Thursday, April 18, 2013

New views of the lava terraces of Bowditch

A lava terrace rings the floor of farside crater Bowditch. LROC Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) observation M180493674L, LRO orbit 11718, January 12, 2012; a roughly 4 km-wide field of view at 1.74 meters per pixel resolution, angle of incidence 75.91° from 85.27 km [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].
Sarah Braden
LROC News System

Bowditch is a highly irregularly shaped farside crater partially filled with a mare basalt (25.0°S, 103.2°E).

Today's Featured Image is located along the inner wall of the crater, where the mare deposit meets the wall (24.935°S, 102.705°E). A section of the crater wall is visible in the upper left hand corner of the image, there is a step down in topography from left to right.

All along the inner wall of Bowditch there is a higher elevation ring, or terrace.

LROC WAC context image of mare-filled Bowditch crater. The yellow box outlines the field of view captured at high resolution in the LROC Featured Image released April 18, 2013. Field of view above roughly 38.3 km-wide. The LROC WAC context image accompanying the Featured Image released shows greater topographic relief at smaller scale HERE [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].
It is thought that this terrace is a marker of the highest level of liquid lava within the crater. As the lava cooled and solidified within the Bowditch depression it subsided into the center of the depression, causing a lower final elevation of mare basalt towards the center of the crater. Lava terraces such as this one provide important clues about the thickness, viscosity, composition, and cooling rate of lunar lavas and will help us better understand volcanism on the Moon.

View the entire LROC NAC frame to explore more of the Bowditch mare basalt deposit, HERE.

Related Images:
Bowditch Lava Terraces
A Lunar Dichotomy
The Mare-highlands Boundary in Tsiolkovskiy!

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