The 25-km Discontinuity: Implications for Lunar History

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Science  12 Oct 1973:
Vol. 182, Issue 4108, pp. 158-161
DOI: 10.1126/science.182.4108.158


The lunar velocity profile and laboratory data on terrestrial and lunar rocks are constraints on models of lunar history. They show that shock-induced microcracks are absent from the rocks present in the moon today at depths of 25 to 60 kilometers. All possible causes of this observation are examined, and the most likely explanations are that either the rocks at depths of 25 to 60 kilometers formed after the major impacts ceased or the microcracks have annealed at temperatures of about 600°C over geologically long times.