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Goldschmidt crater and the Moon's north polar region: Results from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3)

January 1, 2011

Soils within the impact crater Goldschmidt have been identified as spectrally distinct from the local highland material. High spatial and spectral resolution data from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) on the Chandrayaan-1 orbiter are used to examine the character of Goldschmidt crater in detail. Spectral parameters applied to a north polar mosaic of M3 data are used to discern large-scale compositional trends at the northern high latitudes, and spectra from three widely separated regions are compared to spectra from Goldschmidt. The results highlight the compositional diversity of the lunar nearside, in particular, where feldspathic soils with a low-Ca pyroxene component are pervasive, but exclusively feldspathic regions and small areas of basaltic composition are also observed. Additionally, we find that the relative strengths of the diagnostic OH/H2O absorption feature near 3000 nm are correlated with the mineralogy of the host material. On both global and local scales, the strongest hydrous absorptions occur on the more feldspathic surfaces. Thus, M3 data suggest that while the feldspathic soils within Goldschmidt crater are enhanced in OH/H2O compared to the relatively mafic nearside polar highlands, their hydration signatures are similar to those observed in the feldspathic highlands on the farside.

Publication Year 2011
Title Goldschmidt crater and the Moon's north polar region: Results from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3)
DOI 10.1029/2010JE003702
Authors L.C. Cheek, C.M. Pieters, J.W. Boardman, R. N. Clark, J. -P. Combe, J.W. Head, P.J. Isaacson, T. B. McCord, D. Moriarty, J.W. Nettles, N.E. Petro, J.M. Sunshine, L.A. Taylor
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets
Index ID 70036764
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center