Vol 19, No 1

Ancient subsurface structure beneath crater Clavius: constraint by recent high-precision gravity and topography data

Zhen Zhong, Jian-Guo Yan, J. Alexis P. Rodriguez


Abstract With the increasing precision of the GRAIL gravity field models and topography from LOLA, it is possible to investigate the substructure beneath crater Clavius. An admittance between gravity and topography data is commonly used to estimate selenophysical parameters, including load ratio, crustal thickness and density, and elastic thickness. Not only a surface load, but also a subsurface load is considered in estimation. The algorithm of particle swarm optimization (PSO) with a swarm size of 400 is employed as well. Results indicate that the observed admittance is best-fitted by the modeled admittance based on a spherical shell model, which was proved to be unsatisfactory in the previous study. The best-fitted load ratio f is around -0.194. Such a small load ratio conforms to the direct proportion between the nearly uncompensated topography and its corresponding negative gravity anomaly. It also indicates that a surface load dominates all the loads. Constrained within 2σ STD , a small crustal thickness (∼30 km) and a crustal density of ∼2587 kg m−3 are found, quite close to the results from previous GRAIL research. Considering the well constrained crustal thickness and density, the best-fitted elastic thickness (∼7 km) is rational. This result is slightly smaller than the previous study (∼12 km). Such difference can be attributed to the difference in crustal density used and the precision of gravity and topography data. Considering that the small difference between the modeled gravity anomaly and observations is quite small, a parameter inversed here could be an indicator of the subsurface structure beneath Clavius.


Keywords Moon — planetary systems: planets and satellites: fundamental parameters — planetary sys- tems methods: data analysis

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