Vol 19, No 12

Estimation of the elastic thickness over ancient Mare Moscoviense

Zhen Zhong, Jian-Guo Yan, Teng Zhang, Zhi-Yong Xiao, Jose Alexis Palmero Rodriguez


Abstract The Moscoviense basin is an atypical lunar impact basin with concentric rings of positive and negative gravity anomalies. This basin can provide insights into the inhomogeneous thermal activities across the farside of the Moon. Based on an updated spherical harmonic thin elastic-shell loading model, we used localized admittance analyses to estimate the elastic thickness as well as other associated selenophysical parameters for the Moscoviense basin. The high precision gravity and topography data employed in our estimation were collected by the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory and the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter missions. Our results indicate that the crust-mantle interface is mainly compensated by the pre-filling depth rather than the observed surface topography. The results constrained within two standard deviations yielded a small load ratio (∼0.168), a best-fit crustal thickness of 36.2 km, and an optimized crustal density of 3159.5 kg m−3. Such large density approaches the density of olivine-rich mantle materials, implying that the excavation of the Mare Moscoviense occurred during a basin-forming impact. The inversed elastic thickness at Mare Moscoviense was around 18 km, lower than the previous results (∼60 km) found over Mare basins on the lunar nearside. These results indicate that extreme thermal activity existed during the Moscoviense basin-forming period such as reheating mechanisms from a double-impact process and mare volcanism.


Keywords Mare Moscoviense — localized admittance — thin elastic spherical shell — elastic thickness

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