Compositional studies of Mare Moscoviense: New perspectives from Chandrayaan-1 VIS-NIR data

1Megha Bhatt, 2Christian Wöhler, 3Deepak Dhingra, 4Guneshwar Thangjam, 2Daniela Rommel, 4Urs Mall, 5Anil Bhardwaj, 2Arne Grumpe
Icarus (in Press) Link to Article [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2017.10.009]
1Space Physics Laboratory, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram 695022, Kerala, India
2Image Analysis Group, Dortmund University of Technology, Otto-Hahn Str. 4, Dortmund 44227, Germany
3Department of Physics, University of Idaho, 875 Perimeter Dr MS 0903, Moscow, ID 83843, USA
4Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, Göttingen 37077, Germany
5Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad 380009, Gujarat, India
Copyright Elsevier

Moscoviense is one of the prominent mare-filled basin on the lunar far side holding key insights about volcanic activity on the far side. Here, we present spectral and elemental maps of mare Moscoviense, using the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) and Infrared Spectrometer-2 (SIR-2) data-sets. The different mare units are mapped based on their spectral properties analyzing both quantitatively (band center, band depth) and qualitatively (Integrated Band Depth composite images), and also using their elemental compositions. We find a total of five distinct spectral units from the basin floor based on the spectral properties. Our analysis suggests that the northern part which was mapped as Iltm unit (Imbrian low Ti, low Fe) by earlier researchers is actually a distinct unit, which is different in composition and age, named as Ivltm unit (Imbrian very low Ti and very low Fe). We obtain the absolute model age of 3.2 Ga with uncertainties of +0.2/−0.5 Ga for the unit Ivltm. The newly identified basalt unit Ivltm is compositionally intermediate to the units Im and Iltm in FeO and TiO2 abundances. We find a total of five distinct spectral units from the basin floor based on the spectral properties. The units Im (Imbrian very low Ti) from southern and northern regions of the basin floor are spectrally distinct in terms of band center position and corresponding band depths but considered a single unit based on the elemental abundance analysis. The units Ivltm and Im are consistent with a high-Al basalt composition. Our detailed analysis of the entire Moscoviense basin indicates that the concentrations of orthopyroxene, olivine, and Mg-rich spinel, named as OOS rock family are widespread and dominant at the western and southern side of the middle ring of the basin with one isolated area found on the northern side of the peak ring.

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