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Lunar dome

is a type ofshield volcanothat is found on the surface of theEarthMoon. They are typically formed by highly viscous, possiblysilica-richlava, erupting from localized vents followed by relatively slow cooling. Lunar domes are wide, rounded, circular features with a gentle slope rising in elevation a few hundred meters to the midpoint. They are typically 812km in diameter, but can be up to 20km across. Some of the domes contain a small craterlet at the peak.

Some of the domes have been shown to consist of the same materials as thelunar maria. Thus they could be created by some mechanism that differs from the mare-forming flows. It is thought that these domes are formed from a smallermagma chamberthat is closer to the surface than is the case for a mare. This results in a lower pressure, and so the lava flows more slowly. Themagmawells up through a crack in the surface, but the flow eventually concentrates through one primary vent. This concentration can then result in a vent crater at the peak of the dome.

The cluster of lunar domes at theMarius Hillswas considered as a possible landing site ofApollo 15. There are concentrations of lunar domes near the cratersHortensius, andT. Mayer, across the top ofMons Rmker, and inMare Fecunditatis. Solitary lunar domes are also found, includingKies Pi(),Milichius Pi(),Mons Gruithuisen Gamma() and Delta (), and domes near the cratersGambart CBeer, andCapuanus. Omega Cauchy () and Tau Cauchy () form a pair of domes near the craterCauchy. Likewise nearAragoare the domes Arago Alpha () and Arago Beta (). There are two domes south ofMons Esam.

Omega Cauchy, with the small craterDonnaat its summit,Mare Tranquillitatis

Oblique view of a dome north ofSinasMare Tranquillitatis

Oblique view of lunar dome nearMessierinMare Fecunditatis. Note dark halo deposits. The crater left of center is unrelated (formed after the dome).

Oblique view of three of the six lunar domes north ofHortensius, fromLunar Orbiter 3

Lionel Wilson and James W. Head,Lunar Gruithuisen and Mairan domes: Rheology and mode of emplacement,

Lena, R., Wöhler, C., Phillips, J., Chiocchetta, M.T., Lunar Domes:Properties and Formation Processes, Springer Praxis Books, 2013,[1].

Marvin W. Huddleston, ALPO Lunar Dome Survey Coordinators web page on Lunar Domes

Association of Lunar & Planetary Observers, Lunar Section

This page was last edited on 9 January 2018, at 03:34.

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