New insight into lunar impact melt mobility from the LRO camera



[1] The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) is systematically imaging impact melt deposits in and around lunar craters at meter and sub-meter scales. These images reveal that lunar impact melts, although morphologically similar to terrestrial lava flows of similar size, exhibit distinctive features (e.g., erosional channels). Although generated in a single rapid event, the post-impact mobility and morphology of lunar impact melts is surprisingly complex. We present evidence for multi-stage influx of impact melt into flow lobes and crater floor ponds. Our volume and cooling time estimates for the post-emplacement melt movements noted in LROC images suggest that new flows can emerge from melt ponds an extended time period after the impact event.