Correlated compositional and mineralogical investigations at the Chang'e-3 landing site.
ABSTRACT: The chemical compositions of relatively young mare lava flows have implications for the late volcanism on the Moon. Here we report the composition of soil along the rim of a 450-m diameter fresh crater at the Chang'e-3 (CE-3) landing site, investigated by the Yutu rover with in situ APXS (Active Particle-induced X-ray Spectrometer) and VNIS (Visible and Near-infrared Imaging Spectrometer) measurements. Results indicate that this region's composition differs from other mare sample-return sites and is a new type of mare basalt not previously sampled, but consistent with remote sensing. The CE-3 regolith derived from olivine-normative basaltic rocks with high FeO/(FeO+MgO). Deconvolution of the VNIS data indicates abundant high-Ca ferropyroxene (augite and pigeonite) plus Fe-rich olivine. We infer from the regolith composition that the basaltic source rocks formed during late-stage magma-ocean differentiation when dense ferropyroxene-ilmenite cumulates sank and mixed with deeper, relatively ferroan olivine and orthopyroxene in a hybridized mantle source.
Project description:We report on the mineralogical and chemical properties of materials investigated by the lunar rover Yutu-2, which landed on the Von Kármán crater in the pre-Nectarian South Pole-Aitken (SPA) basin. Yutu-2 carried several scientific payloads, including the Visible and Near-infrared Imaging Spectrometer (VNIS), which is used for mineral identification, offering insights into lunar evolution. We used 86 valid VNIS data for 21 lunar days, with mineral abundance obtained using the Hapke radiative transfer model and sparse unmixing algorithm and chemical compositions empirically estimated. The mineralogical properties of the materials at the Chang'E-4 (CE-4) site referred to as norite/gabbro, based on findings of mineral abundance, indicate that they may be SPA impact melt components excavated by a surrounding impact crater. We find that CE-4 materials are dominated by plagioclase and pyroxene and feature little olivine, with 50 of 86 observations showing higher LCP than HCP in pyroxene. In view of the effects of space weathering, olivine content may be underestimated, with FeO and TiO<sub>2</sub> content estimated using the maturity-corrected method. Estimates of chemical content are 7.42-18.82 wt% FeO and 1.48-2.1 wt% TiO<sub>2</sub>, with a low-medium Mg number (Mg # ~ 55). Olivine-rich materials are not present at the CE-4 landing site, based on the low-medium Mg #. Multi-origin materials at the CE-4 landing site were analyzed with regard to concentrations of FeO and TiO<sub>2</sub> content, supporting our conclusion that the materials at CE-4 do not have a single source but rather are likely a mixture of SPA impact melt components excavated by surrounding impact crater and volcanic product ejecta.
Project description:Areally extensive exposures of intact olivine/pyroxene-enriched rock, as well as feldspar-enriched rock, are found in isolated locations throughout the Martian highlands. The petrogenetic origin(s) of these rock units are not well understood, but some previous studies favored an effusive volcanic origin partly on the basis of distinctive composition and relatively high thermal inertia. Here we show that the regolith development, crater retention, and morphological characteristics for many of these "bedrock plains" are not consistent with competent lavas and reinterpret the high thermal inertia orbital signatures to represent friable materials that are more easily kept free of comminution products through eolian activity. Candidate origins include pyroclastic rocks, impact-generated materials, or detrital sedimentary rocks. Olivine/pyroxene enrichments in bedrock plains relative to surrounding materials could have potentially formed through deflation and preferential removal of plagioclase.
Project description:We report the surface exploration by the lunar rover Yutu that landed on the young lava flow in the northeastern part of the Mare Imbrium, which is the largest basin on the nearside of the Moon and is filled with several basalt units estimated to date from 3.5 to 2.0 Ga. The onboard lunar penetrating radar conducted a 114-m-long profile, which measured a thickness of ?5 m of the lunar regolith layer and detected three underlying basalt units at depths of 195, 215, and 345 m. The radar measurements suggest underestimation of the global lunar regolith thickness by other methods and reveal a vast volume of the last volcano eruption. The in situ spectral reflectance and elemental analysis of the lunar soil at the landing site suggest that the young basalt could be derived from an ilmenite-rich mantle reservoir and then assimilated by 10-20% of the last residual melt of the lunar magma ocean.
Project description:This data article presents mineralogical and geochemical data of high alkaline basalts in Sisaket province, the southern part of Khorat Plateau, NE Thailand. Under the polarized light microscope, the photomicrographs divided the basalts into olivine basalt and alkaline basalt with four textures: aphanitic, porphyritic, vesicular, and diabase. These basaltic rocks comprise olivine microphenocrysts associated with labradorite-anorthite (An66-94), clinopyroxene, opaque minerals groundmass. In addition, nepheline is only found in alkaline basalt as groundmass. Major oxides (Na2O+K2O and SiO2) suggest that Sisaket basalts are basalt, basanite, trachy basalt, and basaltic trachy-andesite. High ratio Nb/Y and low Zr/Ti classify these basalts as alkaline basalt and basanite.
Project description:Coupled <sup>187</sup>Os/<sup>188</sup>Os and highly siderophile element (HSE: Os, Ir, Ru, Pt, Pd, Re) abundance data are reported for Apollo 12 (12005, 12009, 12019, 12022, 12038, 12039, 12040), Apollo 15 (15555) and Apollo 17 (70135) mare basalts, along with mare basalt meteorites La Paz icefield (LAP) 04841 and Miller Range (MIL) 05035. The most magnesian samples have chondrite-relative HSE abundances and chondritic measured and calculated initial <sup>187</sup>Os/<sup>188</sup>Os, with mare basalts having consistently low HSE abundances at ~2 ×10<sup>-5</sup> to 2 ×10<sup>-7</sup> the chondritic abundance. The lower and more fractionated HSE compositions of evolved mare basalts can be reproduced with bulk-partition coefficients of ~2 for Os, Ir, Ru, Pt and Pd and ~1.5 for Re. Lunar mare basalt bulk-partition coefficients are probably higher than for terrestrial melts as a result of more reducing conditions, leading to increased HSE compatibility. The chondritic-relative abundances and chondritic <sup>187</sup>Os/<sup>188</sup>Os of the most primitive high-MgO mare basalts cannot be explained through regolith contamination during emplacement at the lunar surface. Instead, mare basalt compositions can be modelled as representing ~5-11% partial melting of metal-free sources with low Os, Ir, Ru, Pd (~0.1 ng g<sup>-1</sup>), Pt (~0.2 ng g<sup>-1</sup>) Re (~0.01 ng g<sup>-1</sup>) and S, with sulphide-melt partitioning between 1000 and 10000. Apollo 12 olivine-, pigeonite- and ilmenite normative mare basalts define an imprecise <sup>187</sup>Re-<sup>187</sup>Os age of 3.0 ±0.6 Ga. This age is within uncertainty of <sup>147</sup>Sm-<sup>143</sup>Nd ages for the same samples and the isochron yields an initial <sup>187</sup>Os/<sup>188</sup>Os of 0.109 ±0.008. The Os isotopic composition of the Apollo 12 source indicates that the lunar mantle source of these rocks evolved with Re/Os within ~10% of chondrite meteorites from the time that the mantle source became a system closed to siderophile additions to the time that the basalts erupted. The similarity in absolute HSE abundances between mare basalts from the Apollo 12, 15 and 17 sites, and from unknown regions of the Moon (La Paz mare basalts, MIL 05035) indicates relatively homogeneous and low HSE abundances within the lunar interior. Low absolute HSE abundances and chondritic Re/Os of mare basalts are consistent with ~0.02% late accretion addition that was added prior to the formation of the lunar crust and significantly prior to cessation of lunar mantle differentiation (>4.4 Ga) to enable efficient mixing and homogenization. The HSE abundances are also consistent with the observed, small <sup>182</sup>W excess (20 ppm) in the bulk silicate Moon relative to the bulk silicate Earth.
Project description:The nature of source rocks of basaltic magmas plays a fundamental role in understanding the composition, structure and evolution of the solid earth. However, identification of source lithology of basalts remains uncertainty. Using a parameterization of multi-decadal melting experiments on a variety of peridotite and pyroxenite, we show here that a parameter called FC3MS value (FeO/CaO-3*MgO/SiO2, all in wt%) can identify most pyroxenite-derived basalts. The continental oceanic island basalt-like volcanic rocks (MgO>7.5%) (C-OIB) in eastern China and Mongolia are too high in the FC3MS value to be derived from peridotite source. The majority of the C-OIB in phase diagrams are equilibrium with garnet and clinopyroxene, indicating that garnet pyroxenite is the dominant source lithology. Our results demonstrate that many reputed evolved low magnesian C-OIBs in fact represent primary pyroxenite melts, suggesting that many previous geological and petrological interpretations of basalts based on the single peridotite model need to be reconsidered.
Project description:On 3 January 2019, China's Chang'E-4 (CE-4) successfully landed on the eastern floor of Von Kármán crater within the South Pole-Aitken Basin, becoming the first spacecraft in history to land on the Moon's farside. Here, we report the observations made by the Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR) onboard the Yutu-2 rover during the first two lunar days. We found a signal penetration at the CE-4 landing site that is much greater than that at the CE-3 site. The CE-4 LPR images provide clear information about the structure of the subsurface, which is primarily made of low-loss, highly porous, granular materials with embedded boulders of different sizes; the images also indicate that the top of the mare basal layer should be deeper than 40 m. These results represent the first high-resolution image of a lunar ejecta sequence ever produced and the first direct measurement of its thickness and internal architecture.
Project description:The discovery of a phase transition in Mg-silicate perovskite (Pv) to postperovskite (pPv) at lowermost mantle pressure-temperature (P - T) conditions may provide an explanation for the discontinuous increase in shear wave velocity found in some regions at a depth range of 200 to 400 km above the core-mantle boundary, hereafter the D('') discontinuity. However, recent studies on binary and ternary systems showed that reasonable contents of Fe(2+) and Al for pyrolite increase the thickness (width of the mixed phase region) of the Pv - pPv boundary (400-600 km) to much larger than the D('') discontinuity (? 70 km). These results challenge the assignment of the D('') discontinuity to the Pv - pPv boundary in pyrolite (homogenized mantle composition). Furthermore, the mineralogy and composition of rocks that can host a detectable Pv ? pPv boundary are still unknown. Here we report in situ measurements of the depths and thicknesses of the Pv ? pPv transition in multiphase systems (San Carlos olivine, pyrolitic, and midocean ridge basaltic compositions) at the P - T conditions of the lowermost mantle, searching for candidate rocks with a sharp Pv - pPv discontinuity. Whereas the pyrolitic mantle may not have a seismologically detectable Pv ? pPv transition due to the effect of Al, harzburgitic compositions have detectable transitions due to low Al content. In contrast, Al-rich basaltic compositions may have a detectable Pv - pPv boundary due to their distinct mineralogy. Therefore, the observation of the D('') discontinuity may be related to the Pv ? pPv transition in the differentiated oceanic lithosphere materials transported to the lowermost mantle by subducting slabs.
Project description:This work aims to evaluate whether the multi-point analysis the ExoMars Raman Laser Spectrometer (RLS) will perform on powdered samples could serve to classify ultramafic rocks on Mars. To do so, the RLS ExoMars Simulator was used to study terrestrial analogues of Martian peridotites and pyroxenites by applying the operational constraints of the Raman spectrometer onboard the Rosalind Franklin rover. Besides qualitative analysis, RLS-dedicated calibration curves have been built to estimate the relative content of olivine and pyroxenes in the samples. These semi-quantitative results, combined with a rough estimate of the concentration ratio between clino- and ortho-pyroxene mineral phases, were used to classify the terrestrial analogues. XRD data were finally employed as reference to validate Raman results. As this preliminary work suggests, ultramafic rocks on Mars could be effectively classified through the chemometric analysis of RLS data sets. After optimization, the proposed chemometric tools could be applied to the study of the volcanic geological areas detected at the ExoMars landing site (Oxia Planum), whose mineralogical composition and geological evolution have not been fully understood.
Project description:The Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) spacecraft landed successfully on Mars and imaged the surface to characterize the surficial geology. Here we report on the geology and subsurface structure of the landing site to aid in situ geophysical investigations. InSight landed in a degraded impact crater in Elysium Planitia on a smooth sandy, granule- and pebble-rich surface with few rocks. Superposed impact craters are common and eolian bedforms are sparse. During landing, pulsed retrorockets modified the surface to reveal a near surface stratigraphy of surficial dust, over thin unconsolidated sand, underlain by a variable thickness duricrust, with poorly sorted, unconsolidated sand with rocks beneath. Impact, eolian, and mass wasting processes have dominantly modified the surface. Surface observations are consistent with expectations made from remote sensing data prior to landing indicating a surface composed of an impact-fragmented regolith overlying basaltic lava flows.