Mineral chemistry and in situ UPb geochronology of the mare basalt Northwest Africa 10597: Implications for low-Ti mare volcanism around 3.0 Ga

1,2Yunhua Wu,1,3Weibiao Hsu(徐伟彪)
Icarus (in Press) Link to Article [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2019.113531]
1CAS Center for Excellence in Comparative Planetology, Purple Mountain Observatory, Nanjing 210033, China
2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3The State Key Laboratory of Lunar and Planetary Science/Space Science Institute, Macau University of Science and Technology, Taipa, Macau
Copyright Elsevier

Unbrecciated mare basalts are rare in the lunar meteorite collection. Found in 2015, Northwest Africa (NWA) 10597 is a medium-grained low-Ti mare basalt with a subophitic texture. The meteorite consists mostly of mm-sized pyroxene and plagioclase, with minor olivine, spinel, ilmenite, phosphates, silica, and trace Zr-rich minerals, such as baddeleyite, zirconolite and tranquillityite. A portion of plagioclase and silica has been transformed to their high-pressure polymorphs due to shock metamorphism. NWA 10597 has a low TiO2 content (2.9 wt%) but is relatively enriched in rare earth elements (REE) (Laaverage = 65 × CI) with an overall unfractionated pattern except for a negative Eu anomaly. Calculated REE concentrations of parent melts in equilibrium with Mg-rich pyroxene and Ca-rich plagioclase suggest no significant assimilation of REE-rich melts after the onset of pyroxene crystallization. In situ UPb analyses of baddeleyite and apatite reveal a mutually consistent age of ~3.0 Ga, which is also in excellent agreement with that of low-Ti mare basalts NWA 4734 and LaPaz Icefield (LAP) 02205 dated with other independent techniques. The concordance suggests no significant thermal disturbance in the UPb isotopic system of NWA 10597 although it was heavily shocked. NWA 10597 closely resembles NWA 4734 in terms of petrographic texture, mineral chemistry and geochronology, indicating a pairing relationship.

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