The Lassell massif-A silicic lunar volcano

J. W. Ashley, Mark Robinson, J. D. Stopar, T. D. Glotch, B. Ray Hawke, C. H. van der Bogert, H. Hiesinger, S. J. Lawrence, B. L. Jolliff, B. T. Greenhagen, T. A. Giguere, D. A. Paige

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Lunar surface volcanic processes are dominated by mare-producing basaltic extrusions. However, spectral anomalies, landform morphology, and granitic or rhyolitic components found in the Apollo sample suites indicate limited occurrences of non-mare, geochemically evolved (Si-enriched) volcanic deposits. Recent thermal infrared spectroscopy, high-resolution imagery, and topographic data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) show that most of the historic "red spots" and other, less well-known locations on the Moon, are indeed silica rich (relative to basalt). Here we present a geologic investigation of the Lassell massif (14.65°S, 350.96°E) near the center of Alphonsus A basin in Mare Nubium, where high-silica thermal emission signals correspond with morphological indications of viscous (possibly also explosive) extrusion, and small-scale, low-reflectance deposits occur in a variety of stratigraphic relationships. Multiple layers with stair-step lobate forms suggest different eruption events or pulsing within a single eruption. Absolute model ages derived from crater size-frequency distributions (CSFDs) indicate that the northern parts of the massif were emplaced at ∼4. Ga, before the surrounding mare. However, CSFDs also indicate the possibility of more recent resurfacing events. The complex resurfacing history might be explained by either continuous resurfacing due to mass wasting and/or the emplacement of pyroclastics. Relatively low-reflectance deposits are visible at meter-scale resolutions (below detection limits for compositional analysis) at multiple locations across the massif, suggestive of pyroclastic activity, a quenched flow surface, or late-stage mafic materials. Compositional evidence from 7-band UV/VIS spectral data at the kilometer-scale and morphologic evidence for possible caldera collapse and/or explosive venting support the interpretation of a complex volcanic history for the Lassell massif.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalIcarus
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jun 24 2014

Fingerprint

extrusion
volcanoes
crater
explosive
volcanology
reflectance
volcano
volcanic eruption
silica
deposits
frequency distribution
craters
volcanic eruptions
mass wasting
venting
history
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
caldera
infrared spectroscopy
histories

Keywords

  • Image processing
  • Infrared observations
  • Moon, interior
  • Moon, surface
  • Volcanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Ashley, J. W., Robinson, M., Stopar, J. D., Glotch, T. D., Hawke, B. R., van der Bogert, C. H., ... Paige, D. A. (Accepted/In press). The Lassell massif-A silicic lunar volcano. Icarus. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2015.12.036

The Lassell massif-A silicic lunar volcano. / Ashley, J. W.; Robinson, Mark; Stopar, J. D.; Glotch, T. D.; Hawke, B. Ray; van der Bogert, C. H.; Hiesinger, H.; Lawrence, S. J.; Jolliff, B. L.; Greenhagen, B. T.; Giguere, T. A.; Paige, D. A.

In: Icarus, 24.06.2014.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ashley, JW, Robinson, M, Stopar, JD, Glotch, TD, Hawke, BR, van der Bogert, CH, Hiesinger, H, Lawrence, SJ, Jolliff, BL, Greenhagen, BT, Giguere, TA & Paige, DA 2014, 'The Lassell massif-A silicic lunar volcano', Icarus. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2015.12.036
Ashley JW, Robinson M, Stopar JD, Glotch TD, Hawke BR, van der Bogert CH et al. The Lassell massif-A silicic lunar volcano. Icarus. 2014 Jun 24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2015.12.036
Ashley, J. W. ; Robinson, Mark ; Stopar, J. D. ; Glotch, T. D. ; Hawke, B. Ray ; van der Bogert, C. H. ; Hiesinger, H. ; Lawrence, S. J. ; Jolliff, B. L. ; Greenhagen, B. T. ; Giguere, T. A. ; Paige, D. A. / The Lassell massif-A silicic lunar volcano. In: Icarus. 2014.
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