We report the surface exploration by the lunar rover Yutu that landed on the young lava flow in the northeastern part of the Mare Imbrium, which is the largest basin on the nearside of the Moon and is filled with several basalt units estimated to date from 3.5 to 2.0 Ga. The onboard lunar penetrating radar conducted a 114-m-long profile, which measured a thickness of similar to 5 m of the lunar regolith layer and detected three underlying basalt units at depths of 195, 215, and 345 m. The radar measurements suggest underestimation of the global lunar regolith thickness by other methods and reveal a vast volume of the last volcano eruption. The in situ spectral reflectance and elemental analysis of the lunar soil at the landing site suggest that the young basalt could be derived from an ilmenite-rich mantle reservoir and then assimilated by 10-20% of the last residual melt of the lunar magma ocean.
1.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Geol & Geophys, Key Lab Earth & Planetary Phys, Beijing 100029, Peoples R China 2.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Elect, Beijing 100190, Peoples R China 3.Chinese Acad Sci, Natl Astron Observ, Beijing 100012, Peoples R China 4.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst High Energy Phys, Beijing 100049, Peoples R China 5.Chinese Acad Sci, Guangzhou Inst Geochem, Key Lab Mineral & Metallogeny, Guangzhou 510640, Guangdong, Peoples R China 6.Chinese Acad Sci, Shanghai Inst Tech Phys, Key Lab Space Act Optoelect Technol, Shanghai 200083, Peoples R China 7.Beijing Inst Space Mech & Elect, Lab 5, Beijing 100076, Peoples R China 8.Chinese Acad Sci, Xian Inst Opt & Precis Mech, Xian 710119, Peoples R China 9.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Opt & Elect, Chengdu 610209, Peoples R China 10.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Geochem, Guiyang 550002, Peoples R China
Zhang, Jinhai,Yang, Wei,Hu, Sen,et al. Volcanic history of the Imbrium basin: A close-up view from the lunar rover Yutu[J]. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,2015,112(17):5342-5347.