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Lava Terraces on the Moon

Published by Matt on Mon Nov 8, 2010 12:48 pm via: NASA
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Bowditch (25.0°S, 103.1°E) is an irregularly-shaped depression NW of Lacus Solitudinis. Inside Bowditch is a “ring” that resembles a dirty bathtub. Much like water in a bathtub, this ring is a marker of the highest level of liquid lava within Bowditch.

 NAC view of a part of the lava terrace within the Bowditch feature. The wall of Bowditch is on the right and the terrace is located between the two dashed white lines. LROC NAC image M101478053R, image width is 2400 m, incidence angle is 86 degrees. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

NAC view of a part of the lava terrace within the Bowditch feature. The wall of Bowditch is on the right and the terrace is located between the two dashed white lines. LROC NAC image M101478053R, image width is 2400 m, incidence angle is 86 degrees. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

The Bowditch depression filled with lava like many craters on the Moon, and as the lava cooled and solidified, it subsided into the center of the depression. The ring is the remnant from this activity. NAC images give us further evidence of lava cooling, contraction, and subsidence in the mare. We do not know if drainage or contraction during cooling causes lava terraces like Bowditch, but these new images should provide us with more clues.

In this 100 meter pixel LROC WAC mosaic Bowditch is the irregularly-shaped mare-filled depression. The lava terraces are clearly visible all the way around the rim of Bowditch. The white box marks the area in the featured NAC image above. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

In this 100 meter pixel LROC WAC mosaic Bowditch is the irregularly-shaped mare-filled depression. The lava terraces are clearly visible all the way around the rim of Bowditch. The white box marks the area in the featured NAC image above. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

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