The Cr-Zr-Ca armalcolite in lunar rocks is loveringite: Constraints from electron backscatter diffraction measurements

1,2Ai-Cheng Zhang,1Run-Lian Pang,3Naoya Sakamoto,3,4,5Hisayoshi Yurimoto
American Mineralogist 105, 1021–1029 Link to Article []
1State Key Laboratory for Mineral Deposits Research, School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China 2CAS Center for Excellence in Comparative Planetology, China
33Isotope Imaging Laboratory, Creative Research Institution, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 001-0021, Japan
4Department of Natural History Sciences, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0810, Japan
5Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Kanagawa 252-5210, Japan
Copyright: The Mineralogical Society of America

“Cr-Zr-Ca armalcolite” is a mineral originally found in Apollo samples five decades ago. However, no structural information has been obtained for this mineral. In this study, we report a new occurrence of “Cr-Zr-Ca armalcolite” and its associated mineral assemblage in an Mg-suite lithic clast (Clast-20) from the brecciated lunar meteorite Northwest Africa 8182. In this lithic clast, plagioclase (An = 88–91), pyroxene (Mg#[Mg/(Mg+Fe)] = 0.87–0.91) and olivine (Mg# = 0.86–0.87) are the major rock-forming minerals. Armalcolite and “Cr-Zr-Ca armalcolite” are observed with other minor phases including ilmenite, chromite, rutile, fluorapatite, merrillite, monazite, FeNi metal, and Fe-sulfide. Based on 38 oxygen atoms, the chemical formula of “Cr-Zr-Ca armalcolite” is (Ca0.99Na0.01)S1.00(Ti14.22Fe2.06Cr2.01 Mg1.20Zr0.54Al0.49Ca0.21Y0.05Mn0.04Ce0.03Si0.03La0.01Nd0.01Dy0.01)S20.91O38. Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) results reveal that the “Cr-Zr-Ca armalcolite” has a loveringite R3 structure, differing from the armalcolite Bbmm structure. The estimated hexagonal cell parameters a and c of “Cr-Zr-Ca ar- malcolite” are 10.55 and 20.85 Å, respectively. These structural and compositional features indicate that “Cr-Zr-Ca armalcolite” is loveringite, not belonging to the armalcolite family. Comparison with “Cr-Zr-Ca armalcolite” and loveringite of other occurrences implies that loveringite might be an important carrier of rare earth elements in lunar Mg-suite rocks. The compositional features of pla- gioclase and mafic silicate minerals in Clast-20 differ from those in other Mg-suite lithic clasts from Apollo samples and lunar meteorites, indicating that Clast-20 represents a new example of diverse lunar Mg-suite lithic clasts.


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