Fissures on the Moon

Fissures and associated pit-chains on Aitken crater floor. LROC NAC M128148929L, image width is 580 m [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

Aitken crater (16.8°S, 173.4°E) is a 135 km diameter crater located very near the center of the farside. Its floor is covered by low-reflectance materials, most likely post-impact lava flows. The eastern edge of the floor is disrupted by an irregular shaped wrinkle ridge that extends in a north-south direction.

Today's Featured Image is about 3.5 km west of the ridges. Here there are parallel linear fissures aligned in NW to SE direction. Pit-chains are located along the fissures, which are likely caused by mass wasting into the subsurface void space.

The largest pit is in the center of the image and shows a relatively rough bottom compared to the surrounding smooth surface. One might expect a small pit like this to be quickly filled by debris from impacts and moonquakes. But this hole seems fresh, which implies a relatively young age.

LROC WAC monochrome mosaic of Aitken crater. Image center is latitude 16.26° S, longitude 173.91° E. The star and the blue rectangle indicate the locations of today's Featured Image and NAC footprint [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

Explore these fissures and pits in full detail NAC frame yourself!

Related posts:
Extensional Fractures, Tectonics in Mare Frigoris, Stress and pull, Relative age relationships


Posted by Hiroyuki Sato on November 01, 2011 09:00 UTC.