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Evidence for explosive silicic volcanism on the Moon from the extended distribution of thorium near the Compton-Belkovich Volcanic Complex

Wilson, J.T.; Eke, V.R.; Massey, R.J.; Elphic, R.C.; Jolliff, B.L.; Lawrence, D.J.; Llewellin, E.W.; McElwaine, J.N.; Teodoro, L.F.A.

Evidence for explosive silicic volcanism on the Moon from the extended distribution of thorium near the Compton-Belkovich Volcanic Complex Thumbnail


Authors

J.T. Wilson

R.C. Elphic

B.L. Jolliff

D.J. Lawrence

L.F.A. Teodoro



Abstract

We reconstruct the abundance of thorium near the Compton-Belkovich Volcanic Complex on the Moon, using data from the Lunar Prospector Gamma Ray Spectrometer. We enhance the resolution via a pixon image reconstruction technique and find that the thorium is distributed over a larger (40km × 75 km) area than the (25km × 35 km) high-albedo region normally associated with Compton-Belkovich. Our reconstructions show that inside this region, the thorium concentration is 14–26ppm. We also find additional thorium, spread up to 300km eastward of the complex at ∼2 ppm. The thorium must have been deposited during the formation of the volcanic complex, because subsequent lateral transport mechanisms, such as small impacts, are unable to move sufficient material. The morphology of the feature is consistent with pyroclastic dispersal, and we conclude that the present distribution of thorium was likely created by the explosive eruption of silicic magma.

Citation

Wilson, J., Eke, V., Massey, R., Elphic, R., Jolliff, B., Lawrence, D., …Teodoro, L. (2015). Evidence for explosive silicic volcanism on the Moon from the extended distribution of thorium near the Compton-Belkovich Volcanic Complex. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 120(1), 92-108. https://doi.org/10.1002/2014je004719

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 23, 2014
Online Publication Date Dec 29, 2014
Publication Date Jan 26, 2015
Deposit Date Dec 10, 2014
Publicly Available Date Feb 18, 2015
Journal Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Print ISSN 2169-9097
Electronic ISSN 2169-9100
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 120
Issue 1
Pages 92-108
DOI https://doi.org/10.1002/2014je004719
Keywords Astrophysics, Earth and Planetary Astrophysics
Related Public URLs http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2014arXiv1409.1209W

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Copyright Statement
Wilson, J.T., Eke, V.R., Massey, R.J., Elphic, R.C., Jolliff, B.L., Lawrence, D.J., Llewellin, E.W., McElwaine, J.N. and Teodoro, L.F.A. (2015), Evidence for explosive silicic volcanism on the Moon from the extended distribution of thorium near the Compton-Belkovich Volcanic Complex, Journal of geophysical research: planets, 120(1), 92-108, doi: 10.1002/2014JE004719. To view the published open abstract, go to https://doi.org and enter the DOI.







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