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Title: Geochronology of an Apollo 16 Clast Provides Evidence for a Basin‐Forming Impact 4.3 Billion Years Ago

Abstract

We examined lithic breccias from the Apollo sample collection in order to identify ferroan anorthosite samples suitable for geochronology, and better define the age relationships between rocks of the lunar highlands. Clast 3A is a previously unstudied noritic anorthosite from Apollo 16 lithic breccia 60016 with textural evidence of slow subsolidus recrystallization. We estimate a cooling rate of ~10 °C/Myr and calculate a pyroxene solvus temperature of 1,100–1,000 °C. Pyroxene exsolution lamellae (1–3 μm) indicate that the last stage of cooling was rapid at ~0.2 °C/year, typical of rates observed in thick ejecta blankets. We calculate concordant ages from the 147Sm–143Nd, 146Sm–142Nd, Rb–Sr, and Ar–Ar isotopic systems of 4,302 ± 28, 4,296 + 39/–53, 4,275 ± 38, and 4,311 ± 31 Ma, respectively, with a weighted average of 4,304 ± 12 Ma. The closure temperature of the Sm–Nd system is ~855 ± 14 °C, whereas the closure temperature of the Ar–Ar system is 275 ± 25 °C. Cooling from 855 to 275 °C at 10 °C/Myr should result in an age difference between the two isotopic systems of ~60 Myr. The concordant Sm–Nd, Rb–Sr, and Ar–Ar ages imply that they record the time the rock was excavated by a largemore » impact from the midcrust. The ages clearly predate various late accretion scenarios in which an uptick in impacts at 3.8 Ga is preceded by a period of relative quiescence between 4.4 and ~4.1 Ga, and instead are consistent with decreasing accretion rates following the formation of the Moon.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [2];  [1]
  1. Nuclear and Chemical Sciences DivisionLawrence Livermore National Laboratory Livermore CA USA
  2. Institute of MeteoriticsUniversity of New Mexico Albuquerque NM USA
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1569101
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1569102; OSTI ID: 1633513
Report Number(s):
LLNL-JRNL-759299
Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9097
Grant/Contract Number:  
17‐ERD‐001; AC52-07NA27344
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets Journal Volume: 124 Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9097
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES

Citation Formats

Marks, N. E., Borg, L. E., Shearer, C. K., and Cassata, W. S. Geochronology of an Apollo 16 Clast Provides Evidence for a Basin‐Forming Impact 4.3 Billion Years Ago. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1029/2019JE005966.
Marks, N. E., Borg, L. E., Shearer, C. K., & Cassata, W. S. Geochronology of an Apollo 16 Clast Provides Evidence for a Basin‐Forming Impact 4.3 Billion Years Ago. United States. doi:10.1029/2019JE005966.
Marks, N. E., Borg, L. E., Shearer, C. K., and Cassata, W. S. Thu . "Geochronology of an Apollo 16 Clast Provides Evidence for a Basin‐Forming Impact 4.3 Billion Years Ago". United States. doi:10.1029/2019JE005966.
@article{osti_1569101,
title = {Geochronology of an Apollo 16 Clast Provides Evidence for a Basin‐Forming Impact 4.3 Billion Years Ago},
author = {Marks, N. E. and Borg, L. E. and Shearer, C. K. and Cassata, W. S.},
abstractNote = {We examined lithic breccias from the Apollo sample collection in order to identify ferroan anorthosite samples suitable for geochronology, and better define the age relationships between rocks of the lunar highlands. Clast 3A is a previously unstudied noritic anorthosite from Apollo 16 lithic breccia 60016 with textural evidence of slow subsolidus recrystallization. We estimate a cooling rate of ~10 °C/Myr and calculate a pyroxene solvus temperature of 1,100–1,000 °C. Pyroxene exsolution lamellae (1–3 μm) indicate that the last stage of cooling was rapid at ~0.2 °C/year, typical of rates observed in thick ejecta blankets. We calculate concordant ages from the 147Sm–143Nd, 146Sm–142Nd, Rb–Sr, and Ar–Ar isotopic systems of 4,302 ± 28, 4,296 + 39/–53, 4,275 ± 38, and 4,311 ± 31 Ma, respectively, with a weighted average of 4,304 ± 12 Ma. The closure temperature of the Sm–Nd system is ~855 ± 14 °C, whereas the closure temperature of the Ar–Ar system is 275 ± 25 °C. Cooling from 855 to 275 °C at 10 °C/Myr should result in an age difference between the two isotopic systems of ~60 Myr. The concordant Sm–Nd, Rb–Sr, and Ar–Ar ages imply that they record the time the rock was excavated by a large impact from the midcrust. The ages clearly predate various late accretion scenarios in which an uptick in impacts at 3.8 Ga is preceded by a period of relative quiescence between 4.4 and ~4.1 Ga, and instead are consistent with decreasing accretion rates following the formation of the Moon.},
doi = {10.1029/2019JE005966},
journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets},
number = 10,
volume = 124,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {10}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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DOI: 10.1029/2019JE005966

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