Topographically Induced Thermal Effects on Lunar Hydrogen Distributions : Correlated Observations from the LRO LEND and LOLA Instruments
- Smith, D.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Additional Creators:
- Sagdeev, R., Chin, G., Garvin, J., Namkung, M., Sanin, A. G., Droege, G., Zuber, M. T., Milikha, G. M., Malakhov, A., Evans L. G., Boynton, W. V., Litvak, M. L., Nandikotkur, G., Trombka, J. I., Neumann, G., Starr, R. D., Harshman, K., Mitrofanov, I. G., and McClanahan, T. P.
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- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available. and Free-to-read Unrestricted online access
- The question of whether water exists on the Moon's surface has long been an enigma to Lunar researchers. Largely, this was due to the thermally extreme lunar surface environment that would seem to preclude any long term maintenance, manufacture, transport or accumulation of hydrogen (H) volatiles over most of the lunar surface. As a result, for many years the cold permanent shadow regions (PSR) in the bottoms of craters near the lunar poles appeared to provide the basic conditions at least for maintenance of lunar hydrogen. Importantly, recent discoveries indicate that there is some hydrogen at the poles. However, the picture of the lunar hydrogen budget may be more complex than the PSR hypothesis has suggested. This evidence comes from observations by the Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND) onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) that inclici1te 1) some H concentrations lie outside PSR and 2) though a few of the larger PSR's have high hydrogen, PSR does not appear to be an independent factor influencing the large-scale suppression of polar epithermals observed by LEND and the Lunar Prospector Neutron Spectrometer. In this research we investigate the possibility that the thermal contrast between pole-facing and equator facing-slopes is a factor influencing the surface distributions of lunar H. We perform this bulk correlated observation and study by developing a thermal proxy from slope data of the Lunar Orbiting Laser Altimeter (LOLA) digital elevation model (DEM) which is registered with the collimated LEND epithermal map. From the LOLA transforms we impose a thermal functional decomposition and systematic statistical analysis of the LEND epithermal map. Our hypothesis testing suggests in most high latitude bands studied> +/- 45 deg: Epithermal rates in pole-facing slopes are significantly lower than epithermal rates in equivalent equator-facing slopes. As a control study, we find that there is no statistically significant difference between equivalent east and west facing slopes. This finding suggests topographic modulation of insolation is a factor influencing the lunar H budget. Importantly, this result is consistent with observations in terrestrial, Martian research.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20120004006. and GSFC.OVPR.5744.2011.
- Copyright, Distribution as joint owner in the copyright.
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