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A detailed view of part of the central peak complex of Theophilus. Central peaks are typical of most young, large impact craters on the Moon-and also of many manmade craters on Earth. From experimental data using controlled explosions, central peaks are known to consist of bedrock originally lying below the crater floor that, during the explosion, was uplifted, faulted, and folded by shock wave action. The irregular light-toned mountainous mass projecting above the floor of Theophilus is split into at least three enormous blocks separated by V-shaped structural valleys. Four or five circular craters without a prominent raised rim are located near or at the bases of the steep slopes. If these craters are endogenic vents rather than impact craters, their presence further suggests structural control along major fault planes. The planar walls of the northwest - trending valley contrast with other sloping surfaces of the central peak complex. They are steeper and, except for a few outcrops of protruding bedrock, are marked by linear grooves not unlike slickensides on many fault planes on Earth. Rock chutes do not seem to be a likely explanation for the grooves because there are no talus deposits or blocks at their lower ends. The debris cover is thin enough along the southern valley wall (top of picture) to show that the southern mountain block consists of layered rocks-at least five thick, light-toned layers alternate with thin, dark layers. -M.J.G.
Report Source: NASA SP-362, Page 165, Figure 168
This web page was created by Francis Ridge
for The Lunascan Project
Section Directory 46