A laser-ablation ICP-MS study of Apollo 15 low-titanium olivine-normative and quartz-normative mare basalts

Schnare, DW, Day JMD, Norman MD, Liu Y, Taylor LA.  2008.  A laser-ablation ICP-MS study of Apollo 15 low-titanium olivine-normative and quartz-normative mare basalts. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta. 72:2556-2572.

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constraints, differentiation, glasses, lapaz icefield, lunar volcanism, moon, petrogenesis, petrology, silicate melt, trace-elements


Apollo 15 low-Ti mare basalts have traditionally been subdivided into olivine- and quartz-normative basalt types, based on their different SiO(2), FeO, and TiO(2) whole-rock compositions. Previous studies have reconciled this compositional diversity by considering the olivine- and quartz-normative basalts as originating from different lunar mantle source regions. To provide new information on the compositions of Apollo 15 low-Ti mare basalt parental magmas, we report a study of major and trace-element compositions of whole rocks, pyroxenes, and other phases in the olivine-normative basalts 15016 and 15555 and quartz-normative basalts 15475 and 15499. Results show similar rare-earth-element patterns in pyroxenes from all four basalts. The estimated equilibrium parental-melt compositions from the trace-element compositions of pyroxenes are similar for 15016, 15555 and 15499. Additionally, an independent set of trace-element distribution coefficients has been determined from measured pyroxene and mesostasis compositions in sample 15499. These data suggest that fractional crystallization may be a viable alternative to compositional differences in the mantle source to explain the similar to 25% difference in whole-rock TiO(2), and corresponding differences in SiO(2) and FeO between the Apollo 15 olivine- and quartz-normative basalts. In this model, the older (similar to 3.35 Ga) quartz-normative basalts, with lower TiO(2) experienced olivine, chromite, and Cr-ulvospinel fractionation at 'crustal levels' in magma chambers or dikes, followed by limited near-surface mineral fractionation, within the lava flows. In contrast, the younger (similar to 3.25 Ga) olivine-normative basalts experienced only limited magmatic differentiation at 'crustal-levels', but extensive near-surface mineral fractionation to produce their evolved mineral compositions. A two-stage mineral-fractionation model is consistent with textural and mineralogical observations, as well as the mineral trace-element constraints developed by this study. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.