We analyzed data from the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission using a localized admittance approach to map out spatial variations in the vertical density structure of the lunar crust. Mare regions are characterized by a distinct decrease in density with depth, while the farside is characterized by an increase in density with depth at an average gradient of ~35 kg m-3 km-1 and typical surface porosities of at least 20%. The Apollo 12 and 14 landing site region has a similar density structure to the farside, permitting a comparison with seismic velocity profiles. The interior of the South Pole-Aitken (SP-A) impact basin appears distinct with a near-surface low-density (porous) layer 2-3 times thinner than the rest of the farside. This result suggests that redistribution of material during the large SP-A impact likely played a major role in sculpting the lunar crust.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)