FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Have you ever wondered what kind of rocks make up those bright and dark splotches on the moon? Well, the USGS has just released a new authoritative map to help explain the 4.5-billion-year-old history of our nearest neighbor in space.
Fortezzo et al., 2020: Unified Map of the Moon
This new work represents a seamless, globally consistent, 1:5,000,000-scale geologic map derived from the six digitally renovated geologic maps (see Source Online Linkage below). The goal of this project was to create a digital resource for science research and analysis, future geologic mapping efforts, be it local-, regional-, or global-scale products, and as a resource for the educators and the public interested in lunar geology. Here we present the completed mapping project as unit contacts, geologic unit polygons, linear features, and unit and feature nomenclature annotation. The product overlies shaded-relief products derived from SELENE Kaguya terrain camera stereo (equatorial, ~60 m/pix) and LOLA altimetry (north and south polar, 100 m/pix). These data are not included with this download due to size considerations, but a readme in the "Lunar_Raster" folder provides the download links. This download page includes a PDF of the geologic map (right-side) with a brief Description of Map Units and Explanation of Map Symbols, as well as a JPG of the map for quick access viewing. This release is subject to update based on community feedback and peer-review.
Version 2 updates: Two errors were addressed in this update: (1) Large area polygons were offset from their contacts, likely due to user error. Polygons were rebuilt to fix the issue and post processing (dissolving, reattributing, etc.) to rectify the aesthetic of the map. (2) Contacts were not visible but should have been due to incorrect labeling as DND (do not draw). Those that needed to be drawn have been reattributed as "certain" those that are not drawn are labeled as "internal". Additionally, in version 1 of this data, crater polygons with similar attributes had been dissolved and lumped into contiguous units. This has been changed so that all craters are now discrete units. This adds ~1000 units to the GeoUnits feature class and the related contacts are now visible and labeled as "certain".
2020 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference abstract covering the release of this map: https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2020/pdf/2760.pdf
This image shows the 2020 Unified Map of the Moon, by Fortezzo (USGS) et al. This map has been released as a USGS data product and is publicly available at: https://astrogeology.usgs.gov/search/map/Moon/Geology/Unified_Geologic_…