The Moon's nearside and farside are asymmetric in a number of ways, including crustal thickness, the abundance of erupted lavas, and in the geochemistry of the the crust itself. There is a large concentration of radioactive and geochemically-incompatible elements on the nearside. In our new paper, we showed that this enrichment in incompatible elements lowers the melting temperature of the mantle under the nearside dramatically, and likely resulted in between 4 and 13 times more magma production on the nearside early in the Moon's history, at around 4.3 billion years ago. You can check out the paper here and also UF's press release about our paper here.
See what's been going on in the University of Florida Planetary Geochemistry group!