The moon and the planets

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 439–462

Serenitatis multi-ringed basin: Regional geology and basin ring interpretation

  • James W. HeadIII

DOI: 10.1007/BF00897836

Cite this article as:
Head, J.W. The Moon and the Planets (1979) 21: 439. doi:10.1007/BF00897836


New topographic data allow a reassessment of the ring structure of the Serenitatis basin and correlation with the younger Orientale basin. The northern Serenitatis basin is smaller and less well preserved than the southern Serenitatis basin. Three major rings of the main (southern) Serenitatis basin are mapped: ring 1, Linné ring, outlined by mare ridges, average diameter 420 km; ring 2, Haemus ring, outlined by basin-facing scarps and massifs with crenulated borders, 610 km; ring 3, Vitruvius ring, outlined by basin-facing linear scarps and massifs, 880 km. Ring 1 corresponds to the inner Rook Mountain ring of Orientale, ring 2 with the outer Rook ring, and ring 3 with the Cordillera Mountain ring. These ring identifications and assignments indicate that the Serenitatis basin is essentially the same size as the Orientale basin, rather than much larger, as previously proposed. The Apollo 17 site lies near the second ring, which is interpreted as the rim of the transient cavity. Apollo 15 lies at the junction of the Serenitatis and Imbrium third rings; Serenitatis ejecta should be present in significant amounts at the Apollo 15 site. The new reconstruction indicates that portions of the Serenitatis basin are better preserved than previously thought, consistent with recent stratigraphic and sample studies that suggest an age for Serenitatis which is older than, but close to, the time of formation of the Imbrium basin.

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • James W. HeadIII
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geological SciencesBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA