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

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
 [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:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0016-7037
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 202; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0016-7037
The Geochemical Society; The Meteoritical Society
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA); National Science Foundation (NSF)
Country of Publication:
United States
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; 58 GEOSCIENCES; Apollo; Lunar zircon; Late heavy bombardment; KREEP; Trace elements; Ti-in-zircon thermometry; Microstructures
OSTI Identifier: