Lunar erosion at work?

On 4th July 2012 user kodemunkey posted an interesting image in the Interesting terrain thread and suggested that it was a ‘Possible example of the stages of lunar rock erosion?’
I’m not a lunar geologist so can’t tell if this formation is caused by erosion or not but it does look interesting. The centre of the image appears to be a crust formed from a lava flow and looks like it is eroding away at the sides as slabs of the lava crust are splitting away.

Erosion does occur on the Moon but the process takes a lot longer than the erosion processes on the Earth. The solar wind and micro-meteorite impacts appear to be the main drivers of erosion on the Moon today as well as the big temperature change between day and night which weakens and breaks up rock. See the link What causes erosion on the moon? at the end of this post for further information.

NAC: M167417084LE Latitude: 5 Longitude: 120
Near King crater, far side.

From the same NAC strip, an image of boulders which have split probably due to temperature change stress.

A similar image of boulders ‘eroding’ from the edge of a lava crust was posted by user ElisabethB a month later on 4th August 2012 in the same thread.
This is from the Aristarchus region.

NAC: M114267211RC

Useful Links

What causes erosion on the moon?

The Surface of the Moon

Quote: Over billions of years, collisions with meteoroids, large and small, have scarred, cratered, and sculpted the lunar landscape. At the present average rates, one new 10-km-diameter lunar crater is formed every 10 million years, one new 1-m-diameter crater is created about once a month, and 1-cm-diameter craters are formed every few minutes.


About geoffroynon

Retired mainframe programmer.

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