Dark Landslide Near Van Gent Crater
December 7, 2012
Landslides are a common form of mass wasting on both the Moon and on Earth. This process exposes fresh material, and results in high albedo features in planetary images. Impact craters perform a similar process, with fresh craters creating high albedo features on planets. This landslide is lower albedo than the crater walls of the crater it occurs in, implying the landslide is more mature than the crater. How can this be? It is probably that the landslide surface is not exposing fresh material, but is instead mature highlands material that has fallen back into the crater. This image shows a landslide within a small crater near van Gent crater. The crater rim is in the top right while the crater floor is in the bottom left. The landslide has exposed many boulder within the crater wall. LROC NAC M156550640RE, image width is 600 m [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].