Eruption characteristics of lunar localized pyroclastic deposits as evidenced by remotely sensed water, mineralogy, and regolith

1David Trang,1Tyra Tonkham,2Justin Filiberto,1Shuai Li,3Myriam Lemelin,4Catherine M.Elder
Icarus (in Press) Link to Article [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2021.114837]
1Hawaiʻi Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, United States
2Lunar and Planetary Institute, USRA, Houston, TX, United States
3Département de Géomatique appliquée, Université de Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada
4Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, United States
Copyright Elsevier

Explosive volcanic eruptions are responsible for producing localized pyroclatic deposits found across the lunar surface. These small localized pyroclastic deposits are thought to have erupted through transient, vulcanian-like eruptions. We used several remote data products, including a water abundance map, to understand the compositional and physical properties of these pyroclastic deposits. Within these deposits, we found strong relationships between water abundance and pyroxene abundance, glass abundance, regolith density scale height, and longitude. These relationships suggest that water abundance can be used to estimate the gas content of an eruption, cooling rate of erupted pyroclasts, optical density of the eruption plume, degree of fragmentation of an eruption, and infer on the distribution of water in the lunar interior. Further, we deduce that the excess water abundance within these pyroclastic deposits represents interior water content, which we tied to other remote measurements that represent important petrological and volcanological parameters to understand eruption dynamics and behavior.

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