Lunar Boulder Distribution Database

Published: 19 September 2019| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/9z52fv8ghd.1
Ryan Watkins


Version 1.0, September 9, 2019 Purpose: Created as part of a project funded by NASA’S Lunar Data Analysis Program (LDAP), the purpose of this dataset is to provide locations and diameters of boulders around small, young impact craters on the Moon. These boulder counts were conducted as part of a study aimed at determining regolith production rates and assessing landing site hazards, as discussed in the associated publications. Researchers are encouraged to read the publications and data description document to understand how the data was acquired and used. This database contains boulder distributions around small (< 1 km), young (< 200 Ma) lunar impact craters located near spacecraft landing sites. The most up-to-date database contains boulder diameters and coordinates for counts around Surveyor (Apollo 12), Cone (Apollo 14), North Ray (Apollo 16), South Ray (Apollo 16), Camelot (Apollo 17), and Zi Wei (Chang’e-3) craters. Boulders were manually identified and measured on Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) images (Robinson et al., 2010) at scales of ~0.5-2 m/pixel. LROC NAC images allow for boulders ~1-2m in size and larger to be identified and measured. The tools for measuring boulders were CraterTools (Kneissl et al., 2011) and Crater Helper Tools (Nava, 2011), both developed for the ArcMap GIS platform. These boulder distributions are being used to understand boulder degradation rates on the lunar surface, and to assess landing site hazards for future surface missions to the Moon. This dataset is being archived in Mendeley Data and at the Planetary Data System (PDS) Cartography and Imaging Node for use in future boulder distribution and landing hazard studies. Future boulder counts and any refinements to existing measurements will be uploaded into subsequent versions of this dataset here and at the PDS IMG Annex:


Steps to reproduce

Please see Data Description Document for detailed steps on how to use and reproduce this data.


NASA Johnson Space Center, Southwest Research Institute, Planetary Science Institute


Hazard Analysis, Rock, Moon, Age Distribution, Regolith