Detection of Mg-spinel bearing central peaks using M3 images: Implications for the petrogenesis of Mg-spinel

1,2Ying Sun, 2Lin Li, 3Yuanzhi Zhang
Earth and Planetary Science Letters 465, 48-58 Link to Article [http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2017.01.019]
1College of Geoexploration Science and Technology, Jilin University, Changchun 130062, China
2Department of Earth Sciences, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, 723 W. Michigan St, SL118, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA
3Key lab of Lunar Science and Deep-exploration, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Bejing 100012, China
Copyright Elsevier

Mg-spinel bearing lithologies, lacking abundant mafic materials, have been discovered with images acquired by the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) aboard Chandrayaan-1. We conducted a systematic screening of lunar crater central peaks for the presence of Mg-spinel to address its distribution and petrogenesis. 38 Mg-spinel bearing crater central peaks were identified in this study out of 166 craters investigated. The results suggest that Mg-spinel is common in the lunar crust and appears to be extensive in the middle part of the lunar crust underneath Procellarum KREEP Terrane (PKT). Mg-spinel neither exclusively originated from deep layers (>10 km) nor necessarily coexist with the appearance of olivine or pyroxene. 15 Mg-spinel bearing central peaks originated from depth less than 10 km. Nine investigated central peaks only contain Mg-spinel and plagioclase without any detectable mafic materials. All those observations imply that the origin of Mg-spinel is possibly related to Mg-suite plutonism and assimilation between high Mg′ magma with anorthositic crust. The extensive distribution and Mg-suite related petrogenesis indicates that Mg-spinel bearing lithologies might represent a new member of Mg-suite rocks.

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