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Title: Coordinated U–Pb geochronology, trace element, Ti-in-zircon thermometry and microstructural analysis of Apollo zircons

Abstract

Here, we present the results of a coordinated SIMS U–Pb, trace element, Ti-in-zircon thermometry, and microstructural study of 155 lunar zircons separated from Apollo 14, 15, and 17 breccia and soil samples that help resolve discrepancies between the zircon data, the lunar whole rock history and lunar magma ocean crystallization models. The majority of lunar grains are detrital fragments, some nearly 1 mm in length, of large parent crystals suggesting that they crystallized in highly enriched KREEP magmas. The zircon age distributions for all three landing sites exhibit an abundance of ages at ~4.33 Ga, however they differ in that only Apollo 14 samples have a population of zircons with ages between 4.1 and 3.9 Ga. These younger grains comprise only 10% of all dated lunar zircons and are usually small and highly shocked making them more susceptible to Pb-loss. These observations suggest that the majority of zircons crystallized before 4.1 Ga and that KREEP magmatism had predominantly ceased by this time. We also observed that trace element analyses are easily affected by contributions from inclusions (typically injected impact melt) within SIMS analyses spots. After filtering for these effects, rare-earth element (REE) abundances of pristine zircon are consistent with onemore » pattern characterized by a negative Eu anomaly and no positive Ce anomaly, implying that the zircons formed in a reducing environment. This inference is consistent with crystallization temperatures based on measured Ti concentrations and new estimates of oxide activities which imply temperatures ranging between 958 ± 57 and 1321 ± 100 °C, suggesting that zircon parent magmas were anhydrous. Together, the lunar zircon ages and trace elements are consistent with a ≤300 My duration of KREEP magmatism under anhydrous, reducing conditions. We also report two granular texture zircons that contain baddeleyite cores, which both yield 207Pb–206Pb ages of 4.33 Ga. These grains are our best constraints on impact ages within our sample population, and suggest at least one large impact is contemporaneous with the most common time of magmatic zircon formation on the Moon’s crust visited by the Apollo missions.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States); Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
  2. Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
  3. Univ. of Western Ontario, London, ON (Canada)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1368002
Report Number(s):
LLNL-JRNL-690764
Journal ID: ISSN 0016-7037
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-07NA27344
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 202; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0016-7037
Publisher:
The Geochemical Society; The Meteoritical Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; 58 GEOSCIENCES; Apollo; Lunar zircon; Late heavy bombardment; KREEP; Trace elements; Ti-in-zircon thermometry; Microstructures

Citation Formats

Crow, Carolyn A., McKeegan, Kevin D., and Moser, Desmond E.. Coordinated U–Pb geochronology, trace element, Ti-in-zircon thermometry and microstructural analysis of Apollo zircons. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2016.12.019.
Crow, Carolyn A., McKeegan, Kevin D., & Moser, Desmond E.. Coordinated U–Pb geochronology, trace element, Ti-in-zircon thermometry and microstructural analysis of Apollo zircons. United States. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2016.12.019
Crow, Carolyn A., McKeegan, Kevin D., and Moser, Desmond E.. 2016. "Coordinated U–Pb geochronology, trace element, Ti-in-zircon thermometry and microstructural analysis of Apollo zircons". United States. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2016.12.019. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1368002.
@article{osti_1368002,
title = {Coordinated U–Pb geochronology, trace element, Ti-in-zircon thermometry and microstructural analysis of Apollo zircons},
author = {Crow, Carolyn A. and McKeegan, Kevin D. and Moser, Desmond E.},
abstractNote = {Here, we present the results of a coordinated SIMS U–Pb, trace element, Ti-in-zircon thermometry, and microstructural study of 155 lunar zircons separated from Apollo 14, 15, and 17 breccia and soil samples that help resolve discrepancies between the zircon data, the lunar whole rock history and lunar magma ocean crystallization models. The majority of lunar grains are detrital fragments, some nearly 1 mm in length, of large parent crystals suggesting that they crystallized in highly enriched KREEP magmas. The zircon age distributions for all three landing sites exhibit an abundance of ages at ~4.33 Ga, however they differ in that only Apollo 14 samples have a population of zircons with ages between 4.1 and 3.9 Ga. These younger grains comprise only 10% of all dated lunar zircons and are usually small and highly shocked making them more susceptible to Pb-loss. These observations suggest that the majority of zircons crystallized before 4.1 Ga and that KREEP magmatism had predominantly ceased by this time. We also observed that trace element analyses are easily affected by contributions from inclusions (typically injected impact melt) within SIMS analyses spots. After filtering for these effects, rare-earth element (REE) abundances of pristine zircon are consistent with one pattern characterized by a negative Eu anomaly and no positive Ce anomaly, implying that the zircons formed in a reducing environment. This inference is consistent with crystallization temperatures based on measured Ti concentrations and new estimates of oxide activities which imply temperatures ranging between 958 ± 57 and 1321 ± 100 °C, suggesting that zircon parent magmas were anhydrous. Together, the lunar zircon ages and trace elements are consistent with a ≤300 My duration of KREEP magmatism under anhydrous, reducing conditions. We also report two granular texture zircons that contain baddeleyite cores, which both yield 207Pb–206Pb ages of 4.33 Ga. These grains are our best constraints on impact ages within our sample population, and suggest at least one large impact is contemporaneous with the most common time of magmatic zircon formation on the Moon’s crust visited by the Apollo missions.},
doi = {10.1016/j.gca.2016.12.019},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1368002}, journal = {Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta},
issn = {0016-7037},
number = C,
volume = 202,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {12}
}

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Cited by: 33 works
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Works referencing / citing this record:

In situ multiphase U–Pb geochronology and shock analysis of apatite, titanite and zircon from the Lac La Moinerie impact structure, Canada
journal, July 2019


Imbrium Age for Zircons in Apollo 17 South Massif Impact Melt Breccia 73155
journal, December 2019


Decline of giant impacts on Mars by 4.48 billion years ago and an early opportunity for habitability
journal, June 2019


Shock metamorphic history of >4 Ga Apollo 14 and 15 zircons
journal, August 2018


Evidence for multiple 4.0–3.7 Ga impact events within the Apollo 16 collection
journal, January 2019


U‐Pb SIMS ages of Apollo 14 zircon: Identifying distinct magmatic episodes
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In situ U–Pb analysis of shocked zircon from the Charlevoix impact structure, Québec, Canada
journal, June 2019


FRIGN zircon—The only terrestrial mineral diagnostic of high-pressure and high-temperature shock deformation
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