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    Basaltic diversity at the Apollo 12 landing site: Inferences from petrologic examinations of the soil sample 12003

    Snape, Joshua F. and Joy, K.H. and Crawford, Ian and Alexander, Louise (2014) Basaltic diversity at the Apollo 12 landing site: Inferences from petrologic examinations of the soil sample 12003. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 49 (5), pp. 842-871. ISSN 1086-9379.

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    Abstract

    A detailed petrologic survey has been made of 17 basaltic chips (sized between 1 and 10 mm) from the 12003 soil sample as part of an ongoing study of basaltic diversity at the Apollo 12 landing site. An attempt has been made to classify these samples according to the well-established grouping of olivine, pigeonite, ilmenite, and feldspathic basalts. Particular attention has been paid to variations in major, minor, and trace element mineral chemistry (determined by electron microprobe analysis and laser ablation ICP-MS), which may be indicative of particular basaltic suites and less susceptible to sampling bias than bulk sample characteristics. Examples of all three main (olivine, pigeonite, and ilmenite) basaltic suites have been identified within the 12003 soil. One sample is identified as a possible new addition to the feldspathic suite, which currently consists of only one other confirmed sample. Identification of additional feldspathic basalts strengthens the argument that they represent a poorly sampled basaltic flow local to the Apollo 12 site, rather than exotic material introduced to the site by impact mixing processes. Three samples are identified as representing members of one or two previously unrecognized basaltic suites.

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