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Authors Accepted Manuscript

Characterization of A photometric anomaly in


Lunar mare Nubium
Viktor Korokhin, Yuriy Shkuratov, Vadym
Kaydash,
Alexander
Basilevsky,
Larysa
Rohachova,
Yuri
Velikodsky,
Nickolay
Opanasenko, Gorden Videen, Dmitry Stankevich,
Olena Kaluhina

PII:
DOI:
Reference:

www.elsevier.com

S0032-0633(16)00019-2
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2016.01.011
PSS4131

To appear in: Planetary and Space Science


Received date: 22 July 2015
Revised date: 26 October 2015
Accepted date: 14 January 2016
Cite this article as: Viktor Korokhin, Yuriy Shkuratov, Vadym Kaydash,
Alexander Basilevsky, Larysa Rohachova, Yuri Velikodsky, Nickolay
Opanasenko, Gorden Videen, Dmitry Stankevich and Olena Kaluhina,
Characterization of A photometric anomaly in Lunar mare Nubium, Planetary
and Space Science, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2016.01.011
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CHARACTERIZATION OF A PHOTOMETRIC ANOMALY IN LUNAR MARE NUBIUM


Viktor Korokhina,*, Yuriy Shkuratova, Vadym Kaydasha, Alexander Basilevskyb, Larysa Rohachovaa,
Yuri Velikodskya,c, Nickolay Opanasenkoa, Gorden Videend,e, Dmitry Stankevicha, Olena Kaluhinaa

Institute of Astronomy, Kharkiv V.N. Karazin National University, 35 Sumskaya St, Kharkiv, 61022, Ukraine
b

Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry, RAS, 19 Kosygin St., Moscow, 117975, Russia
c

National Aviation University, Cosmonaut Komarov Ave. 1, Kiev 03680, Ukraine

Army Research Laboratory AMSRL-CI-EM, 2800 Powder Mill Road, Adelphi Maryland 20783, USA
e

Space Science Institute, 4750 Walnut St. Suite 205, Boulder CO 80301, USA

Corresponding author. Tel.: +38-057-707-5064, E-mail address: dslpp@astron.kharkov.ua (V.V. Korokhin)

Submitted to
Planetary and Space Science

Page 42
Figures 21

Abstract
A novel approach of constructing photometrically seamless mosaics of reflectance, color-ratios,
and phase-curve slopes using LROC WAC images has been developed, which can be used to map the
photometric parameters of the lunar surface. The approach takes into account both geometric
corrections with data on local topography and photometric conjunctions using our simple photometric
model. New mosaics obtained with the technique allow more reliable studies of structural and
chemical characteristics of the lunar surface. This approach has been applied to analyze the
photometric anomaly (21.6S, 17.7W, ~40 km in size) in Mare Nubium detected earlier with our Earthbased observations. For each point of the scene the parameters were calculated using the least-square
method for several tens of source WAC images. Clementine mosaics also were used in the analysis,
e.g., in order to estimate the parameter of maturity degree Is/FeO. The anomaly has low FeO and TiO2
abundance and reveals a higher slope of the phase function than surroundings. Thermal data from
LRO Diviner measurements do not show anomalies in this region. We consider this area as a shallow
flooding of an elevated formation of highland composition, the material of which could have been
excavated and mixed up with upper layers of the lunar surface through meteoroid impacts. The
anomalous behavior of the phase function can be explained by the difference of surface structure in
the anomaly and surrounding regions on the scale of less than several centimeters. This may be due to
larger quantities of small fragments of rocks and clumps on the surface and/or the presence of
agglomerates having open structure.

Keywords: Moon; Surface; Mare Nubium; Photometry; Colorimetry; Mosaics; Phase Function;
Surface Anomaly; Chemical Composition; Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO); Wide Angle Camera
(WAC); Clementine UVVIS data.

1. Introduction
Optical remote sensing remains a powerful and prospective tool to study the lunar surface.
Significant information has been obtained from measurements of the bi-directional reflectance A of
the lunar regolith as a function of wavelength (e.g., Pieters, 1978; Hapke, 1993; Shkuratov et al.,
2011). Spectral observations suggest information about composition and maturity degree of the lunar
regolith. The bi-directional reflectance also is a function of phase angle . Recently, due to increasing
accuracy, the classical photometric investigations, which are based on measurements of the phaseangle dependence of brightness, have gotten a second wind, allowing one to find structural anomalies
of the lunar surface (e.g., Shkuratov et al., 2011). Detailed studies of such areas are of great interest,
as this potentially can provide a new view on the formation and evolution of the lunar surface.
The dependence of brightness of lunar areas on the phase angle is described by the phase
function. The features of this function contain information about the structure of the lunar surface. To
study surface variations of phase-function parameters, for each pixel of a lunar image, a phase-angle
dependence of brightness should be measured with appropriate accuracy. The simplest way to find
photometric anomalies is a phase-ratio method, which has been suggested by Shkuratov et al. (1994)
and developed in several papers (e.g., Velikodsky et al., 2011; Shkuratov et al., 2010; 2011; Kaydash
et al., 2012; Shkuratov et al., 2012a; Shkuratov et al., 2013; Kaydash et al., 2014). This technique
implies calculating the ratio of two images acquired at different phase angles. This is not an easy task,
as the images should be photometrically unified and geometrically coregistered. This unification
results from calculation of so-called equigonal albedo Aeq (see definition below Sec. 2.3).
Applying the method of phase-ratios to data of ground-based observations, Shkuratov et al.
(2010) found several regions displaying anomalous photometric functions (photometric anomalies) in

the south-west portion of the lunar disk. These areas manifest themselves for phase ratios in different
ranges, including even the small-angle ratio f(2)/f(10) (Kaydash et al., 2009), where f() is the phase
function (see below). The anomalies are photometrically unique because they do not follow the
inverse correlation between equigonal albedo and steepness of phase curve, which is known for the
Moon (e.g., Shkuratov et al., 2010; 2011). These regions demonstrate too great a slope of the phase
curve, which implies higher surface roughness. No abnormal thermal inertia, magnetic, and radar
features were found to be associated with the regions (Shkuratov et al., 2010). It was suggested that
these anomalous areas could result from bombardment of the lunar surface by a swarm of meteorites
composed of small impactors, although they also could be due to the excavation of unusual material
from beneath the regolith layers (Shkuratov et al., 2010).
Among these areas, the compact spot centered at 21.6S, 17.7W (~40 km in size) has been
detected (see Fig. 1A in Shkuratov et al., 2010). This formation shows an anomalously high slope of
phase function between the phase angles = 24 and 43 (Fig. 1B in Shkuratov et al., 2010). The slope
was characterized with the phase-ratio Aeq(24)/Aeq(43), where Aeq() is the equigonal albedo at a
given phase angle . The Earth-based data (Shkuratov et al., 2010) provided a spatial resolution of
about 1 km in the center of the lunar nearside. This area is brighter than the surroundings in the case
of the image of color-ratio C(750/415 nm) = ACSR(750 nm)/ACSR(415 nm) (Fig. 1C in Shkuratov et al.,
2010) and obscure for the image of color-ratio C(950/750 nm) = ACSR(950 nm)/ACSR(750 nm) (Fig. 1D
in Shkuratov et al., 2010), where ACSR() is Clementine spectral reflectance. Later we began to study
and characterize this anomaly in other data (Korokhin et al., 2015).
To better study this photometric anomaly, we construct 75 m-resolution maps of the parameter
characterizing the phase-curve slope (see definition below) and color-ratios for the area using data of
the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) LROC WAC (Robinson et al., 2010). We also use
100-m resolution image data obtained with Clementine UVVIS camera (Eliason et al., 1999), which

have an order of magnitude higher spatial resolution than the Earth-based data. Analysis of these maps
allows us to estimate not only structural features, but also the chemical composition and maturity
degree of the lunar soil in this formation and neighboring areas. Figure 1 presents a color map
constructed using the WAC data. The large red-yellow spot in the scene center is the photometric
anomaly, revealing an excess of reflectivity in red light.
Developing the investigation (Shkuratov et al., 2010), we considered, first of all, a possibility to
confirm the photometric anomaly in this area using data of higher resolution. We here do not use
directly the phase-ratio technique; we map a parameter that governs a 1-parametric phase function
fitting to the experimental data. Unfortunately, the available LROC WAC RDR mosaics
(http://wms.lroc.asu.edu/lroc/view_rdr/WAC_GLOBAL)

cannot

be

used

for

this

purpose

straightforwardly, since they (1) are not photometrically accurate enough, and (2) do not use all
available data for the full range of phase angles for the region under study. Thus, we start in Section
2 with raw images acquired with the LROC WAC. Our WAC mosaics and the mentioned Clementine
UVVIS data also are used to assess the regolith chemical composition and its maturity degree. For
interpretation of the obtained results we also incorporate in the analysis our polarimetric Earth-based
observations, Chandrayaan-1 M3 maps, as well as the LRO and Kaguya digital terrain models and
infrared LRO Diviner measurements.

2. Mapping photometric parameters with WAC images


2.1. The need for new mosaicing
The largest high-quality and continuously replenished data-set for lunar photometric
investigations has been obtained with the NASA LRO mission (Robinson et al., 2010). The LRO is
equipped with the wide angle camera (WAC) that is one among different instruments onboard. The

LROC WAC provides a continuous photometric survey of the lunar surface in seven spectral bands:
five of them are in the visible (415, 566, 604, 640, and 689 nm) and two cover the near UV (321 and
360 nm) range (Robinson et al., 2010). The instrument produces unique information for photometric
investigations of the lunar surface, because it provides multiple coverage (up to hundreds of times) of
the same areas under different illumination/observation conditions.
An important feature of the LRO mission is low polar orbits of the spacecraft with a mean
altitude of 50 km in the nominal mission phase. Such orbits, providing relatively high spatial
resolution, lead to significant geometric distortion of LROC WAC images due to the effect of parallax
caused by the lunar topography. We have proposed a new approach to compensate for the parallactic
effect (Korokhin et al., 2014). This gives us an opportunity to construct geometrically seamless
mosaics on the base of WAC images. However, these images are photometrically influenced by wide
variations of the phase angle (up to 60) and photometric latitude and longitude (see definition of
these angles in Section 2.3). Straightforward mosaicing leads to inconsistencies on the borders of
different images. Therefore, it is impossible to use WAC data directly for constructing good mosaics
without photometric corrections. This task has been considered, of course, when the LROC WAC
mosaics were built; however, the technique used for photometric corrections has shortcomings that
have been partially considered by Shkuratov et al. (2012b). For instance, Figure 2 shows a fragment of
the WAC mosaic for the studied area, where a vertical seam is clearly seen. Such quality of seaming is
not sufficient for our purposes.
We here develop a novel approach, using a new photometric function, for constructing the
photometrically seamless mosaics of reflectance, color-ratios, and phase-curve slopes using LROC
WAC images. This allows us to bring available images obtained for a given area of the lunar surface
to the same photometric condition and to provide their correct comparison and use.

2.2. Data selection and initial processing


A set of LROC WAC images has been downloaded from the NASA archive
http://wms.lroc.asu.edu/lroc/search, using the following criteria: (1) the image contains the site with
coordinates 21.6S, 17.7W; (2) the range of incidence angle for the center of the image is i 90; and
(3) the spatial resolution of images is not worse than 150 m/pixel. As a result, 293 images have been
selected. The algorithm used for initial processing of WAC data is described in detail by Korokhin et
al. (2014). Here, we shortly outline the principal steps of the processing.
The first step is the transformation of the PDS-format data into FITS that is basic for our
software. As is known, a source WAC image consists of a set of initial framelets (Robinson et al.,
2010). Each framelet is a sub-image from the color-filtered part of the CCD with an angular field of
view (FOV) about 60 in the direction perpendicular to orbital motion (along the selenographic
longitude) and 1.2 along the orbital-motion direction (along the selenographic latitude). Series of
framelets in a WAC image usually cover a long meridional strip of the lunar surface with small
overlapping between framelets as a result of near nadir scanning of the polar-orbiting spacecraft.
Framelets corresponding to all filters are stored into a single source file. Therefore, the second step is
a split of WAC images into separate spectral components.
The third important step is the correction of each framelet for the geometrical distortion caused
by the WAC wide-angle optical system with a 60 FOV. In (Korokhin et al., 2014) we have shown that
the standard model of distortion published by Robinson et al. (2010) does not provide sufficient
compensation of this effect and have proposed our own empirical model:
k = 1 + k1r + k2r2+ k3r3 + k4r4 + txx + tyy,

(1)

where ki are coefficients of radial distortion (k1 = 0.0000153, k2 = 8.225107, k3 = 5.1031011, k4


= 5.9051013); tx and ty serve to compensate for the tilt of the CCD array along rows and columns,
respectively (tx = 4.50107 pix1, ty = 4.41105 pix1); r is the distance of the pixel from the optical

center; x and y are coordinates of the pixel counted from the optical center; r2 = x2 + y2; and the values
r, x, and y are measured in pixels.
We also have determined the shift of the optical center from the pre-flight defined position, OCX
= 1.7 pix, OCY = 0.5 pix, and the difference between the optical center and the center of projection
(the intersection point of the perpendicular from the lens center and the CCD array): PCX = 0.7 pix,
PCY = 0.25 pix. The values of the last two parameters differ slightly from those reported by Korokhin
et al. (2014). These parameters have been obtained after republication of the LROC CDR data on the
NASA server at the beginning of 2014. We should note that after this republication, the inexplicable
correction of a frame acquisition time T = 112 ms for the northward flight direction (Korokhin et al.,
2014) is no longer needed. Also we have found that for the 415 nm filter, it is necessary to correct the
focal length with coefficient 1.0035 to compensate the difference of scale along the X axis relative to
the rest of the WAC filters. This difference probably is caused by residual hromatic aberration of the
WAC optics.
The fourth step takes into account the parallactic effect caused by the influence of the local lunar
topography. We exploit the Library of Planetary Cartography (LPC) (Shalygin et al., 2003;
http://www.astron.kharkov.ua/dslpp/cartography/carthography.pdf) for coordinate calculations and
projection transformations. The current version of the LPC addresses spherical and ellipsoidal planets
as well as with planets of any shape described with a single-valued function, e.g., using a map of
elevations relative to the reference sphere. We here use the NASA Digital Terrain Model GLD100
retrieved from LROC WAC stereo-pairs (Scholten et al., 2012) as a carrying elevation map. Although
the map has a nominal resolution of 100 m, they allow substantial compensation of parallactic shifts.
The fifth and final step is the transformation of each framelet into a cylindrical equiangular
projection and the construction of mosaics. Note that each color source image generates two mosaics:
the main part of the image and the image from overlapped portions of the source framelets. Resulting

mosaics are calculated with the angular resolution at the central pixel of the corresponding source
images. All files containing the albedo mosaics are accompanied by auxiliary files containing the
parameters of projection for each framelet calculated using the SPICE information system (Acton,
1996). This information is used for calculation of photometric conditions for each point of the images.
2.3. Producing photometrically seamless mosaics
After the described initial processing, we obtained a set of WAC images that must be brought to
the same photometric conditions. For this purpose, it is necessary to take into account many
circumstances, e.g., the variations of phase angle within one frame that may reach 60, or the fact that
a point of the surface is observed in different filters at different phase angles; the difference for
neighboring filters is 2.232. Therefore, for reliable mapping of the photometric and colorimetric
parameters of an area, it is necessary to use all available images for a given scene.
To bring the diverse images to the same photometric conditions, we use the following formula
(Hapke, 1993; Shkuratov et al., 2011):
A(,a,b,g) = f(,a) D(,a,b,g),

(2)

where A(,a,b,g) is the apparent albedo (radiance factor) at a given wavelength ; f(,a) is the phase
function; D(,a,b,g) is the disk function describing the brightness distribution over the lunar disk at a
fixed phase angle a; the angles b and g are the photometric latitude and longitude that can be found
from the incidence and emergence angles i and e using the well-known expressions (e.g., Hapke,
1993; Shkuratov et al., 2011):
tan g = (cos i / cos e - cos a) / sin a,

cos b = cos e/cos g,

(3)

In this work, we use the following formula for the phase function:

f ( l , a ) = A0 ( l ) exp -h ( l ) a ,

(4)

where () is the parameter characterizing the phase-curve slope, A0() is the normal albedo (when
= i = e = 0). Equation (4), having only two free parameters ( and A0), describes the phase
dependence of brightness of the lunar surface over a wide range of phase angles (1..100) with
quality not worse than the formulas proposed earlier: the 4-parametric formula by Akimov (1988b),
f(a) = A1 exp(1) + A2 exp(2)

(5)

and even the 6-parametric formula by Velikodsky et al. (2011),


f(a) = A1 exp(1) + A2 exp(2) + A3 exp(3).

(6)

To demonstrate this we calculated the absolute mean errors of each approximation for the area shown
in Fig. 1. We estimate that for the mare surface the errors are 0.0177, 0.0175, and 0.0175 for Eqs. (4),
(5), and (6), respectively, and the same for the highland portion of the scene is 0.0315, 0.0304, and
0.0313, respectively.
Formula (4) is empirical, however, we note that a similar expression with square root of has
been theoretically justified in (Shkuratov et al., 1994). Equation (4) has an additional advantage in
comparison with (5) and (6). It is easily linearized by taking the logarithm
ln ( f ( l , a ) ) = ln A0 ( l ) -h ( l ) a ,

(7)

which allows effective searching the parameters of the linear regression.


The disk function D(,a,b,g) depends very slightly on in the case of the Moon (Hapke, 1993;
Shkuratov et al., 2011), and we hereafter consider this function spectrally independent. We use Eq. (2)
with the lunar disk function by Akimov (1979; 1988a,b) (see also (Shkuratov et al., 2011)):
na

( cos b )p -a
D (a , b , g ) =
cos g

p
a
a
cos cos
g - ,
2
2
p -a

(8)

where a is measured in radians, and n is the coefficient related to roughness (Akimov et al., 1999;
2000); = 0.34 for maria and = 0.52 for highlands, and we used below the average value n = 0.43.
This function describes the scattering by the lunar surface much more precisely than the Lommel-

Seeliger and Minnaert scattering laws (Akimov, 1988b; Kreslavsky et al., 2000; Shkuratov et al.,
2011; 2012b).
Using the disk function (8), a useful characteristic named the equigonal albedo Aeq can be
introduced (e.g., Shkuratov et al., 2011; Velikodsky et al., 2011). This is defined as
Aeq = A ( l , a ,0, a / 2 ) = f ( l , a ) D (a ,0, a / 2 ) (see Eq. (2)); Equation (8) shows D (a , 0, a / 2 ) = 1.

For each point of the lunar surface, the parameters A0 and are found using coefficients of
linear regression (see Eq. (7)) with the least-square method. Results of the calculation are maps of A0
and , shown in Fig. 3. The maps are presented in the cylindrical equirectangular projection with a
resolution of 0.0025 per pixel, i.e. approximately 75 m on the lunar surface. In the procedure we use
several tens (from 50 to 120) of source WAC images (Fig. 4a). In Fig. 4b, the relative mean-square
errors of the approximation of experimental phase curves by Eq. (4) are shown, and the average error
is 0.7%.
To avoid the influence of the opposition effect and the shadows from topographical details, we
use the following restriction for phase angles 10 < a < 100: incidence and emergence angles are
limited by 50. In order to reduce the influence of shaded areas, points with A > 0.01...0.02
(depending on the photometric band) were used solely for the approximation.
We also carry out an iterative procedure that allows us to reduce the influence of errors of the
radiometric calibration of the WAC CDR data. After the first iteration (the fitting procedure), the
normalization factor for each WAC image is calculated as the ratio of the corresponding averaged
values of calculated apparent albedo ACalc (see Eq. (2)) and observed apparent albedo AObs:
Scj = Acalc/Aobs ,

(9)

where j is the index of source WAC images. During the second iteration, values of observed apparent
albedo are multiplied by this normalization coefficient. This allows us to reduce residual errors of the
approximation of the phase curve by 4 to 5%, depending on the WAC spectral band.

For calculations of photometric angles when taking into account the parallaxes and local
topography slopes of the lunar surface, the Library of Planetary Cartography (LPC) (Shalygin et al.,
2003; http://www.astron.kharkov.ua/dslpp/cartography/carthography.pdf) is used.
The available SPICE kernels provide coordinates linking LROC WAC images with a precision
only of 70100 m (Mazarico et al., 2012), i.e. 12 pix. To compensate these spatial errors we carry out
automatic coregistration of source images to the mosaics obtained by the method described above.
Maps of the equigonal albedo are coregistered using the correlation algorithm and bi-linear sub-pixel
interpolation. The observed map is generated by dividing the source reflectance values by the disk
function (Eq. (8)), taking into account topography. The model map is calculated using Eq. (4). After
the coregistration, the procedure of approximation-normalization-approximation (see above) is
repeated. As calculations show, for the studied area the longitudinal and latitudinal shifts are,
respectively, up to 0.005 (150 m on the surface) and 0.0035 (105 m). This is in agreements with the
Mazarico et al. (2012) data. The spatial resolution of the mosaics generated after the coregistration
increases significantly.
We display the quality of our approach with Fig. 2b that reproduces a portion of the scene
shown in Fig. 1 in comparison to the existing mosaics (cf. Fig. 2a). The map shown in Fig. 3a also
demonstrates a seamless distribution of A0 over the mapped area. Bounds of the source WAC
framelets and random noise are invisible. The studied photometric anomaly is seen as a spot at the
center of the scene, which has a more-or-less sharp boundary in several places. Maps of the phase
slope parameter in blue and red light (Fig. 3b,c) are also seamless. In spite of some residual
influence of local topography, the photometric anomaly is well discernible in the parameter . This
confirms the conclusion of Shkuratov et al. (2010) about the anomalous behavior of the phase
function of this area. Using available images for the region we built phase curves of absolute
reflectance for three typical 1-pixel sites: inside and outside the anomalous area and the highland

formation to the south-east of the anomaly. Figure 5 shows the phase curves, from which one can see
that the anomaly reveals itself in increasing brightness at decreasing phase angle beginning from 40
and that this effect is small.

3. Mapping spectral parameters


3.1. Color ratio mapping
The seamless mosaics allow one to construct color-ratio maps using any pair of wavelengths in
the visible range = 415, 566, 604, 643, and 689 nm. Using the apparent albedo images, these ratios
can be calculated at different in the range from approximately 10100. Examples of maps of the
color-ratios A0(689 nm) / A0(415 nm) and (689 nm)/(415 nm) are shown in Fig. 6. The investigated
photometric anomaly shows up in the A0(689 nm) / A0(415 nm) map (see also Fig. 1). The same was
found by Shkuratov et al. (2010). In contrast, the ratio (689 nm)/(415 nm) indicates spectral
neutrality of the anomaly in the wavelength range 415689 nm. It should be noted that both the
distributions of are influenced mainly by roughness. Albedo is a secondary factor affecting mostly
(689 nm).
For specific tasks, albedo values at wavelengths other than those of the WAC set may also be
required, e.g., we may need to compare LROC WAC and Clementine UVVIS images. Therefore, we
obtained the parameters of the regression equation in each point (pixel) of the surface using albedo
values for the five WAC bands. Then we use it for conversion to the required . In the wavelength
range 415689 nm, lunar spectra can be described approximately by a linear function:
A0() = k1( 0) + k0,

(10)

where k1 and k0 are the coefficients of the linear regression, 0 = 415 nm. Figures 7a,b show
distributions of these coefficients. A similar analysis can be carried out for the parameter :

() = l1( 0) + l0,

(11)

where l1 and l0 are the corresponding coefficients of the linear regression (l1 is negative). The
equations (10) and (11) show that A0 increases with wavelength; whereas, decreases with and,
hence, with albedo. The maps of l1 and l0 are presented in Fig. 7c,d. The images shown in Fig. 7 are
solely supporting, though they also demonstrate that the studied anomaly stands out clearly in the
cases of the maps of k0, k1 and l0. This anomaly is almost invisible for the parameter l1. The latter, in
particular, means that the phase function f() of the anomaly amplitude is spectrally neutral in the
WAC spectral range. The equations (10) and (11) make it possible to calculate the values of A0 and
for any wavelength within the spectral range and a little outside its edges.
3.2. Connection between the WAC and Clementine photometric systems
Most modern methods of prognosis and analyzing the chemical and mineral composition of the
lunar surface (e.g., Lucey et al., 1995; 1998; 2000a,b; 2004; Gillis et al., 2003; Pieters et al., 2002;
2006; Shkuratov et al., 2003a,b; 2005a; Korokhin et al., 2008; Lin Li, 2011) incorporate laboratory
chemical/mineral and maturity degree determinations of size particle separates of lunar soils from
Apollo landing sites, and spectrophotometric data of the same samples presented in the LSCC
(RELAB) photometric system (http://www.planetary.brown.edu/relabdocs/relab_disclaimer.htm and
http://www.planetary.brown.edu/pds/LSCCsoil.html) using Clementine UVVIS wavelengths (415,
750, 900, 950, 1000 nm). The LSCC data include measurements of regolith samples selected to be
representative of various lunar basalt compositions having different maturity (Taylor et al., 1999,
2001). The laboratory spectral measurements were carried out with the RELAB spectrometer in the
range 0.4 2.5 mm at = i = 30, e = 0 (Pieters, 1999). The RELAB measurements of regolith
samples from the Apollo-16 landing site were used for the radiometric (absolute) calibration of
Clementine UVVIS data. Unfortunately, the Clementine calibration significantly differs from the
WAC and several other measurements (Shkuratov et al., 2001; 2011; Velikodsky et al., 2011). This

leads to a somewhat paradoxical situation, when well-calibrated data should be brought to the
eccentric Clementine system in order to use available techniques for the prognosis of chemical and
mineral composition. We used the following procedures:
1. Maps of the normal albedo A0 and the parameter for the Clementine wavelengths 415 and
750 nm using Eqs. (10) and (11) and corresponding regression coefficient distributions are calculated.
The wavelength = 750 nm is a little beyond the upper limit of the WAC range (689 nm); however,
between these wavelengths, the lunar spectrum is linear and can be extrapolated.
2. Maps of apparent albedo AWAC for the phase angle = 30, incidence angle i = 30, and
emergence angle e = 0 (the RELAB photometric condition) using Eqs. (2), (3), and (4) also are
calculated.
3. We normalize the WAC scales of apparent albedo using linear functions ARELAB =
1.3959 AWAC + 0.0144 (for = 415 nm), and ARELAB = 1.1191 AWAC + 0.0242 (for = 750 nm). These
formulas have been obtained from comparison of the albedo over the investigated area for the WAC
after previous steps and acquisition of the Clementine mosaics.
The obtained maps of Aeq allow us to construct WAC maps of albedo and color ratio in the
Clementine photometric system, i.e. to calculate A(750 nm) and color-ratio C(750/415) =
A(750 nm)/A(415 nm). The maps can be used for further applications.

4. Estimates of chemical composition and maturity degree


4.1. Applying Lucey's method to the WAC data
As has been noted, there are several methods for the estimating the chemical composition and
maturity of the lunar soil using colorimetric (spectrophotometric) data (e.g., Lucey et al., 1995, 1998,
2000a,b, 2004; Blewett et al., 1997; Gillis et al., 2003; Pieters et al., 2002; Shkuratov et al., 2003a,b,

2005a; Korokhin et al., 2008; Lin Li, 2011). The technique by Lucey et al. (1995, 1998, 2000a,b,
2004) is the most popular. This is based on results of laboratory optical studies of lunar samples,
which show regularities in arrangement of points corresponding to soils of different maturity and
chemical composition on the correlation diagrams A(750 nm) C(950/750 nm) and A(750 nm)
C(415/750 nm). It has been found that samples with a similar iron (titanium) content, but different
maturity degree form sequences, oriented approximately in the direction of a singular point of the
diagrams (the overmature point). The distance from this point is the parameter of the optical
maturity OMAT: the shorter the distance, the greater the maturity. This is an approximate approach,
whose shortcomings were considered in several papers (e.g., Starukhina and Shkuratov, 2001);
however, it suggests very plausible results. Using the mentioned correlation diagrams, empirical
formulas for assessments of abundance of FeO and TiO2 have been found (Lucey et al., 1995, 1998,
2000a,b).

A ( 950 nm ) / A ( 750 nm ) - y

FeO [ %] = -17.43 arctan


- 7.56 ,
A ( 750 nm ) - y

(12)

5.98

A ( 415 nm ) / A ( 750 nm ) - z

TiO2 [ %] = 3.71 arctan



A ( 750 nm )

(13)

where A() is albedo, y = 1.19, and z = 0.42. Both iron and titanium are the main transition elements in
the lunar regolith materials, and, therefore, they significantly influence the properties of spectral
reflectivity.
Formula for the optical maturity (parameter OMAT) also was obtained using the diagram
A(750 nm) C(950/750 nm):
2

A ( 950 nm )

- y ,
OMATFe = ( A ( 750 nm ) - x ) +
A ( 750 nm )

(14)

where x = 0.08. The parameter OMATFe is closely related (see below) to the maturity degree Is/FeO
that is the amount of nano-phase Fe0 in regolith particles normalized to the FeO content, where Is is
measured by ferromagnetic resonance techniques (e.g., Morris 1976, 1978).
Unfortunately the WAC filters allows one to use only Eq. (13) to estimate the abundance of
TiO2, not FeO. Lucey et al. (1998) have noted a possibility to exploit for approximate estimations
another optical maturity parameter (OMATTi) using the diagram A(750 nm) C(415/750 nm):
2

OMATTi =

( A ( 750 nm ) )

A ( 415 nm )

+
- z .
A ( 750 nm )

(15)

This parameter does not have an obvious physical meaning, but is undoubtedly useful for an
independent discrimination of lunar surface types.
Formulas (14) and (15) indicate that the smaller the OMATFe and OMATTi, then the higher the
regolith maturity. It should be observed, however, that the use of Eq. (15) requires great caution, since
the OMAT maps constructed with Eqs. (14) and (15) are noticeably different (Shkuratov et al., 1999).
A map of abundance of TiO2 obtained using Lucey's method is shown in Fig. 8a. It is seen that
the photometric anomaly has noticeably lower titanium content than the surrounding area, but higher
than for typical highland. Note that the prognosis of TiO2 abundance for low as well as high values is
not reliable in Luceys approach, which suggests overrated abundances. Figure 8b presents the map of
OMATTi. This figure shows that the optical maturity of soils in the anomaly area also slightly differs
from surrounding regions. We also illustrate differences between the maps of TiO2 abundance
determined using WAC and Clementine data (Fig 8c,d). Comparison of these TiO2 maps shows higher
quality of the WAC version. Moreover, the LRO WAC map reveals a higher resolution as compared to
the Clementine one.

4.2. Chemical composition and maturity degree using Clementine UVVIS data
We use Clementine UVVIS data (Eliason et al., 1999) for the determination of FeO content (Fig.
9a) and the parameter of optical maturity degree OMATFe (Fig. 9b). We specifically exploit the
Clementine 100 m mosaics and apply Eq. (12). Additionally, in order to construct a map of Is/FeO
(Fig. 10a), we use LSCC data (http://www.planetary.brown.edu/relabdocs/relab_disclaimer.htm and
http://www.planetary.brown.edu/pds/LSCCsoil.html) and apply the Artificial Neural Network (ANN)
method (Korokhin et al., 2008). Results of the mapping presented in Fig. 9a show that the abundance
of FeO inside the anomaly area is somewhat lower than in surrounding areas, although the contrast
between the anomaly area and its surroundings is noticeably higher for TiO2. As anticipated,
comparison of the maps OMATTi (Fig. 8b) and OMATFe (Fig. 9b) reveals very weak correlation of
these parameters. We note that the borders of the photometric anomaly and chemically distinct areas
are close to each other, but often are not exactly coincident.
We also have found the following useful relationship between the parameters OMATFe and
Is/FeO (the correlation coefficient equals 0.92):
Is/FeO = 267 OMATFe + 97.

(17)

The maps in Figs. 8b, 9b, and 10a clearly demonstrate that characteristic values of the maturity degree
in the anomaly area do not differ significantly from its surroundings.
The map of OMATTi reveals a dark ring around the border of the photometric anomaly, which
is not detected in the parameter OMATFe and Is/FeO. There is no direct interpretation of the feature of
OMATTi, since the physical meaning of OMATTi is debatable (Lucey et al., 1998; Shkuratov et al.,
1999); nevertheless, this ring is not an artifact, as its traces are in the source images.
The composition mapping based of LSCC data (Pieters et al., 2006; Shkuratov et al., 2007)
also allows a determination of the agglutinate content in the lunar soil. Agglutinates are glassy
aggregates of particles, which are formed from micrometeorite strikes of the lunar regolith. The

abundance of impact glasses in agglutinates is rather high, up to 50%. There is a very strong
correlation between Is/FeO and agglutinate abundance. The LSCC data base also contains information
about volcanic (pyroclastic) glasses. In contrast to agglutinate glasses, the abundance of pyroclastic
material is much lower in the LSCC samples; it usually is several percents. Nevertheless, the LSCC
data allow maps of the abundance of volcanic glasses, although the reliability of such maps is
somewhat lower than in case of the parameter Is/FeO (Fig. 10b).
The mean size of lunar regolith particles correlates with the parameter Is/FeO: the lower the
maturity degree, the higher the mean size (Morris, 1976; 1978; McKay et al., 1991). Unfortunately,
there are not reliable remote-sensing methods to assess variations of such sizes, although several
attempts have been undertaken. Using a technique proposed by Shkuratov et al. (2003), which is
based on the use of LSCC and Clementine UVVIS data, we construct a distribution of the mean size
of particles. We find that in the anomalous area, the size is absolutely the same as its surroundings,
and therefore, we do not show here these result.

5. Discussion
5.1. Brief characterization of the studied region
Using LROC WAC data we confirm results obtained by Shkuratov et al. (2010) concerning the
photometric anomaly: the steepness of the phase curves of the area is higher than that of mare
surroundings. As reported in the previous study (Shkuratov et al., 2010), the area has been identified
by an inverse dependence of the slope of phase function on albedo in comparison with the typical
lunar response. The steepness difference between the anomaly and adjoint areas is the same at = 415
and 689 nm. We also confirm that the anomalous area has an excess of red color and slightly higher
albedo than its surroundings. This, in particular, suggests that the anomaly area is distinct in

composition from the neighboring mare regions: the regolith of the anomaly has lower contents of
iron and titanium. On the other hand, the abundance of FeO and TiO2 is certainly higher than for
highland areas. The maturity degree Is/FeO of the regolith inside the anomaly is somewhat lower than
outside.
We proceed with the characterization of the region analyzing the geologic situation. Figure 11
displays older and younger types of terrains clearly seen on the image corresponding to large phase
angles. The types are presented, respectively, by various lavas. The photometric anomaly roughly
outlined in Fig. 11 is located on the lava plain covered by impact craters that occasionally form
clusters. In many cases these are secondary craters. Sometimes the craters form chains associated with
cracks. Moreover, the plain is complicated by wrinkle ridges that are moderate compression structures
(overthrusts) that are characteristic of lunar maria. The lava plain also has sinuous rilles that are
channels cut by lava floods due to heating and mechanical erosion. The ridges and rilles can be seen
inside and outside the anomaly area. The geologic situation in the region does not directly show
features that could point out the origin of the anomaly; therefore, it is necessary to use additional
independent data and analysis.
5.2. Feasible reasons of the anomaly
There are theoretically five causes affecting the steepness of the phase curve of regolith-like
surfaces. These are (Hapke, 1993; Shkuratov et al., 2005; 2011) the following: (1) regolith porosity;
(2) a complicated topography, e.g., the presence of rock fragments; (3) a peculiarity of the phase
function of individual particles; (4) incoherent multiple scattering, and (5) coherent backscattering
enhancement. The latter mechanism contributes solely to the opposition effect of bright particulate
surfaces only at small phase angles; thus, this is definitely not our case. We consider the first four
points in more detail.

1. The regolith porosity is a complex function of the composition and features of structure
generation of a light-scattering surface. Variations of the porosity, which depend on the mean size of
regolith particles and the optical heterogeneity of the particles, are important characteristics affecting
the shadowing effect that significantly influences the surface phase function; ordinarily, the smaller
the particles, the higher the porosity. Therefore, fine regolith is expected to have higher values of ,
which is observed for the anomaly. The smaller mean size of particles is observed if the lunar regolith
is mature; in this case the size is ~70 mm (McKay et al., 1991). For immature regolith this size may be
equal to 120-150 mm. Contamination by pyroclastic materials may decrease this parameter, as the
mean particle size of the material is about 40 mm (Heiken et al., 1974). Finally, the anomaly area can
be notably contaminated by highland materials that are involved in the impact formation of the local
regolith. The mean size of particles of mature highland regolith is lower than that of the mare regolith
(Engelhardt et al., 1976). Moreover, results of our ray-tracing computer modeling show that the
mixture of dark and bright materials may significantly influence the regolith phase function
(Stankevich and Shkuratov, 2004).
As has been noted, there are not yet remote-sensing techniques for the reliable determination
of the mean size of regolith particles and lunar surface porosity. The technique suggested by
Shkuratov et al. (2003) uses a poor base of lunar samples with different sizes of particles. An
alternative method to estimate this parameter is grounded in polarimetric measurements (Shkuratov
and Opanasenko, 1992) that are discussed below. Both these approaches have not yet been confirmed
with independent measurements. Another reason for surface variations of porosity can be related to
the regolith formation from lunar materials of different compositions.
2. The shadow effect and, hence, the parameter can be greatly increased if a large enough
quantity of stones and rock fragments cover the surface (Shkuratov and Helfenstein, 2001; Shkuratov
et al., 2005b). The presence of such rock fragments in large quantities with sizes > 10 cm may be

established with thermal inertia measurements using the LRO Diviner imager. The LRO Diviner
measures both reflected solar and emitted lunar infrared radiation in nine spectral channels with
wavelengths ranging from 0.3 to 400 microns (Paige et al., 2010). The measurements enable mapping
and characterization of surface properties such as the thermal inertia, which allows determinations of
rock abundance and the silicate minerals with measurements of the Christiansen frequencies
(Bandfield et al., 2011; Song et al., 2013). Figure 12 presents map of the abundance of stones > 10 cm
on the lunar surface (http://pds-geosciences.wustl.edu/missions/lro/diviner.htm). As can be seen for
these parameters, there are no hints of peculiarities inside the photometric anomaly. Thus, the regolith
of the area does not have abnormally large numbers of stones and rocks > 10 cm, and its mineral
composition is rather ordinary for this region. The LROC NAC images with resolution ~1 m also
confirm the normal abundances of large stones within this region.
3. The phase function (indicatrix) of individual particles may in principle contribute noticeably
to the resulting phase function of the lunar surface. If the photometric anomaly is due to singleparticle scattering, we may generally expect that the phase function of linear polarization degree also
is abnormal, as these two parameters are very closely connected to each other (e.g., Bohren and
Huffman, 2004). Polarimetry is a powerful tool of lunar surface studies (Shkuratov et al., 2011; 2015).
It has been shown that polarimetric anomalies found due to Earth-based observations at large phase
angles may relate to surface variations of particle size and regolith porosity (Shkuratov, 1981;
Shkuratov and Basilevsky, 1981; Shkuratov and Opanasenko, 1992; Dollfus, 1998; Shkuratov et al.,
2011; 2015).
The photometric anomalies described by Shkuratov et al. (2010), including the one considered
here, also are polarimetrically unusual. Figure 13a displays an image of the distribution of
polarimetric anomalies detected at a phase angle near 93 in blue light; the arrows 1 and 2 point out,
respectively, the anomaly under study and another photometric anomaly also detected Shkuratov et al.

(2010). One could conclude that if the anomaly clearly shows up both on the photometric and
polarimetric images, its origin relates to the unusual scattering properties of individual particles, but
this conclusion is not valid.
The notion of the polarimetric anomaly appeared from analyzing the correlation between the
polarization degree and albedo (the diagrams logPlogA). The regression line of the correlation can be
described as follows (Dollfus and Bowell, 1971):

log Aeq + a log Pmax = b .

(18)

Shkuratov and Opanasenko (1992) found that at 430 nm, the coefficients a = 0.795 and b = 1.871, if
the equigonal albedo Aeq is determined at a = 6, and Pmax equals P(90). The deviations from the
regression line (18) are physically informative. First of all, the deviations depend on which kind of
albedo we use in Eq. (18). The equigonal albedo Aeq measured at small phase angles and at max differs
from each other by the influence of phase function of the lunar surface.
It is convenient to study the deviations from the regression line, considering b in Eq. (18) as a
parameter of the polarimetric anomaly b = Aeq ( Pmax ) . Imaging the parameter was initiated in several
a

studies (Shkuratov, 1981; Shkuratov and Opanasenko, 1992; Dollfus, 1998), but this technique is not
yet fully developed. The maps presented in Fig. 13a,b correspond to Aeq calculated at = 93 and 10,
respectively. Figure 13a shows that the photometric anomaly simultaneously is the polarimetric one
(see arrow 1). On the other hand, Fig. 13b does not reveal this anomaly and confirms that the
polarimetric anomaly is due to the difference of Aeq(). Thus, the polarimetric anomaly paradoxically
is not actually polarimetric. This paradox is a result of the definition of polarization degree that clearly
includes the normal albedo: P = const / A0 (Dollfus and Bowell, 1971; Shkuratov and Opanasenko,
1992). The results presented in Fig. 13a,b suggests that the possible peculiarity of the single-scattering
indicatrix hardly is the cause of the anomalous photometric properties of the area.

4. Incoherent multiple scattering may abate the photometric anomalous properties, as the
interparticle scattering weakens the shadow effect. The effect of incoherent multiple scattering clearly
exists in the case of the Moon. It can be seen from Eq. (11) and a comparison of Figs. 3b and c, where
the distributions of the parameter are presented in a common -scale.
Lunar spectral measurements indicate that albedo typically increases with until ~ 2.5 mm,
where thermal emission begins to contribute to the total radiance. The role of multiple scattering,
which weakens the shadow effect, also should increase. Hence, the parameter decreases with , and
in principle at some the photometric anomaly may disappear on maps. We verify this hypothesis
using data from the Moon mineralogy mapper (M3) of the Indian spacecraft Chandrayaan-1 (Pieters et
al., 2009a).
We calculate phase-ratio distributions in two very different wavelengths, = 0.75 and 2.90 mm.
Data at the longer wavelength were corrected with the thermal emission model by Clark (2009).
Figure 14a-d shows the brightness distribution at = 0.75 mm, where the phase-ratio images
constructed

from

M3

images

M3G20090110T154845

(average

phase

angle

34)

and

M3G20090206T225721 (average phase angle 54) at the two mentioned wavelengths. In spite of this,
variations of phase angle over the images are a few tens of degrees, the images in Fig. 14b,c indeed
are phase ratios, although they have large uncertainties. The anomaly is clearly seen in Fig. 14b
(shorter wavelength), but disappears at = 2.9 mm (Fig. 14c). Thus, at this wavelength, multiple
scattering may entirely compensate the influence of surface roughness. To stress the difference
between phase ratios in the two wavelengths, we calculate the color ratio of the phase ratios; the
photometric anomaly here is especially visible (Fig. 14d).
5.3. On the origin of the anomaly
Taking into account the described possible mechanisms of the anomalous formation, we
discuss here four hypotheses of its nature: (A) a swarm impact, (B) a volcanic flooding in the anomaly

boundary, (C) pyroclastic deposits, and (D) highland material contamination. We consider these four
possibilities in more detail.
(A). A recent impact by a compact swarm of small meteoroids plowing the surface was
suggested as a mechanism by Shkuratov et al. (2010). This can easily explain higher values of and
slightly lower maturity. At the same time, this hypothesis has significant shortcoming. The scales of
roughness generated by the impact should be less than several tens of centimeters, since LROC NAC
data with resolution of 0.5 m does not show any prominent peculiarity in roughness. The plowing with
a swarm of small impactors may provide shallow damage of the regolith and cannot explain the
distinction in composition due to excavated material from beneath layers of the regolith. Finally, such
swarms (if they can be formed in the Moon-Earth system at all) may live a very short time that harshly
decreases the feasibility of the mechanism.
(B). We may assume that the anomalous area contains peculiar lava formations with unusual
chemical properties. We tried to find the boundaries of the lava fluxes using DTM maps constructed
with the LROC WAC data providing images with substantial across-track stereo coverage (Scholten et
al., 2012). A fragment of such a map is presented in Fig. 15a with contour of the anomaly. The
absolute accuracy of the DTM has been estimated with altimetry data from the LRO LOLA instrument
(e.g., Smith et al., 2010). Figure 15b displays results of visualization of the DTM data. We use
illumination at the angular height of the Sun equaling 3. The height and spatial resolutions of the
images is near 2 m and 200 m, respectively. We here see extremely strengthened topography solely
without albedo variations. The images were constructed with the Lambertian photometric function of
each relief element. Many wrinkle ridges are exhibited in the region. Excepting several small places
we do not find any correlation between the anomaly border and the topography. Thus, the layer of the
material making the area abnormal should be thinner than the DTM height resolution. In Fig. 16 we
confirm this result displaying the south sharp border of the anomaly and for comparison DTM data

from Kaguya imaging with a resolution of 50 m (Haruyama et al., 2012). No border can be found in
this topography as well.
C. The photometric anomaly is brighter than its surroundings at small phase angles. Thus,
supposing pyroclastics, we expect the existence of bright pyroclastic material. Usually lunar volcanos
produce dark halos. The crater (depression) shown by the arrow in Figs. 3a and 17 can be considered
as a candidate to be a pyroclastic source. This depression is surrounded by a dark halo. If the anomaly
is related to the pyroclastic deposits, it should be young, as the upper regolith layer is considerably
reworked during 200-300 million years and becomes optically insignificant. The depression does not
appear in LROC NAC images as a young formation. It partially cuts three craters on the left and one
crater on the right. This tectonic structure in principle may be a source of the pyroclastic, but it should
be old, since these lineaments are smooth.
The Chandrayaan-1 M3 data have allowed for a mapping of the compositional diversity of the
lunar surface and the discovery of the 3mm absorption band related to OH and H2O possibly contained
in the regolith (e.g., Pieters et al., 2009b). Recently, it was shown that large pyroclastic deposits on the
lunar surface exhibit increased hydration; unlike nearby regions, these areas are highly hydrated,
exhibiting up to ~1000 ppm H2O (Li and Milliken, 2014). We verify the pyroclastic hypothesis using
Chandrayaan-1 M3 spectra. In Fig. 18 we show an albedo image at 750 nm and color ratio = A3 / A2 ,
where A2 = (A2776.6 + A2816.5 + A2856.4)/3 and A3 = (A2896.3 + A2936.3 + A2976.2)/3. Examples of spectra for
the three sites shown in Fig. 18a can be found in Fig. 18c. Figure 18b clearly shows that the anomaly
manifests itself as an area having higher ratio. If we suppose that this color ratio characterizes the
short wing of the water band, then this result indicates

lesser OH/H2O abundance than its

surroundings. Finally, Fig. 10b shows that the abundance of volcanic gasses inside the anomalous area
is lower than in the rest of the mare territory. Thus, summarizing, we may conclude that the
pyroclastic origin of the anomaly is hardly possible.

D. The last hypothesis of the anomaly origination seems perhaps to be most realistic. We
suppose that initially the lava inside and outside the anomaly had the same age and composition. The
only difference is that the lava layer inside the area is rather thin due to the topography of the highland
substrate in this region (Fig. 19). Then the layer in the boundary of the area was partially destroyed by
rather large meteoroids and a portion of the substrate material has been excavated on the top and then
was involved in the regolith formation processes. This flooded highland elevation can be assumed to
be a hill, or possibly, a rhyolite extrusion similar to the formations Helmet and Hansteen Alpha. These
formations have an excess of red color and are easily found in images of color ratio red/blue (Malin,
1974; Head and McCord, 1978). The studied photometric anomaly also has a noticeable reddish hue
(see Fig. 1).
The highland regolith contains lower abundances of impact glasses and agglutinates, but more
highland breccias that are structurally more compact than agglutinates (Rode et al., 1979; McKay et
at., 1991). This may result in the difference in the porosities of the regolith upper layer of the mare
and highland materials, and hence influences the phase curve. On the other hand, agglutinate particles
having a significant amount of impact glasses have roundish shapes (Rode et al., 1979). This can
produce less shadowing from particles than for very open agglomerates that may have a hierarchical
structure composed by glued mineral fragments if the amount of gluing glass in the agglomerate is
rather small. The presence of particles with a hierarchical (prefractal) structure can significantly
enhance the shadowing effect (Shkuratov and Helfenstein, 2001), creating a photometric anomaly. A
mixture of mare and highland materials can explain the composition difference between the anomaly
area and its surroundings, since the highland material has low TiO2 and FeO abundance.
Anomalous behavior of the phase function also may be explained by a difference of surface
structure in the anomaly and surrounding regions on the scales of less than several centimeters,
imperceptible in the camera image with LROC NAC and undetectable by the LRO instrument

Diviner. This may be due to the presence of unusually large numbers of small rock fragments and
clumps on the regolith surface. Such surface-structure elements are ubiquitous in all in situ images of
the Moon (see, e.g., Fig. 20).
For hypothesis D, the photometrical sharpness of the anomalys boundary can be explained
naturally by the substrate topography features: inside the shallow flooding the pre-mare material
contamination is important, while outside, the regolith has typical mare composition. Such a model
explains the absence of the boundary in elevation maps, as the lava flooding is the same. Nevertheless,
we have tried to find the boundary using LROC NAC data of high resolution. Figure 21a displays a
southern portion of the map shown in Fig. 3b. The red boxes in this figure correspond to two
fragments of the LROC NAC mosaics presented in Fig. 21b,c. The anomaly boundary cannot be
identified reliably in the mosaics, although in some cases its slight traces may be detected (see arrow
in Fig. 21c).

6. Conclusion
A method of constructing seamless mosaics of photometric parameters of the lunar surface
(albedo and parameter of the phase-curve slope) using LROC WAC color images has been developed.
Our approach takes into account both geometric corrections with data on local topography and
photometric conjunctions using a simple photometric model that is more accurate than ones used in
other works. Mosaics obtained using this method allows one to study optical, structural and chemical
characteristics of the lunar surface with higher accuracy than before. The proposed method has been
applied to a photometric anomaly in Mare Nubium identified earlier by Shkuratov et al. (2010). It
should be emphasized that at present, only LROC WAC data together with the technique described

above make it possible to calculate phase functions of lunar surface sites with spatial resolution ~75 m
with high accuracy (see, e.g., Fig. 3). The following results have been obtained:
1. Maps of the normal albedo and the parameter that characterizes the phase-curve slope for
5 WAC spectral bands have been constructed. We here use two maps constructed for = 415 and 689
nm in order to show the spectral neutrality of the anomaly amplitude in this spectral range. The maps
cogently confirm the existence of a photometrically anomalous area in Mare Nubium found by
Shkuratov et al. (2010), which manifests itself in deviation from the inverse correlation between the
slope of phase function and albedo.
2. Maps of abundance of FeO and TiO2 in the lunar soil have been constructed using the Lucey
method and the ANN (artificial neural network) regression technique using LRO WAC, Clementine
UVVIS data, and laboratory measurements of lunar soil samples LSCC. The maps demonstrate lower
concentration of titanium and iron in the anomaly; the content values are between the highland and
mare ones.
3. The same approach based on LSCC data allowed mapping the parameters OMATFe and
OMATTi, as well as the maturity degree and volcanic glass abundance distributions. The regolith of the
photometric anomaly has somewhat low maturity Is/FeO and volcanic glass content.
We analyzed four hypotheses of the origin of the photometric anomaly: a swarm impact,
volcanic flooding inside the area, pyroclastic deposits, and contamination with highland materials
extracted from beneath the regolith layer. The first hypothesis (Shkuratov et al., 2010) cannot explain
chemical difference inside the anomaly and its sharp borders on the scale ~75 m. The second model
implies the coincident boundaries of photometric anomaly and lava floods visible in elevation maps.
The DTM models produced by LRO and Kaguya teams do not reveal this. The pyroclastic hypothesis
is also vulnerable. For instance, it conflicts with Chandrayaan-1 M3 measurements that do not exhibit
the 3-mm water signature in spectra of the anomaly, as can be anticipated.

We suggest a model of the area origin that may be a shallow flooding of an elevated formation
of highland composition, which is partially denuded by meteoroid impacts. A mixture of mare and
highland materials can explain the composition differences between the area and its surroundings. The
anomalous behavior of the phase function can be explained by the difference of structure of the
surface in the anomaly and surrounding regions on the scale of less than several centimeters. This may
be due to larger quantities of small fragments of rocks and clumps on the surface and/or the presence
of agglomerates having open structure.
Acknowledgment. The authors gratefully acknowledge the research support from NASA grant
NNX11AB25G Lunar Advanced Science and Exploration Research (LASER) Imaging photometric
and polarimetric remote sensing of the Moon. The authors thank the SELENE(KAGUYA) TC team
and the SELENE Data Archive for providing the SELENE(KAGUYA) data. SELENE is a Japanese
mission developed and operated by JAXA.

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Figure captions
Figure 1. A fragment of a color map constructed using WAC data (colors R = 689 nm, G = 415 nm,
and B = 321 nm are matched with the mosaic fragment). The red spot (the photometric anomaly) in
the centrum of the frame is clearly seen. Images are extracted from mosaics avalable in ACT-REACTQuickMap (http://target.lroc.asu.edu/q3/) provided by Applied Coherent Technology Corporation.
Figure

2.

Fragments

of

the

WAC

mosaic:

(a)

LROC

WAC

RDR

mosaics

(http://wms.lroc.asu.edu/lroc/view_rdr/WAC_GLOBAL), (b) image synthesized using WAC images


and Kaguya DTM (Haruyama et al., 2012). The seam is clearly visible only in the panel (a).
Figure 3. Maps of the following photometric parameters: (a) the normal albedo A0 at 689 nm (the
arrow show a dark halo crater), (b) and (c) are distributions of phase curve slope at 415 nm and 689
nm, respectively. The images (b) and (c), being presented in the common scale, manifestly
demonstrate that the phase slope at 415 nm is higher than at 689 nm.
Figure 4. (a) the distribution of the number of images used for the scene and (b) the relative meanerrors of approximation of measured phase curve by Eq. (4) at = 415 nm.
Figure 5. Typical phase curves of 1-pixel sites located in the anomaly, surrounding, and highland
areas. The anomaly begins to reveal itself at phase angles < 40.
Figure 6. (a) distribution of the color-ratios A0(689 nm) / A0(415 nm) and (b) (689 nm) / (415 nm).
The anomaly is spectrally neutral, although the phase slope depends on albedo (cf. Fig. 5).
Figure 7. Maps of the coefficients of linear regressions (10) and (11). For A0 the panels (a) and (b)
present k0 and k1, respectivly; for the panels (c) and (d) present the same for l0 and l1.

Figure 8. Results of application of Lucey's method to WAC data. Panels (a) and (b) show the maps of
abundance of TiO2 and the titanium optical maturity OMATTi. Panels (c) and (d) show fragments of the
maps of TiO2 abundance determined, respectively, using WAC and Clementine data, in order to show
difference in quality and resolution.
Figure 9. Results of application of Lucey's method to Clementine UVVIS data. The panels (a) and (b)
present the maps of abundance of FeO and the iron optical maturity OMATFe.
Figure 10. The maps constructed using LSCC and Clementine data with the ANN regression
(Korokhin et al., 2009) for (a) the maturity degree (Is/FeO) and (b) the content of volcanic glasses.
Figure 11. The main geological units in the region.
Figure 12. The map of rock abundance from the LRO instrument Diviner. Scale bar shows rock areal
fraction (0-1). Maximal abundances (~0.35) in the scene are observed for crater slopes.
Figure 13. Polarimetric images obtained with Earth-based observations. Panels (a) and (b) show
distributions of the parameter b = Aeq ( Pmax ) b = Aeq ( Pmax ) at Aeq = 93 and Aeq = 10, respectively.
a

Figure 14. Images built using Chandrayaan-1 M3 data: (a) the image M3G20090110T154845 (the
average = 34); (b) the phase ratio M3G20090206T225721 (the average = 54) to
M3G20090110T154845 calculated at = 0.75 mm; (c) the same as in (b), but at = 2.9 mm; (d) the
color-ratio of the phase-ratios [A0.75 mm(54)/A0.75 mm(34)]/[A0.29 mm(54)/R0.29 mm(34)]. The anomaly is
visible only at = 0.75 mm.
Figure 15. Contour of the anomaly on the topography maps. The panel (a) is a fragment of the
elevation map GLD100 (Scholten et al., 2012) and the panel (b) is shading map calculated from
GLD100. The resolution of the images is near 200 m.

Figure 16. The panel (a) is a fragment of Fig. 3b. The panels (b) and (c) are the same as in Fig. 15, but
with higher resolution. Kaguya elevation data were used for the south portion of the photometric
anomaly. The resolution of the images is near 50 m.
Figure 17. A depression (crater) that can be a pyroclastic source inside the anomaly. (a) our A0-image
(see also Fig. 3a); the dark halo is seen around (arrow). (b) a fragment of LROC NAC mosaic; the
lines emphasize possible tectonic deformations of the depression.
Figure 18. Distribution of spectral parameters for M3 image M3G20090110T154845. (a) A750 nm, (b)
color ratio (A2896.3 + A2936.3 + A2976.2)/(A2776.6 + A2816.5 + A2856.4), and (c) selected spectra for locations
SP1, SP2, and SP3 shown with circles.
Figure 19. A model of the lava flooding of the anomaly area and surroundings.
Figure 20. An astronaut footprint in lunar soil nubbins and small pieces of rocks shown by arrows on
the mature regolith (NASA photo AS11-40-5877).
Figure 21. The south border of the anomaly. The panel (a) displays the map at = 415 nm. The
boxes 1 and 2 are presented with the panels (b) and (c) that are fragments of the LROC NAC mosaics.
The image (b) does not reveal any traces of the boundary seen in image (a), whereas the image (c)
seems to show such a boundary (see white arrow).

Figure 01

Figure 02a

Figure 02b

Figure 03a

Figure 03b

Figure 03c

Figure 04a

Figure 04b

Figure 05

Figure 06a

Figure 06b

Figure 07a

Figure 07b

Figure 07c

Figure 07d

Figure 08a

Figure 08b

Figure 08c

Figure 08d

Figure 09a

Figure 09b

Figure 10a

Figure 10b

Figure 11

Figure 12

Figure 13a

Figure 13b

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Figure 14b

Figure 14c

Figure 14d

Figure 15a

Figure 15b

Figure 16a

Figure 16b

Figure 16c

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Figure 21c