Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) spectroscopic data and high‐resolution imagery data sets were used to study the mineralogy and geology of the 207 km diameter Humboldt crater. Analyses of M3 data, using a custom‐made method for M3 spectra continuum removal and spectral parameters calculation, reveal multiple pure crystalline plagioclase detections within the Humboldt crater central peak complex, hinting at its crustal origin. However, olivine, spinel, and glass are observed in the crater walls and rims, suggesting these minerals derive from shallower levels than the plagioclase of the central peak complex. High‐calcium pyroxenes are detected in association with volcanic deposits emplaced on the crater's floor. Geologic mapping was performed, and the age of Humboldt crater's units was estimated from crater counts. Results suggest that volcanic activity within this floor‐fractured crater spanned over a billion years. The felsic mineralogy of the central peak complex region, which presumably excavated deeper material, and the shallow mafic minerals (olivine and spinel) detected in Humboldt crater walls and rim are not in accordance with the general view of the structure of the lunar crust. Our observations can be explained by the presence of a mafic pluton emplaced in the anorthositic crust prior to the Humboldt‐forming impact event. Alternatively, the excavation of Australe basin ejecta could explain the observed mineralogical detections. This highlights the importance of detailed combined mineralogical and geological remote sensing studies to assess the heterogeneity of the lunar crust.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ;
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