Volcanic history in the Smythii basin based on SELENE radar observation

Ken Ishiyama, Atsushi Kumamoto

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Elucidation of the subsurface structure in the Smythii basin on the moon is important for understanding lunar volcanic history. Two lava units (Units 1 and 2) cover this basin. The spatial subsurface structure below Unit 2 is unknown. We used SELENE/Lunar Radar Sounder data to identify four subsurface boundaries at 130, 190, 300, and 420 m depths. The radar is reflected at the paleo-regolith layer sandwiched among lava flows, which is supported by a simple radar reflection/transmission model. The spatial distribution of subsurface boundaries demonstrates the deposition of Unit 2 on the subsidence in Unit 1. A simple loading model explained the maximum depth of subsidence (~500 m) and indicated that lithospheric thickness in the Smythii basin was ~24 km at 3.95 Gya. The estimated growth rate of the lithosphere was ~60 km/Ga during 3.95 to 3.07 Gya. After the formation of the Smythii basin at ~4.11 Gya, Unit 1 and Unit 2 deposited with eruption rates of ~8.4 × 10−4 km3/yr by 3.95 Gya and ~7.5 × 10−6 km3/yr by 3.07 Gya respectively. The timing of decline in volcanic activity in the Smythii basin differs from that for the lunar nearside maria, indicating the diversity of volcanism in various lunar areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14502
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 1


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