Impact Transport on the Moon

2019-01-17T00:32:09Z (GMT) by Ya-huei Huang
The ultimate goal of this dissertation was to better understand what the Apollo sample collection tells us about the impact history of the Moon. My main research tool is a computer code called Cratered Terrain Evolution Model (CTEM). CTEM is a Monte Carlo landscape evolution code developed to model a planetary surface subjected to impacts. While the main effect of impact cratering that CTEM simulates is elevation changes of the landscape through the excavation process of craters and the deposition of ejecta, I worked to extend the capabilities of the code to study problems in material transport. As impact cratering is a dominant process on the surface of Moon, the stratigraphy of lunar geology is thought to be composed of stacks of impact-generated ejecta layers. Each individual impact generates ejecta that is sourced from varying depths of the subsurface. This ejecta contains a rich abundance of material containing information, including composition and datable impact products, such as impact glasses. The extensions to the CTEM code that I developed allows me to track all ejecta generated during a simulation and model the complex history of the lunar regolith.