Case study of magmatic differentiation trends on the Moon based on lunar meteorite Northwest Africa 773 and comparison with Apollo 15 quartz monzodiorite

Timothy J. Fagan, Daiju Kashima, Yuki Wakabayashi, Akiko Suginohara

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Pyroxene and feldspar compositions indicate that most clasts from the Northwest Africa 773 (NWA 773) lunar meteorite breccia crystallized from a common very low-Ti (VLT) mare basalt parental magma on the Moon. An olivine cumulate (OC), with low-Ca and high-Ca pyroxenes and plagioclase feldspar formed during early stages of crystallization, followed by pyroxene gabbro, which is characterized by zoned pyroxene (Fe#=molar Fe/(Fe+Mg)×100 from ~35 to 90; Ti#=molar Ti/(Ti+Cr)×100 from ~20 to 99) and feldspar (~An90-95Ab05-10 to An80-85Ab10-16). Late stage lithologies include alkali-poor symplectite consisting of fayalite, hedenbergitic pyroxene and silica, and alkaline-phase-ferroan clasts characterized by K-rich glass and/or K,Ba-feldspar with fayalite and/or pyroxene. Igneous silica only occurs with the alkaline-phase-ferroan clasts. This sequence of clasts represents stages of magmatic evolution along a ferroan-titanian trend characterized by correlated Fe# and Ti# in pyroxene, and a wide range of increase in Fe# and Ti# prior to crystallization of igneous silica.Clasts of Apollo 15 quartz monzodiorite (QMD) also have pyroxene co-existing with silica, but the QMD pyroxene has more moderate Fe# (~70). Thus, in AFM components (A=Na2O+K2O, M=MgO, F=FeO), the QMD clasts are similar to the terrestrial calc-alkaline trend (silica-enrichment at moderate Fe#), whereas the ferroan-titanian trend is similar to the terrestrial tholeiitic trend (silica-enrichment only after strong increase in Fe#). However, the variations in SiO2-contents of QMD clasts are due to variable mixing of SiO2-rich and FeO-rich immiscible liquids (i.e., not a progressive increase in SiO2). Immiscibility occurred after fractionation of a KREEP-rich parent liquid.A third trend is based on zoning relations within the NWA 773 OC, where pyroxene Ti# increases at constant Fe# with proximity to intercumulus, incompatible element-rich pockets rich in K,Ba-feldspar and Ca-phosphates. This type of fractionation (increasing refractory trace elements at constant Fe#) in a cumulate parent rock may have been important for generating lunar rocks that combine low Fe# with high incompatible trace element concentrations, such as KREEP basalts and the magnesian suite.MELTS (Ghiorso and Sack, 1995; Asimow and Ghiorso, 1998) models of one VLT, one low-Ti and two high-Ti mare basalts and one KREEP basalt all show evolution from low to high Fe# residual liquids during fractional crystallization; however strong enrichments in FeO-concentrations are limited to the VLT and low-Ti liquids. In the high-Ti liquids, crystallization of Fe-Ti-oxides prevents enrichment in FeO, and the increases in Fe# are due to depletion of MgO. Fe-Ti-oxide fractionation results in steady silica-enrichment in the high-Ti mare compositions. Intervals of FeO-enrichment on the VLT and low-Ti mare liquid lines of descent are linked to shifts from olivine to pyroxene crystallization. The onset of plagioclase feldspar crystallization limits the depletion of FeO during crystallization of one high-Ti mare basalt and of the KREEP basalt composition modeled.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-127
Number of pages31
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Publication statusPublished - 2014 May 15

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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