Crater age and hydrogen content in lunar regolith from LEND neutron data

Richard D. Starr, Maxim L. Litvak, Noah E. Petro, Igor G. Mitrofanov, William V. Boynton, Gordon Chin, Timothy A. Livengood, Timothy P. McClanahan, Anton B. Sanin, Roald Z. Sagdeev, Jao J. Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Analysis of Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND) neutron count rates for a large set of mid-latitude craters provides evidence for lower hydrogen content in the crater interiors compared to typical highland values. Epithermal neutron count rates for crater interiors measured by the LEND Sensor for Epithermal Neutrons (SETN) were compared to crater exteriors for 301 craters and displayed an increase in mean count rate at the ∼9-σ confidence level, consistent with a lower hydrogen content. A smaller subset of 31 craters also shows a significant increase in Optical Maturity parameter implying an immature regolith. The increase in SETN count rate for these craters is greater than the increase for the full set of craters by more than a factor of two.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018



  • Epithermal neutrons
  • Hydrogen
  • Impact craters
  • LEND
  • Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Starr, R. D., Litvak, M. L., Petro, N. E., Mitrofanov, I. G., Boynton, W. V., Chin, G., Livengood, T. A., McClanahan, T. P., Sanin, A. B., Sagdeev, R. Z., & Su, J. J. (Accepted/In press). Crater age and hydrogen content in lunar regolith from LEND neutron data. Planetary and Space Science.