Mapping of crustal magnetic anomalies on the lunar near side by the Lunar Prospector electron reflectometer

J. S. Halekas, D. L. Mitchell, R. P. Lin, S. Frey, L. L. Hood, M. H. Acuña, A. B. Binder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


Lunar Prospector (LP) electron reflectometer measurements show that surface fields are generally weak in the large mare basalt filled impact basins on the near side but are stronger over highland terranes, especially those lying antipodal to young large impact basins. Between the Imbrium and Nectaris basins, many anomalies correlate with the Cayley and Descartes Formations. Statistical analyses show that the most strongly magnetic nearside terranes are Cayley-type light plains, terra materials, and pre-Imbrian craters. Light plains and terrae include basin impact ejecta as a major component, suggesting that magnetization effects from basin-forming impacts were involved in their formation. The magnetization of pre-Imbrian craters, however, may be evidence of early thermal remanence. Relatively strong, small-scale magnetic anomalies are present over the Reiner Gamma feature on western Oceanus Procellarum and over the Rima Sirsalis rille on the southwestern border of Procellarum. Both Apollo subsatellite and LP data show that the latter anomaly is nearly aligned with the rille, though LP magnetometer and reflectometer data show that the anomaly peak is actually centered over a light plains unit. This anomaly and the Reiner Gamma anomaly are approximately radially aligned with the center of Imbrium, suggesting an association with ejecta from this basin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2000JE001380
Pages (from-to)27841-27852
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Issue numberE11
StatePublished - Nov 25 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Oceanography


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