The interpretation of gravity anomaly on lunar Apennines

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Abstract

The lunar Apennines, located in the southeast of Mare Imbrium, is the largest range on the Moon. The gravity anomalies on profiles across the mountains reveal evidence of a great fault zone characteristic. The deep crustal structures of lunar Apennines are analyzed on the basis of topographic data from Chang’E-1 satellite and gravity data from Lunar Prospector. The inverted crust-mantle models indicate the presence of a lithosphere fault beneath the mountains. Inverted results of gravity and the hypothesis of lunar thermal evolution suggest that the lunar lithosphere might be broken ∼3.85 Ga ago due to a certain dynamic lateral movement and compression of lunar lithosphere. This event is associated with the history of magma filling and lithosphere deformation in the mountain zone and adjacent area. Moreover, the formation and evolution of Imbrium basin impose this effect on the process.

Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 40774060 and 10973031) and the CAS Key Research Program (Grant No. KJCX2-YW-T13-2)