3-D Analysis of the 'Blair Cuspids' and Surrounding Terrain

Mark Carlotto

An analysis of an unusual collection of objects in a region north of the crater Ariadaeus B is performed. These objects, known as the 'Lunar Spires' or 'Blair Cuspids,' were imaged by a Lunar Orbiter spacecraft in 1966. A digital elevation model (DEM) is computed over the area with a single image shape-from-shading algorithm. Using the DEM to estimate local slope we confirm the tallest cuspid to be about 50 feet in height. Synthetic stereo images are created in order to visualize the cuspids and their surrounding terrain in 3-D. Of particular interest is a large rectilinear depression adjacent to the objects. This depression appears to be the deepest part of a larger network of rectilinear collapses of the surface similar to those that have been studied by Arkhipov. Correlations between the geometry of the cuspids, the rectilinear collapses, and subtle surface lineaments are identified.

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