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Effects of lava flows on lunar crater populations

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Abstract

It is shown that endogenic lava flow processes can be identified by their characteristic effects on lunar crater size distributions without necessarily being able to recognise individual flows on the photographs studied. The thickness of lava flows or a series of flows can be estimated from these crater size distribution characteristics. The lava flow histories of the Apollo landing sites 11, 12 and 15 are discussed in detail. The thicknesses of the most recent (3–3.4 × 109 years ago) flows there and of the youngest flows in an area in south-west Mare Imbrium (3 × 109 years) are found to range between 30 and 60 m. The subsequent flow episodes at the landing sites showing up in the crater size distributions can be related to differences in the radiometric ages of the respective lunar rocks.

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Neukum, G., Horn, P. Effects of lava flows on lunar crater populations. The Moon 15, 205–222 (1976). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00562238

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Keywords

  • Lava Flow
  • Distribution Characteristic
  • Flow Process
  • Landing Site
  • Characteristic Effect