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Journal Article
Dhaliwal, JK, Day JMD, Moynier F.  2018.  Volatile element loss during planetary magma ocean phases. Icarus. 300:249-260.   10.1016/j.icarus.2017.09.002   Abstract

Moderately volatile elements (MVE) are key tracers of volatile depletion in planetary bodies. Zinc is an especially useful MVE because of its generally elevated abundances in planetary basalts, relative to other MVE, and limited evidence for mass-dependent isotopic fractionation under high-temperature igneous processes. Compared with terrestrial basalts, which have δ66Zn values (per mille deviation of the 66Zn/64Zn ratio from the JMC-Lyon standard) similar to some chondrite meteorites (∼+0.3‰), lunar mare basalts yield a mean δ66Zn value of +1.4 ± 0.5‰ (2 st. dev.). Furthermore, mare basalts have average Zn concentrations ∼50 times lower than in typical terrestrial basaltic rocks. Late-stage lunar magmatic products, including ferroan anorthosite, Mg- and Alkali-suite rocks have even higher δ66Zn values (+3 to +6‰). Differences in Zn abundance and isotopic compositions between lunar and terrestrial rocks have previously been interpreted to reflect evaporative loss of Zn, either during the Earth-Moon formatting Giant Impact, or in a lunar magma ocean (LMO) phase. To explore the mechanisms and processes under which volatile element loss may have occurred during a LMO phase, we developed models of Zn isotopic fractionation that are generally applicable to planetary magma oceans. Our objective was to identify conditions that would yield a δ66Zn signature of ∼ +1.4‰ within the lunar mantle. For the sake of simplicity, we neglect possible Zn isotopic fractionation during the Giant Impact, and assumed a starting composition equal to the composition of the present-day terrestrial mantle, assuming both the Earth and Moon had zinc ‘consanguinity’ following their formation. We developed two models: the first simulates evaporative fractionation of Zn only prior to LMO mixing and crystallization; the second simulates continued evaporative fractionation of Zn that persists until ∼75% LMO crystallization. The first model yields a relatively homogenous bulk solid LMO δ66Zn value, while the second results in a stratification of δ66Zn values within the LMO sequence. Loss and/or isolation mechanisms for volatiles are critical to these models; hydrodynamic escape was not a dominant process, but loss of a nascent lunar atmosphere or separation of condensates into a proto-lunar crust are possible mechanisms by which volatiles could be separated from the lunar interior. The results do not preclude models that suggest a lunar volatile depletion episode related to Giant Impact. Conversely, LMO models for volatile loss do not require loss of volatiles prior to lunar formation. Outgassing during planetary magma ocean phases likely played a profound part in setting the volatile inventories of planets, particularly for low mass bodies that experienced the greatest volatile loss. In turn, our result suggest that the initial compositions of planets that accreted from smaller, highly differentiated planetesimals were likely to be severely volatile depleted.

Paniello, RC, Day JMD, Moynier F.  2012.  Zinc isotopic evidence for the origin of the Moon. Nature. 490:376-U104.   10.1038/nature11507   AbstractWebsite

Volatile elements have a fundamental role in the evolution of planets. But how budgets of volatiles were set in planets, and the nature and extent of volatile-depletion of planetary bodies during the earliest stages of Solar System formation remain poorly understood(1,2). The Moon is considered to be volatile-depleted and so it has been predicted that volatile loss should have fractionated stable isotopes of moderately volatile elements(3). One such element, zinc, exhibits strong isotopic fractionation during volatilization in planetary rocks(4,5), but is hardly fractionated during terrestrial igneous processes(6), making it a powerful tracer of the volatile histories of planets. Here we present high-precision zinc isotopic and abundance data which show that lunar magmatic rocks are enriched in the heavy isotopes of zinc and have lower zinc concentrations than terrestrial or Martian igneous rocks. Conversely, Earth and Mars have broadly chondritic zinc isotopic compositions. We show that these variations represent large-scale evaporation of zinc, most probably in the aftermath of the Moon-forming event, rather than small-scale evaporation processes during volcanism. Our results therefore represent evidence for volatile depletion of the Moon through evaporation, and are consistent with a giant impact origin for the Earth and Moon.

Day, JMD, Koppers AAP, Mendenhall BC, Oller B.  2019.  The ‘Scripps Dike’ and its implications for mid-Miocene volcanism and tectonics of the California Continental Borderland. SEPM Special Publication. 110:43-55.: Society for Sedimentary Geology   10.2110/sepmsp.110.02   Abstract

New field observations, petrology, geochemistry, and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology are reported for the Scripps Dike, which crops out at the coast north of La Jolla, California. The northeast–southwest-trending and laterally discontinuous dike has a basaltic–trachyandesite bulk composition,
with an emplacement age of 13.89 6 0.13 Ma. Modeling of the dike composition indicates that it formed from 0.5 to 1.5% partial melting of a primitive mantle-type source, metasomatized by slab fluids, predominantly in the garnet stability field. The composition of the dike, including relatively high MgO (6.6 wt.%) and Sr/Y (~105), makes it akin to magnesian andesites in Baja California, Mexico, termed ‘‘bajaites.’’ Field evidence indicates
that the current exposure of the dike is close to the original stalling depth, it was probably associated with explosive volcanism, and the dike flowed laterally. After accounting for alteration, the dike has an initial 87Sr/86Sr composition of 0.70390, with limited evidence for crustal contamination, consistent with derivation from a slab-fluid-metasomatized mantle source. The composition of the dike places it broadly in the range of Miocene California Continental Borderland (hereafter referred to as Borderland) volcanic rocks studied previously. A comparison of ages of volcanic rocks occurring along the Borderland margin reveals an approximately age-progressive trend to the southeast. This represents an opposite sense to the apparent ageprogressive trend for Miocene to Recent volcanic rocks north of the Western Transverse Ranges. Possible models to explain the compositions and age relationships of Miocene to Recent volcanic rocks of the Borderland region include southeasterly migration of volcanism in response to Rivera Triple Junction movement and slab window formation, or the presence of a weak ‘‘hotspot’’ that has been active since at least the Miocene. Identification of the process(es) responsible for Borderland volcanism is currently limited by dissection and northwestward movement of Borderland rocks in response to northwest–southeast shearing of the Pacific–North American plate boundary, and by the quality and quantity of reported age-dates and paleomagnetic information. The formation processes of volcanism in the Borderland have ramifications for palinspastic reconstruction of the margin, as well as for the thermal and magmatic evolution of western California in response to a change in plate motion in a subduction to transform setting. The Scripps Dike provides evidence that regions of the mantle beneath the California Continental Borderland were metasomatized by slab fluids in a manner similar to portions of mantle beneath central Baja California, Mexico.