Mare Domes in Mare Tranquillitatis : Identification, Characterization, and Implications for Their Origin

Qiao, L. and Head, J.W. and Wilson, L. and Chen, J. and Ling, Z. (2021) Mare Domes in Mare Tranquillitatis : Identification, Characterization, and Implications for Their Origin. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 126 (9). ISSN 2169-9100

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Mare domes, small shield volcanoes typically <∼30 km diameter, are part of the spectrum of lunar volcanic features that characterize extrusive basalt deposits. We used new spacecraft data to document these in Mare Tranquillitatis, among the oldest maria and the site commonly interpreted as an ancient degraded non-mascon impact basin. We found 283 known and suspected mare domes, with the majority (n = 229) concentrated on a broad, ∼450 km circular topographic rise in eastern Mare Tranquillitatis. The domes (median diameter 5.6 km, height 68 m, volume 0.7 km3) contain summit pits (74%; median diameter 0.8 km), and exhibit minor compositional variability between domes and surrounding flows, suggesting that domes both supply and are embayed by these flows. Based on their characteristics and associations, we interpret the small shield volcanoes to have been built from individual low-volume (<∼10–100 km3), low volatile content, short duration, cooling-limited eruptions. The ∼450 km broad volcanic rise is ∼920 m high (volume ∼1.6 × 105 km3) and is interpreted to be built from multiple occurrences of small shield eruptions, a shield plains volcanism style. This implies a shallow mantle source region capable of supplying distributed dike-emplacement and eruption events over an area of 1.75 × 105 km2 early in mare volcanism history (∼3.7 Ga). The difference between Mare Tranquillitatis and younger mare-filled mascon basins is attributed to the more ancient thermal state and crustal structure of the viscously relaxed Tranquillitatis basin, and a shallower broad magma source region present in earlier lunar thermal history.

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Journal Article
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Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets
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An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright 2021 American Geophysical Union. Qiao, L., Head, J. W., Wilson, L., Chen, J., & Ling, Z. (2021). Mare domes in Mare Tranquillitatis: Identification, characterization, and implications for their origin. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 126, e2021JE006888. To view the published open abstract, go to
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13 Oct 2021 14:20
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12 Dec 2023 01:51