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Lunar landscape morphometry

January 1, 1978

This report outlines some general methods for analyzing the geometry of planetary topography and illustrates them with results obtained for the Moon. Its contents apply to selection of landing sites for spacecraft, planning traverses for vehicles, and to other aspects of planetary exploration that involve numerical expression of topographic form primarily for engineering purposes. The report is divided into three separate sections. Part I treats descriptive and predictive techniques for terrain slope. Part II describes the analysis of fine-scale surface roughness for the NASA Lunar Roving Vehicle, which was first deployed on Apollo mission 15 in the Hadley Rille area of the Moon. Part III applies the method of numerical taxonomy to multivariate characterization of lunar terrain and geologic map units. Although the findings described here are for the Moon only, the approaches and techniques could be used to solve terrain-related problems on any of the terrestrial planets. The author hopes that this study will stimulate further research in both terrestrial and extraterrestrial landscape morphometry.

Publication Year 1978
Title Lunar landscape morphometry
DOI 10.3133/ofr78812
Authors Richard J. Pike
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 78-812
Index ID ofr78812
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse