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Day, JMD, Taylor LA.  2007.  On the structure of mare basalt lava flows from textural analysis of the LaPaz Icefield and Northwest Africa 032 lunar meteorites. Meteoritics & Planetary Science. 42:3-17. AbstractWebsite

Quantitative textural data for Northwest Africa (NWA) 032 and the LaPaz (LAP) mare basalt meteorites (LAP 02205, LAP 02224, LAP 02226, and LAP 02436) provide constraints on their crystallization and mineral growth histories. In conjunction with whole-rock and mineral chemistry, textural analysis provides powerful evidence for meteorite pairing. Petrographic observations and crystal size distribution (CSD) measurements of NWA 032 indicate a mixed population of slowly cooled phenocrysts and faster cooled matrix. LaPaz basalt crystal populations are consistent with a single phase of nucleation and growth. Spatial distribution patterns (SDP) of minerals in the meteorites highlight the importance of clumping and formation of clustered crystal frameworks in their melts, succeeded by continued nucleation and growth of crystals. This process resulted in increasingly poor sorting, during competition for growth, as the melt crystallized. Based on CSD and SDP data, we suggest a potential lava flow geometry model to explain the different crystal populations for NWA 032 and the LaPaz basalts. This model involves crystallization of early formed phenocrysts at hypabyssal depths in the lunar crust, followed by eruption and flow differentiation on the lunar surface. Lava flow differentiation would allow for formation of a cumulate base and facilitate variable cooling within the stratigraphy, explaining the varied textures and modal mineralogies of mare basalt meteorites. The model may also provide insight into the relative relationships of some Apollo mare basalt suites, shallow-level crystal fractionation processes, and the nature of mare basalt volcanism over lunar history.