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Day, JMD, Ash RD, Liu Y, Bellucci JJ, Rumble D, McDonough WF, Walker RJ, Taylor LA.  2009.  Early formation of evolved asteroidal crust. Nature. 457:179-182.   10.1038/nature07651   AbstractWebsite

Mechanisms for the formation of crust on planetary bodies remain poorly understood(1). It is generally accepted that Earth's andesitic continental crust is the product of plate tectonics(1,2), whereas the Moon acquired its feldspar- rich crust by way of plagioclase flotation in a magma ocean(3,4). Basaltic meteorites provide evidence that, like the terrestrial planets, some asteroids generated crust and underwent large- scale differentiation processes(5). Until now, however, no evolved felsic asteroidal crust has been sampled or observed. Here we report age and compositional data for the newly discovered, paired and differentiated meteorites Graves Nunatak ( GRA) 06128 and GRA 06129. These meteorites are feldspar- rich, with andesite bulk compositions. Their age of 4.5+/-0.06 Gyr demonstrates formation early in Solar System history. The isotopic and elemental compositions, degree of metamorphic re-equilibration and sulphide- rich nature of the meteorites are most consistent with an origin as partial melts from a volatile- rich, oxidized asteroid. GRA 06128 and 06129 are the result of a newly recognized style of evolved crust formation, bearing witness to incomplete differentiation of their parent asteroid and to previously unrecognized diversity of early- formed materials in the Solar System.

Peters, BJ, Day JMD, Taylor LA.  2016.  Early mantle heterogeneities in the Réunion hotspot source inferred from highly siderophile elements in cumulate xenoliths. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 448:150-160.   10.1016/j.epsl.2016.05.015   Abstract

Ultramafic cumulate rocks form during intrusive crystallization of high-MgO magmas, incorporating relatively high abundances of compatible elements, including Cr and Ni, and high abundances of the highly siderophile elements (HSE: Os, Ir, Ru, Pt, Pd, Re). Here, we utilize a suite of cumulate xenoliths from Piton de la Fournaise, La Réunion (Indian Ocean), to examine the mantle source composition of the Réunion hotspot using HSE abundances and Os isotopes. Dunite and wherlite xenoliths and associated lavas from the Piton de la Fournaise volcanic complex span a range of MgO contents (46 to 7 wt.%), yet exhibit remarkably homogeneous 187Os/188Os (0.1324±0.0014, 2σ), representing the Os-isotopic composition of Réunion hotspot primary melts. A significant fraction of the xenoliths also have primitive upper-mantle (PUM) normalized HSE patterns with elevated Ru and Pd (PUM-normalized Ru/Ir and Pd/Ir of 0.8–6.3 and 0.2–7.2, respectively). These patterns are not artifacts of alteration, fractional crystallization, or partial melting processes, but rather require a primary magma with similar relative enrichments. Some highly olivine-phyric (>40 modal percent olivine) Piton de la Fournaise lavas also preserve these relative Ru and Pd enrichments, while others preserve a pattern that is likely related to sulfur saturation in evolved melts.

The estimate of HSE abundances in PUM indicates high Ru/Ir and Pd/Pt values relative to carbonaceous, ordinary and enstatite chondrite meteorite groups. Thus, the existence of cumulate rocks with even more fractionated HSE patterns relative to PUM suggests that the Réunion hotspot samples a yet unrecognized mantle source. The origin of fractionated HSE patterns in Réunion melts may arise from sampling of a mantle source that experienced limited late accretion (<0.2% by mass) compared with PUM (0.5–0.8%), possibly involving impactors that were distinct from present-day chondrites, or limited core–mantle interactions. Given the remarkably homogeneous Os, Pb, and noble-gas isotopic signatures of Réunion, which plot near the convergence point of isotopic data for many hotspots, such a conclusion provides evidence for an early differentiated and subsequently isolated mantle domain that may be partially sampled by some ocean island basalts.

Dhaliwal, JK, Day JMD, Corder CA, Tait KT, Marti K, Assayag N, Cartigny P, Rumble D, Taylor LA.  2017.  Early metal-silicate differentiation during planetesimal formation revealed by acapulcoite and lodranite meteorites. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 216:115-140.   10.1016/j.gca.2017.06.042   AbstractWebsite

In order to establish the role and expression of silicate-metal fractionation in early planetesimal bodies, we have conducted a highly siderophile element (HSE: Os, Ir, Ru, Pt, Pd, Re) abundance and 187Re-187Os study of acapulcoite-lodranite meteorites. These data are reported with new petrography, mineral chemistry, bulk-rock major and trace element geochemistry, and oxygen isotopes for Acapulco, Allan Hills (ALHA) 81187, Meteorite Hills (MET) 01195, Northwest Africa (NWA) 2871, NWA 4833, NWA 4875, NWA 7474 and two examples of transitional acapulcoite-lodranites, Elephant Moraine (EET) 84302 and Graves Nunataks (GRA) 95209. These data support previous studies that indicate that these meteorites are linked to the same parent body and exhibit limited degrees (<2–7%) of silicate melt removal. New HSE and osmium isotope data demonstrate broadly chondritic relative and absolute abundances of these elements in acapulcoites, lower absolute abundances in lodranites and elevated (>2 × CI chondrite) HSE abundances in transitional acapulcoite-lodranite meteorites (EET 84302, GRA 95209). All of the meteorites have chondritic Re/Os with measured 187Os/188Os ratios of 0.1271 ± 0.0040 (2 St. Dev.). These geochemical characteristics imply that the precursor material of the acapulcoites and lodranites was broadly chondritic in composition, and were then heated and subject to melting of metal and sulfide in the Fe-Ni-S system. This resulted in metallic melt removal and accumulation to form lodranites and transitional acapulcoite-lodranites. There is considerable variation in the absolute abundances of the HSE, both among samples and between aliquots of the same sample, consistent with both inhomogeneous distribution of HSE-rich metal, and of heterogeneous melting and incomplete mixing of silicate material within the acapulcoite-lodranite parent body. Oxygen isotope data for acapulcoite-lodranites are also consistent with inhomogeneous melting and mixing of accreted components from different nebular sources, and do not form a well-defined mass-dependent fractionation line. Modeling of HSE inter-element fractionation suggests a continuum of melting in the Fe-Ni-S system and partitioning between solid metal and sulfur-bearing mineral melt, where lower S contents in the melt resulted in lower Pt/Os and Pd/Os ratios, as observed in lodranites. The transitional meteorites, EET 84302 and GRA 95209, exhibit the most elevated HSE abundances and do not follow modelled Pt/Os and Pd/Os solid metal-liquid metal partitioning trends. We interpret this to reflect metal melt pooling into domains that were sampled by these meteorites, suggesting that they may originate from deeper within the acapulcoite-lodranite parent body, perhaps close to a pooled metallic ‘core’ region. Petrographic examination of transitional samples reveals the most extensive melting, pooling and networking of metal among the acapulcoite-lodranite meteorites. Overall, our results show that solid metal-liquid metal partitioning in the Fe-Ni-S system in primitive achondrites follows a predictable sequence of limited partial melting and metal melt pooling that can lead to significant HSE inter-element fractionation effects in proto-planetary materials.

Day, JMD, Moynier F.  2014.  Evaporative fractionation of volatile stable isotopes and their bearing on the origin of the Moon. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A. 20130259   10.1098/rsta.2013.0259   Abstract

The Moon is depleted in volatile elements relative to the Earth and Mars. Low abundances of volatile elements, fractionated stable isotope ratios of S, Cl, K and Zn, high mu (238U/204Pb) and long-term Rb/Sr depletion are distinguishing features of the Moon, relative to the Earth. These geochemical characteristics indicate both inheritance of volatile-depleted materials that formed the Moon and planets and subsequent evaporative loss of volatile elements that occurred during lunar formation and differentiation. Models of volatile loss through localized eruptive degassing are not consistent with the available S, Cl, Zn and K isotopes and abundance data for the Moon. The most probable cause of volatile depletion is global-scale evaporation resulting from a giant impact or a magma ocean phase where inefficient volatile loss during magmatic convection led to the present distribution of volatile elements within mantle and crustal reservoirs. Problems exist for models of planetary volatile depletion following giant impact. Most critically, in this model, the volatile loss requires preferential delivery and retention of late-accreted volatiles to the Earth compared with the Moon. Different proportions of late-accreted mass are computed to explain present-day distributions of volatile and moderately volatile elements (e.g. Pb, Zn; 5 to >10%) relative to highly siderophile elements (approx. 0.5%) for the Earth. Models of early magma ocean phases may be more effective in explaining the volatile loss. Basaltic materials (e.g. eucrites and angrites) from highly differentiated airless asteroids are volatile-depleted, like the Moon, whereas the Earth and Mars have proportionally greater volatile contents. Parent-body size and the existence of early atmospheres are therefore likely to represent fundamental controls on planetary volatile retention or loss.

Day, JMD, Moynier F, Meshik AP, Pradivtseva OV, Pettit DR.  2017.  Evaporative fractionation of zinc during the first nuclear detonation. Science Advances. 3(2):e1602668.   10.1126/sciadv.1602668   Abstract

Volatile element and compound abundances vary widely in planets and were set during the earliest stages of solar system evolution. Experiments or natural analogs approximating these early conditions are limited. Using silicate glass formed from arkosic sands during the first nuclear detonation at the Trinity test site, New Mexico, we show that the isotopes of zinc were fractionated during evaporation. The green silicate glasses, termed “trinitite,” show +0.5 ± 0.1‰/atomic mass unit isotopic fractionation from ~200 m to within 10 m of ground zero of the detonation, corresponding to an α fractionation factor between 0.999 and 0.9995. These results confirm that Zn isotopic fractionation occurs through evaporation processes at high temperatures. Evidence for similar fractionations in lunar samples consequently implies a volatile-depleted bulk Moon, with evaporation occurring during a giant impact or in a magma ocean.

Day, JMD.  2016.  Evidence against an ancient non-chondritic mantle source for North Atlantic Igneous Province lavas. Chemical Geology. 440:91-100.   10.1016/j.chemgeo.2016.07.002   Abstract

North Atlantic Igneous Province (NAIP) lavas host olivine with the highest 3He/4He ever measured for terrestrial
igneous rocks (up to 50 RA, or 4He/3He = ~15,300). The relationship of high-3He/4He with Pb isotope compositions
close to the terrestrial geochron and 143Nd/144Nd plausibly consistentwith supra-chondritic mantle Sm/Nd
in Baffin Island and West Greenland lavas has been interpreted to reflect an ancient ‘non-chondritic’ mantle
source signature. Alternatively, assimilation of continental crustal rocks with unradiogenic Pb isotope compositions
and low 143Nd/144Nd, into magmaswith high-3He/4He, and derived from variably depleted mantle sources,
could impart similar geochemical signatures. Radiogenic and stable isotope data for NAIP lavas are consistent
with origins as melts from upper mantle sources that contain low-18O/16O recycled lithosphere and/or hydrothermally
altered crust, or that have experienced pervasive contamination by crustal gneisses. Olivines from
NAIP lavas with 3He/4He spanning from 8 to 48 RA have δ18O ranging from 3.5 to 5.5‰. These compositions
are consistent with sources of ambient mantle and low-δ18O recycled lithosphere, or with concomitant crustal
assimilation and He-loss during fractional crystallization. Limited assimilation (≤1%) of incompatible element
rich crustal gneisses with low 206Pb/204Pb and 143Nd/144Nd by melts from variably depleted mantle sources
can explain Nd-Pb isotope compositions of Baffin Island and West Greenland picrites. Icelandic lavas provide
supporting evidence that the ancestral mantle plume responsible for generating NAIP magmatism sampled variably
enriched and depletedmantle,with no evidence for ancient non-chondriticmantle sources. Pervasive crustal
contamination and partial melting of heterogeneous mantle sources, generated by plate tectonic processes, can
account for the compositions of continental flood basalts (CFB),without the requirement of a non-chondritic terrestrial
reservoir. Combined with evidence that the 142Nd/144Nd composition of the bulk silicate Earth is due to
nucleosynthetic S-process deficits in chondrite meteorites, these observations cast doubt thatNAIP lavas sampled
a non-chondritic mantle source with Sm/Nd higher than in chondrites. If short-lived radiogenic (e.g.,
146Sm-142Nd, 182Hf-182W)isotope anomalies are found in CFB, theymust either reflect assimilation of isotopically
anomalous crustal materials, or partial melting of early-formed mantle heterogeneities produced by differentiation
and late accretion.

Day, JMD, Pearson DG, Macpherson CG, Lowry D, Carracedo JC.  2010.  Evidence for distinct proportions of subducted oceanic crust and lithosphere in HIMU-type mantle beneath El Hierro and La Palma, Canary Islands. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta. 74:6565-6589.   10.1016/j.gca.2010.08.021   AbstractWebsite

Shield-stage high-MgO alkalic lavas from La Palma and El Hierro (Canary Islands) have been characterized for their O-Sr-Nd-Os-Pb isotope compositions and major-, trace-, and highly siderophile-element (HSE: Os, Ir, Ru, Pt, Pd, Re) abundances. New data are also reported for associated evolved rocks, and entrained xenoliths. Clear differences in Pd/Ir and isotopic ratios for high Os (>50 ppt) lavas from El Hierro (delta(18)O(olivine) = 5.17 +/- 0.08 parts per thousand; (87)Sr/(86)Sr = 0.7029 to 0.7031; epsilon(Nd) = +5.7 to +7.1; (187)Os/(188)Os = 0.1481 to 0.1750; (206)Pb/(204)Pb = 19.1 to 19.7; Pd/Ir = 6 +/- 3) versus those from La Palma (delta(18)Oo(livine) = 4.87 +/- 0.18 parts per thousand; (87)Sr/(86)Sr = 0.7031 to 0.7032; epsilon(Nd) = +5.0 to +6.4; (187)Os/(188)Os = 0.1421 to 0.1460; (206)Pb/(204)Pb = 19.5 to 20.2; Pd/Ir = 11 +/- 4) are revealed from the dataset. Crustal or lithospheric assimilation during magma transport cannot explain variations in isotopic ratios or element abundances of the lavas. Shallow-level crystal-liquid fractionation of olivine, clinopyroxene and associated early-crystallizing minerals (e.g., spinel and USE-rich phases) controlled compatible element and HSE abundances; there is also evidence for sub-aerial degassing of rhenium. High-MgO lavas are enriched in light rare earth elements, Nb, Ta, U, Th, and depleted in K and Pb, relative to primitive mantle abundance estimates, typical of HIM U-type oceanic island basalts. Trace element abundances and ratios are consistent with low degrees (2-6%) of partial melting of an enriched mantle source, commencing in the garnet stability field (>= 110 km). Western Canary Island lavas were sulphur undersaturated with estimated parental melt HSE abundances (in ppb) of 0.07 +/- 0.05 Os, 0.17 +/- 0.16 Ir, 0.34 +/- 0.32 Ru, 2.6 +/- 2.5 Pt, 1.4 +/- 1.2 Pd, 0.39 +/- 0.30 Re. These estimates indicate that Canary Island alkali basalts have lower Os, Ir and Ru, but similar Pt, Pd and Re contents to Hawai'ian tholeiites. The HIMU affinities of the lavas, in conjunction with the low delta(18)O(olivine) and high (206)Pb/(204)Pb for La Palma, and elevated (187)Os/(188)Os for El Hierro implies melting of different proportions of recycled oceanic crust and lithosphere. Our preferred model to explain isotopic differences between the islands is generation from peridotitic mantle metasomatised by <10% pyroxenite/eclogite made from variable portions of similar aged recycled oceanic crust and lithosphere. The correspondence of radiogenic (206)Pb/(204), (187)Os/(188)Os, elevated Re/Os and Pt/Os, and low-delta(18)O in western Canary Island lavas provides powerful support for recycled oceanic crust and lithosphere to generate the spectrum of HIMU-type ocean island basalt signatures. Persistence of geochemical heterogeneities throughout the stratigraphies of El Hierro and La Palma demonstrate long-term preservation of these recycled components in their mantle sources over relatively short-length scales (similar to 50 km). (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Sarbadhikari, AB, Goodrich CA, Liu Y, Day JMD, Taylor LA.  2011.  Evidence for heterogeneous enriched shergottite mantle sources in Mars from olivine-hosted melt inclusions in Larkman Nunatak 06319. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta. 75:6803-6820.   10.1016/j.gca.2011.09.001   AbstractWebsite

Larkman Nunatak (LAR) 06319 is an olivine-phyric shergottite whose olivine crystals contain abundant crystallized melt inclusions. In this study, three types of melt inclusion were distinguished, based on their occurrence and the composition of their olivine host: Type-I inclusions occur in phenocryst cores (Fo(77-73)); Type-II inclusions occur in phenocryst mantles (Fo(71-66)); Type-III inclusions occur in phenocryst rims (Fo(61-51)) and within groundmass olivine. The sizes of the melt inclusions decrease significantly from Type-I (similar to 150-250 mu m diameter) to Type-II (similar to 100 mu m diameter) to Type-III (similar to 25-75 mu m diameter). Present bulk compositions (PBC) of the crystallized melt inclusions were calculated for each of the three melt inclusion types based on average modal abundances and analyzed compositions of constituent phases. Primary trapped liquid compositions were then reconstructed by addition of olivine and adjustment of the Fe/Mg ratio to equilibrium with the host olivine (to account for crystallization of wall olivine and the effects of Fe/Mg re-equilibration). The present bulk composition of Type-I inclusions (PBC1) plots on a tie-line that passes through olivine and the LAR 06319 whole-rock composition. The parent magma composition can be reconstructed by addition of 29 mol% olivine to PBC1, and adjustment of Fe/Mg for equilibrium with olivine of Fo(77) composition. The resulting parent magma composition has a predicted crystallization sequence that is consistent with that determined from petrographic observations, and differs significantly from the whole-rock only in an accumulated olivine component (similar to 10 wt%). This is consistent with a calculation indicating that similar to 10 wt% agnesian (Fo(77-73)) olivine must be subtracted from the whole-rock to yield a melt in equilibrium with Fo(77). Thus, two independent estimates indicate that LAR 06319 contains similar to 10 wt% cumulate olivine. The rare earth element (REE) patterns of Type-I melt inclusions are similar to that of the LAR 06319 whole-rock. The REE patterns of Type-II and Type-III melt inclusions are also broadly parallel to that of the whole-rock, but at higher absolute abundances. These results are consistent with an LAR 06319 parent magma that crystallized as a closed-system, with its incompatible-element enrichment being inherited from its mantle source region. However, fractional crystallization of the reconstructed LAR 06319 parent magma cannot reproduce the major and trace element characteristics of all enriched basaltic shergottites, indicating local-to-large scale major-and trace-element variations in the mantle source of enriched shergottites. Therefore, LAR 06319 cannot be parental to the enriched basaltic shergottites. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Day, JMD, Qiu L, Ash RD, McDonough WF, Teng F-Z, Rudnick RL, Taylor LA.  2016.  Evidence for high-temperature fractionation of lithium isotopes during differentiation of the Moon. Meteoritics and Planetary Science. 51(6):1046-1062.   10.1111/maps.12643   Abstract

Lithium isotope and abundance data are reported for Apollo 15 and 17 mare basalts and the LaPaz low-Ti mare basalt meteorites, along with lithium isotope data for carbonaceous, ordinary, and enstatite chondrites, and chondrules from the Allende CV3 meteorite. Apollo 15 low-Ti mare basalts have lower Li contents and lower δ7Li (3.8 ± 1.2‰; all uncertainties are 2 standard deviations) than Apollo 17 high-Ti mare basalts (δ7Li = 5.2 ± 1.2‰), with evolved LaPaz mare basalts having high Li contents, but similar low δ7Li (3.7 ± 0.5‰) to Apollo 15 mare basalts. In low-Ti mare basalt 15555, the highest concentrations of Li occur in late-stage tridymite (>20 ppm) and plagioclase (11 ± 3 ppm), with olivine (6.1 ± 3.8 ppm), pyroxene (4.2 ± 1.6 ppm), and ilmenite (0.8 ± 0.7 ppm) having lower Li concentrations. Values of δ7Li in low- and high-Ti mare basalt sources broadly correlate negatively with 18O/16O and positively with 56Fe/54Fe (low-Ti: δ7Li ≤4‰; δ56Fe ≤0.04‰; δ18O ≥5.7‰; high-Ti: δ7Li >6‰; δ56Fe >0.18‰; δ18O <5.4‰). Lithium does not appear to have acted as a volatile element during planetary formation, with subequal Li contents in mare basalts compared with terrestrial, martian, or vestan basaltic rocks. Observed Li isotopic fractionations in mare basalts can potentially be explained through large-degree, high-temperature igneous differentiation of their source regions. Progressive magma ocean crystallization led to enrichment in Li and δ7Li in late-stage liquids, probably as a consequence of preferential retention of 7Li and Li in the melt relative to crystallizing solids. Lithium isotopic fractionation has not been observed during extensive differentiation in terrestrial magmatic systems and may only be recognizable during extensive planetary magmatic differentiation under volatile-poor conditions, as expected for the lunar magma ocean. Our new analyses of chondrites show that they have δ7Li ranging between −2.5‰ and 4‰. The higher δ7Li in planetary basalts than in the compilation of chondrites (2.1 ± 1.3‰) demonstrates that differentiated planetary basalts are, on average, isotopically heavier than most chondrites.

Brandon, AD, Puchtel IS, Walker RJ, Day JMD, Irving AJ, Taylor LA.  2012.  Evolution of the martian mantle inferred from the Re-187-Os-187 isotope and highly siderophile element abundance systematics of shergottite meteorites. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta. 76:206-235.   10.1016/j.gca.2011.09.047   AbstractWebsite

Shergottite meteorites are a suite of mafic to ultramafic igneous rocks whose parental magmas probably derived from the martian mantle. In this study, a suite of 23 shergottites, spanning their known range in bulk compositions, Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, and Lu-Hf isotopes, were measured for Re-187-Os-187 isotopic systematics and highly siderophile element abundances (HSE: including Os, Ir, Ru, Pt, Pd, Re). The chief objective was to gain new insight on the chemical evolution of the martian mantle by unraveling the long-term HSE budget of its derivative melts. Possible effects upon HSEs related to crustal contamination, as well as terrestrial and/or martian surface alteration are also examined. Some of the shergottites are hot arid-desert finds. Their respective acetic acid leachates and residues show that both Re and Os display open-system behavior during sample residence at or near the martian and/or terrestrial surfaces. In some meteorites, the alteration effects can be circumvented by analysis of the leached residues. For those shergottites believed to record robust Re-Os isotopic systematics, calculated initial Os-187/Os-188 are well correlated with the initial Nd-143/Nd-144. Shergottites from mantle sources with long-term melt-depleted characteristics (initial epsilon Nd-143 of + 36 to + 40) have chondritic initial gamma Os-187 ranging from -0.5 to + 2.5. Shergottites with intermediate initial epsilon Nd-143 of + 8 to + 17 have a range in initial gamma Os-187 of -0.6 to + 2.3, which overlaps the range for depleted shergottites. Shergottites from long-term enriched sources, with initial epsilon Nd-143 of similar to-7, are characterized by suprachondritic gamma Os-187 values of + 5 to + 15. The initial gamma Os-187 variations for the shergottites do not show a correlation with indices of magmatic differentiation, such as MgO, or any systematic differences between hot arid-desert finds, Antarctic finds, or observed falls. The strong correlation between the initial epsilon Nd-143 and gamma Os-187 in shergottites from approximately + 40 and 0 to -7 and + 15, respectively, is assessed in models for mixing depleted mantle-derived melts with ancient crust (modeled to be similar to evolved shergottite in composition), and with assimilation-fractional crystallization. These models show that the correlation is unlikely to result from participation of martian crust. More likely, this correlation relates to contributions from depleted and enriched reservoirs formed in a martian magma ocean at ca. 4.5 Ga. These models indicate that the shergottite endmember sources were generated by mixing between residual melts and cumulates that formed at variable stages during solidification of a magma ocean. The expanded database for the HSE abundances in shergottites suggests that their martian mantle sources have similar HSE abundances to the terrestrial mantle, consistent with prior studies. The relatively high HSE abundances in both planetary mantles likely cannot be accounted for by high pressure-temperature metal-silicate partitioning at the bases of magma oceans, as has been suggested for Earth. If the HSE were instead supplied by late accretion, this event must have occurred prior to the crystallization of the last martian magma ocean. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Day, JMD, Floss C, Taylor LA, Anand M, Patchen AD.  2006.  Evolved mare basalt magmatism, high Mg/Fe feldspathic crust, chondritic impactors, and the petrogenesis of Antarctic lunar breccia meteorites Meteorite Hills 01210 and Pecora Escarpment 02007. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta. 70:5957-5989.   10.1016/j.gca.2006.05.001   AbstractWebsite

Antarctic lunar meteorites Meteorite Hills 01210 and Pecora Escarpment 02007 are breccias that come from different regolith lithologies on the Moon. MET 01210 is composed predominantly of fractionated low-Ti basaltic material and is classified as an immature, predominantly basaltic glassy matrix regolith breccia. PCA 02007 is a predominantly feldspathic regolith breccia consisting of metamorphosed feldspathic, noritic, troctolitic and noritic-anorthosite clasts, agglutinate and impact-glasses, as well as a number of basaltic clasts with mare and possible non-mare affinities. The basalt clasts in MET 0 12 10 have undergone 'Fenner' trend enrichments in iron and may also have witnessed late-stage crystallization of zircon or a zirconium-rich mineral. Some of the features of MET 0 1210 are similar to other basaltic lunar breccia meteorites (e.g., Northwest Africa 773; Elephant Moraine 87521/96008; Yamato 793274/981031), but it is not paired with them. The presence of metamorphic anorthositic clasts as well as agglutinates indicates a small regolith component. Similarities with previously discovered evolved (e.g., LaPaz Icefield 02205; Northwest Africa 032) and ferroan (e.g., Asuka 881757; Yamato 793169) basaltic lunar meteorites suggest a similar mare source region for MET 01210. Despite lack of evidence for pairing, PCA 02007 shares many features with other feldspathic regolith breccias (e.g., Yamato 791197, Queen Alexandra Range 94281), including a high Mg/Fe whole-rock composition, glass spherules, agglutinate fragments and a diverse clast inventory spanning the range of ferroan anorthosite and high magnesium suite rocks. Some of the basalt fragments in this sample are fractionated and have an igneous origin. However, the majority of the basalt fragments are impact melt clasts. PCA 02007 supports previous studies of feldspathic lunar meteorites that have suggested an aluminous crust for the Moon, with compositions more similar to magnesium granulite breccias than ferroan anorthosites. A 'chondrule-like' fragment found in PCA 02007 and unlike any previously described lunar material is described and tentatively identified as the remnants of a chondritic lunar impactor. This clast is porphyritic with equant olivines that have forsterite-rich cores (Fo(> 98)), extreme normal zonation to more fayalitic rims (Fo(> 44)), and a mineral assemblage with rare earth element abundances distinct from described lunar material and more similar to chondrules found in ordinary or carbonaceous chondrites. Its discovery and description is significant for understanding the composition of lunar impactors. Previously, the main evidence for chondritic lunar impactors was from chondritic relative abundances and near chondritic ratios of highly siderophile elements in lunar impact melt breccias. However, the presence of this clast, along with two other chondritic clasts from Apollo soils 12037 and 15602, provides clues to the identity of ancient meteorite impactors on the Moon. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Kato, C, Moynier F, Valdes M, Dhaliwal JK, Day JMD.  2015.  Extensive volatile loss during formation and differentiation of the Moon. Nature Communications. 6(7617)   10.1038/ncomms8617   Abstract

Low estimated lunar volatile contents, compared with Earth, are a fundamental observation for Earth–Moon system formation and lunar evolution. Here we present zinc isotope and abundance data for lunar crustal rocks to constrain the abundance of volatiles during the final stages of lunar differentiation. We find that ferroan anorthosites are isotopically heterogeneous, with some samples exhibiting high d66Zn, along with alkali and magnesian suite samples. Since the plutonic samples were formed in the lunar crust, they were not subjected to degassing into vacuum. Instead, their compositions are consistent with enrichment of the silicate portions of the Moon in the heavier Zn isotopes. Because of the difference in d66Zn between bulk silicate Earth and lunar basalts and crustal rocks, the volatile loss likely occurred in two stages: during the proto-lunar disk stage, where a fraction of lunar volatiles accreted onto Earth, and from degassing of a differentiating lunar magma ocean, implying the possibility of isolated, volatile-rich regions in the Moon’s interior.

Day, JMD.  2016.  Extraordinary World. Nature. 537:310-311.   10.1038/537310a   Abstract

The isotopic compositions of objects that formed early in the evolution of the Solar System have been found to be similar to Earth's composition — overturning notions of our planet's chemical distinctiveness.