- Volume 33 Issue 1
DOI QR Code
Method for Identifying Lava Tubes Among Pit Craters Using Brightness Profile Across Pits on the Moon or Mars
- Jung, Jongil ;
- Hong, Ik-Seon ;
- Cho, Eunjin ;
- Yi, Yu
- Received : 2016.01.15
- Accepted : 2016.02.29
- Published : 2016.03.15
Caves can serve as major outposts for future human exploration of the Moon and Mars. In addition, caves can protect people and electronic equipment from external hazards such as cosmic ray radiation and meteorites impacts and serve as a shelter. Numerous pit craters have been discovered on the Moon and Mars and are potential entrances to caves; the principal topographic features of pit craters are their visible internal floors and pits with vertical walls. We have devised two topographical models for investigating the relationship between the topographical characteristics and the inner void of pit craters. One of our models is a concave floor void model and the other is a convex floor tube model. For each model, optical photographs have been obtained under conditions similar to those in which optical photographs have been acquired for craters on the Moon and Mars. Brightness profiles were analyzed for determining the profile patterns of the void pit craters. The profile patterns were compared to the brightness profiles of Martian pit craters, because no good-quality images of lunar pit craters were available. In future studies, the model profile patterns will be compared to those of lunar pit craters, and the proposed method will likely become useful for finding lunar caves and consequently for planning lunar bases for manned lunar expeditions.
Moon;Mars;pit crater;lava tube;cave
- Oberbeck VR, Quaide WL, Greeley R, On the origin of lunar sinuous rilles, Mod. Geol. 1, 75-80 (1969).
Robinson MS, Ashley JW, Boyd AK, Wagner RV, Speyerer EJ, et al., Confirmation of sublunarean voids and thin layering in mare deposits, Planet. Space Sci. 69, 18–27 (2012).
Wagner RV, Robinson MS, Distribution, formation mechanism, and significance of lunar pits, Icarus 237, 52-60 (2014).
- Haruyama J, Sawai S, Mizuno T, Yoshimitsu T, Fukuda S, et al., Exploration of Lunar Holes, Possible Skylights of Underlying Lava Tubes, by Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM), in 28th International Symposium on Space Technology and Science, Okinawa, Japan, 5-12 June 2011.
Head JW, Lunar volcanism in space and time, Rev. Geophys. 14, 265-300 (1976).
Hong IS, Yi Y, Kim E, Lunar Pit Craters Presumed to be the Entrances of Lava Caves by Analogy to the Earth Lava Tube Pits, J. Astron. Space Sci. 31, 131-140 (2014).
McEwen AS, Eliason EM, Bergstrom JW, Bridges NT, Hansen CJ, et al., Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), J. Geophys. Res. 112, E05S02 (2007).
Hong IS, Yi Y, Yu J, Haruyama J, 3D Modeling of Lacus Mortis Pit Crater with Presumed Interior Tube Structure, J. Astron. Space Sci. 32, 113-120 (2015).
- Horz F, Lava Tubes: Potential Shelters for Habitats, in Lunar bases and space activities of the 21st century, ed. Mendell WW (Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, 1985), 405-412.
Jung J, Yi Y, Kim E, Identification of Martian Cave Skylights Using the Temperature Change During Day and Night. J. Astron. Space Sci. 31, 141-144 (2014).
NASASpaceFlight, NASA sets Orion 13 for Moon Return [Internet], cited 2006 Oct 11, available from:
Oberbeck VR, Laboratory simulation of impact cratering with high explosives, J. Geophys. Res. 76, 5732-5749 (1971).
- Coombs CR, Hawke BR, A search for intact lava tubes on the Moon: Possible lunar base habitats, The Second Conference on Lunar Bases and Space Activities of the 21st Century, ed. Mendell WW (Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, 1992), 219-229.
Cruikshank DP, Wood CA, Lunar rilles and Hawaiian volcanic features: Possible analogues, The Moon 3, 412-447 (1972).
Greeley R, Lava tubes and channels in the lunar Marius Hills, The Moon 3, 289-314 (1971a).
Cushing GE, Candidate cave entrances on Mars, J. Cave Karst Stud. 74, 33-47 (2012).
Cushing GE, Titus TN, Wynne JJ, Christensen PR, THEMIS observes possible cave skylights on Mars. Geophys. Res. Lett. 34, L17201 (2007).
De Angelis G, Wilson JW, Clowdsley MS, Nealy JE, Humes DH, et al., Lunar lava tubes radiation safety analysis, J. Radiat. Res. 43, 41-45 (2002).
- Greeley R, Observations of actively forming lava tubes and associated structures, Hawaii, Mod. Geol. 2, 207-223 (1971b).
Haruyama J, Hioki K, Shirao M, Morota T, Hiesinger H, et al., Possible lunar lava tube skylight observed by SELENE cameras, Geophys. Res. Lett. 36, L21206 (2009).
- Haruyama J, Hara S, Hioki K, Morota T, Yokota Y, et al., New Discoveries of Lunar Holes in Mare Tranquillitatis and Mare Ingenii, in 41st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Houston, TX, 1-5 Mar 2010.