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    Characterization of multiple lithologies within the lunar feldspathic regolith breccia meteorite Northeast Africa 001

    Snape, J.F. and Joy, K.H. and Crawford, Ian (2011) Characterization of multiple lithologies within the lunar feldspathic regolith breccia meteorite Northeast Africa 001. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 46 (9), pp. 1288-1312. ISSN 1086-9379.

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    Lunar meteorite Northeast Africa (NEA) 001 is a feldspathic regolith breccia. This study presents the results of electron microprobe and LA-ICP-MS analyses of a section of NEA 001. We identify a range of lunar lithologies including feldspathic impact melt, ferroan noritic anorthosite and magnesian feldspathic clasts, and several very-low titanium (VLT) basalt clasts. The largest of these basalt clasts has a rare earth element (REE) pattern with light-REE (LREE) depletion and a positive Euanomaly. This clast also exhibits low incompatible trace element (ITE) concentrations (e.g., <0.1 ppm Th, <0.5 ppm Sm), indicating that it has originated from a parent melt that did not assimilate KREEP material. Positive Eu-anomalies and such low-ITE concentrations are uncharacteristic of most basalts returned by the Apollo and Luna missions, and basaltic lunar meteorite samples. We suggest that these features are consistent with the VLT clasts crystallizing from a parent melt which was derived from early mantle cumulates that formed prior to the separation of plagioclase in the lunar magma ocean, as has previously been proposed for some other lunar VLT basalts. Feldspathic impact melts within the sample are found to be more mafic than estimations for the composition of the upper feldspathic lunar crust, suggesting that they may have melted and incorporated material from the lower lunar crust (possibly in large basin-forming events). The generally feldspathic nature of the impact melt clasts, lack of a KREEP component, and the compositions of the basaltic clasts, leads us to suggest that the meteorite has been sourced from the Outer-Feldspathic Highlands Terrane (FHT-O), probably on the lunar farside and within about 1000 km of sources of both Low-Ti and VLT basalts, the latter possibly existing as cryptomaria deposits.


    Item Type: Article
    School: School of Science > Earth and Planetary Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2014 09:06
    Last Modified: 08 Jun 2016 09:59


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