Paper: Simulations of lunar equatorial regolith temperature profile based on measurements of Diviner on Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Posted: March 13, 2015 by tchannon in modelling, moon, Temperature

This recent work will lead to comparing notes



Simulations of lunar equatorial regolith temperature profile based on measurements of Diviner on Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
RAN Zhen, WANG ZhenZhan
SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences 2014, Vol. 57 Issue (9): 2232-2241 DOI: 10.1007/s11430-014-4886-4


Lunar equatorial regolith temperature profiles were simulated using the half-limited solid heat conduction model. Based on the infrared data measured using the Diviner radiometer on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter launched by the United Sates in June 2009, three factors influencing temperature profiles were analyzed. The infrared brightness temperature data from Diviner channel 7 were used to retrieve surface temperature. In simulating regolith temperature profiles, the retrieved temperature, rather than temperatures calculated from solar radiance at the lunar surface, were used as the input for surface temperature in solving the heat-conductive equation..

The results showed that the bottom-layer temperature at depths of 6 m approached almost 246 K after 10000 iterations. The temperature was different to the temperature of 250 K at the same depth encountered in simulations using solar radiance. Simulations from both methods of surface temperatures over a lunar day gave similar variations. At lunar night, the temperature difference between the two was about 2 K; the main differences occurred when the solar elevation angle was very low when surface temperatures are largely affected by terrain topography.

Journal page, open access PDF available.

The paper will be of some interest to Talkshop readers given the work done on simulating Lunar temperature over the past few years. Work is ongoing in private involving others, with a four way confirmation. One article is here.

Paper was an accidental find when researching for a different blog article.

Post by Tim

  1. Doug Proctor says:

    Damn. At -46C at 6m, so much for my hope of zero-input, sustainable, subsurface lunar colonies. Since we would need about +18C for such a thing, but we have no deep measurements for the geothermal gradient of the Moon, any suggestions?

    Mars has major open lava tubes. Different problem, same idea.

  2. ren says:


    We present a new approach to search for a subsurface ocean within Ganymede through observations and modeling of the dynamics of its auroral ovals. The locations of the auroral ovals oscillate due to Jupiter’s time-varying magnetospheric field seen in the rest frame of Ganymede. If an electrically conductive ocean is present, the external time-varying magnetic field is reduced due to induction within the ocean and the oscillation amplitude of the ovals decreases. Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations show that the locations of the ovals oscillate on average by 2.0° ±1.3°. Our model calculations predict a significantly stronger oscillation by 5.8° ± 1.3° without ocean compared to 2.2°±1.3° if an ocean is present. Because the ocean and the no-ocean hypotheses cannot be separated by simple visual inspection of individual HST images, we apply a statistical analysis including a Monte Carlo test to also address the uncertainty caused by the patchiness of observed emissions. The observations require a minimum electrical conductivity of 0.09 S/m for an ocean assumed to be located between 150 km and 250 km depth or alternatively a maximum depth of the top of the ocean at 330 km. Our analysis implies that Ganymede’s dynamo possesses an outstandingly low quadrupole-to-dipole moment ratio. The new technique applied here is suited to probe the interior of other planetary bodies by monitoring their auroral response to time-varying magnetic fields.

  3. ren says:

    From about 2000 falls clearly the amount of water vapor in the tropopause. Here we can see a clear influence of the sun. This will have an increasing influence on the temperature in the troposfererze.
    The drop of water vapor (for example, because of the greater amount of rainfall) in the atmosphere has led to a decrease in temperature. I think so.

  4. ren says:

    Let’s see how strong the wind sunny causes a fall temperatures over the Arctic Circle. Ice will grow.

  5. Brett Keane says:

    @Ren: I’ve been half-expecting a surprise increase from the Arctic ice. Is that what you mean? That map above needs clicking to run properly. Brett