Contraction or expansion of the Moon's crust during magma ocean freezing?

Linda Elkins-Tanton, David Bercovici

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The lack of contraction features on the Moon has been used to argue that the Moon underwent limited secular cooling, and thus had a relatively cool initial state. A cool early state in turn limits the depth of the lunar magma ocean. Recent GRAIL gravity measurements, however, suggest that dikes were emplaced in the lower crust, requiring global lunar expansion. Starting from the magma ocean state, we show that solidification of the lunar magma ocean would most likely result in expansion of the young lunar crust, and that viscous relaxation of the crust would prevent early tectonic features of contraction or expansion from being recorded permanently. The most likely process for creating the expansion recorded by the dikes is melting during cumulate overturn of the newly solidified lunar mantle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20130240
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Volume372
Issue number2024
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 13 2014

Fingerprint

Moon
Freezing
moon
Ocean
freezing
magma
contraction
Contraction
crusts
oceans
Levees
expansion
rock intrusions
lunar mantle
lunar crust
Likely
Solidification
Tectonics
Melting
solidification

Keywords

  • Lithospheric deformation
  • Lunar crust
  • Magma ocean

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

@article{c5a5548499f7431786cc216455c201db,
title = "Contraction or expansion of the Moon's crust during magma ocean freezing?",
abstract = "The lack of contraction features on the Moon has been used to argue that the Moon underwent limited secular cooling, and thus had a relatively cool initial state. A cool early state in turn limits the depth of the lunar magma ocean. Recent GRAIL gravity measurements, however, suggest that dikes were emplaced in the lower crust, requiring global lunar expansion. Starting from the magma ocean state, we show that solidification of the lunar magma ocean would most likely result in expansion of the young lunar crust, and that viscous relaxation of the crust would prevent early tectonic features of contraction or expansion from being recorded permanently. The most likely process for creating the expansion recorded by the dikes is melting during cumulate overturn of the newly solidified lunar mantle.",
keywords = "Lithospheric deformation, Lunar crust, Magma ocean",
author = "Linda Elkins-Tanton and David Bercovici",
year = "2014",
month = "9",
day = "13",
doi = "10.1098/rsta.2013.0240",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "372",
journal = "Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences",
issn = "0962-8428",
publisher = "Royal Society of London",
number = "2024",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Contraction or expansion of the Moon's crust during magma ocean freezing?

AU - Elkins-Tanton, Linda

AU - Bercovici, David

PY - 2014/9/13

Y1 - 2014/9/13

N2 - The lack of contraction features on the Moon has been used to argue that the Moon underwent limited secular cooling, and thus had a relatively cool initial state. A cool early state in turn limits the depth of the lunar magma ocean. Recent GRAIL gravity measurements, however, suggest that dikes were emplaced in the lower crust, requiring global lunar expansion. Starting from the magma ocean state, we show that solidification of the lunar magma ocean would most likely result in expansion of the young lunar crust, and that viscous relaxation of the crust would prevent early tectonic features of contraction or expansion from being recorded permanently. The most likely process for creating the expansion recorded by the dikes is melting during cumulate overturn of the newly solidified lunar mantle.

AB - The lack of contraction features on the Moon has been used to argue that the Moon underwent limited secular cooling, and thus had a relatively cool initial state. A cool early state in turn limits the depth of the lunar magma ocean. Recent GRAIL gravity measurements, however, suggest that dikes were emplaced in the lower crust, requiring global lunar expansion. Starting from the magma ocean state, we show that solidification of the lunar magma ocean would most likely result in expansion of the young lunar crust, and that viscous relaxation of the crust would prevent early tectonic features of contraction or expansion from being recorded permanently. The most likely process for creating the expansion recorded by the dikes is melting during cumulate overturn of the newly solidified lunar mantle.

KW - Lithospheric deformation

KW - Lunar crust

KW - Magma ocean

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84906311347&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84906311347&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1098/rsta.2013.0240

DO - 10.1098/rsta.2013.0240

M3 - Article

VL - 372

JO - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences

JF - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences

SN - 0962-8428

IS - 2024

M1 - 20130240

ER -