Modern slope processes on the moon
Slope movements of material in lunar craters are investigated based on remote spectral studies carried out on board the Clementine spacecraft, and data obtained during the large-scale survey on board the LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbit) spacecraft. The morphological analysis of crater forms based on large-scale images and spectral and spectropolarized assessments of the exposition age (or maturity) of the slope material has led to the conclusion that the formation process of observed outcrops probably is a modern feature. The lower age limit of these structures is estimated at 40-80 years. Thus, slope movements of surface materials can continue at the present time, regardless of the age of the crater studied. Slope movements of crushed granular material lead to fresh outcrops of subsurface layers of marine or continental landscapes and, therefore, extend our capabilities to research the deep material of the Moon. To analyze this phenomenon, craters of 16 and 30 km have been selected. The length of fresh outcrops, while depending strongly on the dimensions of the craters, can be up to several kilometers. In connection with this, the prospect appears of remote analysis of rocks that came to the surface from depths of at least several hundred meters. In this case, there are openings for the contact analysis of subsurface material without the use of labor-intensive operations associated with the delivery of equipment for deep drilling to the lunar surface. © 2012 Pleiades Publishing, Ltd.