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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.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4703877 | BioStudies | 2015-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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