Band-limited Bouguer gravity identifies new basins on the Moon

Authors

  • W. E. Featherstone,

    Corresponding author
    1. Western Australian Centre for Geodesy and Institute for Geoscience Research, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
    • Corresponding author: W. E. Featherstone, Western Australian Centre for Geodesy and Institute for Geoscience Research, Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845, Australia. (w.featherstone@curtin.edu.au)

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  • C. Hirt,

    1. Western Australian Centre for Geodesy and Institute for Geoscience Research, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
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  • M. Kuhn

    1. Western Australian Centre for Geodesy and Institute for Geoscience Research, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
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Abstract

[1] Spectral domain forward modeling is used to generate topography-implied gravity for the Moon using data from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter instrument operated on board the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission. This is subtracted from Selenological and Engineering Explorer (SELENE)-derived gravity to generate band-limited Bouguer gravity maps of the Moon so as to enhance the gravitational signatures of anomalous mass densities nearer the surface. This procedure adds evidence that two previously postulated basins on the lunar farside, Fitzgerald-Jackson (25°N, 191°E) and to the east of Debye (50°N, 180°E), are indeed real. When applied over the entire lunar surface, band-limited Bouguer gravity reveals the locations of 280 candidate basins that have not been identified when using full-spectrum gravity or topography alone, showing the approach to be of utility. Of the 280 basins, 66 are classified as distinct from their band-limited Bouguer gravity and topographic signatures, making them worthy of further investigation.

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