The Moscoviense Basin: A Microcosm Of Crustal Compositional Diversity
Moscoviense Basin is a Nectarian Age multi-ringed impact basin on the lunar farside. Much of the floor of Moscoviense has been filled with mare basalts, including basalts with variable Fe and Ti compositions . Morota et al.  crater ages of the mare units suggest relatively long-lived sequential basaltic eruptions between 3.9 and 2.6 Ga. Additionally, Pieters et al.  identified several areas within the peak ring with exposures of olivine, orthopyroxene, and Mg-rich spinel. These exposures are exceptional in that they are not clearly associated with impact craters. The large mineralogical variations present within Moscoviense, coupled with the suspected abnormally thin crust [e.g. 4] make the Moscoviense Basin a compel-ling target to address questions related to crustal evolution and long-lived basaltic volcanism on the lunar farside. New mineral maps of the Moscoviense Basin produced using Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Diviner Lunar Radiometer maps of the thermal-infrared (TIR) Christiansen Feature (CF), a spectral feature sensitive to silicate mineralogy, and multispectral near-infrared (NIR) data from the Kaguya Multiband Imager (MI) help elucidate the distribution of mineral abundances for the major lunar minerals and make possible traverse planning . The feldspathic highlands terrain that surrounds Moscoviense is unsurprisingly dominated by plagioclase, while the mare-filled inner basin is dominated by mafic minerals. Olivine abundances are highest in Korsakov crater and adjacent areas, with additional high abundance spots in the peak ring. Orthopyroxene is limited to the mare-fill areas and a few isolated areas in the peak ring. Clinopyroxene dominates the mare-fill and is most abundant in the eastern areas of Mare Moscoviense surrounding Titov crater. Individually, the exposures of relatively pure pyroxene, olivine, and spinel make Moscoviense an intriguing location to measure the lithologies in situ and investigate their role in primary and secondary crustal evolution. Sample return, while desirable, is not essential to exploring the Moscoviense Basin; however, the large size and distributed nature of compositional exposures would strongly support the use of a mobile platform capable of detailed compositional analyses. Acknowledgements: NASA for support of SSERVI VORTICES, LRO, and LDAP for collection, production, and analysis of these data.' References:  Kramer et al. (2008) JGR, 113, E01002.  Morota et al. (2009) GRL, 36(21), L21202.  Pieters et al. (2011) JGR, 116, E00G08.  Ishihara et al. (2009) GRL, 36, L19202.  Greenhagen et al. (2014) LPSC XLV, #2641.