Compositional Variations in the Vicinity of the Lunar Crust-Mantle Interface From Moon Mineralogy Mapper Data

M. Martinot*, J. Flahaut, S. Besse, C. Quantin-Nataf, W. van Westrenen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Moon Mineralogy Mapper spectroscopic data were used to investigate the mineralogy of a selection of impact craters' central peaks or peak rings, in order to characterize the lunar crust-mantle interface, and assess its lateral and vertical heterogeneity. The depth of origin of the craters' central peaks or peak rings was calculated using empirical equations, and compared to Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory crustal thickness models to select craters tapping within +10/−20 km of the crust-mantle interface. Our results show that plagioclase is widely detected, including in craters allegedly sampling lower crustal to mantle material, except in central peaks where Low-Calcium Pyroxene was detected. Olivine detections are scarce, and identified in material assumed to be derived from both above and below the crust-mantle interface. Mineralogical detections in central peaks show that there is an evolution of the pyroxene composition with depth, that may correspond to the transition from the crust to the mantle. The correlation between High-Calcium Pyroxene and some pyroxene-dominated mixture spectra with the location of maria and cryptomaria hints at the existence of lateral heterogeneities as deep as the crust-mantle interface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3220-3237
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Issue number12
Early online date3 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


We appreciated receiving positive and insightful reviews from Vivian Sun and an anonymous reviewer. We also thank the editors for their time. Jean-François Blanchette-Guertin provided useful inputs for the Pcmi value calculation. We thank Mark Wieczorek, Kerri Donaldson-Hanna, Makiko Ohtake, and Satoru Yamamoto for kindly sharing their data. This work was supported by a Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) Vici grant and a User Support Space Research grant from the Netherlands Space Office (NSO) to W.v.W. J.F. is funded by APR-CNES Luna. C.Q.N. is supported by European Research Council through the FP7/2007-2013/ERC grant agreement 280168. M3 and LRO data can be accessed in the PDS Geoscience Node, Lunar Orbital Data Explorer ( The global mosaic of the LRO WAC is available at Moon/LRO/LROC_WAC/Lunar_LRO_LROC-WAC_Mosaic_global_100m_June2013. LRO LOLA/SELENE Terrain Camera merged stereo-derived digital elevation model can be found at Moon/LRO/LOLA/Lunar_LRO_LrocKaguya_ DEMmerge_60N60S_512ppd. The Lunar Impact Crater Database can be found at lunar/surface/Lunar_Impact_Crater_ Database_v08Sep2015.xls The global maria shapefiles can be found in the LRO archive ( data/LRO-L-LROC-5-RDR-V1.0/LROLRC_ 2001/EXTRAS/SHAPEFILE/LROC_ GLOBAL_MARE/). The cryptomaria shapefile can be found in the LPI concept 3 archive (https://www.lpi. site-study/). Laboratory spectra can be found in the RELAB spectral database archive (http://www.planetary.

FundersFunder number
Seventh Framework Programme280168
European Research Council
Netherlands Space Office
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek


    • central peak
    • crust-mantle interface
    • mineralogy
    • peak ring
    • proximity value
    • spectroscopy


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