Lineations on the Melt

Impact melt sheet splashed from an unnamed crater inside Joule T. LROC NAC M184504856L. Image center is 27.536°N, 211.661°E, image width is 1440 meters. Downslope is from upper-left to lower-right [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

Today's Featured Image highlights a portion of an impact melt sheet that splashed from an unnamed crater about 13.5 km in diameter. This unnamed crater formed on the western rim of a crater nearly three times its size, Joule T (38 km in diameter). In context mosaic below, a yellow arrow indicates a slightly darker region within the blue box, which corresponds to this impact melt sheet. The extent of this melt is about 48 km2

The narrow lineations extending from upper-left to lower-right indicate the flow direction of the melt, and likely consists of multiple flow lobes. You can also see some regions, like those near the top of the image, where flows were wider and end in round lobes. Depending on multiple factors such as the underlying slope, ejection speed, and viscosity of the melt, impact melts exhibit a wide variety of the surface patterns and morphologies. The melt here appears to have flowed at a high velocity, probably because the crater formed on the relatively steep slope of Joule T's wall.

Context view of Joule T crater in LROC WAC monochrome mosaic (100 m/pixel). Image center is 27.79°N, 211.83°E. The NAC footprint (blue box) and the location of opening image (yellow arrow) are indicated [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

Explore these fascinating impact melts in Joule T crater floor in full NAC frame yourself!

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Published by Hiroyuki Sato on 19 February 2013