New insight into lunar impact melt mobility from the LRO camera

V. J. Bray, L. L. Tornabene, L. P. Keszthelyi, A. S. McEwen, B. R. Hawke, T. A. Giguere, S. A. Kattenhorn, W. B. Garry, B. Rizk, C. M. Caudill, L. R. Gaddis, C. H. Van Der Bogert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) is systematically imaging impact melt deposits in and around lunar craters at meter and sub-meter scales. These images reveal that lunar impact melts, although morphologically similar to terrestrial lava flows of similar size, exhibit distinctive features (e.g., erosional channels). Although generated in a single rapid event, the post-impact mobility and morphology of lunar impact melts is surprisingly complex. We present evidence for multi-stage influx of impact melt into flow lobes and crater floor ponds. Our volume and cooling time estimates for the post-emplacement melt movements noted in LROC images suggest that new flows can emerge from melt ponds an extended time period after the impact event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL21202
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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