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SPS Seminar - RECENT AND ACTIVE SURFACE PROCESSES ON THE MOON.

Dates
Thursday, March 23, 2023 - 14:00 to 15:00

When:  Thursday 23 March at 14.00

Where:  Microsoft Teams -Online

Speaker:  Giulia Magnarini (Natural History Museum London)

Hosted by: Alexander Barrett

Abstract:

Taurus-Littrow Valley, site of the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, hosts record of recent geomorphological landforms and tectonic structures, therefore it represents a unique area for understanding recent geological processes on the Moon. The presence of two recent, overlapping landslide deposits (called ‘Light Mantle’), and boulder falls suggest that repetitive instability has affected local slopes. The presence of a young lobate scarp associated with a thrust fault suggests that seismic shaking may have been an important factor in triggering surface changes and mass-wasting events in the area. The Light Mantle, a unique case of a hypermobile landslide on the Moon, represents the only extraterrestrial landslide for which an absolute age is provided (70-110 Myr), thanks to the Apollo 17 returned samples. Therefore, the Light Mantle deposit can be used as geomorphological marker and time constraint for surface changes that occurred since its emplacement.

The talk will have two main focuses: 1) I will present recent results in the study of the hypermobility of the Light Mantle, obtained from friction experiments; and how we will exploit the analysis of the Apollo 17 core sample collected from the landslide deposit, which was kept sealed for almost fifty years and now available as part of the NASA Apollo Next Generation Sample Analysis (ANGSA) program. 2) I will present our recent work on slope deformation processes that post-date the Light Mantle event, which suggest recent, and maybe active, processes on the Moon.

 BIO

Giulia is a postdoctoral researcher at the Natural History Museum in London, where she works on recent and active surface processes on the Moon. Her current research concerns lunar slope deformation processes and their link with recent tectonism, and new impact crater formation. She also continues studying long runout landslides on Earth and Mars, the topic of her PhD at UCL, for which she combines remote sensing techniques, field work, and laboratory experiments. Giulia is involved with the NASA Apollo Next Generation Sample Analysis (ANGSA) program, studying a recently opened Apollo 17 sample that was collected from a lunar landslide deposit.