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Global surface slopes and roughness of the Moon from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter

Rosenburg, M. A. and Aharonson, O. and Head, J. W. and Kreslavsky, M. A. and Mazarico, E. and Neumann, G. A. and Smith, D. E. and Torrence, M. H. and Zuber, M. T. (2011) Global surface slopes and roughness of the Moon from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter. Journal of Geophysical Research E, 116 . Art. No. E02001. ISSN 0148-0227.

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The acquisition of new global elevation data from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter, carried on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, permits quantification of the surface roughness properties of the Moon at unprecedented scales and resolution. We map lunar surface roughness using a range of parameters: median absolute slope, both directional (along-track) and bidirectional (in two dimensions); median differential slope; and Hurst exponent, over baselines ranging from ~17 m to ~2.7 km. We find that the lunar highlands and the mare plains show vastly different roughness properties, with subtler variations within mare and highlands. Most of the surface exhibits fractal-like behavior, with a single or two different Hurst exponents over the given baseline range; when a transition exists, it typically occurs near the 1 km baseline, indicating a significant characteristic spatial scale for competing surface processes. The Hurst exponent is high within the lunar highlands, with a median value of 0.95, and lower in the maria (with a median value of 0.76). The median differential slope is a powerful tool for discriminating between roughness units and is useful in characterizing, among other things, the ejecta surrounding large basins, particularly Orientale, as well as the ray systems surrounding young, Copernican-age craters. In addition, it allows a quantitative exploration on mare surfaces of the evolution of surface roughness with age.

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Aharonson, O.0000-0001-9930-2495
Additional Information:© 2011 American Geophysical Union. Received 23 August 2010; revised 3 November 2010; accepted 15 November 2010; published 3 February 2011. The authors would like to acknowledge the LRO and LOLA engineering teams, without whom the data presented here would not have been possible. The research was partially funded by NASA grants NNX08AZ54G and NNG09EK06C:1.
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Subject Keywords:LOLA; roughness; slopes; Moon; LRO
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110310-134149305
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Official Citation:Rosenburg, M. A., O. Aharonson, J. W. Head, M. A. Kreslavsky, E. Mazarico, G. A. Neumann, D. E. Smith, M. H. Torrence, and M. T. Zuber (2011), Global surface slopes and roughness of the Moon from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter, J. Geophys. Res., 116, E02001, doi:10.1029/2010JE003716
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:22811
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:10 Mar 2011 22:19
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 02:40

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