Composition of the Apollo 17 drive tube 76001 and the nonmare lithologies of the North Massif and Luna 20

1Randy L. Korotev
Meteoritics & Planetary Science (in Press) Link to Article []
1Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, Washington University, Saint Louis, Missouri, 63130 USA
Published by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons

Bulk composition data for 24 chemical elements are presented for regolith samples (<1 mm fines) from each of the 62 half-centimeter dissection intervals along the 31 cm length of the 76001 vertical drive tube collected by astronauts at the base of the North Massif at station 6 of the Apollo 17 landing site. The core regolith is nearly uniform in composition with depth although the concentrations of Sc and Sm, for example, decrease from 28.5 μg g−1 Sc and 5.93 μg g−1 Sm at the top 2.5 cm to 26.9 μg g−1 Sc and 5.55 μg g−1 Sm at the bottom 2.5 cm. This change reflects an increase with depth in the relative abundance of Sm-poor, feldspathic material, from 48.4% at the top to 50.1% at the bottom. On the basis of compositional mass balance, the feldspathic (nonmare) material of the station 6 regolith requires a substantial proportion of an Mg-rich lithology, ~27% when modeled as troctolite sample 76535. The remaining 73% is nominally Sm-poor anorthositic norite in composition. No such Mg-rich component is required to account for the composition of the regolith of the South Massif (stations 2 and 3). The total feldspathic component of the North Massif regolith, normatively an anorthositic troctolite (74 vol% plagioclase, olivine:pyroxene = 55:45, Mg′ = 78%), is very similar to that of the nonmare component of the Luna 20 regolith collected 910 km to the southeast on the Crisium ejecta deposit. We also present new composition data for 21, 25, and 16 small lithic fragments (0.1–3.9 mg each) from the regoliths of the Luna 16, 20, and 24 missions.


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