Remote sensing of lunar pyroclastic mantling deposits

By: , and 



Mantling deposits on the Moon are considered to be pyroclastic units emplaced on the lunar surface as a result of explosive fire fountaining. These pyroclastic units are characterized as having low albedos, having smooth fine-textured surfaces, and consisting in part of homogeneous, Febearing volcanic glass and partially crystallized spheres. Mantling units exhibit low returns on depolarized 3.8-cm radar maps, indicating an absence of surface scatterers in the 1- to 50-cm-size range. A number of reflectance spectra from several regional pyroclastic deposits are presented for the first time; these data support a previous interpretation that mantling units have a unique spectral signature which is indicative of the presence of a significant Fe-bearing volcanic glass component. The Rima Bode region is discussed as an example of an area in which several types of remote sensing data (including 3.8-cm radar, spectral reflectance, and multispectral vidicon data) were used to reconstruct the geologic events surrounding the emplacement of a regional pyroclastic mantling deposit. The recognition of numerous varieties of volcanic glass samples, especially relatively high-albedo (e.g., green, yellow) glasses, suggests the existence of additional, unrecognized mantling deposits with albedos higher than those studied to date. On the basis of the remote sensing data summarized and presented, five new areas have been identified which may represent higher-albedo regional pyroclastic deposits.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Remote sensing of lunar pyroclastic mantling deposits
Series title Icarus
DOI 10.1016/0019-1035(85)90136-8
Volume 61
Issue 3
Year Published 1985
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Astrogeology Science Center
Description 29 p.
First page 461
Last page 489
Other Geospatial Moon