Lunar Swirl

Living reference work entry


Often curvilinear, but sometimes diffuse surface features that are characteristically high albedo, optically immature, and associated with magnetic anomalies (Kramer et al. 2011b).


A type of albedo feature


Sinuous to irregular patterns. Often appear as curvilinear or looping pattern. Sometimes exhibit simpler shapes such as a single loop or diffuse bright spot. The bright appearance and curvilinear shape of lunar swirls are often accentuated by low-albedo regions that wind between the bright swirls, called dark lanes (Bell and Hawke 1981).

Swirls show anomalously high albedo and the spectral characteristics of immature material (little darkening and reddening of the spectrum due to space weathering). Lunar swirls are associated with magnetic anomalies (Fig. 1), although not every magnetic anomaly (especially weaker ones) has an identified swirl (Kramer et al. 2009). The swirls have no topographic expression (they overprint the surface on which they...


Solar Wind Magnetic Anomaly Solar Wind Proton High Albedo Solar Wind Interaction 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lunar and Planetary InstituteHoustonUSA