Volcanically Induced Transient Atmospheres on the Moon:Assessment of Duration, Significance, and Contributions to Polar Volatile Traps

Head, J.W. and Wilson, L. and Deutsch, A.N. and Rutherford, M.J. and Saal, A.E. (2020) Volcanically Induced Transient Atmospheres on the Moon:Assessment of Duration, Significance, and Contributions to Polar Volatile Traps. Geophysical Research Letters, 47 (18). ISSN 0094-8276

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Abstract

A transient lunar atmosphere formed during a peak period of volcanic outgassing and lasting up to about ~70 Ma was recently proposed. We utilize forward-modeling of individual lunar basaltic eruptions and the observed geologic record to predict eruption frequency, magma volumes, and rates of volcanic volatile release. Typical lunar mare basalt eruptions have volumes of ~102–103 km3, last less than a year, and have a rapidly decreasing volatile release rate. The total volume of lunar mare basalts erupted is small, and the repose period between individual eruptions is predicted to range from 20,000 to 60,000 years. Only under very exceptional circumstances could sufficient volatiles be released in a single eruption to create a transient atmosphere with a pressure as large as ~0.5 Pa. The frequency of eruptions was likely too low to sustain any such atmosphere for more than a few thousand years. Transient, volcanically induced atmospheres were probably inefficient sources for volatile delivery to permanently shadowed lunar polar regions. ©2020. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Information:
Accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters. Copyright 2020 American Geophysical Union. Further reproduction or electronic distribution is not permitted.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1900
Subjects:
ID Code:
148070
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
12 Oct 2020 16:00
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
24 Oct 2020 07:09