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- Topography and crustal thickness data from LOLA altimetry were used to test the validity of 98 candidate large lunar basins derived from photogeologic and earlier topographic and crustal thickness data, and to search for possible new candidates. We eliminate 23 previous candidates but find good evidence for 20 new candidates. The number of basins greater than 300 km diameter on the Moon is almost certainly a factor 2 (maybe 3?) larger than the number of named features having basin-like topography. Unified Lunar Control Net 2005 data  and model crustal thickness data  were previously used to search for possible previously unrecognized large lunar impact basins [3,4]. An inventory of 98 candidate topographic basins greater than 300 km in diameter was found . This includes 33 named features (only those having basin-like topography) out of the 45 listed by Wilhelms , 38 additional Quasi-Circular Depressions (QCDs) found in the ULCN2005 topography, and 27 Circular Thin Areas (CTAs) found in model crustal thickness data . Most named features and additional QCDs have strong CTA signatures, but there may be a class of CTAs that are not easily recognized in the old and low resolution ULCN2005 topography. Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) data have recently become publically available. We used these data to (a) refine the center and ring diameters of known basins, (b) test the viability of the candidate basins previously found (as described above), and (c) search for additional candidate basins not revealed by the earlier lower resolution data. We used the LOLA topography directly but also a recent new model crustal thickness data that includes Kaguya gravity data . We repeated a Topographic Expression (TE) and a Crustal Thickness Expression (CTE) scoring exercise originally done with the basins found in ULCN and earlier model crustal thickness data . Each candidate was scored on a scale from 0 (no topographic basin or circular thin area signature) to 5 (strong circular low or strong circular thin area signature). These were combined into a total score used to rank the probability for each candidate basin. We used the same GRIDVIEW software to stretch, contour and profile the LOLA and new crustal thickness data as was done with the ULCN2005 and older model crustal thickness data.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20120012912.
4th Lunar Planetary Science Conference; 19-23 Mar. 2012; The Woodlands, TX; United States.
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