How old are lunar lobate scarps? 1. Seismic resetting of crater size-frequency distributions

Carolyn H. van der Bogert, Jaclyn D. Clark, Harald Hiesinger, Maria E. Banks, Thomas R. Watters, Mark Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous studies have estimated the ages of lunar lobate scarps, some of the youngest tectonic landforms on the Moon, based on the estimated life-times of their fresh morphologies and associated small graben, using crater degradation ages, or via buffered and traditional crater size-frequency distribution (CSFD) measurements. Here, we reexamine five scarps previously dated by Binder and Gunga (1985) with crater degradation ages to benchmark the evaluation of both the buffered and traditional CSFD approaches for determination of absolute model ages (AMAs) at scarps. Both CSFD methods yield similar ages for each individual scarp, indicating that fault activity not only can be measured on the scarp itself, but also in the surrounding terrain – an indication that tectonic activity causes surface renewal both adjacent to and even kilometers distant from scarps. Size-frequency variations in the regions surrounding the scarps are thus useful for studying the extent and severity of the ground motion caused by coseismic slip events during scarp formation. All age determination approaches continue to indicate that lunar lobate scarps were active in the late Copernican, with some scarps possibly experiencing activity within the last 100 Ma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-242
Number of pages18
JournalIcarus
Volume306
DOIs
StatePublished - May 15 2018

Keywords

  • Absolute model ages
  • Crater size-frequency distributions
  • Lobate scarp
  • Moon
  • Seismic shaking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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