Lunar bulk chemical composition: a post-Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory reassessment | INSTITUT DE PHYSIQUE DU GLOBE DE PARIS

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  Lunar bulk chemical composition: a post-Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory reassessment

Type de publication:

Journal Article

Source:

Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A, Volume 372, p.20130242, doi:10.1098/rsta.2013.0242 (2014)

URL:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2013.0242

Résumé:

New estimates of the thickness of the lunar highlands crust based on data from the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory mission, allow us to reassess the abundances of refractory elements in the Moon. Previous estimates of the Moon fall into two distinct groups: earthlike and a 50% enrichment in the Moon compared with the Earth. Revised crustal thicknesses and compositional information from remote sensing and lunar samples indicate that the crust contributes 1.13–1.85 wt% Al2O3 to the bulk Moon abundance. Mare basalt Al2O3 concentrations (8–10 wt%) and Al2O3 partitioning behaviour between melt and pyroxene during partial melting indicate mantle Al2O3 concentration in the range 1.3–3.1 wt%, depending on the relative amounts of pyroxene and olivine. Using crustal and mantle mass fractions, we show that that the Moon and the Earth most likely have the same (within 20%) concentrations of refractory elements. This allows us to use correlations between pairs of refractory and volatile elements to confirm that lunar abundances of moderately volatile elements such as K, Rb and Cs are depleted by 75% in the Moon compared with the Earth and that highly volatile elements, such as Tl and Cd, are depleted by 99%. The earthlike refractory abundances and depleted volatile abundances are strong constraints on lunar formation processes.