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On estimating contributions of basin ejecta to regolith deposits at lunar sites

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Bibliographic Details
Journal Title: Meteoritics & Planetary Science
Authors and Corporations: Haskin, Larry A., Moss, Billy E., McKinnon, William B.
In: Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 38, 2003, 1, p. 13-33
Type of Resource: E-Article
Language: English
Summary: <jats:p><jats:bold>Abstract—</jats:bold> We have developed a quantitative model for predicting characteristics of ejecta deposits that result from basin‐sized cratering events. This model is based on impact crater scaling equations (Housen, Schmitt, and Holsapple 1983; Holsapple 1993) and the concept of ballistic sedimentation (Oberbeck 1975), and takes into account the size distribution of the individual fragments ejected from the primary crater. Using the model, we can estimate, for an area centered at the chosen location of interest, the average distribution of thicknesses of basin ejecta deposits within the area and the fraction of primary ejecta contained within the deposits. Model estimates of ejecta deposit thicknesses are calibrated using those of the Orientale Basin (Moore, Hodges, and Scott 1974) and of the Ries Basin (Hörz, Ostertag, and Rainey 1983). Observed densities of secondary craters surrounding the Imbrium and Orientale Basins are much lower than the modeled densities. Similarly, crater counts for part of the northern half of the Copernicus secondary cratering field are much lower than the model predicts, and variation in crater densities with distance from Copernicus is less than expected. These results suggest that mutual obliteration erases essentially all secondary craters associated with the debris surge that arises from the impacting primary fragments during ballistic sedimentation; if so, a process other than ballistic sedimentation is needed to produce observable secondary craters. Regardless, our ejecta deposit model can be useful for suggesting provenances of sampled lunar materials, providing information complementary to photogeological and remote sensing interpretations, and as a tool for planning rover traverses (e.g., Haskin et al. 1995, 2002).</jats:p>
Physical Description: 13-33
ISSN: 1086-9379
DOI: 10.1111/j.1945-5100.2003.tb01043.x