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Morphological differentiation characteristics and classification criteria of lunar surface relief amplitude TEXT SIZE: A A A

Lunar landforms are the results of geological and geomorphic processes on the lunar surface. It is very important to identify the types of lunar landforms. Geomorphology is the scientific study of the origin and evolution of morphological landforms on planetary surfaces. Elevation and relief amplitude are the most commonly used geomorphic indices in geomorphological classification studies. Previous studies have determined the elevation classification criteria of the lunar surface. In this paper, we focus on the classification criteria of the topographic relief amplitude of the lunar surface. To estimate the optimal window for calculating the relief amplitude of the lunar surface, we use the mean change-point method based on LOLA (Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter) Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data and SLDEM2015 DEM data combining observations from LOLA and SELenological and Engineering Explorer Terrain Camera (SELENE TC). The classification criterion of the lunar surface relief amplitude is then determined according to the statistical analysis of basic lunar landforms. Taking the topographic relief amplitudes of 100 m, 200 m, 300 m, 700 m, 1500 m and 2500 m as thresholds, the lunar surface is divided into seven geomorphic types, including minor microrelief plains (< 100 m), minor microrelief platforms [100 m, 200 m), microrelief landforms [200 m, 300 m), small relief landforms [300 m, 700 m), medium relief landforms [700 m, 1500 m), large relief landforms [1500 m, 2500 m) and extremely large relief landforms (>= 2500 m). The minor microrelief plains are mainly distributed in the maria and the basalt filled floors of craters and basins, while the minor microrelief platforms are mainly in the transition regions between the maria and highlands. The microrelief landforms are mainly located in regions with relatively high topography, such as wrinkle ridges and sinuous rilles in the mare. The small relief landforms are mainly scattered in the central peak and floor fractures of craters. The medium relief landforms are mainly distributed in the transition regions between crater floors and crater walls, between crater walls and crater rims, between basin floors and basin walls, and between basin walls and basin rims. Large and extremely large relief landforms are mainly found along crater walls and basin walls. The classification criteria determination for assessing lunar surface relief amplitude described in this paper can provide important references for the construction of digital lunar surface geomorphology classification schemes.

Publication name

 Journal Of Geographical Sciences, Volume 32, Issue 11, Page 2365-2378, DOI 10.1007/s11442-022-2052-z, Published NOV 2022


 Deng Jiayin; Cheng Weiming; Liu Qiangyi; Jiao Yimeng; Liu Jianzhong

Corresponding author(s) 

 Cheng Weiming

 -Chinese Acad Sci, State Key Lab Resources & Environm Informat Syst, Inst Geog Sci & Nat Resources Res, Beijing 100101, Peoples R China
 -Univ Chinese Acad Sci, Beijing 100049, Peoples R China
 -CAS Ctr Excellence Comparat Planetol, Hefei 230052, Peoples R China

Author(s) from IGCAS   Liu Jianzhong

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