The uniform K distribution of the mare deposits in the Orientale Basin: Insights from Chang'E-2 gamma-ray spectrometer

Meng Hua Zhu, Jin Chang, Minggang Xie, Jörg Fritz, Vera A. Fernandes, Wing Huen Ip, Tao Ma, Aoao Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The composition of mare basalt units in the Orientale Basin are investigated by using the potassium (K) map derived from Chang'E-2 gamma-ray spectrometer (CE-2 GRS) and FeO map derived from Clementine UV-Vis data set. Together with crater retention ages of the mare basalts from literature data, we aim to investigate possible magma sources underneath the Orientale Basin and their chemical evolution over time. Analyses of the chemical composition of the resurfaced mare basalts together with the reported eruption ages suggest a unique magma generating process for the resurfaced mare deposits. The early mare basalts in the central Mare Orientale and the later resurfaced mare deposits probably derived from magma generated by heat release due to high radioactive element concentrations. Based on forward modeling, the similar K abundances observed in the small mare deposits of the SW polygon area, Lacus Veris, and Lacus Autumni and those in the central Mare Orientale imply the same heat source for these lava eruptions. The chemical similarities (e.g., K, FeO, and TiO2) of these regions suggest that mare basalts within the Orientale Basin are a result of multiple eruptions from a relatively homogeneous source underneath the Basin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-180
Number of pages9
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume418
DOIs
StatePublished - 5 May 2015

Keywords

  • Gamma-ray spectrometer
  • Homogeneous melt source
  • Mare Orientale
  • Moon
  • Radioactive elements

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