Extensive volatile loss during formation and differentiation of the Moon

Kato, Chizu and Moynier, Frederic and Valdes, Maria C. and Dhaliwal, Jasmeet K. and Day, James M.D. (2015) Extensive volatile loss during formation and differentiation of the Moon. Nature Communications, 6 (1). ISSN 2041-1723 DOI https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms8617

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Official URL: http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms8617


Low estimated lunar volatile contents, compared with Earth, are a fundamental observation for Earth's Moon system formation and lunar evolution. Here we present zinc isotope and abundance data for lunar crustal rocks to constrain the abundance of volatiles during the final stages of lunar differentiation. We find that ferroan anorthosites are isotopically heterogeneous, with some samples exhibiting high δ66Zn, along with alkali and magnesian suite samples. Since the plutonic samples were formed in the lunar crust, they were not subjected to degassing into vacuum. Instead, their compositions are consistent with enrichment of the silicate portions of the Moon in the heavier Zn isotopes. Because of the difference in δ66Zn between bulk silicate Earth and lunar basalts and crustal rocks, the volatile loss likely occurred in two stages: during the proto-lunar disk stage, where a fraction of lunar volatiles accreted onto Earth, and from degassing of a differentiating lunar magma ocean, implying the possibility of isolated, volatile-rich regions in the Moon's interior.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: NILAREP; IA75
Subjects: 05 - Petrology - Igneous, Metamorphic and Volcanic Studies
Divisions: 05 - Petrology - Igneous, Metamorphic and Volcanic Studies
07 - Gold Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: Nature Communications
Volume: 6
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms8617
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2019 11:49
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2019 11:49
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/4505

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