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Keywords:

  • Moon;
  • Moon Mineralogy Mapper;
  • Marius Hills;
  • volcanism;
  • domes;
  • cones

[1] Using the Moon Mineralogy Mapper(M3), we examine the Marius Hills volcanic complex for the first time from 0.46 to 2.97 μm. The integrated band depth at 1 μm separates the mare basalts on the plateau in two units: (1) a strong 1 μm band unit of localized lava flows within the plateau that has similar olivine-rich signatures to those of the nearby Oceanus Procellarum and (2) a weaker 1 μm band unit that characterizes most of the basalts of the plateau, which is interpreted as having a high-calcium pyroxene signature. Domes and cones within the complex belong to the high-calcium pyroxene plateau unit and are associated with the weakest 1 μm band observed on the plateau. This difference could be the result of higher silica content, more opaque minerals, and/or a weaker olivine content of the magma. Finally, the floor of Marius crater has one of the strongest olivine-rich signatures of the entire Marius Hills complex. These compositional differences are indicative of the long and complex volcanic history of the region. The first episode started before the emplacement of the surrounding basalts of the plateau and produced the high-calcium pyroxene flows present on the plateau and their associated domes and cones. The second episode occurred concurrently or slightly after the emplacement of the adjacent Procellarum basalts and produced the olivine-rich basalts seen within the plateau, outside the plateau, and in Marius crater. If the olivine content of the lava flows increases with time, the olivine-rich region on the floor of Marius crater may represent one of the latest episodes of volcanism exposed on the Marius Hills complex.