(Meyer) Investigating the Origin of Lunar Light Plains

Project: Research project

Project Details


Th. origin ofth. g10hally di.trlhuted lunar light plnln.l. uncl.ar. ThI. proJeet Is .tructured around thre ... ntral obJectlv .. that .r rlti.al to und.rstanding th. origin ofth.lunar light plnln.: (1) d.termln. th. dIstrlbntion of light plaln. by .re.tIng a global m.p of th d.poslt. u.lng Lun.r Reconnals.an Orbiter (LRO) Imag and topographl. data, (2) test formation hypoth .... by .xamlnlng morphological r.lation.hlp. and distribution r.lativ. to large ba.lns, and (3) determln. relative ag u.lng .ro -.uttlng and superposition relationships and estimate absolute age. from crater measurements. Each objective utilizes techniques that have been t ted In an Inltlal.tudy conducted by th. Prlncipl. Investigator and Gradu.t. Stud.nt Inv tlgator. To achl.v. Obj.ctlv. #1, th. Moon will b. divided Into 12 tH.s, ea.h .n.ompa lng -3 mlllion kml. Th. n.arsid. marla will b. excluded from the tHes uslng th. avallabl. LRO mar hap.m Th.light plaln. will b. mapp.d tHe-by-tH. with Ar.GIS mapping .oftware u.lng Imag from th. LRO Wid. Angl. Cam.ra (WAC) w.li as map of the .tandard deviation of slop. d.rlved from the Global Lunar DIgItal T.rraln Mod.1 (GLD 100), which I. u.ed ... proxy for roughn .... Th. av.rag Ievation. of individual light plnln. d.posits will b. m.a.ur.d from th. GLD 100 and ....... d relative to th. rang. of .I.vation. of th. marla to determln.lf th. light plain. are di.trlbut.d .ero a large range of elevations, as we would expect if they are impact ejecta, or a narrow range, which would favor a volcanic origin like th. marla. To addre Objectlv. #2, Im.ge. from both th. LRO WAC and Narrow Angle C.m.r. (NAC) will b xamln.d to Id.ntlfy morphologl.al relationship' betw n th. light plnln. and larg.lunar ba.In U.lng .Ji.tIng tool. wltbln th. Ar.GIS .oftware package, th. di.trlbution of light plnln. with r .. p.ct to individual ba.ln. will b ....... ed by d.t.rmlnlng how th urfa cov.rag. of light plaln. varl .. with Incr lng di.tan .. from th. b 1n rim. If th. areal.bundan of light plnln. gradually deer ..... with In.reaslng dIstan from th. basln rim, then th. light plnln. In th r b.lng ....... d llkely originated with th. formation of th.t b In. ObJectlv. #3 will b. addre d by .xamlnlng both WAC and NAC Im.g to look for ero ..... uttlng and .up.rpo.ltion r.lation.hlp U.lng th r.lation.hlps, w. will determln. wh.n th.light plnln. w.r. deposited on th urf .... To furth.r con.traln th g. of th. d.po.lt., crater measurements will be conducted on representative area. using both WAC and NAC images. The lunar chronology and production function. ofN.ukum et al. (2001) will b. appli.d to th. r ultlng data t to .al.ulate th b.olute model.g for th. light plnln Th ... ag .. will th.n b. compared to both f tur of mown ag and .b.olute .g timates for f tur for which w. do not have samples. Ifw. flnd th.t th. majority of light plnln. can b. related to th. form.tion of larg. b .. lns, th.n w. will h.v. galned insight Into th. degr to which large basln. modify th urfa .. of th. Moon, which may hav.lmpli.ation. for oth.r plan.tary bodi ... Ifw. flnd th.t th. light plaln annot b. explnlned by relation.hlp. to large basin., th.n w. wIlllnvestig.t. th. po lbility of. vol.au1. origin with oth.r p.rtln.nt data t., .uch .. compositional d.ta. In this ..... w. will bav.ld.ntified prevlou.ly unmoWD .tyl. of vol.anlsm on th. Moon. Both ofth ... outeom dir.ctly .ddres. th. goals .nd obj.ctlv of this NESSF solicitation and NASA'. Interests tated und.r the Planetary Sci.n R arch Program and the Vision. and Voyag for Planetary Sci.n .. 1n th. Decad. 2013-2022 r .. p tiv.ly: How have th. myriad ch.mlcal and phy.l.al pro ...... th.t .hap.d th. Solar Sy.tem op.rated, Int.r.cted, .nd evolved over time? And what are the major surface features and modification processes on each of the inner planets?
Effective start/end date9/1/148/31/17


  • NASA: Goddard Space Flight Center: $89,385.00

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