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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. and Eke, V.R. and Massey, R.J. and Elphic, R.C. and Jolliff, B.L. and Lawrence, D.J. and Llewellin, E.W. and 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). pp. 92-108.

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.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Astrophysics, Earth and Planetary Astrophysics
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1002/2014JE004719
Publisher 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.
Record Created:11 Dec 2014 12:50
Last Modified:01 Mar 2017 16:32

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