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: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: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: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: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 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.
Project description:In this paper, we model the reflectance of the lunar regolith by a new method combining Monte Carlo ray tracing and Hapke's model. The existing modeling methods exploit either a radiative transfer model or a geometric optical model. However, the measured data from an Interference Imaging spectrometer (IIM) on an orbiter were affected not only by the composition of minerals but also by the environmental factors. These factors cannot be well addressed by a single model alone. Our method implemented Monte Carlo ray tracing for simulating the large-scale effects such as the reflection of topography of the lunar soil and Hapke's model for calculating the reflection intensity of the internal scattering effects of particles of the lunar soil. Therefore, both the large-scale and microscale effects are considered in our method, providing a more accurate modeling of the reflectance of the lunar regolith. Simulation results using the Lunar Soil Characterization Consortium (LSCC) data and Chang'E-1 elevation map show that our method is effective and useful. We have also applied our method to Chang'E-1 IIM data for removing the influence of lunar topography to the reflectance of the lunar soil and to generate more realistic visualizations of the lunar surface.
Project description:KREEP materials were thought to be last crystallized at the lunar crust and mantle boundary. Impact cratering and volcanism are mainly responsible for their distributions on the lunar surface. Therefore, observation of global KREEP materials and investigation of distributions in the areas of large basins are of critical importance to understand the geologic history of the Moon. Here we report the new global potassium distribution on the Moon detected by Chang'E-2 Gamma-ray Spectrometer. We found that our new measurements are in general agreement with previous observation. A new finding and an important difference is that relatively higher K abundances in the Mare Crisium and Mare Orientale than their surrounding rims were detected for the first time. In light of our observations in these two areas, we propose that Crisium and Orientale basin-forming impact events may have penetrated to the lower crust and excavate the deeper materials to the lunar surface.
Project description:The Windjana drill sample, a sandstone of the Dillinger member (Kimberley formation, Gale Crater, Mars), was analyzed by CheMin X-ray diffraction (XRD) in the MSL Curiosity rover. From Rietveld refinements of its XRD pattern, Windjana contains the following: sanidine (21% weight, ~Or95); augite (20%); magnetite (12%); pigeonite; olivine; plagioclase; amorphous and smectitic material (~25%); and percent levels of others including ilmenite, fluorapatite, and bassanite. From mass balance on the Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) chemical analysis, the amorphous material is Fe rich with nearly no other cations-like ferrihydrite. The Windjana sample shows little alteration and was likely cemented by its magnetite and ferrihydrite. From ChemCam Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectrometer (LIBS) chemical analyses, Windjana is representative of the Dillinger and Mount Remarkable members of the Kimberley formation. LIBS data suggest that the Kimberley sediments include at least three chemical components. The most K-rich targets have 5.6% K2O, ~1.8 times that of Windjana, implying a sediment component with >40% sanidine, e.g., a trachyte. A second component is rich in mafic minerals, with little feldspar (like a shergottite). A third component is richer in plagioclase and in Na2O, and is likely to be basaltic. The K-rich sediment component is consistent with APXS and ChemCam observations of K-rich rocks elsewhere in Gale Crater. The source of this sediment component was likely volcanic. The presence of sediment from many igneous sources, in concert with Curiosity's identifications of other igneous materials (e.g., mugearite), implies that the northern rim of Gale Crater exposes a diverse igneous complex, at least as diverse as that found in similar-age terranes on Earth.
Project description:Olivine-hosted melt inclusions (MIs) provide samples of magmatic liquids and their dissolved volatiles from deep within the plumbing system. Inevitable post-entrapment modifications can lead to significant compositional changes in the glass and/or any contained bubbles. Re-heating is a common technique to reverse MI crystallisation; however, its effect on volatile contents has been assumed to be minor. We test this assumption using crystallised and glassy basaltic MIs, combined with Raman spectroscopy and 3D imaging, to investigate the changes in fluid and solid phases in the bubbles before and after re-heating. Before re-heating, the bubble contains CO2 gas and anhydrite (CaSO4) crystallites. The rapid diffusion of major and volatile elements from the melt during re-heating creates new phases within the bubble: SO2, gypsum, Fe-sulphides. Vapour bubbles hosted in naturally glassy MIs similarly contain a plethora of solid phases (carbonates, sulphates, and sulphides) that account for up to 84% of the total MI sulphur, 80% of CO2, and 14% of FeO. In both re-heated and naturally glassy MIs, bubbles sequester major and volatile elements that are components of the total magmatic budget and represent a "loss" from the glass. Analyses of the glass alone significantly underestimates the original magma composition and storage parameters.