RoI - Rima Bode

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Rima Bode

(Tier 1 Region of Interest for Constellation Program)

Official NASA Overview

source: NASA Cx-LROC Tier 1 Targets (PDF); see expanded details below

Scientific Rationale

High-Ti pyroclastic material

The Rima Bode II region (shown above) is distinguished by having some of the largest, and darkest, pyroclastic deposits (volcanic ash) on the Moon. Such Dark Mantle Deposits (DMDs) are usually located along the edges of mare basin borders, and result from volcanic fire fountains spewing out volatile-rich basaltic magma from deep within the mantle. The deposits erupt through numerous vents under a very high-driving pressure, which then fall back onto the lunar surface as a 'mist' of solid glass beads. Because these glass beads are believed to have been largely unmodified from their original chemical composition during eruption, their potential to address major questions about the bulk composition of the Moon are very important.

The pyroclastic deposits around Rima Bode II are Imbrium in age (3.85 - 3.15 bn years), and lie superimposed predominantly on highlands between Sinus Aestuum and Mare Vaporum. They consist almost entirely of ilmenite-rich, black volcanic glasses high in Titanium (Hi-Ti), and spectral analyses of the region suggest a distinct mineralogical mixed composition between volcanic glasses and black beads. The deposits -- consisting of 10-20 meters of loose, unconsolidated, fine-grained material that cover an area of 6,620 km^2 -- are considered the best example of primitive volcanic material on the Moon. Their occurence in the region can lead to a better description of local geological conditions during formation; giving data on volume, distribution, and eruptive styles in an early volcanism period. - JohnMoore2


Left: LO-4109-H2 from the Lunar & Planetary Institute.
Middle: Clem-UVVIS Multispectral Mosaic from Map-A-Planet.
Right: Geologic Map from the Lunar & Planetary Institute.
Click image for larger view

Mantle xenoliths

During eruptive processes of magma-rise through the pryoclastic vents at Rima Bode II, fragments of 'foreign rock' (xenoliths) deep within the chamber may become ripped off from the walls and deposited close to the surrounding vents. Such xenoliths could provide important information about the composition of the moon's mantle; which, still today, is considered one of the Holy Grails of lunar science. - JohnMoore2

NASA References

Additional Information

LROC Links

LPOD Articles

Rima Weird, A Pyroclastic Base, Triangles of Ash.

General Bibliography