Detection of Intact Lava Tubes at Marius Hills on the Moon by SELENE (Kaguya) Lunar Radar Sounder

T. Kaku, J. Haruyama, W. Miyake, A. Kumamoto, K. Ishiyama, T. Nishibori, K. Yamamoto, Sarah T. Crites, T. Michikami, Y. Yokota, R. Sood, H. J. Melosh, L. Chappaz, K. C. Howell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Intact lunar lava tubes offer a pristine environment to conduct scientific examination of the Moon's composition and potentially serve as secure shelters for humans and instruments. We investigated the SELENE Lunar Radar Sounder (LRS) data at locations close to the Marius Hills Hole (MHH), a skylight potentially leading to an intact lava tube, and found a distinctive echo pattern exhibiting a precipitous decrease in echo power, subsequently followed by a large second echo peak that may be evidence for the existence of a lava tube. The search area was further expanded to 13.00–15.00°N, 301.85–304.01°E around the MHH, and similar LRS echo patterns were observed at several locations. Most of the locations are in regions of underground mass deficit suggested by GRAIL gravity data analysis. Some of the observed echo patterns are along rille A, where the MHH was discovered, or on the southwest underground extension of the rille.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10,155-10,161
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume44
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 28

Keywords

  • GRAIL
  • Marius Hills
  • Moon
  • SELENE
  • lava tube
  • radar sounder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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