ELEMENTAL AND TOPOGRAPHIC MAPPING OF LAVA FLOWSTRUCTURES IN MARE SERENITATIS ON THE MOON
Keywords: Topographic mapping, Elemental mapping, Moon, Mare Serenitatis, Lava flow structure
Abstract. The detection of lunar lava flows based on local morphology highly depends on the available images. The thickness of lava flows, however, has been studied by many researchers and lunar lava flows are shown to be as thick as 200 m. Lunar lava flows are supposed to be concentrated on the northwestern lunar nearside. In this study we present elemental abundance maps, a petrological map and a digital terrain model (DTM) of a lava flow structure in northern Mare Serenitatis at (18.0° E, 32.4° N) and two possible volcanic vents at (11.2° E, 24.6° N) and (13.5° E, 37.5° N), respectively. Our abundance maps of the refractory elements Ca, Mg and our petrological map were obtained based on hyperspectral image data of the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument. Our DTM was constructed using GLD100 data in combination with a shape from shading based method to M3 and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) image data. The obtained NAC-based DEM has a very high effective resolution of about 1–2 m which comes close to the resolution of the utilized NAC images without requiring intricate processing of NAC stereo image pairs. As revealed by our elemental maps and DEM, the examined lava flow structure occurs on a boundary between basalts consisting of low-Ca/high-Mg pyroxene and high-Ca/low-Mg pyroxene, respectively. The total thickness of the lava flow is about 100 m, which is a relatively large value, but according to our DEM the lava flow may also be composed of two or more layers.