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TitleElectron microprobe and LA-ICP-MS analyses of ilmenite from lunar samples
AuthorMorisset, C -E; Jackson, SORCID logo; Williamson, M -C; Hipkin, V; Tait, K
SourceGoldschmidt 2012 conference abstracts; 2012 p. 2135
LinksOnline - En ligne
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20120111
Meeting22nd V.M. Goldschmidt Conference; Montreal; CA; June 24-29, 2012
Mediaon-line; digital
File formatpdf
Subjectsextraterrestrial geology; mineralogy; geochemistry; analytical methods; mass spectrometer analysis; ilmenite; regoliths; trace element analyses; major element analyses
ProgramGSC Central Canada Division
Oxygen can be liberated from ilmenite at lower temperature than from silicates present in the lunar regolith, making ilmenite a key resource for human settlement on the Moon. Major and trace element concentrations of ilmenite contained in twelve samples selected from the six Apollo landing sites (10 basalts, one impact melt, and one impact breccia) and in one lunar meteorite (NEA 001) have been determined using electron microprobe and LA-ICP-MS. These analyses help us to understand the role of ilmenite in the crystallization of magma on the Moon and to determine if the ilmenite from different rock types has a specific chemical signature. Ilmenite can reach a modal proportion of up to 20% in basaltic rocks. Some ilmenite grains contain rutile, Cr-spinel and baddeleyite needles. The TiO2 in the analyzed ilmenite from the Apollo samples varies from 52.4 to 55.9 wt% while it is noticeably lower in the meteorite sample (i.e. 51.7 to 52.8 wt%). In all samples, FeO varies from 37.4 to 46.7 wt% and MgO from 0.1 to 5.1 wt% except in the impact melt where it is higher (5.3-5.7 wt%). The largest variation observed in MgO within an ilmenite grain is of 0.3 wt% (e.g. 4.7-5.0 MgO wt%), implying that the observed variation between grains cannot be attributed to mineral zoning. So far, three basaltic samples have been analyzed by LA-ICP-MS. Cr varies from 1080 to 7580 ppm, V varies from 80 to 453 ppm and both elements are positively correlated with MgO. Zr (123-2330ppm) and Hf (5.95-85 ppm) concentrations are highest in the baddeleyite-bearing ilmenite grains. Nb (20-107 ppm) and Ta (1.85-8.52 ppm) are positively correlated but are not well correlated with Zr or Hf. REE patterns show enrichment in HREE (CeN/LuN: 0.0001-0.005) with a strong negative Eu anomaly (Eu/Eu* from 0.003 to 0.413). The ratio of MgO vs TiO2 of the ilmenite permit discrimination of what type of sample the ilmenite is from. Ilmenite from the basaltic samples form a trend (n=355; slope=1.89; r2=0.86) that is richer in TiO2 for the same MgO than the impact breccias (n=11; slope=1.5; r2=0.91) and the meteorite (n=10; slope=4.38; r2=0.42) samples. LA-ICP-MS analysis of the remaining samples will permit evaluation of whether the observed geochemical distinctions between the three sample groups are identifiable using trace elements.

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