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TitleProspecting for Fe-Ti oxides in lunar regolith using ilmenite on Earth
AuthorMorisset, C -E; Williamson, M -C; Hipkin, V
SourceProceedings of the 15th CASI Astronautics Conference ASTRO 2010; 2010 p. 1-6
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20110401
Meeting15th CASI Astronautics Conference ASTRO 2010; Toronto; CA; May 4-6, 2010
NTS13M/14; 31J/01
AreaMoon; Degrosbois; Saint-Hippolyte; Sandford Lake; Adirondack; Morin; Mirepoix; Mattawa; Disko Island; Mistastin; Canada; Greenland; United States of America
Lat/Long WENS-65.5000 -65.0000 56.0000 55.7500
Lat/Long WENS-74.5000 -74.0000 52.2500 52.0000
Lat/Long WENS-54.0000 -52.0000 70.5000 69.5000
Lat/Long WENS-74.5000 -73.5000 44.5000 44.0000
Subjectsextraterrestrial geology; economic geology; mineralogy; prospecting techniques; prospecting; regoliths; mineralization; iron; titanium; ilmenite; igneous rocks; mineral occurrences; petrography; Mistastin impact structure
Illustrationslocation maps; photomicrographs
AbstractStudies focusing on the resource potential of the lunar regolith have been recommended as high-priority scientific objectives for the Moon by the Planetary Geology and Geophysics community in Canada. As a result, a post-doctoral project was initiated in September 2009 on the origin of Fe-Ti geochemical anomalies on the lunar surface, with implications for strategic mineral exploration and resource utilization on the Moon. An important goal of the project is to identify ilmenite on Earth that is of similar composition to the ilmenite found in lunar rocks. Achieving this goal will help us to identify (1) potential sources of lunar simulant and (2) analogue sites where scientific instruments can be used to test their abilities to prospect for Fe-Ti oxides in igneous rocks. For this purpose, we are investigating five geological sites located in Canada, United States, and Greenland. Lunar ilmenite does not contain ferric iron but most terrestrial ilmenites do. A petrographic study of samples from one of the selected sites, the Sanford deposit in the Adirondack Mountains, USA, has revealed that ilmenite from two of the three samples examined so far does not display hematite exsolution, a textural outcome of the presence of ferric iron in terrestrial ilmenite. A geochemical study is underway to confirm that the ilmenite present at Sanford Lake is similar in composition to lunar ilmenite. Once we have confirmed that lunar-like ilmenite is indeed present at Sanford Lake, we will compare the samples with ilmenite from Apollo samples, and test a suite of portable field instruments for the reconnaissance prospecting of Fe-Ti oxides in anorthositic and basaltic rocks as a precursor to lunar exploration missions.

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