Skip to Main Content
Simultaneous observations of Lunar Radar Sounder (LRS) and Laser ALTimeter (LALT) of Kaguya, a Japanese lunar exploration project, were carried out for the purpose of mapping regolith layer thickness of the Moon. Nadir surface echo of a high-frequency (5 MHz) pulse of LRS interferes the shallow (<; 10 m) subsurface echo from the bottom of the regolith layer, which subsequently makes the apparent surface be detected at a range deviated from the actual surface range, while the actual surface range is optically detected by LALT. Regolith layer thickness information is retrieved from this range difference after an inversion process. So far, four major maria on the near side of the Moon (Maria Tranquillitatis, Serenitatis, Imbrium, and Oceanus Procellarum) have been investigated, and the mean regolith layer thicknesses of the four maria were found to be about the same, ranging from 6.3 to 6.9 m. However, spatial distribution of areal regolith thickness appears different in eastern maria from western maria, which implies a difference of the growth history of the regolith layer.