Newly-discovered ring-moat dome structures in the lunar maria : possible origins and implications

Zhang, Feng and Head, James and Basilevsky, Alexander and Bugiolacchi, Roberto and Komatsu, Goro and Wilson, Lionel and Fa, Wenze and Zhu, Meng-Hua (2017) Newly-discovered ring-moat dome structures in the lunar maria : possible origins and implications. Geophysical Research Letters, 44 (18). pp. 9216-9224. ISSN 0094-8276

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We report on a newly discovered morphological feature on the lunar surface, here named Ring-Moat Dome Structure (RMDS). These low domes (a few meters to ~20 m height with slopes <5°) are typically surrounded by narrow annular depressions or moats. We mapped about 2,600 RMDSs in the lunar maria with diameters ranging from tens to hundreds of meters. Four candidate hypotheses for their origin involving volcanism are considered. We currently favor a mechanism for the formation of the RMDS related to modification of the initial lava flows through inflated flow squeeze-ups and/or extrusion of magmatic foams below a cooling lava flow surface. These newly discovered features provide new insights into the nature of emplacement of lunar lava flows, suggesting that in the waning stages of a dike emplacement event, magmatic foams can be produced, extrude to the surface as the dike closes, and break through the upper lava flow thermal boundary layer (crust) to form foam mounds and surrounding moats.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Information:
©2017. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. Zhang, F., Head, J. W., Basilevsky, A. T., Bugiolacchi, R., Komatsu, G., Wilson, L., … Zhu, M.‐H. (2017). Newly discovered ring‐moat dome structures in the lunar maria: Possible origins and implications. Geophysical Research Letters, 44, 9216–9224.
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17 Apr 2018 14:12
Last Modified:
05 Jul 2024 23:45