Refined thorium abundances for lunar red spots: Implications for evolved, nonmare volcanism on the Moon

Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets
By: , and 

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Abstract

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 type Article
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
DOI 10.1029/2005JE002592
Volume 111
Issue E6
Year Published 2006
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) Astrogeology Science Center
Description 20 p.
Other Geospatial Moon