Potassium map from Chang'E-2 constraints the impact of crisium and orientale basin on the moon

Meng Hua Zhu, Jin Chang, Tao Ma, Wing Huen Ip, Wen Zhe Fa, Jian Wu, Ming Sheng Cai, Yi Zhong Gong, Yi Ming Hu, Ao Ao Xu, Ze Sheng Tang

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19 Scopus citations

Abstract

KREEP materials were thought to be last crystallized at the lunar crust and mantle boundary. Impact cratering and volcanism are mainly responsible for their distributions on the lunar surface. Therefore, observation of global KREEP materials and investigation of distributions in the areas of large basins are of critical importance to understand the geologic history of the Moon. Here we report the new global potassium distribution on the Moon detected by Chang'E-2 Gamma-ray Spectrometer. We found that our new measurements are in general agreement with previous observation. A new finding and an important difference is that relatively higher K abundances in the Mare Crisium and Mare Orientale than their surrounding rims were detected for the first time. In light of our observations in these two areas, we propose that Crisium and Orientale basin-forming impact events may have penetrated to the lower crust and excavate the deeper materials to the lunar surface.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1611
JournalScientific Reports
Volume3
DOIs
StatePublished - 8 Apr 2013

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