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Title: The production rate of cosmogenic deuterium at the Moon's surface

The hydrogen (D/H) isotope ratio is a key tracer for the source of planetary water. However, secondary processes such as solar wind implantation and cosmic ray induced spallation reactions have modified the primordial D/H signature of ‘water’ in all rocks and soils recovered on the Moon. We re-evaluate the production rate of cosmogenic deuterium (D) at the Moon's surface through ion microprobe analyses of hydrogen isotopes in olivines from eight Apollo 12 and 15 mare basalts. Furthermore, these in situ measurements are complemented by CO2 laser extraction-static mass spectrometry analyses of cosmogenic noble gas nuclides ( 3He, 21Ne, 38Ar). Cosmic ray exposure (CRE) ages of the mare basalts, derived from their cosmogenic 21Ne content, range from 60 to 422 Ma. These CRE ages are 35% higher, on average, than the published values for the same samples. The amount of D detected in the olivines increases linearly with increasing CRE ages, consistent with a production rate of (2.17±0.11)×10 -12 mol(g rock) -1 Ma -1. This value is more than twice as high as previous estimates for the production of D by galactic cosmic rays, indicating that for water-poor lunar samples, i.e., samples with water concentrations ≤50 ppm, corrected D/H ratios havemore » been severely overestimated.« less
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. Petrographic and Geochemical Research Center, Vandoeuvre les Nancy Cedex (France)
  2. Univ. of Chicago, IL (United States). Dept. of Geophysical Sciences, Chicago Center for Cosmochemistry
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0012-821X
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-07NA27344; NNX09AG39G
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 474; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0012-821X
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Country of Publication:
United States
58 GEOSCIENCES; 79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; deuterium; water; noble gases; cosmic rays; olivine; Moon
OSTI Identifier: