a smoother surface is called resurfacing, and plains are evidence of this process.
There are at least three ways that planets are resurfaced, and all three may have had a role in creating Mercury's plains. One way, raising the temperature, reduces the strength of the crust and its
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