Journal Article Two-stage Development of the Lunar Farside Highlands Crustal Formation

Yamamoto, Keiko  ,  Haruyama, Junichi  ,  Kobayashi, Shingo  ,  Ohtake, Makiko  ,  Iwata, Takahiro  ,  Ishihara, Yoshiaki  ,  Hasebe, Nobuyuki

120pp.43 - 47 , 2015-12 , Elsevier
The correlation between the spatial patterns of surface Thorium (Th) abundance measured by SELENE GRS data and the crustal thickness from the GRAIL gravity field and LRO LOLA data is investigated in the lunar highland area. Our analysis reveals that there are several areas of local minima for Th abundance exhibiting similar values but different crustal thicknesses. To explain the result, we propose a two-stage scenario for crustal formation. In the first stage, plural thin plateaus form on the surface of the lunar magma ocean (LMO), which corresponds to the observed surface Th distribution. In the second stage, a global crust with dichotomy forms by solidification of the LMO under the plateaus.

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