We have used improved knowledge of the spatial distribution of thorium (Th) on the lunar surface, in conjunction with a forward modeling analysis of Lunar Prospector gamma ray data, to estimate the thorium abundances of lunar red spots. The results from this study can be combined with preexisting compositional and morphologic evidence to suggest that Hansteen Alpha, the Gruithuisen domes, and the Lassell massif are silicic, nonmare, volcanic constructs, similar in nature to terrestrial rhyolite domes. We propose that either silicate liquid immiscibility or, more likely, basaltic underplating could have produced lunar rhyolite domes. Thus the Lunar Prospector data presented in this study provide new information about the full range of volcanic and crustal processes that could have occurred on the Moon.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Refined thorium abundances for lunar red spots: Implications for evolved, nonmare volcanism on the Moon|
|Series title||Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets|
|Publisher||American Geophysical Union|
|Publisher location||Washington, D.C.|
|Contributing office(s)||Astrogeology Science Center|