Lunar mare volcanism: lateral heterogeneities in volcanic activity and relationship with crustal structure
Tomokatsu Morota, Yoshiaki Ishihara, Sho Sasaki, Sander Goossens, Koji Matsumoto, Hirotomo Noda, Hiroshi Araki, Hideo Hanada, Seiichi Tazawa, Fuyuhiko Kikuchi, Toshiaki Ishikawa, Seiitsu Tsuruta, Shunichi Kamata, Hisashi Otake, Junichi Haruyama, Makiko Ohtake, 2015. "Lunar mare volcanism: lateral heterogeneities in volcanic activity and relationship with crustal structure", Volcanism and Tectonism Across the Inner Solar System, T. Platz, M. Massironi, P. K. Byrne, H. Hiesinger
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Lunar mare basalts are spatially unevenly distributed, and their abundances differ between the nearside and farside of the Moon. Although mare asymmetry has been attributed to thickness variations in the low-density anorthositic crust, the eruptive mechanism of lunar magma remains unknown. In this study, we investigate the relationship between mare distribution and crustal thickness using geological and geophysical data obtained by the SELENE (Kaguya) and the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory spacecraft, and quantitatively re-evaluate the influence of the anorthositic crust on magma eruption. We identify a lateral heterogeneity in the upper limit of crustal thickness that allows magma extrusion to the surface. In the Procellarum KREEP Terrane, where the surface abundances of heat-producing elements are extremely high, magmas can erupt in regions of crustal thickness below about 30 km. In contrast, magma eruptions are limited to regions of crustal thickness below about 20 km in other nearside regions, around 10 km in the South Pole–Aitken Basin and approximately 5 km in the farside Felspathic Highland Terrane. Such heterogeneity may result from lateral variations in magma production in the lunar mantle and/or crustal density.
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Volcanism and tectonism are the dominant endogenic means by which planetary surfaces change. This book aims to encompass the broad range in character of volcanism, tectonism, faulting and associated interactions observed on planetary bodies across the inner solar system - a region that includes Mercury, Venus, Earth, the Moon, Mars and asteroids. The diversity and breadth of landforms produced by volcanic and tectonic processes is enormous, and varies across the inner solar system bodies. As a result, the selection of prevailing landforms and their underlying formational processes that are described and highlighted in this volume are but a primer to the expansive field of planetary volcanism and tectonism. This Special Publication features 22 research articles about volcanic and tectonic processes manifest across the inner solar system.