Planetary and Space Science
Volume 122, March 2016, Pages 70–87
A novel approach of constructing photometrically seamless mosaics of reflectance, color-ratios, and phase–curve slopes using LROC WAC images has been developed, which can be used to map the photometric parameters of the lunar surface. The approach takes into account both geometric corrections with data on local topography and photometric conjunctions using our simple photometric model. New mosaics obtained with the technique allow more reliable studies of structural and chemical characteristics of the lunar surface. This approach has been applied to analyze the photometric anomaly (21.6 S, 17.7 W, ~40 km in size) in Mare Nubium detected earlier with our Earth-based observations. For each point of the scene the parameters were calculated using the least-square method for several tens of source WAC images. Clementine mosaics also were used in the analysis, e.g., in order to estimate the parameter of maturity degree Is/FeO. The anomaly has low FeO and TiO2 abundance and reveals a higher slope of the phase function than surroundings. Thermal data from LRO Diviner measurements do not show anomalies in this region. We consider this area as a shallow flooding of an elevated formation of highland composition, the material of which could have been excavated and mixed up with upper layers of the lunar surface through meteoroid impacts. The anomalous behavior of the phase function can be explained by the difference of surface structure in the anomaly and surrounding regions on the scale of less than several centimeters. This may be due to larger quantities of small fragments of rocks and clumps on the surface and/or the presence of agglomerates having open structure.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.