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    An analysis of Apollo lunar soil samples 12070,889, 12030,187 and 12070,891: basaltic diversity at the Apollo 12 landing site and implications for classification of small-sized lunar samples.

    Alexander, Louise and Snape, J.F. and Joy, K.H. and Downes, Hilary and Crawford, Ian (2016) An analysis of Apollo lunar soil samples 12070,889, 12030,187 and 12070,891: basaltic diversity at the Apollo 12 landing site and implications for classification of small-sized lunar samples. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 51 (9), pp. 1654-1677. ISSN 1086-9379.

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    Abstract

    Lunar mare basalts provide insights into the compositional diversity of the Moon’s interior. Basalt fragments from the lunar regolith can potentially sample lava flows from regions of the Moon not previously visited, thus, increasing our understanding of lunar geological evolution. As part of a study of basaltic diversity at the Apollo 12 landing site, detailed petrological and geochemical data are provided here for 13 basaltic chips. In addition to bulk chemistry, we have analysed the major, minor and trace element chemistry of mineral phases which highlight differences between basalt groups. Where samples contain olivine, the equilibrium parent melt magnesium number (Mg#; atomic Mg/(Mg + Fe)) can be calculated to estimate parent melt composition. Ilmenite and plagioclase chemistry can also determine differences between basalt groups. We conclude that samples of ~1-2 mm in size can be categorized provided that appropriate mineral phases (olivine, plagioclase and ilmenite) are present. Where samples are fine-grained (grain size <0.3 mm), a “paired samples t-test” can provide a statistical comparison between a particular sample and known lunar basalts. Of the fragments analysed here, three are found to belong to each of the previously identified olivine and ilmenite basalt suites, four to the pigeonite basalt suite, one is an olivine cumulate, and two could not be categorized because of their coarse grain sizes and lack of appropriate mineral phases. Our approach introduces methods that can be used to investigate small sample sizes (i.e., fines) from future sample return missions to investigate lava flow diversity and petrological significance.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the article, which has been published in final form at the link above. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Earth and Planetary Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2016 15:02
    Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 09:23
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/15454

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