Oxygen and iron isotope constraints on near-surface fractionation effects and the composition of lunar mare basalt source regions

Liu, Y, Spicuzza MJ, Craddock PR, Day JMD, Valley JW, Dauphas N, Taylor LA.  2010.  Oxygen and iron isotope constraints on near-surface fractionation effects and the composition of lunar mare basalt source regions. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta. 74:6249-6262.

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fe isotopes, forming giant impact, high-precision, high-ti basalts, high-titanium, icp-ms, mantle rocks, mass-spectrometry, mossbauer-spectroscopy, ultramafic glasses


Oxygen and iron isotope analyses of low-Ti and high-Ti mare basalts are presented to constrain their petrogenesis and to assess stable isotope variations within lunar mantle sources. An internally-consistent dataset of oxygen isotope compositions of mare basalts encompasses five types of low-Ti basalts from the Apollo 12 and 15 missions and eight types of high-Ti basalts from the Apollo 11 and 17 missions. High-precision whole-rock delta(18)O values (referenced to VSMOW) of low-Ti and high-Ti basalts correlate with major-element compositions (Mg#, TiO(2), Al(2)O(3)). The observed oxygen isotope variations within low-Ti and high-Ti basalts are consistent with crystal fractionation and match the results of mass-balance models assuming equilibrium crystallization. Whole-rock delta(56)Fe values (referenced to IRMM-014) of high-Ti and low-Ti basalts range from 0.134 parts per thousand to 0.217 parts per thousand. and 0.038 parts per thousand, to 0.104 parts per thousand, respectively. Iron isotope compositions of both low-Ti and high-Ti basalts do not correlate with indices of crystal fractionation, possibly owing to small mineral-melt iron fractionation factors anticipated under lunar reducing conditions. The delta(18)O and delta(56)Fe values of low-Ti and the least differentiated high-Ti mare basalts are negatively correlated, which reflects their different mantle source characteristics (e.g., the presence or absence of ilmenite). The average delta(56)Fe values of low-Ti basalts (0.073 +/- 0.018 parts per thousand), n = 8) and high-Ti basalts (0.191 +/- 0.020 parts per thousand, n = 7) may directly record that of their parent mantle sources. Oxygen isotope compositions of mantle sources of low-Ti and high-Ti basalts are calculated using existing models of lunar magma ocean crystallization and mixing, the estimated equilibrium mantle olivine delta(18)O value, and equilibrium oxygen-fractionation between olivine and other mineral phases. The differences between the calculated whole-rock delta(18)O values for source regions, 5.57 parts per thousand for low-Ti and 5.30 parts per thousand for high-Ti mare basalt mantle source regions, are solely a function of the assumed source mineralogy. The oxygen and iron isotope compositions of lunar upper mantle can be approximated using these mantle source values. The delta(18)O and delta(56)Fe values of the lunar upper mantle are estimated to be 5.5 +/- 0.27. (2 sigma) and 0.085 +/- 0.040 parts per thousand (2 sigma), respectively. The oxygen isotope composition of lunar upper mantle is identical to the current estimate of Earth's upper mantle (5.5 0.2 parts per thousand), and the iron isotope composition of the lunar upper mantle overlaps within uncertainty of estimates for the terrestrial upper mantle (0.044 +/- 0.030 parts per thousand.). (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.