February 15, 2013

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No Longer Unremarkable

top: Apollo AS17-M-1673 image from ASU Apollo Image Gallery, center left from LRO, and bottom images from Kaguya
and Clementine; bottom three images assembled by Raf Lena & Barry Fitz-Gerald

Along the northern edge of Mare Vaporum is a small hill that has managed to remain unremarked upon. But now Raf and Barry have shown that it is remarkable. The inset LRO image at middle left shows the hill is a smooth bump adjacent to a ruined crater. Unremarkable. But the two bottom images totally change the story. The hill is very dark and a broad swath of the darkness extends over the rim of the ruined crater. Raf and Barry make the reasonable argument that this is a pyroclastic coating of the hill. The LRO Path tool shows that the hill has a smooth profile, and rises 620 m with an average slope of 13°, considerably steeper than the normal mare swell/dome near the right side of Vaporum. Raf and Barry propose that this hill is a volcanic cone, constructed by lava flows, and then followed by an explosive eruption of ash. This cone is similar to the steep hills of the Marius Hills. Why is it here all by itself?

Chuck Wood

Related Links
Rükl plate 22
21st Century Atlas chart 11.

Yesterday's LPOD: Psychedelic

Tomorrow's LPOD: Cape Land


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