NEEP602 Course Notes (Fall 1996)
Resources from Space

TABLE 8. Changes to major lunar features: Mare basalt stage

1. Partial melting of the upper mantle, probably from the base of the crust downward, sequentially produced mare basalts and enhanced the ultramafic character of the upper mantle as a whole.

a. Early pyroclastic eruptions dominated by crustal debris and driven by precursor volatile release from the mantle added deposits of light plains material in many basins.

Basaltic maria partially filled most nearside basins, adding to the gravitational anomalies in Nectaris and younger large basins. Basaltic magma also permeated much of the lunar crust, further contributing to crustal strength.

a. Late pyroclastic eruptions of crustal debris mixed with basaltic ash, driven by volatiles released from solidifying basaltic intrusives under the highlands, added dark halo and dark mantling deposits in some highland areas.

3. Late-stage pyroclastic eruption of magmas derived from deep-source materials took place in regions under extensional stress, particularly near the edges of young large basins with significant mare basalt fill.

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