Lunar and Planetary Science Institute

Houston, TX, United States

Lunar and Planetary Science Institute

Houston, TX, United States
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Giesting P.A.,Southern Illinois University Carbondale | Giesting P.A.,Illinois State University | Schwenzer S.P.,Open University Milton Keynes | Filiberto J.,Southern Illinois University Carbondale | And 5 more authors.
Meteoritics and Planetary Science | Year: 2015

Amphibole in chassignite melt inclusions provides valuable information about the volatile content of the original interstitial magma, but also shock and postshock processes. We have analyzed amphibole and other phases from NWA 2737 melt inclusions, and we evaluate these data along with published values to constrain the crystallization Cl and H2O content of phases in chassignite melt inclusions and the effects of shock on these amphibole grains. Using a model for the Cl/OH exchange between amphibole and melt, we estimate primary crystallization OH contents of chassignite amphiboles. SIMS analysis shows that amphibole from NWA 2737 currently has 0.15 wt% H2O. It has lost ~0.6 wt% H2O from an initial 0.7-0.8 wt% H2O due to intense shock. Chassigny amphibole had on average 0.3-0.4 wt% H2O and suffered little net loss of H2O due to shock. NWA 2737 amphibole has δD ≈ +3700‰ it absorbed Martian atmosphere-derived heavy H in the aftermath of shock. Chassigny amphibole, with δD ≤ +1900‰, incorporated less heavy H. Low H2O/Cl ratios are inferred for the primitive chassignite magma, which had significant effects on melting and crystallization. Volatiles released by the degassing of Martian magma were more Cl-rich than on Earth, resulting in the high Cl content of Martian surface materials. © The Meteoritical Society, 2015.

Otto K.A.,German Aerospace Center | Jaumann R.,German Aerospace Center | Krohn K.,German Aerospace Center | Matz K.-D.,German Aerospace Center | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets | Year: 2013

The Rheasilvia crater is Vesta's largest impact basin. It is a 500 km diameter complex crater centered near the south pole and overlying the 400 km diameter impact basin Veneneia. Using Framing Camera (FC) data from the Dawn spacecraft's Low Altitude Mapping Orbit (20 m/pixel) and a digital terrain model derived from High Altitude Mapping Orbit stereo data, we identified various mass-wasting features within the south polar region. These features include intra-crater mass movements, flow-like and creep-like structures, slumping areas, landslides, and curved radial and concentric ridges. Intra-crater mass-wasting features are represented by lobate slides, talus material, dark patches on the crater wall, spurs along the crater rim and boulders. Slumping areas develop in compact material, whereas landslides form in relatively loose material. Both may be triggered by seismic shaking induced by impacts. Intra-crater mass wasting and slid and slumped materials are homogeneously distributed throughout the basin. Slumping and sliding processes have contributed most efficiently to basin degradation. Flow-like and creep-like features originate from granular material and cluster between 0°E and 90°E, an area exposing shocked and fractured material from the Rheasilvia impact event. The radial curved ridges are likely to be remnants of the early Rheasilvia collapse process, when radially moving masses were deflected by the Coriolis Effect. The concentric ridges are artifacts from the crater rim collapse. Curved ridges at the intersection of Rheasilvia and Veneneia, and on Rheasilvia's central peak, may also have been influenced by the Rheasilvia basin relaxation process, and an oblique impact, respectively. Key Points Characterization and mapping of mass wasting features in the Rheasilvia region Description of mass wasting prosses in Vesta's low gravity environment Comparison of mass wasting features with related observations and investigations ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Ruesch O.,NASA | Platz T.,Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research | Schenk P.,Lunar and Planetary Science Institute | McFadden L.A.,NASA | And 22 more authors.
Science | Year: 2016

Volcanic edifices are abundant on rocky bodies of the inner solar system. In the cold outer solar system, volcanism can occur on solid bodies with a water-ice shell, but derived cryovolcanic constructs have proved elusive.We report the discovery, using Dawn Framing Camera images, of a landform on dwarf planet Ceres that we argue represents a viscous cryovolcanic dome. Parent material of the cryomagma is a mixture of secondary minerals, including salts and water ice. Absolute model ages from impact craters reveal that extrusion of the dome has occurred recently. Ceres' evolution must have been able to sustain recent interior activity and associated surface expressions.We propose salts with low eutectic temperatures and thermal conductivities as key drivers for Ceres' long-term internal evolution.

Bower D.M.,Carnegie Institution of Washington | Steele A.,Carnegie Institution of Washington | Fries M.D.,NASA | Green O.R.,University of Oxford | Lindsay J.F.,Lunar and Planetary Science Institute
Astrobiology | Year: 2016

The utility of nondestructive laser Raman for testing the biogenicity of microfossil-like structures in ancient rocks is promising, yet results from deposits like the ∼3.46 Ga Apex chert remain contentious. The essence of the debate is that associated microstructures, which are not purported to be microfossils, also contain reduced carbon that displays Raman D- and G-band peaks similar to those seen in the purported microfossils. This has led to the hypothesis that all features including reported microfossils are due to compression of nonfossil carbon during crystal growth around quartz spherulites or more angular crystals. In this scenario, the precursor to this macromolecular carbon may or may not have been of biogenic origin, while the arcuate and linear features described would be pseudofossils. To test this hypothesis, we have undertaken 2-D micro-Raman imaging of the Eoleptonema apex holotype and associated features using instrumentation with a high spatial and spectral resolution. In addition to this, we utilized the ratio of two Raman active quartz mode intensities (I129/I461) to assess quartz grain orientation and grain-splitting artifacts. These data lead us to conclude that the holotype of Eoleptonema apex is a sheet-shaped pseudofossil that appears to be a carbon infilled intragranular crack; therefore other holotypes should be carefully reexamined for syngenicity. © D.M. Bower, et al., 2016; Published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2016.

Cahill J.T.S.,Johns Hopkins University | Thomson B.J.,Boston University | Patterson G.W.,Johns Hopkins University | Bussey D.B.J.,Johns Hopkins University | And 13 more authors.
Icarus | Year: 2014

Radar provides a unique means to analyze the surface and subsurface physical properties of geologic deposits, including their wavelength-scale roughness, the relative depth of the deposits, and some limited compositional information. The NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's (LRO) Miniature Radio Frequency (Mini-RF) instrument has enabled these analyses on the Moon at a global scale. Mini-RF has accumulated ~67% coverage of the lunar surface in S-band ( radar with a resolution of 30. m/pixel. Here we present new Mini-RF global orthorectified uncontrolled S-band maps of the Moon and use them for analysis of lunar surface physical properties. Reported here are readily apparent global- and regional-scale differences in lunar surface physical properties that suggest three distinct terranes, namely: a (1) Nearside Radar Dark Region; (2) Orientale basin and continuous ejecta; and the (3) Highlands Radar Bright Region. Integrating these observations with new data from LRO's Diviner Radiometer rock abundance maps, as well Clementine and Lunar Prospector derived compositional values show multiple distinct lunar surface terranes and sub-terranes based upon both physical and compositional surface properties. Previous geochemical investigations of the Moon suggested its crust is best divided into three to four basic crustal provinces or terranes (Feldspathic Highlands Terrane (-An and -Outer), Procellarum KREEP Terrane, and South Pole Aitken Terrane) that are distinct from one another. However, integration of these geochemical data sets with new geophysical data sets allows us to refine these terranes. The result shows a more complex view of these same crustal provinces and provides valuable scientific and hazard perspectives for future targeted human and robotic exploration. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

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