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Geology and scientific significance of the Rümker region in Northern Oceanus Procellarum : China’s Chang’E‐5 Landing region

Qian, Y.Q. ; Xiao, L. ; Zhao, S.Y. ; Zhao, J.N. ; Huang, J. ; Flahaut, J. ; Martinot, M. ; Head, J.W. ; Hiesenger, H. ; Wang, G.X., J. Geophys. Res. Planets

Geology and scientific significance of the Rümker region in Northern Oceanus Procellarum : China’s Chang’E‐5 Landing region

Qian, Y.Q. ; Xiao, L. ; Zhao, S.Y. ; Zhao, J.N. ; Huang, J. ; Flahaut, J. ; Martinot, M. ; Head, J.W. ; Hiesenger, H. ; Wang, G.X.

Journal of Geophysical Research, Planets, 2018

Abstract :

The Rümker region (41‐45° N, 49‐69° W) is located in northern Oceanus Procellarum of the Moon. Mons Rümker is the most distinctive geological feature in the area. The region is characterized by prolonged lunar volcanism (Late Imbrian Period to Eratosthenian Period), forming multiple geologic units in the area, including very low‐Ti to low‐Ti mare basalts, high‐Ti mare basalts, and volcanic complexes. Each geologic unit has distinct element composition and mineral assemblages. The Rümker region, overlying the Procellarum KREEP Terrain, was selected as the landing region for China’s Chang’E‐5 lunar sample return mission. Pre‐landing analysis of the geologic context and scientific potential are reported in this contribution. We conducted detailed geological mapping using image, spectral and altimetry data. Fourteen geological units were defined, a geologic map was constructed, and the geologic history was outlined. The western mare units (Im1, Im2, Im3) are Imbrian‐aged ( 3.4‐3.5 Ga) representing the major stage of lunar mare eruptive volcanism. The eastern young mare units (Em3, Em4 ; <2 Ga) are among the youngest mare basalts on the Moon. They have never been explored in situ or studied in the laboratory. We suggest that samples returned from the eastern mare unit (Em4) could answer many fundamental questions and that this unit should be listed as the top priority landing site for Chang’E‐5 sample return mission.

Voir en ligne : https://doi.org/10.1029/2018JE005595




publié mardi 29 mai 2018