Meta Research Bulletin (ISSN 1086-6590, USA)
March 15, 2000
Vol. 9, No. 1, pp.9-13.
SURVEY FOR RUIN-LIKE FORMATIONS
ON THE MOON
Alexey V. Arkhipov
Institute of Radio Astronomy, 4 Krasnoznamennaya str., Kharkov,
As a continuation of preliminary analysis of Clementine lunar images ,
an automated computer survey for ruin-like objects on the Moon has been
executed. The finds are now classified and catalogued. It is shown that
majority of these formations could be interpreted as collapsed subsurface
cavities. Such local formations are puzzling from a geological perspective,
and seem promising candidates for archaeological objects. Besides, such
subsurface cavities in polar regions could be interesting for other reasons,
such as colonization of the Moon or as lava tubes.
Our thesis is that
the Moon could be used as indicator of extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI)
visits to our unique "alive" planet . ETI, as well as NASA, could understand
the strategic significance of Moon-ports for interplanetary communications.
That is why it is reasonable to search for alien artifacts (e.g. ETI bases
of 0-4 Gyr age) on our satellite.
algorithms were proposed and tested for the archaeological reconnaissance
of the Moon . About 20,000 Clementine lunar orbital HIRES images have
been processed, and a few ruin-like formations were found. Now the results
of similar automated survey of all HIRES polar images (~80,000 files) are
2. SURVEY AND CATALOGUE
As in the preliminary
search, the orbital images of high-resolution camera (HIRES, 9-30 m/pixel)
of the Clementine space probe  were analysed. Only the polar lunar regions
of ±75° to ±90° latitudes were processed in this
survey because of their oblique lighting. Basic tests used for image selection
are described in . These are the preliminary fractal, rectangular, geological
tests and the SAAM filter. Moreover, two new tests were added.
1. The false
alarm probability was decreased by discarding of excessively shadowed images
(shadow filter). If >5% of pixels are dimmer than 10% of the maximum brightness
amplitude, that image was ignored. Files of <13 KB size were discarded
2. For filtering
of shadow interference after the preliminary fractal test, the following
"FREX" procedure was used. The fractal a-parameter (a measure of artificiality)
was computed as in , but for only 1 of every 5 points to speed up the
analysis of the images. The average linear regression relating a of the
random image set and zenith angle of the Sun (Zsun) was calculated by this
simple algorithm. If a of the image was lower than the a-Zsun regression
minus 1/2 of its standard deviation, the image was selected.
the preliminary fractal test, shadow filter, FREX and rectangular tests
selected ~5% of the images as interesting. The selected files were SAAM
filtered and tested visually. About 97% of the selections were ignored
after SAAM testing. The remaining 128 finds are catalogued (see Table I).
Only 47 catalogued images were still selected after the geological
test. Their orientations are different (>10 deg.) from the significant
directions of background lineaments (details in ). Finally, only 18
files of these 47 were selected as most interesting after the full fractal
test for artificiality. Their a-factors are deviate from a-Zsun regression
for 100 random images by more than 3 times of its standard deviation. Such
images of top interest are marked by asterisks in Table I.
is not reasonable to ignore other catalogued finds. Human activity, for
example, correlates with geological lineaments (e.g. valleys, rivers, deposits
around faults). That is why a negative result of geological test is not
evidence of natural object; but a positive result would be an additional
argument for POSSIBLE artificiality. Moreover, eroded objects could be
of low contrast on images taken from orbit. Their fractal properties might
be insufficiently different from background. Hence, the fractal test
could undervalue the find. That is why all finds in Table I are of potential
interest for archaeological reconnaissance of the Moon.
The finds in
the catalogue are described as systems of simple quasi-rectangular elements:
d - depressions; f - furrows; h - quadrangle hills; p - rectangular pattern
of craterlets; r - ridges. Thus, an abbreviation such as "dr" in the last
column of Table I means "a system with quasi-rectangular depression(s)
and quasi-rectangular ridges". This method of description is convenient
for morphological analysis.
3. MORPHOLOGY AND PHENOMENOLOGY
There are two main
types of ruin-like formations.
patterns of depressions ("recdeps"). About 69% of ruin-like finds could
be attributed to this type. Usually recdep is a cluster of rectangular
depressions with rectangular ridges between them. This wafer pattern may
be seen in the examples shown in Fig. 1.
"Recdep" examples in evolutionary order: (a) LHD0316A.083; (b) LHD0470B.112;
( c ) LHD5443Q.291; (d) LHD5472Q.287; (e) LHD5661R.068.
Presumably, an isolated, single rectangular depression could be considered
as an extreme form of recdep. Moreover, there are transitional forms from
rectangular pattern of craterlets to recdep (e.g. Fig. 1b). So, recdeps
in the Table I have descriptions with d, dr or p elements. The typical
size of recdeps is ~1-3 km. The size of these rectangular depressions is
0.1-2 km. Quasi-rectangular patterns of depressions correlate with plain
terrains (e.g., inter-crater space, or the bottom of the large-scale craters).
lattices of lineaments ("reclats"). These comprise 30% of the ruin-like
formations here. A reclat is a complex of interlacing, broken ridges or
furrows, which form the quasi-rectangular pattern (Fig. 2).
"Reclats" examples in evolutionary order: (a) LHD0558B.072; (b) LHD5559Q.279;
( c ) LHD6749R.318; (d) LHD6158R.320.
This morphological type is present in Table I as complexes of
r and/or f elements without d. These lineaments have a typical width of
~50 m and cover territory of ~1 km. Reclats correlate with slopes and hill
tops, where the regolith layer must be thinnest. Apparently, what we see
is subsurface structure rather than some organization of regolith.
and reclats, quadrangle hills are worthy of separate description.
The hills are located in formations of both morphological types. The dimensions
of such hills are 0.3-1 km. Usually the quadrangle hill has a craterlet
on its top. Sometimes the top depression is so large that the hill
appears hollow (Fig. 3).
The hollow hill is bounded by a rectangular depression: a candidate
for embankment (LHD5345Q.059).
The rectangular depressions around the hill on Fig. 3 are a rarity for
the Moon, but they are common for man-made mounds on the Earth.
The origin of ruin-like
formations could be reconstructed from images of various stages of their
Thus, the reconstruction
of recdep evolution is shown in Fig. 1. The simplest, probably the first
stage formation, is a regular pattern of craterlets (Fig. 1a). Apparently,
this is the collapse or regolith drainage into subsurface caverns.
Expanding craterlets became angular. The rectangular lattice of ridges
appears between them (Fig. 1b). The rectangular lineaments around such
formation (Fig. 1c) show the regular and local nature of subsurface caverns.
Such a cavern system is seen after its total collapse (Fig. 1d). The bottom
collapses (Fig. 1e) and slope terraces  in rectangular depressions argue
for several levels of caves.
The reclet evolution
could be interpreted in terms of erosion too (Fig. 2). Apparently, the
first (simplest) stage of reclet is the quasi-rectangular system of narrow
furrows-cracks (Fig. 2a). The cracks expand (Fig. 2b) and transform into
quasi-rectangular pattern of ridges (Fig. 2c). The Fig. 2d shows the quadrangle
mesa-like hill surrounded by the ridge system (using the high-pass filter
of Adobe Photoshop). Obviously, such ridges are a relatively stable aspect
of the hill they reside on.
systems of depressions and ridges are resemble terrestrial ruins. Recdeps
and reclats are too localized and regularized for tectonic features or
jointing pattern of impacts. Subsurface, rectangular, multilevel caves
are not known in lunar geology. However, they are usual considered in modern
plans for lunar bases. The rectangular systems of ridges could be interpreted
in terms of archaeology too. Of course, suggesting this possibility is
not a form of evidence, but rather an argument for archaeological reconnaissance
The systematic survey
for lunar ruin-like objects is realised. The results follow.
1. New ruin-like
formations are found.
2. A catalogue
of promising objects for archaeological reconnaissance of the Moon is compiled.
Even if catalogued finds are natural, they are interesting examples of
unusual lunar geology.
rectangular systems of depressions and ridges (recdeps and reclats) are
landscape forms not described in other catalogues.
4. It is argued
that recdep could be interpreted as a collapse of a subsurface system of
caves. Such rectangular, multilevel caverns could be interesting for archaeology,
geology and sites for lunar base.
archaeological reconnaissance of the Moon appears to be a viable, active,
interdiscipline field of science.
The author is grateful
to Dr. Y.G.Shkuratov for access to the Clementine CDs. I also thank Dr.
L.N.Litvinenko and Dr. T. Van Flandern for support.
1. A.V. Arkhipov,
"Earth-Moon System as a Collector of Alien Artefacts", J. Brit. Interplanet.
Soc., 51, 181-184 (1998).
2. A.V. Arkhipov,
Preliminary Search For Ruin-Like Formations on the Moon, Meta Research
Bulletin, 8, No. 4, 49-54.
"Mission to the Moon", Deep Space Program Science Experiment, Clementine
EDR Image Archive. Vol. 1-88. Planetary Data System & Naval Research
Laboratory, Pasadena, 1995 (CDs).
of Ruin-Like Finds
Note: The central
coordinates of images are in degrees. The last column contains the quasi-rectangular
elements (see text for definitions).
Table I. CATALOGUE OF RUIN-LIKE FINDS
| Longitude | Latitude | File
| Elements |
| deg. | deg.
* 20.03 -81.24
* 28.35 79.10
* 31.21 78.82
* 53.95 -83.54
* 179.43 89.72
* 191.54 83.21
* 192.83 -81.40
* 192.90 -76.89
* 232.01 -76.20
* 246.08 81.88
* 250.58 -85.48
* 261.17 86.87
* 266.18 -83.86
* 269.63 85.11
* 272.70 82.72
* 300.02 79.68
* 301.28 85.55
* 306.10 -77.54
(This web page produced for Alexey Arkhipov by Francis Ridge of
The Lunascan Project)