J. B. Plescia's research while affiliated with Johns Hopkins University and other places

Publications (67)

Article
Giordano Bruno is a lunar farside Copernican-age crater. The relatively few superposed impact craters on its floor and ejecta blanket and extensive bright rays indicate its youth. High-resolution Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera images reveal that the frequency and the characteristics of the cumulative size-frequency distributions of the small-d...
Article
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) system consists of a Wide Angle Camera (WAC) and Narrow Angle Camera (NAC). NAC images (∼0.5 to 1.7 m/pixel) reveal details of the Luna-21 landing site and Lunokhod-2 traverse area. We derived a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and an orthomosaic for the study region using photogrammetric stereo processin...
Article
Crater size-frequency distributions on the ejecta blankets of Aristarchus and Tycho Craters are highly variable, resulting in apparent absolute model age differences despite ejecta being emplaced in a geologic instant. Crater populations on impact melt ponds are a factor of 4 less than on the ejecta, and crater density increases with distance from...
Article
An exceptional deposit covering an area of ∼7700km2, displaying morphology indicative of an originally fluid material, occurs near 42.2°N, 167.4°E on the lunar farside. The material occurs as smooth, flat deposits (here termed "ponds") on the bottoms of many craters and in other topographic depressions, as well as a veneer across the majority of th...
Article
High-resolution images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) reveal the landing locations of recent and historic spacecraft and associated impact sites across the lunar surface. Using multiple images of each site acquired between 2009 and 2015, an improved Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) ephemeris, and a t...
Article
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) system consists of a Wide Angle Camera (WAC) and Narrow Angle Camera (NAC). NAC images (∼0.5-1.7 m/pixel) reveal details of the Luna-21 landing site and Lunokhod-2 traverse area. We derived a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and an orthomosaic for the study region using photogrammetric stereo processing techn...
Article
Numerous spacecraft have impacted the surface of Moon during the last several decades of lunar exploration. These impacts fall into two categories: relatively high-angle impacts formed by spacecraft on direct trajectories from the Earth and low-angle impacts formed by spacecraft in lunar orbit. The craters produced by the Ranger spacecraft and the...
Article
The Chang'E-3 lunar penetrating radar (LPR) observations at 500 MHz reveal four major stratigraphic zones from the surface to a depth of ∼20 m along the survey line: a layered reworked zone (<1 m), an ejecta layer (∼2-6 m), a paleoregolith layer (∼4-11 m), and the underlying mare basalts. The reworked zone has two to five distinct layers and consis...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Introduction: On 14 December 2013, China's Chang'e 3 made the first soft landing on the Moon since the Russian Luna 24 lander in 1976. On 24 De-cember 2013, images obtained by the Lunar Recon-naissance Orbiter (LRO) Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) captured the landing site, which is located at 44.12°N, 340.49°E in Mare Imbrium [1,2]. The highest resoluti...
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Images from LROC and data from the Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment reveal the heterogeneous nature of the ejecta of Giordano Bruno.
Article
Precise coordinates have been determined for lunar impactors and landers (including Chang'e-3) using the LROC NAC. Uncertainties range from 2 to 13 meters.
Article
An LROC NAC image (pixel scale of 160 cm) of the Chang’e 3 landing site was acquired on 25 December 2013; the lander and rover were positively identified.
Article
Estimates of melt volume for simple lunar craters are typically less than model predictions. This suggests the models overestimate the volume of melt produced.
Article
LRO LOLA data allow estimates of the volume of impact melt produced during the formation of simple lunar craters. Those estimates provide constraints and validation of theoretical models of melt production.
Article
We have derived a stereo-topographic model and an orthoimage mosaic based on Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) images to study the Luna-17 landing site. In the images (0.33-0.5 m/pixel), the Lunokhod-1, the Luna-17 landed spacecraft, and the rover tracks can clearly be identified and mapped for 99% of the traverse. The tr...
Article
Shkuratov et al. (2013) described specific photometric anomalies found around the Luna 16, 20 and 23 spacecraft and not found around the Luna 24 spacecraft. The authors explained this lack of an anomaly at the Luna 24 site as a result of the misidentification of the Luna 23 and 24 spacecraft in the LROC images by Robinson et al. (2012). In order to...
Article
Full-text available
The effects of rocket exhaust on lunar soil reflectance properties have been investigated using LROC NAC images and Hapke photometric modeling.
Article
Lunar craters formed on slopes display asymmetric morphology. The upslope wall is smooth; the downslope wall is hummocky. Such craters often lack flat floors and rims. The slope is clearly controlling the slumping of material and morphology.
Article
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) imaged the landing sites and spacecraft from the Soviet Union's Luna robotic sample return program (Luna 16, 20, and 24) allowing their locations to be determined with unprecedented precision and, more importantly, for the geologic context of the landing sites to be firmly established. Uncertainties in...
Article
Self-cratering results in the use of crater counts on ejecta of dated craters of dubious value to constrain the impact flux as the number does not reflect a primary flux. This has implications for a martian flux as it is extrapolated from the Moon.
Article
Full-text available
Impact melt deposits have been identified in small, simple impact craters within the lunar highlands. Such deposits are rare, but have been observed in craters as small as 170 m diameter. The melt occurs as well-defined pools on the crater floor, as well as veneers on the inner crater wall and stringers of material extending over the rim and away f...
Article
The high resolution images and topography from LRO LROC images provide an important data set to study impact cratering on the Moon at an unprecedented resolution. Those images can be used to refine the morphologic characteristics of impact craters to provide constraints on the cratering process. Two types of craters are of interest here: impacts of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
MIIGAiK is developing an automated GIS-oriented mapping technology for studies of planetary surfaces. Here we present the results of the Luna-17 Landing Site GIS mapping. In our study we used the high resolution orthoimages and DEM, which were previously obtained at DLR from the photogrammetric processing of LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) NAC (...
Article
Published crater counts for young dated craters under-report frequencies; counts for young crater ejecta include auto-secondaries; absolute model ages with LROC data are greater than actual age; and chronology for young ages has major uncertainties.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
LROC NAC images reveal an unusual grouping of smooth plains deposits in the central farside highlands. Their morphology and young age suggest emplacement as impact melt; however, there is no apparent source crater in the region.
Article
Impact melt occurs as pools and veneers in fresh, simple craters as small as 200-300 m. Volumes are consistent with that expected from theory. But, it is unclear why such small volumes are preserved as well-defined deposits and not ejected.
Article
We investigated the morphometry and morphology of Gruithuisen, Mairan, Compton-Belkovich, Hortensius, Rümker Hills, and Marius Hills domes using Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) derived digital terrain models (DTMs).
Conference Paper
MIIGAiK is developing an automated GIS-oriented mapping technology for studies of planetary surfaces. Here we present the new results of the Luna-17 Landing Site large-scale mapping. In our study we used the high resolution orthoimages and DEM, which were previously obtained at DLR from the photogrammetric processing of LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Or...
Article
Full-text available
The locations of the robotic vehicles landed on the lunar surface during the 1960's and 1970's have been located with the LRO LROC images. Locating the landing sites allows the observations and returned samples to be placed in appropriate geologic context.
Article
King Crater displays anomalous thermal and radar properties. High resolution LROC images show these are associated with boulders and bedrock outcrops. This example illustrates how LRO data can be used to understand geologic details of a site.
Article
Giordano Bruno (22 km diameter) has a transitional morphology between simple and complex. Craters on the ejecta may be secondaries formed by the GB impact and thus may not be useful for determining absolute age.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We measured CSFDs for the lunar crater Jackson. The impact melt pools and ejecta have model ages of 85 Ma and 150 Ma, respectively. We show the discrepancy may be explained by differences in target properties, rather than an actual age difference.
Conference Paper
The youngest (Copernican) craters on the Moon provide the best examples of original crater morphology and a record of the impact flux over the last ~1 Ga in the Earth-Moon system. The LRO Narrow Angle Cameras (NAC) provide 50 cm pixels from an altitude of 50 km. With changing incidence angle, global access, and very high data rates, these cameras p...
Article
One of the top priorities for Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) imaging during the "exploration" phase of the mission is thorough coverage of 50 sites selected to represent a wide variety of terrain types and geologic features that are of interest for human exploration. These sites, which are broadly distributed around the Moon and include...
Article
In situ radiometric age determination of material is critical to establishing the absolute timing of events. The precision (15-50%) is not that obtained on Earth, but is far better than the current uncertainties based on extrapolated cratering rates.
Article
Craters in the size range of meters to hundreds of meters can not be reliably used for either relative or absolute chronologies on Mars.
Article
Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data have been used to construct Digital Elevation Models (DEM) of the Martian volcanoes in order to determine height, flank slope, caldera depth, and volumes. Summit elevations range from 21.1 km to -0.5 km, and relief varies from 1.0 km to almost 22 km. Average flank slopes are in the range of <1° to ∼10°, cons...
Article
The Rock Elm structure in southwest Wisconsin is an anomalous circular area of highly deformed rocks, similar to6.5 km in diameter, located in a region of virtually horizontal undeformed sedimentary rocks. Shock-produced planar microstructures (PMs) have been identified in quartz grains in several lithologies associated with the structure: sandston...
Article
Tharsis Tholus is unusual martian shield volcano in that the edifice is cut by a series of large normal faults that appear to penetrate the entire volcano. Northeast-trending narrow graben also cut the flank. The large normal faults may be caused by loading of a ductile subsurface layer allowing failure of the edifice; the narrow graben are typical...
Article
Cerberus Fossae, a long fracture system in the southeastern part of Elysium, has acted as a conduit for the release of both lava and water onto the surface. The southeastern portion of the fracture system localized volcanic vents having varying morphology. In addition, low shields occur elsewhere on the Cerberus plains. Three locations where the re...
Article
Amphitrites-Peneus Paterae lie on the southern rim of Hellas. The calderas are each ~125 km across. The surface is heavily mantled obscuring the underlying morphology. The mantle has a scallop morphology associated with removal of ground ice.
Article
Gravity data provide important constraints on morphometry of impact structures and on the crustal response to the impact process. Such data can provide insight that may not be obtainable from surface geologic mapping and may not be quickly or cheaply obtained by other geophysical means. The gravity data can be used to constrain the dimensions of a...
Article
Tectonism in Elysium consists of graben and lineaments radial to Tharsis and graben and troughs concentric about the regional Elysium topographic high. Radial faulting associated with Elysium is not observed.
Article
Uranius Patera, Ceraunius Tholus, and Uranius Tholus (three small constructs in the northeast Tharsis region) date to the Late Hesperian Epoch and define the earliest phases of constructional volcanism in the Tharsis province. All three volcanoes are interpreted as shields, built by effusive eruptions of low-viscosity lavas, presumably basalt. Cera...
Article
Full-text available
Experiments with the Rocky 7 rover were performed in the Mojave Desert to better understand how to conduct rover-based, long-distance (kilometers) geological traverses on Mars. The rover was equipped with stereo imaging systems for remote sensing science and hazard avoidance and 57Fe Mössbauer and nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers for in sit...
Article
Miranda's surface is divisible into cratered terrain and coronae. The cratered terrain is the most heavily cratered of the terrains and presumably is the oldest. The frequency of craters in the cratered terrain is variable and related to position on the satellite. The coronae are also variably cratered. Elsinore and Arden Coronae have similar crate...
Article
Crater size-frequency data for Umbriel, Titania, and Oberon are presented, and the implications of those data are discussed in terms of the geologic histories of these bodies and the populations of objects that have cratered them. The surfaces of Oberon and Umbriel are old and are inferred to date to a period early in their histories when the crate...
Article
The geological terrain recognized on Ariel using Voyager data is briefly discussed. Crater-size frequency data and surface morphology indicate that Ariel has been completely resurfaced since its accretion. The cratered terrain, the oldest surface on Ariel, may have been the one formed during this initial global resurfacing. Subsequently, Ariel has...
Article
Voyager 2 images of the southern hemisphere of Uranus indicate that submicrometersize haze particles and particles of a methane condensation cloud produce faint patterns in the atmosphere. The alignment of the cloud bands is similar to that of bands on Jupiter and Saturn, but the zonal winds are nearly opposite. At mid-latitudes (-70° to -27°), whe...
Article
Dione is one of the more geologically complex of Saturn's satellites. Several geologic units have been identified including ancient heavily cratered terrain; two plains units: cratered plains and lightly cratered plains; lobate deposits; crater rim deposits; and bright wispy material. The only structural features observed are a series of troughs wh...
Article
The faults of the Tharsis region of Mars have been mapped and delineated on the basis of age. The orientation of each group of faults was analyzed to determine if they were radial to a point. The results indicate that there are at least four discrete centers of faulting within the Tharsis area which are of significantly different age. The four cent...
Article
Over 800 publications submitted by researchers supported through NASA's Planetary Geology Program are cited and an author/editor index is provided. Entries are listed under the following subjects: (1) general interest topics; (2) solar system, comets, asteroids, and small bodies; (3) geologic mapping, geomorphology, and stratigraphy; (4) structure,...

Citations

... Only the three largest craters in our study have been dated, albeit indirectly (see also Section 1): Giordano Bruno, with an age consensus between 1 and 10 Ma, Necho (∼80 Ma, for both, Morata et al., 2009), and King (about 1 Ga, Ashley et al., 2012). More recently, Plescia and Robinson (2019) have proposed an age for Giordano Bruno closer to the youngest estimations, one or two million years, possibly even more recent. Incidentally, high-resolution imagery shows the superposition of younger craters on its ejecta, for instance, B6 ( Figure 5). ...
... Lunar landing sites as LROC priority targets have been imaged many times, including areas studied by the Soviet rovers (Lunokhods) during two missions (Luna-17 and Luna-21) as well as Apollo sites. Based on about 60 processed LROC NAC images and 6 stereo pairs were generated 2 DEMs to reconstruct and map the traverses and working areas of the Lunokhod-1 (Karachevtseva et al., 2013) and Lunokhod-2 (Karachevtseva et al., 2016b). These results give us not only new insights into previous missions achievements, but provide support for selection of candidate landing sites of future Russian mission to the Moon south polar area (probably, within crater Boguslawsky). ...
... of 47 − 14 +14 Myr (Table 1). At Aristarchus the ages reported in the literature using the crater dating technique are 130-180 Myr(König and Neukum, 1976), 164 ± 1.4 Myr or ~ 280 Myr(Zanetti et al., 2017). Our block SFD age falls within this wide range. ...
... The 6-wheel Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity currently holds the planetary rover distance record, driving over 45 km across Meridiani Planum [9]. Similarly, the Soviet Union's 8wheel Lunokhod 2 rover traversed 39 km across the surface of the Moon in 1973 [10]. The recent 6-wheel Chinese Yutu and Yutu-2 lunar rovers have travelled hundreds of meters on the surface of the Moon [11]. ...
... The coordinates of existing reflectors with longer data spans are known to 0.2 m. Coordinates with uncertainties 1 m are useful for tying the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter coordinate frame and the LLR frame together (Wagner et al. 2017). ...
... Data are presented as best values ± standard error of the mean. b,c, Seismic moment (Nm) as a function of crater diameter (m) (b) and Impactor vertical momentum (Ns) (c) estimated for the three observed impacts (S0986c, S0793a and S0981c) for lunar artificial impacts 32,40 , and for various impact/seismic models 33,38,41,42 . Data are presented as a best value estimated from simulations with a quality factor of 2,000. ...
... thus, it can be inferred that most of the ejecta originates from the broken underlying basalt. However, the relative permittivity within ∼4 m below the lunar surface yields ∼3.2 (Ding et al. [46], Fa et al. [47]), suggesting that the Ziwei ejecta are similar to that of the lunar regolith. Other scholars believe that the ejecta volume and excavation depth of a crater may be 3-4 times less than the previous estimates (Sharpton [48]), meaning that the percentage of the lunar regolith in the Ziwei ejecta can be recalculated as 69.32-92.43%, ...
... Typically, it is thought that most melt stays within the crater cavity, but oblique impacts and craters that form on uneven topography can eject significant quantities of melt outside the crater (Hawke & Head, 1977b; Neish et al., 2017). Recent work has shown that melt quantities produced by lunar impacts are more voluminous and extensive than previously thought (Denevi et al., 2012;Robinson et al., 2016), which is important because understanding the abundance and distribution of impact melt deposits provides the means to more accurately estimate the energy involved in a given impact. If impact melt constitutes a significant portion of light plains deposits, then the amount and distribution of melt associated with a given impact must be more extensive than previously thought, as many light plains deposits occur in apparent isolation in the highlands and/or in association with large basins (e.g., ...
... A growing body of evidence suggests some small craters (D < a few hundred meters) on the ejecta blankets and melt ponds of primary craters could be the result of ejecta from the primary itself (e.g., Artemieva & Zanetti, 2016;Plescia et al., 2010;Williams et al., 2014;Zanetti et al., 2017), rather than being later primaries or secondaries from other impacts. Shoemaker et al. (1969) were the first (to our knowledge) to propose self-secondaries in their study of the craters on the Tycho ejecta blanket around the Surveyor VII landing site. ...
... The result is compared with other published results, as listed in Table 4. Consistence of positioning results by remote image matching is affected by the basic reference image adopted, and it could be identified that literature [13] is a little different from LRO/ [49]/ [50], as the reference image is acquired by Chang'E-2. Figure 6 shows the positioning results with maximum ranging systematic error (5m) existed. ...